min read
Braden Mosley

How I traveled to 3 countries for 50 days under $5,000

Within the past 3 years, I’ve spent roughly 50 days traveling to Colombia, Costa Rica, and Santorini, Greece all while spending under $5,000.

When I talk with people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, many of them have mental barriers around traveling abroad.

The most common objection is “I’ll go to X when I Y”

  • “I’ll travel Europe when I retire”
  • “I’ll see the pyramids when I change careers”
  • “I’ll tour the safari when our kids move out”

These objections arise out of fear.

  • Fear that you don’t have enough money
  • Fear that it will be inconvenient
  • Fear that you’ll be uncomfortable

Unfortunately, our time here on Earth is limited.

My fear for you is that you never travel like I know you want to.

My fear is that either:

(a) “X” comes, and you still won’t go because you refuse to prioritize your own fulfillment

(b) “X never comes

So, I’m going to help you break those mental barriers with my top 3 tips to help you start traveling NOW.

Tip #1: Buy the plane ticket

In 2019, I was fresh out of college and planned a trip to Thailand with my best friend.

We had out plane tickets, vaccinations, and Google maps laid out for an exciting, unpredictable trip.

It was a few weeks before takeoff when I got an email:


This was the beginning of the Covid outbreak.

My friend called me up and asked if I wanted to make a last-minute audible and head to Costa Rica instead.

I had never travelled abroad.

Normally, this big of a change would have been a no-go for me.

But, since I had already mentally prepared for an uncomfortable, yet exhilarating trip to Thailand, this change didn’t phase me.

We changed our tickets, did some last minute planning, and had a life-changing trip.

At that moment, I realized the importance of the plane ticket.

Once you have your ticket, everything else falls into place.

I vowed that If I ever truly wanted to travel somewhere, the plane ticket would be the first thing I do.

Pro tip A:

Set alerts on Google flights to see when tickets are the cheapest.

Pro tip B:

If you wanted to see the cheapest flights for a specific length of time (or on specific days of the week) through the year, use this feature in Kayak

Step 2: Snack effectively

My new wife, Mindy, and I were finally on the beaches of Santorini, soaking up the Greek sun surrounded by those white and blue spherical buildings you see in screensavers.

It was our honeymoon, and we were living the dream.

Being in our mid-20’s and financially conscious, we are rather frugal. We prioritize saving to invest in our future.

But, we were not going to let that stop us from experiencing our dream honeymoon in Santorini.

Mindy is an expert at finding cost-effective ways to eat while traveling. She packs protein-packed sandwiches and snacks we can eat while we are out and about.

We also try to make sure the hotel or hostel has some kind of breakfast.

Don’t get me wrong, we still splurge on some amazing dinners, but you can save thousands by simply picking and choosing when to go big during a night out on the town and when to split a quick snack.

Step 3: Consider hostels

Ever since the horror movie “Hostel” hit the big screen, hostels were stuck with a bit of a stigma.

But after I stayed in my first hostel in Costa Rica, I realized they are basically cost-effective resorts full of friendly travelers.

We stayed at one that had 3 levels of pools, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, a steamroom, and a yoga studio built into the jungle!

During our trip to Colombia to visit our indigenous coffee farmers, we found some amazing hostel on the Hostelworld app for around $10-15 per night

On the last day of our trip, after weeks of hardcore traveling, we even booked a massage and steam room session since the hostel doubled as a spa.

Also, I understand you may not be into shared dorm-style bedrooms, which is why most hostels offer private rooms for an upcharge (still a fraction of the cost of a hotel)!

Bonus: My favorite apps

My favorite apps for traveling:

  1. Rome2rio - Tells you the cheapest and fastest way to get from point A to point B
  2. Downloaded Google maps - navigation that works with no service
  3. HostelWorld - Private or shared rooms for a fraction of the cost
  4. iTranslate - Communicate easier
  5. My Currency converter - Keep track of expenses

In summary, next time you feel yourself conjuring up an excuse why you can’t travel yet, I encourage you to:

  1. Buy the plane ticket to force the rest of the plan to fall into place
  2. Plan some snacks so you don’t break the bank eating out every meal
  3. Check out some hostels. I think you may be surprised

That’s all I’ve got today!

Talk soon.

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