How I Saved Money To Travel

How I Saved Money To Travel

Preparing For Travel to Seoul, South Korea

I am not from a family that has ever taken yearly vacations.  It’s something that I have only read about in magazines and books.  In fact, the first time I ever got on a plane, flying longer than two hours, was a year after my mother passed away.  My sisters and I decided to go to Jamaica for a week instead of staying home surrounded by memories.

We looked at it, as a way to get away from our normal day-to-day routine.  However, that was decided on a whim, after my sisters and I took a family portrait.  We were feeling the loss of our mother, the emotions that come and go, as time passes after you’ve lost someone you really loved.  We saw a travel agency poster that displayed a beach with crystal clear water and a beach chair.  That was all we needed, it was just what we needed in that moment.

So, when I decided I wanted to travel to South Korea I started doing a lot of research.  I knew that I didn’t want to teach English as a lot of other expats.  I will discuss more on the reasons for that in another post, but what could I do?  I asked family and friends for any advice.  Everyone I knew traveled for vacations, military assignments or taught English.  I needed new friends who wanted to live the nomadic lifestyle.  I would join a new Facebook group later, but for now, I needed another plan.

The only other option I could come up with was what I wanted to do while I attended University.  I wanted to study abroad for a semester.  While attending school full-time, I, like a lot of other students had to work part-time to pay my bills so I never got the chance to study abroad.

However, I had already graduated and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree.  The thought of obtaining my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing sounded appealing, but the application process didn’t.  I discovered through the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, a lot of Universities in South Korea offer a foreign language program with housing.

Here are 5 strategies I used to save money to travel abroad.

Splitting Bills

I reduced the monthly cost of paying the cable, water, gas, etc., by living with family.  Additionally, I incorporated the same method when I went out with friends.  Although I didn’t go out often, when I did go out, I went out with the understanding of splitting all costs.  If there are good friends they will understand your goals, if they don’t well…

Pay Off Credit Card Bills

I paid more than the minimum amount required.  This allowed me to pay off my credit card debt faster.  An added bonuses while I lived abroad I had one less bill to pay every month.

Limit Shopping

I am not saying that I didn’t shop, I believe in retail therapy.  Only, that I didn’t have the latest purse or brand name shoes and that retail therapy can turn into window shopping.

How I Saved Money Living In South Korea

Monthly Food Budget

While I attended school in South Korea I rarely went to restaurants during the weekday.  Mostly, I would eat in the school’s cafeteria which had really affordable options if you like Korean food.  Since I really like Korean food I could save money every day and I had more money to spend on the weekends.  Additionally, because I ate at the cafeteria I didn’t have to buy many of the kitchen appliances necessary to cook.

Lastly, even though I lived alone, I invested in an electric kettle and I bought a large box of instant coffee and a family size Yoplait yogurt.  *Tip – Costco cards that are purchased in the United States also work in South Korea.*  

Dorm Room

There are several different options you can choose when looking for housing.  Whether it’s a hostel, goshiwon, officetel or apartment, all of these have their pros and cons.  It’s really your preference on what you choose.

I choose to stay in a dorm room for three reasons.  The first reasons were because of the proximity to the school.  I was able to save money on transportation costs because I could walk to class.  Secondly, I initially didn’t know my way around South Korea without the use of several different mobile apps.  Because it’s was a University campus there were a lot of fast food restaurants, a grocery store and plenty of retail shops within walking distance.  Lastly, I didn’t have to worry about furniture, a private bathroom or a washing machine because it was all included in my dorm room fees.

These are some of the ways I saved money to travel to Seoul, South Korea.

What are some money-saving tips or apps you have used to travel?  I would love to read you comments down below.

If you like this post check out similiar posts on Facebook Groups To Join For South Korea Expats and American YouTubers In South Korea You Need To Follow

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How I Saved Money

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