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3 Couples Share How They Afford Traveling More Than Thrice A Year

Can you afford their lifestyles?
PHOTO: (LEFT) Courtesy of Franch and Polo, (RIGHT) Courtesy of Jouie and Em

When you ask ~*millennials*~ about where their money goes or what their #priorities are, a lot of them are bound to answer “travel.” There are even couples who fly to a new place multiple times a year—all while maintaining full-time jobs. 

Jouie, 28, and Em, 27, work full-time as a web designer and as team leader for creatives, respectively. They’ve been together for eight years and have been to Japan, India, and South Korea in the past year. 


Combined Monthly Income Range: P70,000 – P80,000

(from salaries, freelance gigs, and dividends without bonuses) 

Estimated Total Travel Expenses:

P75,000 for trips to Japan and Korea, P35,000 for trips to other ASEAN countries

Other bills and savings aside from their travel fund:

Condo Association Dues + Water Bill: P2,400

Postpaid Plans: P1,600 and P500

Internet: P2,000

Netflix: P280

Food: P7,000 – P12,000

Toiletries: P3,000 – P5,000

Electricity Bill: 1,200 – 3,000php

Laundry: P500 – P1,000

Uber Fees: 0 – 3,000php

Luxuries: P10,000-P20,000 

15% goes to travel (increases to 30% when a trip is coming up)

10% goes to our emergency and retirement fund

15% goes to our wedding fund 

What made them decide to travel several times a year: 

Our first year anniversary coincided with a conference we attended in Singapore during college. We've been celebrating our anniversaries in Singapore using our saved-up allowances and any freelance gig earnings ever since. It's how we trained ourselves to save up a chunk of our money for traveling. It’s now a way for us to refocus and get away from work and stress. Thankfully, traveling is way more convenient and affordable with all the online information. 

The most epic trip they’ve taken together:

The Water Temple of Neak Pean in Siem Reap! During our three-day of temple tour, it didn't even drizzle despite the rain forecast.

How they split the costs of their trip:

Most of the time, one of us pays for the airfare then the other covers the accommodation. But we basically just split it 50-50 or sometimes 60-40, depending on who earned more that month.


How they save up for the trips and set their budget: 

  • We set aside a fund solely for traveling. We have a separate bank account just for that and it gets handy when we need to show a bank statement for visa requirements. We travel on a budget and during off-peak seasons.
  • We cut back on eating out and other luxuries. Minimizing expenses like these help our fund grow way faster.
  • We almost always say yes to freelance gigs. As graphic and web designers, we're lucky to be able to cash in from quick jobs on the side to huge projects with clients who are okay with the schedule we propose—such as submitting projects on the weekends.
  • We find ways to spread out our payments and use our credit card wisely. We pay for our accommodation after our trip and at the same time, lessen the temptation to shop with our remaining credit limit overseas. This also trains us to keep our limit wide, so we can instantly book during surprise travel sales.
  • We grab cheaper travel opportunities. Most of our travels happen because of our family. Our family members either like to travel a lot or live overseas, so sometimes, accommodation or airfare is free. Em's mom also has work privileges such as free or discounted flights that extend to him. 
  • We try to prioritize our free time. Should we watch five hours of K-drama tonight or join online contests for a chance to win us some extra cash? There have been countless weekends where we had to say no to going out with friends and sometimes, even family, to focus on projects.

What lessons have you learned when it comes to funding your trips?

Don’t be complacent, especially when it comes to spending during the last days of your trip. Now that we're planning our wedding, things are more strapped in. We’re now used to traveling so much that just the idea of sacrificing those for the next year to save up for our wedding is almost heartbreaking. 

Continue reading below ↓

Where else would you like to go?

We're going to Australia to visit my brother-in-law this August and eyeing London to see my stepfather. We’re also planning to explore more of Japan and Korea.


*** 

Franch, 31, and Polo, 32, work full-time in publishing and in sales. They’ve been together for 10 years and have been married for a year and a half. In the last year, they’ve been to Hong Kong and have traveled all over Japan. 


Combined Monthly Income Range: P80,000 – P90,000

Estimated Total Travel Expenses: P47,000 – P55,000 for each trip

Other bills and savings aside from their travel fund: 

Aside from our travel fund, we set aside money for savings, our future kids' college fund, food trips, phone bills, utilities, entertainment (Netflix, cable, Internet), life insurance, rent, and groceries. 

What made them decide to travel several times a year: 

We never really had a honeymoon, so we decided to have mini-moons instead. Plus, our trips have also coincided with our friends and families’ plans. 

The most epic trip they’ve taken together:

We went to Hong Kong for my 28th birthday. We were with Polo's entire clan and everyone was in on his plan to propose! The funny thing is, he had to resort to Plan Z before he could actually pop the question.

How they split the costs of their trip: 

51.73% - 48.27%! Haha! We pool our money, so we kind of lose track how much either one of us contributes. 


How they save up for the trips and set their budget:

Weeks leading up to the trip, we try to eat out less and hold off from shopping. Polo, who's also a sportswriter, strategically collects from freelance gigs until a few weeks before the trip. In terms of setting the budget, we decide on our itinerary and then set aside a certain amount for the trip. 

What lessons have you learned when it comes to funding your trips?

We make it a point to buy foreign currency in Manila because it's cheaper. This doesn't have anything to do with funding, but when spending, we learned not to convert prices to peso in our heads when it comes to food. Only convert prices to peso when it's things you can also find in Manila, and only buy stuff if the deal is too hard to pass on.

Continue reading below ↓

Where else would you like to go?

We love food, so we want to go to New York for the culinary scene! We've fallen in love with Japan and are actually planning a trip to Tokyo to level up our Japan experience! After watching Master of None, Italy has also made it to our bucket list!


***

Grace and Dheck, both 31, are in the BPO industry. They have been together for three and a half years, and in the past year, they’ve been to Pangasinan, Baguio, Palawan, Malaysia, and Singapore.


Combined Monthly Income Range:  P45,000 – P50,000

Estimated Total Travel Expenses: P6,000 – P20,000 for each trip

Other bills and savings aside from their travel fund:

Apartment Rent: P6,000

Electricity Bill: P1,000 – P2,000

Cable/Internet: P1,300

Groceries/Food: P4,000 – P5,000

Transportation Expenses: P4,000

Savings: P2,000 – P3,000

We also have a red piggy bank where we put all our 10-peso coins. We also do the 50-peso challenge. We start this every January then we open it before Christmas. Whatever we collect is used for shopping and out-of-town trips.

What made them decide to travel several times a year:

When we started dating, we discovered that we haven’t had the chance to go to far places before, so we decided to try taking long bus drives within Luzon. We enjoyed it so much so we started checking flights locally then internationally. We normally go out of town to celebrate either our birthdays or our anniversary.

We realized that life is short, and we want to start living a happy, stress-free life. Also, we want to test our relationship and know ourselves better. We find it so difficult to decide, choose, and agree [with each other].


The most epic trip they’ve taken together:

We visited Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia in 2014. The feeling of going to a foreign country for the first time, getting lost, trying out unusual delicacies and activities—it’s just surreal. It’s fun to share those experiences with someone as crazy as you.

How they split the costs of their trip:

Most of the time, it’s 50-50. But whoever has extra cash will usually contribute more. For example, one will shoulder the flight, while the other will take care of the accommodation and activities.


Continue reading below ↓

How they save up for the trips and set their budget:

The money we spent comes from our salary, so we make sure to save P2,000 to P3,000 per payday if we’re travelling locally or P4,000 to P5,000 per payday for international trips. We start saving maybe two to three months prior to the date of our travel. 

Our budget depends on where we are going and the activities that we’d like to try. Online promos are our best friend. We’re always on the lookout for those online travel agencies that offer the lowest packages. We book plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and even activities ahead of time. 

I make our own itinerary, and we both decide on what activities we would like to do on which day. Reading other travelers’ blogs definitely helps because you get to have an idea on what to do, especially if you’re traveling outside the country.

Our tip: When travelling outside the country, you might want to check the foreign exchange rates. Start saving up U.S. dollars while rates are low. More often, you’ll get higher rates when these are exchanged to other countries’ local currency.

What lessons have you learned when it comes to funding your trips?

  • Always compare prices of different online travel agencies. Make sure that they are legit!
  • No shopping, no movie time, and less coffee dates one to two months prior to travel.

Where else would you like to go?

We haven’t tried joining group tours, so we might join one when we go to either Calaguas or Caramoan. Part of our bucket list is to visit South Korea, Japan, or Batanes soon. As of now, we just started saving up money, so we can go to Canada just before our visa expires.

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