Question: How can you afford to travel for a year?
This is the answer that people ask when we tell them that we are currently travelling the world with our two kids.
We are not millionaires. Far from it! And neither are the traveller’s stories you are about to read.
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How to Afford To Travel The World When You’re Not Loaded
In order to afford to travel regularly, you have to be willing to think outside of the box with your plans. Jigg things up a little.
This might mean coming up with ideas on how to make money while travelling – maybe that will be teaching overseas or creating an amazing website for an e-commerce site.
Maybe you will copy my personal dream of becoming a super-duper blogger, or, perhaps you are skilled enough to be able to fix computers for people on the road.
You could always farm the kids out.
All of the people you are about to read about created jobs so that they could have an independent location lifestyle.
Saving Money on Travel
While this post is mostly about how people make enough money to travel, you will also read ways that travellers save money too.
One of my personal favourites is couchsurfing or if I’m feeling posh, house sitting. WE saved $$$’s housesitting in Europe in the summer and CouchSurfing enabled us to go backpacking in Japan without spending a cent on accommodation!
if you are serious about using Housesitting as a tool to travel the world for free (as we do), you can use my exclusive discount code to save yourself 20% by Clicking here.
These are just a couple of ways to save money on accommodation so that you can travel more of the world and not take out a second mortgage.
Some travellers don’t wish to travel and earn money- they want to just go away and relax. They save money for their trip using simple but effective strategies and then visit the cheaper, underrated travel destinations throughout the world.
If you want to travel and are looking for a nudge in the right direction let’s jump into the ways that can help you afford to travel for longer!
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Do Online Surveys
From David Hutchenson.
Among friends and family, I’m known as a highly organised person, so it confuses them when I tell them that I’ll be travelling without the funds available to cover the entire trip. However, I’m always confident in my ability to meet my goals and I have loads of ideas on how to make money while travelling.
Here’s my advice on how to afford to travel !the world!
While travelling I earn about 50% of my income from doing online surveys. Luckily these sites allow me to earn money from anywhere, the simple requirement being an internet connection.
However, not all survey sites work internationally. I stick to Toluna and Swagbucks which work well for me while travelling.
The other 50% of my income comes from freelance work. I invested in my education early on and my knowledge of online marketing has meant I can charge more for articles I write.
Along with that, I stick to countries that are cheaper to travel in general to ensure my money stretches as far as it can. A good deal of my time has been spent in Chiang Mai in Thailand, where you can have a great lifestyle for around $1000 a month.
Read more about David on his blog Paid Surveys Fanatic
Or follow him on facebook
From Michael Demmon
Want to know how to afford to travel? Save! Just give up coffee, restaurants, movie nights, etc. – and move in with your parents!
You’ve heard that before, right? Sounds simple enough. But we think that’s like trying to lose weight by giving up everything you love. It doesn’t work for everyone.
Big plans require a big commitment. A couple of years ago, we decided to go all in and plan a multi-year, round the world trip. And we didn’t assume our blog and YouTube channel would cover the cost.
We sold our 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath home and our Audi. Using the proceeds, we bought a used Jetta and a one-bedroom condo. No longer did we have a huge mortgage ($1300+/month), massive heating & cooling bills ($200-300/month), or the cost of maintaining a luxury car.
Downsizing was a game-changer. We now save well over half of our paychecks – and yes, we still go out to dinner, watch movies, and even travel while we’re saving. This mindset has made a huge difference. When we leave next year, we’ll start with a comfortable, six-figure bank account – all because we set a goal and put travel first.
Read more about Michael and Halef on their blog thertwguys
Create a Travel Fund
From Jorge & Claudia
We are Portuguese bloggers who started travelling and blogging while working as ex-pats in Angola. We decided that we wanted to make travelling a big part of our life. In order to pursue that goal, we established a travel fund and created a set of rules about how we could spend the money fund and how we would finance it. Travelling (and blogging) became a priority for us.
So, what were our rules? The main revenue of the fund was the extra money earned besides our base salary. This means all the bonuses, extra hours and even part-time jobs or any source of income not work-related were directly transferred to the fund. As ex-pats, we were very well paid, which made the fund very healthy.
Nowadays, the fund’s revenue comes from investments made with travel fund money, interests from deposits and money generated by our blog. Making money while travelling is very real and although the site only provides a small part of the total revenue, the idea is to eventually have the site finance travelling altogether.
Jorge and Claudia write at Traveldrafts
Follow them on their facebook page!
Host International Students
From Paula Morgan
For several years we hosted international students as a homestay family. These students are usually young adults who are studying to improve their language skills. As a homestay host, you are required to provide a single bedroom with a desk and 2 meals per day, breakfast and dinner.
The meal times were a great opportunity to learn more about their countries and cultures and at the same time help them with their conversation skills. We saw it as a win-win.
Participating in this program gave us a tax-free income (homestay is not taxed in Australia) of approximately $1200 per month. We were able to squirrel away money to afford a long annual vacation each year. We hosted students on and off for over a decade.
An added benefit was all the cultural exchange and the relationships we build with our homestay “kids”. We hosted students from Japan, Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Brazil. My cooking skills got a major boost and we made lifelong friendships.
We have been lucky to have met up with several of our kids on our travels and it has really enriched our lives along with the means to fund long-term travel.
Paula writes at Expert Abroad
Follow her on Instagram
Save Little And Often
From Tina Louise
How I funded long periods of travel with my two children as a single mum.
20 countries later and here are some quick tips!
I’ve always travelled and I’ve always saved up for it but when I decided I wanted to travel for over 4 months in Asia visiting several countries in one longer trip I knew I had to change to make it happen.
My top tips:
Open a savings account, set a minimum budget to save each week, I usually save £250 per month for travel. I remember saving £5 per week for 2 years, it afforded me an extra holiday to Disneyland in Paris. So worth it!
I used my maternity pay and leave to have an income and my job to return to after our 4-month trip.
Who says having kids makes it difficult to travel.
Cut back a little bit on everything, whether that’s choosing a cheaper option when buying groceries or eating out, just make the decision to cut back and ask yourself if you really need that purchase, brand or restaurant meal.
Leading up to the birth of my daughter I was freelancing a lot alongside my full-time job. everything I made from online work went straight into my holiday fund. It was hard 12+ hour days but it allowed me experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford.
In conclusion, work hard, save, cutback and travel smart. It’s not magic, it’s real, it’s simple and it works!
Read more from Tina Louise on her blog Single Mum Travels
And follow her on Facebook
Become A Full-Time Blogger
From Sharon Gourlay
We decided to leave our home country of Australia indefinitely with our then family of four at the end of 2014. We had enough savings to last us four months with the plan that I would get my travel blog earning enough money in that time that we didn’t have to come back.
At the time, it earned a few hundred dollars per month.
We spent most of that time in Penang, Malaysia so I had time to work. I concentrated on building up my income and I did it – we stayed away for 13 months in the end which is when we wanted to come back (when school started for our oldest and we were having another baby).
My blogging continues to pay for our travel as well as all our bills for our home base in Melbourne. We don’t do anything else. I concentrate on earning money via affiliate marketing and using SEO for traffic and now also teach other bloggers how to make money this way as well.
Read more about Sharon on her blog Digital Nomad Wannabe
And follow her on Instagram
Work as a Teacher
From Stephanie Breen
I’ve well and truly been bitten by the travel bug, which doesn’t come without a large price tag. I’ve managed to fund my travels by teaching overseas in both full-time and relief teaching positions.
Here’s how I afford to travel. Recently I taught for two years in the UK. Luckily, it was easy to find jobs as a teacher there, which meant I was never short of work. It was an amazing experience and put me so close to European countries where I could adventure every holiday I had, and trust me, I did just that! I managed to see so much of Europe.
Even though I could only travel during school holidays, I was able to find affordable solutions including staying in hostels and flying with carry-on luggage only.
I travelled solely on the money I earned teaching overseas, which meant I could keep my savings from back at home – a huge bonus when you finally return!
Read more about Stephanie on her blog A Global Educator
And follow her on facebook
Become A Digital Nomad
From Jill Greising-Murschel
Travelling full-time with our family of 6 requires a bit of funding.
In addition to our income from the blog and my wife’s teaching online, I work in IT as a digital nomad. This allows our family to visit any place that we can access cellular internet.
The company I work for employs IT professionals that can work remotely, making money while traveling anywhere in the world, which is great for our family as we road trip-it in our RV across North America full-time.
Read more from Jill at her blog Lets Travel Family
And follow her on Instagram
Eat at Home!
From Ken and Karen
Family and friends often ask “How can you afford to travel so much?” Our answer is simple. We spend less on the small stuff to enjoy more of the big stuff. We cook dinner at home and pack our lunch for work instead of eating out. We bring our coffee to work instead of stopping at Starbucks. Most of the time.
In daily life, we often look at today instead of the long term. Let’s get a coffee. Want to grab lunch downtown? Let’s try that new restaurant. We forget that all of these small daily expenditures really add up. You CAN fund your travel without really sacrificing, but you have to make it a priority.
If you stop every day and get a coffee from your favourite barista at $5.00 a cup, that’s $1,300 a year you could be using for travel. Does lunch out costs $10 a day? Pack your lunch and save $2,600 a year.
Dinner out 3 times a week may only cost $30 per dinner but you could save $4,700 a year if you cooked those dinners at home instead. If have a partner, you could be doubling your travel savings! Get the picture?
You don’t have to make a drastic lifestyle change. Just buy one less coffee, pack your lunch one more day, and cook one nice dinner instead of eating out each week. You’ll save $45 a week for traveling or a whopping $2,350 per year per person.
You don’t have to eliminate all eating out, just decide when it is important instead of just easy.
Plus, you will be eating healthier too.
Read more from Ken and Karen on their blog Ken and Karen Travels
And follow them on Facebook
Swap Your Home For a Tent
From Gillian Denovan
Our friends often wonder how we manage to travel so much and here’s our little secret. We live in the beautiful Dordogne region and about three years ago, we came up with an idea for earning some extra income.
We decided to pack up the contents of our house – great for decluttering by the way – and to rent it out during July and August via Airbnb.
Our property is fairly large with a swimming pool so there is plenty of demand for it during the summer months.
Where do we live in the meantime you may be wondering? Well, we ‘rough’ it for a couple months and move into local campsites. Either that, or we find a long term housesitting job, of which there are loads in France.
Both of these options means that we’re still on hand to do change-overs.
We then use the fruits of our labour to plan trips during the shoulder season. Prices are lower, sites are less crowded – our favourite time of year to travel. Win-win!
Read more from Gillian on her blog Scotland Bucket List
Follow her on Facebook
Buy, Sell and Travel by Campervan
From Rachel Rodda
We fund our travels by travelling cheaply.
There are often assumptions that travel means staying in deluxe accommodation, filling your days with expensive paid activities and eating meals at restaurants. Which it could be, but it would be a short trip.
We fund our travels by staying in cheap, basic accommodation. We cook as many meals as we can and we only pay for the very best activities that we all want to do. This means passing on some fun things to do, but we don’t feel it lessens our experience of a place.
It allows us to stretch our money further, travel longer and still have a rewarding and memorable trip.
Our other piece of advice for funding longer trips is to consider travel by campervan. With your house on wheels, it is possible to travel very cheaply.
Free camp, cook your meals and get off the beaten track to explore smaller, cheaper regions. In many places such as Europe, Australia and North America it is possible to buy and sell vans instead of renting. This is the most economical and by far our favourite way to afford world travel.
Read more from Rachel at her blog Adventure and Sunshine
And follow her on Facebook
Use Credit Card Points
From Dan Bagby
While we do save a good portion of our wages to afford to travel, our credit card points are a big part in helping us travel more often and more comfortably. While I am not a hardcore points guy that is constantly churning credit cards and manufacturing spending, I do try to maximize our points.
I always have one new credit card that I am working on getting the welcome bonus for.
Not only do credit card points pay for travel, but they also get you access to good deals. We recently used Chase rewards and only needed 6000 points ($60 value) for a 5-star hotel in Madrid.
o get started, I recommend signing up for a Chase Saphire card. Some other cards I have used for the signup bonus are the Marriott Rewards Visa and the Delta Rewards Amex
Read more from Dan on his blog Honeymoon Always<
And follow him on Instagram
Become An Egg Donor
From Sharon F.
I believe when a teenager graduates high school and immediately begins their college years, it can lead to mental burnout.
Because it happened to me!
My freshmen year of college was smooth enough, but as I moved into my second year I felt a crushing weight coming over me.
I craved adventure; I needed a break.
It felt like I’d been going non-stop since graduation. While many of my friends spent their pre-college summer going on lavish vacations, I’d left high school and moved right into working full-time to save for fall tuition.
I suddenly realized I deserved a break like that, too. In fact, my mental well-being demanded it!
I’d always dreamed of travelling to Europe, but there was a problem – how could I afford it?
My savings went into school and the amount I made working in the student union only covered my living expenses.
I was still searching for an answer when I showed up at my gynaecologist’s office for my annual exam. Sitting on the table in a flimsy paper gown, I saw a brochure for egg donation.
Up to $8,000 for a donation.
Read more about Sharon’s donor journey here.
Start A Location Independent Business
From Emma Walmsley
After planning it for many years, my family started extended travel in 2017. We had paid off our debts, including our house, and we organized to lease it out and earn income from the rent while we were away.
I started a blog about our eco-friendly lifestyle and sustainable travel before we left, and as it is growing we earn some money from it via affiliate marketing:
I promote products and services that we’ve used and trust, and sometimes our readers purchase them from links on my blog. This earns me a small percentage of the sale in commission, without costing our readers any extra money.
We are about to travel around Australia in a caravan, and I already have an extra job creating a website for a friend along the way. I might do similar work as we travel further too.
My husband is an IT technician so he is also able to work along the way in our home country, fixing phones, surveillance systems or computers as needed. We also have some investments from which we hope to earn more in the future.
Read more from Emma on her blog Small Footprints Big Adventures
And follow her on Instagram.
Try Home Swapping
From Marta Correale
Our secret to making family travel more affordable is home swapping. A few years ago, we read about home exchanging as a way to travel more, and we were immediately drawn to it.
The idea behind the system is to put in touch with people who are interested in staying in each other’s homes for a certain amount of time and therefore allow them to travel without having to pay for nightly accommodation.
We joined one of the networks offering this service (HomeExchange.com), and for about $100 a year we found ourselves with a full database of potential exchangers at our fingertips. It was our answer to being able to afford to travel!
We set up a profile for our family and our home, with photos and information, and sent out requests for destinations we loved.
We got our first swap in a matter of weeks and since then, we have been using home exchange every year, This system has allowed us to travel to Canada, Italy and several times to the US without hotel expenses.
Read more from Marta on her blog Learning Escapes
And follow her on Facebook
We LOVE Housesitting. Want to Try it too?
If you have been following me and our podcast for a while, then you will know that we have just returned from six months in Europe and Asia. While we were there, we did a lot of housesitting. We are constantly asked how we did this and if we can share the website that we used. So here it is:
The initial ‘looking part’ is free. You can oggle all of the beautiful houses around the world that are waiting for YOU to look after them. Take a sneak peek here! (As I say, looking is completely free, so gander to your heart’s content).
Then, if you are serious about using Housesitting as a tool to travel the world for free (as we do), you can use my exclusive discount code to save yourself 20% by Clicking here.
Still not sure about paying for a Housesitting membership? Remember that the cost of a yearly membership (approx $80 using the discount code above) will be paid back (and more) on the first housesitting night. It really is that simple!
Other Related Posts From Me That You May Enjoy:
8 travel tips that you can safely ignore ’cause they are all crap.
How much have we spent in our first 4 months travelling the world
Why world travel has been the best thing for our family.
Why people travel. 5 honest reasons
I want to travel! But what if the plane crashes? Optimist vs Pessimist.
What to do when your kids say they are sick of backpacking the world
To Sum up How People Afford to Travel
So there you have it!
14 tips on how to afford to travel – even if you are not rich!
I hope you have read at least one of them and thought YES! We can do that! You really don’t have to be a millionaire to travel the world. Simply make it your priority, juggle a few balls in the air and it will happen.
Let me know if you have any more secrets for making travelling affordable and remember to share this post with others who are looking for inspiration on how to afford to travel.