One year ago, my husband and I quit our lives of “normality” and set off for a yearlong around the world trip. The question we received most often was, “how did you afford it?” I want to respond with everything they’re thinking, “We sold our kidneys, won the lottery, and then had mom and dad bank roll it.” Or not.
We decided it was time to shed some light on the world of long-term travel and how you can make the change to travel full-time.
How To Travel Full-Time
Work Remotely: One of the best ways to make an income while traveling is to work remotely. If you work in graphic design, copywriting, or digital media, this will be way easier than someone who has an office job that requires them to actually be in the office. These days, it’s easier than ever to be a digital nomad. Ask your boss if you can work remotely and see what they say. If they say “no”, try starting with 2-3 days per week as a test of working remotely. You could also freelance on websites like Upwork.com.
Rent Out Your Home: One of the scariest things about leaving for our around the world trip was the fact that we had a mortgage payment to take care of. Try renting your home out (we did so fully furnished) to cover your mortgage and if possible, make a small profit on the home.
Get Rid Of All Monthly Payments: That’s right, all of them! When you’re working a “normal” job at home, you have tons of monthly payments just to pay for your commute to work. You have a car payment and car insurance, plus rent (or mortgage) and utilities for your home. When traveling, you don’t need any of these payments. Sell that car, get rid of your insurance, turn off your pandora or spotify subscription (but remember to purchase travel insurance), and rid yourself of pesky monthly payments.
Move Your Residence: Many states have high income taxes (as many of you know all too well) so prior to your absence from The United States, move your residence to another state, preferably one without income tax, and preferably for over 6 months before departure.
Play Currency Arbitrage: One of the best ways to save money and travel full-time is to play a game of currency arbitrage. Pick a location where your dollar goes far while still getting paid in your local currency. For instance, if I take my key ingredients of earning in US dollars and living in Argentina, and I add a splash of a 1:15 conversion of US Dollars to Argentine Pesos, I come out with a currency feast! We are lucky to have been born in The United States and to travel in 2015/2016 when the dollar was at an all-time high.
Start A Travel Blog: If you have started a travel blog and are trying to make money on this blog i.e. content creation, advertising, etc., then you can write off your expenses related to the business in your taxes. You can also earn discounts, free stays, sponsored posts, affiliate dollars, and advertising money depending on how much traffic your blog earns.
Travel Slowly: When traveling around the world, the first thing you want to see is… everything! If you want to make your money last long, I highly recommend traveling as slowly as possible. Limit the amount of large flights, choose to travel by public transportation, and spend two or more weeks in each destination. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll integrate with the local culture and get a better feel for the city or country that you are in rather than just motoring through the country to see a sight or two.
Rent An Apartment With A Kitchen: It’s easy to want to go out to eat all of the time when traveling, but restaurants are a money pit, even in foreign countries. Try renting an AirBnb or getting a hotel room with a kitchenette so that you can cook most meals at home. You’ll save money and some bonus inches on your waistline.
Limit Your Alcohol: Before our year long journey, every trip was a vacation and a vacation means drinking! The problem with this is you can’t drink like you’re on vacation for an entire year without killing your liver, your waistline, and your budget. Reduce or stop your alcohol intake to improve your health and budget.
Travel To Places Off-Season: Off-season locations mean off-season prices and a lower number of tourists. Shoulder season and off-season travel is the best time to travel, for your wallet and for your sanity. Want to visit the Caribbean, but avoid the crowds? Travel in the summer months! You may have a few days of rain, but you’ll have lower prices and fewer crowds. Want to see Europe? Visit in the spring to avoid the heavily trafficked summer months. You’ll have to break a jacket, but you’ll score off-season deals. Always avoid holiday travel such as Christmas and New Years times where prices can triple, especially in popular destinations.
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