I already talked about my lessons in the spirit,mind and heart while traveling. What did I learn about logistics and financial? Not really yoga related but still might be interesting for other and future yoga nomads
Packing too much: I’ve seen someone with one backpack of 25 l. She had met someone without luggage, with literally only his passport in his pocket. Wow. If you want to know how, the Google search is no bag travel. I couldn’t do that, my backpack (65 + 10) was 18 kg when flying to Ubud.
No, you dont need to take three tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste with you. You only need one in three months and they sell it in the Seven Eleven for even a cheaper price. You don’t need to take two extra in-case-of phones (+chargers, +cables) with you. Extra wallet. Hipwallet. Didn’t use it. Ducktape, tierips and other McGyver stuff… didn’t need it and everything can be bought. (Happy though with a rope and clips to hang my clothes on)
In a lot of countries in Asia it is not done to wear sleeveless shirts/tank tops. So they are mostly unused. Instead take white shirts of technical material (nylon, with little holes, like running shirts) with you (if you have a Decathlon around: buy them there for a couple of euros.)
Budget, spend and track money
I share you my secrets from my money management!
STEP ONE: BUDGET OF THE DAY
Calculate your budget you can/want to spend each day. Start with how much money do you have. Subtract the fixed expenses at home. Then calculate the costs for things like visa and flights and subtract this also.
Now you have your budget to spend for your trip. Divide the amount of money by the number of days that you are traveling. Deduct the money needed for your hotel, transfers, your bike etc. What you get is what I call your budget of the day. Let’s say it’s 10 dollar a day.
STEP TWO: SPENDING
See everything as a percentage of this limit helps also to keep the discipline. So a beer of 2 dollar is 20% of you budget of the day.
Imagine that you have a wallet in which you put every day a billet of 10 dollar (if that’s your budget of the day). The most important rule is :
You can never spend more than you have in your (imaginary) wallet but you can spend less and save money for the following days.
So on the first day you can’t spend 12 dollar, but if you only spent 7 dollar on the first day, you can spend the second day a bit more. When you have a good discipline and if you spend the first 5 days only 7 euro, you can even spend 25 euro on the sixth day 🙂 ([5 x (10-7)] + 10)
Play with the variations in price. If I have a cheap lunch on a certain day, I can eat a fancy dinner which is more expensive. And vice versa. A cheap lunch in Chiang Mai was 1 dollar for a plate of rice and vegetables. My average price there was 2,50 USD for diner without alcohol in the first year. But you can treat yourself as long as you save on other meals of the day.
For me it helped also to set a F&B budget (breakfast, lunch and dinner) per day.
Keep in mind that small spendings (a coffee, a smoothie, all “only” one euro) add up enormously! Also alcohol is very expensive in Asia!
You can cut on your spendings by spending a bit less of everything. In Holland we call it the ‘cheese slicer method’. So instead of the smoothie with three fruits, you can take one with two fruits. Another way to spend less is to choose not to take a smoothie at all. So slice or choose!
STEP THREE: TRACKING
Start an excel sheet. Track what you spend. Put everything in categories and make pivot tables. The result is visible below.
Track also what you own (what I call my balance), so you can see how your possessions diminish. Adapt your budget of the day when needed!
I made an Google sheet here
You can also use an app. People use for example Travelspend.
How much did you spend? Do you have other packing tips?
Observations and tips
Normally you’ll spend more: I didn’t travel a lot and didn’t do tours or treks (count on 1500 bht per ). Take also in account that Chiang Mai/Northern Thailand is much cheaper than the South/the Islands. About yoga: I only did two walk in classes, count for 200-250 baht in Chiang Mai and 300 bath in the south.
Food in Bali is much more expensive. In the evening I ate at a cheap warung near my hostel.
I had a 15 class yoga pass for 825k in Ubud. And a single yoga class in Canggu.
IMPORTANT: Taking money from the ATM with Meastro or debitcard is always cheaper than your creditcard (in my case the costs are 1,2% vs 4,5%). And when taking money from the ATM or paying with your credit card, always choose “without conversion”. It saved me 20 euro/dollar on a retreat of 600 euro. So this will save you a lot of money!