Are you excited to travel yet fear breaking the bank? I know where you’re coming from. Being a regular traveler and former slave to the machine, I learned quickly that doing the long-term traveling requires you to get serious about your finances.
Live a Life of Travel
long-term traveling requires you to get serious about your finances. As long as you're comfortable with crunching numbers, sacrificing some luxuries and listening to experts who have circled the globe on a budget you can enjoy living a fulfilling life of travel
As long as you’re comfortable with crunching numbers, sacrificing some luxuries and listening to experts who have circled the globe on a budget you can enjoy living a fulfilling life of travel while boosting your savings.
View Traveling as a Lifestyle
Too many well-meaning travelers view vacations as 1 or 2 week excursions. Money is subsequently blown on convenience after convenience. Although it’d be nice to take taxis everywhere, traveling on a budget requires some foot travel or at least, learning how to drive a motorbike in certain countries.
I prefer to view traveling as a lifestyle choice. I chose to leave the suit behind because I enjoy the freeing and inspiring nature of backpacking. Nothing beats strapping on your pack, and hitting the road towards a new destination just because you can.
Being on the go demands that you watch your spending carefully to have peace of mind while on the road.
The Biggest Issue with Long Term Travel
Understanding how to budget in order to stretch out your Rupiah, Dollar or Baht can be both confusing and intimidating. From travel costs, to accommodations, to budgeting your daily food allowance, your head is likely to spin, and keep on spinning. Factor in varying exchange rates and you may just be ready to throw in the towel on doing long-term travel.
It’s no wonder that most give up their plans during the budgeting stage.
Fear not. Seasoned long-term travelers can help you conquer your budgeting anxieties. The easiest way to experience the lifestyle of a permanent traveler is to study how the travel experts do it!
Things to Keep in Mind
- Your net worth may double, triple or rise 5 fold – or higher – the moment you land in a foreign country due to the strength of your currency versus the local currency
- Eating like a local can pad your savings and cut costs dramatically
- Getting chummy with locals introduces you to a whole new, inexpensive world of restaurants, grocery stores and lodgings
- House sits can give you a rent free taste of the high life
- Couch surfing is a great way to control costs and meet amazing friends
- Busing, flying with budget airlines and walking instead of taking taxis helps keep your traveling costs in check
- Travel note: learn how to drive a motorbike. In places like Bali you can rent a motorbike for $50 USD a month. Filling a tank will cost you $2 or $3 USD. This beats the more expensive alternative of renting a car or taking taxis.
- Get your TEFL – Teach English as a Foreign Language – certification before traveling abroad to land jobs. Scour the web for reviews of English teachers at certain schools to benefit from their experience and to see if you are a match. Don’t forget to get the proper visa for teaching English in your country of choice.
- Don’t forget to splurge every once in a while
Listen to the Pros
These traveling pros know how to hop from country to country on a budget. Each individual or couple has mastered the art of long-term travel. I suggest following these inspired adventurers because they offer a detailed analysis of daily travel costs as well as travel budgets based on their personal experiences.
I myself find it so much easier to follow practical, proven budgeting tips shared through the experiences of fellow travelers. Doing so gives me both a framework and benchmark numbers to work with as I plan my budget.
Visit their blogs. Get to know them better to travel indefinitely without worrying about your finances.
Note; although the posts are geared towards travel in particular countries, many of the same budget travel principles apply to wherever you happen to be visiting.
The Adventure Junkies Antonio Cala and Amanda Zeisset have been cycling through the Americas for 2 years. They are dreamers who help you live a life of adventure and enjoy sharing budgeting and planning tips for long term travelers. They believe that money is no obstacle to traveling the world, and that you’re able to do more with less. The take away: focus less on spending money to acquire things, and more on having rich, inspired experiences to remember.
Dive into Antonio and Amanda’s tremendous resource and in-depth “travel costs” archives. Travel Costs Archives
The Broke Backpacker Will Hatton knows how to help backpackers travel on a tight budget. This colorful character left his desk job behind to circle the globe. Will spent $12 a day on travel costs – including flight costs – during a 2-year trip through Asia! He’s also huge on couch surfing for both saving money and meeting interesting people on the road. You may want to consider traveling with friends because as Will says, traveling with a buddy doubles your buying power instantly. Other budget-friendly gems to mine include traveling like a local (ask ‘em where to eat, stay, etc), eating local food, researching destinations beforehand and networking like a boss.
He created a masterpiece of a post for backpackers traveling on a shoestring right here: Budget Backpacking 101
Few more of my favorite Long-Term Travel Bloggers
The following list of travel bloggers offer incredibly actionable and succinct advice. With their proven experiences these travel bloggers will show you how to penny-pinch and achieve your goal of living a life of travel:
Kach and Jonathan are digital nomads who’ve been working on the road since 2013. The dynamic duo offers travel advice and some smart tips for saving money while doing the long-term travel bit. They are big into sustainable travel so if you’re not the volunteering type, follow these folks.
Nick and Dariece are the lovable and inspiring Goats on the Road. These freelance dynamos can inspire you to become a full time travel blogger through their entertaining stories and practical tips. Keep an eye out for their colorful and fun travel videos as well as their jaw-dropping sunset photos.
Ryan Biddulph is the creative mind behind Blogging from Paradise. He can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. He places an emphasis on linking his colorful travel stories to smart blogging tips so you too can become a professional, full time income earning blogger who makes the world your office.
Check out their house sitting strategies
Adam, Emily and their two daughters Colette and Sierra, have been slow traveling the world since 2012. This family became accustomed to scrimping and saving to fuel their long term travel dreams and can inspire you to do the same.
Julian and Christine specialize in making your adventures less expensive, easier and more fun too. Note; this couple helps nudge budgeting travelers to splurge every now and then to fully embrace your experience.
Get to know these bloggers. Each offers an authentic, real-world approach to traveling long term. Getting through the “I can’t afford to travel for more than a few months” mental block can be a bear to conquer but learning from the pros gives you the confidence and clarity to craft a freeing, inspired lifestyle.
What travel budgeting tips can you share?
Do you know any of these travel bloggers?
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