With the countless demands of modern life, regular travel remains little more than a dream for most people. But for some, the only obstacle left in the way of their first overseas adventure is the cost associated with it. Even a weekend getaway can seem out of reach once you factor in the price of flights, accommodation, meals, and so on.
Despite that, you needn’t spend more than a few minutes on Instagram to find countless people who seem to be traveling all the time. How do they do it? The reality is that frequent travel isn’t as expensive as you might think, and it’s certainly not a luxury reserved for the rich.
Many tourists, globetrotters, and backpackers are regular folks just like yourself. They don’t necessarily have any super special skills, either. More often than not, they simply have a travel blog. Either that or they fund their journeys with one or more income sources. With this in mind, here’s how you can afford a travel lifestyle.
Before You Leave
If your goal is to jet off for an extended period of time, then it’s a good idea to reconsider your current living situation.
- Think about your car, for example. Selling it will go a long way in building up a reliable travel budget. It’s definitely a major decision. But if you aren’t going to use it in the foreseeable future, it’s worth consideration—especially if you live in an area with decent public transport.
- You may also have some possessions that are no longer useful. Take a look around and see whether there’s anything that’s better off being turned into cash for travel gear.
- The same applies to memberships and subscriptions. You probably won’t be binging on Netflix or shopping with Amazon Prime when you’re traveling, so eliminating those recurring expenses can help.
- While you’re still saving up, you can further boost your budget by limiting visits to bars, clubs, and restaurants. Cooking for yourself and sticking to water for hydration can make a world of difference.
Finally, consider moving into a smaller and cheaper place. One alternative is to rent out your home on Airbnb while you travel, which translates to a steady income. Don’t forget to sign up for any relevant frequent flyer programs to start racking up points that can be turned into free flights or upgrades in the future.
Have a Purpose
Why are you traveling? Is it to achieve a certain goal, or is it purely for personal enjoyment? While there’s nothing wrong with the latter reason, giving your adventure a purpose can open up additional funding opportunities.
Your trip could involve volunteering for a local organization at your destination. Perhaps you’re interested in performing and publishing research or learning more about a lesser-known culture. Maybe you plan on documenting your travels in a book or blog. These are good reasons to set up a fundraising campaign or website, which brings us to the next point.
Start a Blog
As may already know, most globetrotters fund their travels with a travel blog. That means putting together and maintaining a successful website that fosters a growing community. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. But getting your blog off the ground takes nothing more than a bit of know-how and some dedication.
Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s mostly a matter of publishing good content and attracting readers. Get that right, and you can start monetizing your blog, be it through advertising, sponsorships, affiliate sales, or something more creative.
So, where do you start? Your best bet is to learn from someone who has already achieved what you’ve set out to do. Learn their methods, follow their guidance, and develop your own strategy.
A great example is the popular travel blogger Jasmine Alley. Her website is loaded with useful guides to help you start a blog and build a following. There you can find a wealth of resources for everything from photography to financial insights, tools, tips, and more. Her blog also features plenty of posts and travel inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.
Fancy the idea of being a digital nomad? Then you might want to consider freelancing online while you travel.
While it’s certainly a solid foundation, starting a blog isn’t the only way to make money on the move. There are many other solutions that require nothing more than a connected laptop and your spare time. What will work best for you depends on your skills.
If you have a way with words, then doing freelance writing gigs is naturally a good option. Platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour serve as marketplaces for writers as well as programmers, artists, graphic designers, video editors, translators, and other skilled nomads to get work.
Here are some other options:
- Surveys and Reviews: There are several websites that pay you to complete questionnaires or give your opinion. The most popular include InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Prize Rebel, SurveyJunkie, and YouGov.
- Virtual Assistantship: If you have an admin background or a knack for computer work, then you can provide VA services in your spare time.
- Online Tutoring: Travelers whose skills lie more in the domain of language and teaching should consider online tutoring. Hourly rates are increasing with demand.
- Social Media: Don’t forget about those Instagram travelers. There’s money to be made in building up a following on social media. Given how saturated space is, you’ll need to provide something unique to make an impact.
- eBooks: Writing about your travels—or anything else that people want to read—is a potentially lucrative way to fund your adventure.
- Data Entry: If you’re looking for something simple and straightforward, then data entry work is a go-to option.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. When it comes to making money online, opportunities abound. Give some thought to what would best suit your abilities. Creativity is often rewarded generously here.
Let’s not get too hung up on earning money. Making sure that every dollar is put to its best possible use is just as conducive to affording the travel lifestyle as having a reliable income. Take some time to perform research and draw up a list of how you can save money during your adventures. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Accommodation: Those all-inclusive beachfront hotel suites can be enticing, but they aren’t always worth it. After all, you’re probably there for the sights and sounds—not to stay inside and watch the local news. Booking off-season, opting for a hostel, avoiding luxurious extras, and joining rewards programs can help.
- Eating Out: Look out for accommodation options that include a kitchen area. This will make it easier to cook your own food instead of splurging on restaurants every night. Carrying snacks and water is a good idea.
- Transportation: All those taxi trips and train tickets can quickly add up. Ideally, you’ll want to be in close proximity to nearby attractions and affordable public transport.
- Tourism Cards: Some cities offer special cards for tourists that grant complimentary access to attractions and transportation, as well as discounts at certain restaurants and venues.
Hopefully, it’s clear by now that you don’t need a massive budget to travel regularly. It’s all about being prepared and thinking outside of the box.
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