We’re Not a Budget Travel Blog

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Yesterday, a potential hotel sponsor asked me “Can your readers afford us?” That’s a perfectly reasonable question, we’ve written post after post about doing things on the cheap, saving money to travel and finding great deals. I can see where she was coming from. I replied, explained our demographic and our philosophy and I’m thrilled to report, we got the deal with a top end hotel chain, you’ll be hearing all about them soon.

Budget Travel Blogs

There are plenty of budget travel blogs out there, specialising in all types of frugal travel, and yes, we’ve been budget travellers during our years on the road. However, we are not exclusively a budget travel blog.

If a trip requires luxury or is expensive, we’ll spend the money. We simply don’t spend money on things that aren’t important to us. We won’t spend $500 per night on a hotel, when a $50 guest house does the job just fine. We see that sort of spending as wasteful and pointless, a frivolity that isn’t worth it to us.

If flights are $10,000, we’ll spend it, if it’s our only choice (as we did for our recent UK and Jordan trip), but if we can get a budget flight fot $100, all the better!

This is how we travel, we spend big when we need to, and are budget conscious where we can. We think our readers are similar.

You Are Probably Not a Budget Traveller

If you are reading this you are probably over 35, female and extensively educated, those are my readers according to Google Analytics. Yes, Google knows who you are.

You’re very similar to me, like attracts like because we can relate to each other and know how we feel about things. The only selling point of any travel blog is the person behind it and you’ve found someone a bit like you.

 We're Not a budget travel blog world travel family

There are not many people on the planet who can, or even want to, travel the way we have. Most people do not sell their possessions and pack in their dependable jobs to take off around the world with a backpack. Some do, but not most of my readers. I’d love it if more people did that, we think our lifestyle is incredible and the freedom we’ve found through changing our life is worth any sacrifice. I don’t even think of it as a sacrifice.

There are very few 18-25 year-old backpackers reading this blog, I can guarantee that ( if you are, say hi in the comments and prove me wrong).

We Are A Travel Blog, Not Just A Budget Travel Blog

I want to see the world and you probably do too, or have seen a lot of it already. I want my children to see the world as part of their education and I want to learn as much as I can along the way. You are probably the same.

Through this blog I want to sell the idea of really exploring the world, not just taking beach vacations. I want people to visit countries they may not have considered, I want them to step outside their comfort zones and have totally new experiences.

I want to sell the idea of travelling with kids, it’s awesome and I’d love it if more people did it.

I want to show people like me, mature people, that there are many ways to travel, not just 2 week package tours. Backpacking isn’t just for the kids and neither is extended travel.

I want to show that “normal” isn’t necessarily right. There are other life choices.

I’ve said before that we are not travel snobs (It’s in our About page and always has been) we backpack, we take cruises, we stay in luxury hotels, tents and village huts. In the past we’ve taken package holidays and group tours, but always with the aim of seeing the world. We will travel any way that is right at that particular time. We have travelled on a shoestring and hand out budget tips for various destinations (including London on a budget) but currently, we have no set budget restrictions.

If I can persuade families to visit India, Vietnam, Nepal, or any of the less common destinations, I’ll be very happy indeed. I don’t care if they stay in a tent or a 5 star, they’re there and they’re experiencing that country and that is awesome.

Yet at the same time I want to show those people who maybe don’t have so much cash that there are cheaper ways of doing things, it’s the same thing, getting people travelling.

Long Term Travel Is Expensive, Very Expensive if You Have Kids

We spent over $30,000 on our last “vacation”. OK, it lasted 12 months and we got a lot of bang for our buck through finding great deals and staying in guest houses and not fancy hotels, but it’s still a lot of cash.

Anybody who travels with kids knows how expensive it is and we make a choice, a weekend in a fancy hotel, or a fortnight in a guest house. It’s about priorities and no personal choice can be wrong. Often our choices are determined by time, we’re lucky ( it’s not luck) we have plenty of time.

Stay With Our Travel Blog if You Want To See The World

You’ve been with us through 4 continents and 13 countries already. Next year we’re revisiting Sri Lanka and taking on India and the Himalayas.

Most normal people don’t go to those countries, they’re not typical holiday destinations (with the possible exception of Sri Lanka and small parts of India). I’ve had a passion for that part of the world all my life and I hope to share that passion with you.

I hope we will stay in palaces, hovels and everything in between, to show the diversity that is available. A few of you will be looking for luxury, a few for the best value deals and that’s great.

The common theme in our travels is the experience of the destination, it’s food and culture, what it’s like to be in that place, be it a bustling city a perfect beach or a mountain top. We do like travelling cheap, it’s a fun challenge that we enjoy, but we also enjoy top end accommodation, who wouldn’t?

My husband’s background in hospitality has taken us to some of the best hotels in the world.

At the same time we will stay true to ourselves and travel our way. We will do things because we want to, not because we’ve scored a free press trip. This is our life, we don’t get second chances and our time to travel as a family is precious.

We took a fantastic promotional trip to Italy this year, we went because it suited us and I thought the kids, in particular, would get a lot out of it. They did. It wasn’t at all “budget” but I got to share an interesting part of the world through these pages. That is how we roll and it will stay that way.

Thanks for following us, I’m very excited to have you along for the ride next year, for our travels budget and luxury.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

34 thoughts on “We’re Not a Budget Travel Blog”

  1. My wife and I spent $33k for 12 months and kept a very detailed budget. We traveled in 4 continents and through 30+ countries. We have a detailed budget overview

  2. I think it is hard to be classified. I suppose in terms of things like sponsorship or blog marketing it would be a negative.

    We personally consider ourselves budget travellers but at the same time with a family inc small children, I can’t live the extreme travel backpacker life I did when I was single or we were a couple. (I would rather be called a budget traveller or backpacker, than the alternatives). Still a part of me would like to return to that life and that may be possible when our boys are older. I resent when people assume because you travel budget, your experiences are diminished or are compromised. I resent that people assume you can’t backpack when you are 70 because let me tell them it is possible and even desirable. Just because you are over 35 doesn’t mean you should travel in a certain way. Backpacking doesn’t mean you haven’t grown up.

    It maybe you have a different idea of travel and the experiences you seek are enhanced by budget travel. Some people would say that money puts distance between you and the local people. After all isn’t one hotel much like many others. You can’t say the same for local peoples homes or a camp ground… Still some people would say that travelling for a family for a year on 30K is budget travel, depends on what you did in that time?

  3. Hey I’m a budget backpacker 25 years old and I still follow your blog. remember we met in Singapore? I agree that traveling with kids may be expensive and a hassle, but I’m inspired to bring them next time when I’ve kids!

  4. I am not your demographic, I am a 25 year old with a 6 year old daughter and it’s just me and her. I want to pack it all up and head out, but I fear being out in the world with my daughter on our own. I am starting to look into budgeting and making sure we have enough. I have started reading your blog and other traveling family blogs as well. I want to offer my daughter the world and I think the best way to do that is to literally offer her the world.

  5. Put our house for sale last summer. It didn’t happen. Waiting for it to happen so we can hit the road. Yes, I am definitely your audience. I got 4 kids though. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have done a lot of traveling before marriage, 14 years ago. Now with kids and DH, mostly to Brazil and the beach.

  6. Hmm – I’m educated but under 35, definitely a female and a mother. Like most of the other commenters we mix it up – sometimes 5 star hotels, most of the time apartments. I look to your blog for inspiration about travelling with older kids, I’m worried about what to do when my two year old turns five – I really don’t want to have to go home and put him in a traditional school environment if I don’t have to – I think what you are doing with your boys is awesome.

  7. Hmm. Interesting! I don’t see your blog as a budget one which is funny, more “it’s-possible-to-do-a-world-trip-with-kids” type of thing although I am actually your demographic person being over 35, female, highly educated, and middle-class. OMG!
    I enjoy reading your blog and I like the way you mix things up, and in that way I’m quite similar.
    I went to Poland at Easter, and we paid โ‚ฌ26.00 per night for a very nice B&B on the Polish Baltic Sea but at the same time we went to Bali this August, and we paid โ‚ฌ100.00 per day for a lovely house on a rice paddy!
    Let them know what’s what Alyson!

  8. Well, i’m not over 35, but i enjoy reading your blog since i found your blog while searching for info about Sri Lanka (really can’t wait to explore Sri Lanka). Love all your travel stories.

  9. Travel blogs shouldn’t have to be pigeon-holed into one category or another. Different situations call for different styles of travel, I’m sure your readers will be happy to learn about some luxury options even if they consider themselves “budget travelers,” I ceratinly will!

  10. I can see how that mistake was easily made, most people want budget travel tips these days so if you don’t write about them you’ll cut out a huge audience. But having a niche does help gain readers. Unfortunately I don’t fit into your demographic (only 26, and no university degree!) but I am planning on selling everything and packing my life into a backpack next year. Best of luck with the blog and your travels!

  11. Over 35, female and highly educated … it’s a bit reductive, but it does apply! I would add: curious, mother, middle-class (though I hate that word), good sens of humour (the kids don’t agree-)!

  12. How funny that Google Analytics pegged so many of us! I didn’t even realize this information could be ascertained from those reports – I’ll have to go check mine out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Isn’t budget travel all relative anyway. If you are used to travelling with a backpack but staying in hostels then budget is sleeping on beaches and hitching rather than paying for your ride. For me, firmly in your demographic, budget is 3star rather than 5star accommodation and standard rather than business class flights.

  14. Funny. I would never have thought of your blog as a budget travel blog. I love that you share all the different types of places you stay and visit. I love reading it and would love to travel more with our family in the years ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on the deal with the hotel. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  15. We are doing it now…we been gone almost three months and started in Great Britain (not a Budget place!!!) and are in Greece now. Will be going back to Rome heading to Asia next. I do wonder from your experience and your other readers. , how you handle your children’s relationships back home. My kids are starting to share that they want to go back home to see their friends and family(and we skype as often as possible). Any help would be much appreciated. We are going to be gone for a year and are trying to have family visit periodically.

    • We’ve not had that problem at all Candace, never had any family around and friends come and go. They make new ones all the time. Luckily at the moment we’ve made great friends and Australian Granny is in London, so we’re very busy with “people”. Unusual for us. Granny livs at te other end of Australia normally.My 2 are great friends, so long as they’re together they have a ball ( when they’re not fighting).

      • Thanks so much for sharing. This traveling with children is definitely a continual learning process ๐Ÿ™‚ Appreciate all your information!

  16. Sounds like Google has me pegged! But what is a “budget” traveler anyway? I guess if you divide everyone into two categories, “luxury” and “budget” travelers I’m closer to the second one. We work really hard to get the most for our travel dollar, but sometimes that means staying in a youth hostel and sometimes that means taking a cruise ship or a luxury safari. Perhaps a better way to categorize travel would be “mindful” travel and, well, I guess “mindless” travel isn’t really a label anyone wants to embrace. And it’s also not just about traveling, your blog is more about a lifestyle. You can be living a lifestyle of exploration and discovery while staying close to home and you can be learning absolutely nothing about the world while you’re thousands of miles from home.

      • Mindfulness (noun): a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment

        To me, mindfulness and being present in the moment are all about curiosity and intellectual engagement. I travel to learn more about other places, other cultures and ultimately more about myself. My goal in traveling as a family is to have children who grow up with that mindset as well. I find that often, (but not always) the more I spend on a trip, the more I’m insulated from the place I’ve actually come to visit. So for me, traveling “on the cheap” isn’t really about sticking to a certain budget, but about fully embracing my destination.

        • OK, I getchya, yep, that’s us. But no matter where we stay we’re always out on the street exploring, I could never spend holiday time just in a hotel. The exception being back in Australia. Work out why for yourself!

  17. I’m getting well over 35, love travel, but can’t see our family doing what you do! A bit of me would love to, but I don’t think I could convince the other half (of me or my husband).

    BUT! I do love a holiday! I’ve done the beach resort vacation and now it’s time to see more of the world. I don’t do cheap so well, though! We LOVED our 4.5 star hotel in Hong Kong! We LOVE cruising!

    We DO love to take the kids (even though they are getting older). It’s only a matter of time before they won’t want to come with the oldies (I keep telling myself!). It’s amazing to me how many people ask me if I’m planning to take the kids on our next holiday/cruise!! Duh – of course! What a wonderful education! They have got their “we’re homeschooled and on the world’s best school excursion” line down pat, to enquiring minds! Things will be more difficult in the next 3 years when they are back in school ๐Ÿ™

    So advertise that top hotel! We just might stay there!

  18. As I am well over 35, and no longer have young children, and your blog is relevant to me. Even my two week packeage holidays I count as travelling as we have never been the lounge around the pool and don’t venture from the hotel type of family. My daughter was 3 when we took a flight only to Greece with no accomodation booked, and in that travelling party was my 56 year old mother who happily jumped on the back of a moped drived by a Greek man. Not quite backpacking but definitely not ‘normal’ whatever normal is. And while I am still confined to short breaks while I work towards a life of long term travel I make sure I have a lot and they all offer new experiences.

  19. Alyson,

    true, its about the journey not the destination. If you open your mind to whats around you that’s when the real learning and experience begins. We are just over 100 days into our upsticksandgo work-travel-live-learn adventure and we have stayed in hotels, caravan parks and even rented houses.

    We rented a house in Senggigi, Lombok for a month because we wanted to connect with the people and position ourselves away from the tourist locations. We still do the sight seeing tours with the tourist but we live in a community. As a result our boys have made friends with the local children and spend much of their time outside on the street playing and riding bikes. They get up earlier than us each morning and we have to find them before we can have breakfast at the local warung (restaurant shop) as a result they are learning very quickly how to communicate. Much faster than the rest of us.

    We will be in Malaysia in a few weeks and hopefully getting to see a few of the places you saw in your travels. At the moment we are planning to only stay in a hotel in Malaysia for a week or two before making our way to Vietnam where we have found a Guest house on the Mekong River.

    We have an accommodation budget for each month because thats the only way we can afford to travel for a long period. So I’d say that the level of expenditure you can manage is some what connected to the duration you are planning to travel.

    Keep up the great work.

    Simon (papa of the upsticksngo crew)

  20. I am the exception! I’m 29 (not over 35), well educated? Hmm I don’t have a degree only an A Level from many moons ago, but I do have an excellent job and CV! I’m taking my 5 year old backpacking in 18 days! We’re visiting Hong kong, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam! Majority of which is nice hotels, with the odd beach shack, tree house and school thrown in (yes we are staying in a school for 5 days in Cambodia), so it’s all kind of people reading your blog, not just over 35, well-educated women! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I am your demographic! We travel with our two kids to a wide variety of places, staying in ery diffeent levels of accomodation. We have backpacked in Ecuador, spending a maximum of $20US a night, travelled in Cambodia and Vietnam with my Dad and sister at a higher level and done an extended family holiday in Club Med Bali, so yes, I imagine many of your readers are like me and mix it up a bit!


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