How to afford long term travel
We are already traveling constant for over a year now and often receive the question how we are able to afford that.
It’s time to reveal our secret:
There is no family sponsor for our trip neither did we win the lottery.
We are able to do that based on our own actions and no matter which circumstances, everybody can do that.
How to build up the capital
Traveling on a budget is not expensive and you can even travel for free, which we explain you later.
But some funds, even when they are only for an emergency, are important and a key factor when it’s about how to afford long term travel.
When it’s about building up a capital there are two aspects to have a look at:
Saving up money
Saving money sounds simple but did you ever keep track of your expenses?
We suggest you to make a list and write down whenever you spend money on something.
It can be quite shocking when you get faced with where your hard earned money goes to.
Now you can think about on which expenses you can save money on.
Our tip is to have a closer look at the following:
Is it really necessary to eat in a restaurant?
Why don’t you prepare your food at home and eat that in your lunch break or whenever you won’t be at home during your meal time.
It’s so much cheaper and you are in control of your nutrition intake.
When you often go out with friends to eat, you can start cooking together which is super fun and saves a lot of money. Don’t worry, that doesn’t have to be at your place all the time, you can rotate the hosts.
The new iPhone was released and you want it?
Your current phone is good enough!
Why buying new electronic gear when your current setup is working perfectly and the new stuff is just slightly better? Stick to your old gear.
You don’t need branded clothes, you can get some good quality non branded apparel for a much cheaper price.
Consider second hand
When buying stuff it doesn’t have to be brand new.
Check if someone is selling the product you are looking for on Craigslist, Facebook groups, Ebay etc. to save a dime.
When we were living in Germany we didn’t have a car.
We always used our bicycles to get around no matter if it was sunny or pouring down. Only for some occasions we used public transport.
It saves a lot of money and it’s better for your health and fitness.
Double win. 😉
Making more money
Let’s spice up your paycheck to have the travel funds more earlier.
Earning more money
Are you doing a good job? Ask for a pay raise or a bonus.
The worst thing your employer could say is “no”.
But be prepared for the discussion with reasons and documentation why you are worth the extra Dollar.
Another way is to improve your skills or even learn new skills which you can document with certifications to make yourself more worth for your employer
You could also consider applying for a higher position internal or at other companies.
Even for the same position, they might pay more.
Give it a try!
Even when your main job is exhausting and you have the urge to relax, you still can use your remaining energy for a side job or business.
We worked seven days a week for a longer period: Monday to Friday our full time job, Saturday and Sunday a side job.
It needs motivation and drive to wake up every single day to go to work but with the right reason (like a long term trip 😉 ) it is possible.
You only need to find a way to keep yourself motivated. We loved to do researches of destinations which hyped us up or listened (and still do) to motivational speeches.
If you don’t want work a regular side job you can start a own business or you can sell your services like logo design etc. on websites like Fiverr.
And who knows, maybe it will grow to a big business.
Sell unused stuff
Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and sell it on Ebay or other platforms.
There is no need to be a hoarder.
How to travel almost for free
Yes, that’s possible and no, you don’t need to do busking on the street or beg for money.
The best way is to do a work exchange.
In these programs you basically exchange your work with accommodation and (mostly) meals. What is included decides the host.
These are the most popular platforms:
Or how about some volunteering and also do a good deed?
Another option, where you may earn enough money to travel further, is a work and travel holiday.
The most popular countries are Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
How to save money while traveling
One of the most expensive factors while traveling is the accommodation.
You can save money and meet locals when doing Couchsurfing.
This is a well known platform where people offer their couch or room to sleep for free and or want to meet up for a coffee etc.
But please note: This is not your ideal platform if you are only looking for a free stay. Couchsurfing is an experience where you are able to get to know other cultures and people and maybe make good friends.
We had some great stays in Japan and Taiwan and we are still in contact with the hosts.
On Trustedhousesitters you can apply for house and pet sitting offers and stay at the host’s place for free. We met so many people who made great experiences and we are going to start it soon.
Cash-back/credit links and codes
Some accommodation websites have affiliate programs where you can get a cash back or credit when booking via the link provided by an affiliate partner.
Like ours for AirBnB:
Eat where the locals eat
That rule can be used in every country.
Locals don’t go to expensive restaurants and they know where to get the best food.
Follow them for a good and cheap meal. 😉
Avoid taxis and use public transportation.
It may take a bit longer but it is so much cheaper.
Or rent a bicycle which brings back the fitness aspect.
Sometimes there are also alternative forms of transportation like BlaBlaCar in Europe where people take you with their car when they have available seats on their way from A to B.
When you are flexible with your flight dates you can get really cheap flight tickets.
Just select a certain time frame instead of a special date and website like Skyscanner will provide you with the different prices for those dates and you can simply select the cheapest one.
Sometimes the airlines selling them even cheaper at special events like Black Friday.
This is your time where you really can save money.
The weather is not always bad and another perk are the small crowds which makes your trip much more enjoyable.
Get a travel insurance
You may think “hey a travel insurance cost’s money and money is an important factor of how to afford long term travel’.
And you are totally right, but think about which costs you could face when you have an accident or get seriously sick?
On my first long term trip I would have had to pay 11k USD when I wouldn’t have a travel insurance.
Read more about the story and which insurance we have here.
Please keep in mind to put the money you saved on our “how to afford long term travel” guide in your travel funds and don’t touch this fund for anything else only when there is some urgent really necessary money needed. 😉
Safe travels and enjoy your adventure.
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