How I Afford to Travel

Welcome back lovely souls,

Today we’re going to talk about money, honey. It’s actually not as exciting as it sounds, but it’s something I get asked on the regular; “how do you afford to travel?” The answer is simple really, I sell feet pics…KIDDING. I wish I could say, like many other young world travelers say, that I planned and saved for it all. However, mine was way more complex than that. I tried to save, but lets be realistic, I did not save that much money. I also have been traveling on and off since 2017 and I have only planned ONE trip far enough in advance to save for (no, I do not regret any of it). So, here are a few things I do to afford to travel, which works for me.

Actual online work:

  • Rev – Transcribing for Rev was one of the first things I started doing for some money. It’s not a lot of money and you have to get approved, but if you’re familiar with transcribing it might be a good side hustle.
  • Upwork – I have had an Upwork account for a few years now. I have been able to get some good paying projects too. It can be a little hard to first get started though, but once you build up, it gets a lot easier.
  • Writers Work – *disclaimer, you have to pay a fee to use this service, but it helps teach you how to be a better freelancer* I like the idea of this, even though I haven’t used it too much. It lets you sort jobs, keeps you accountable, and is just a good resource to use if you want to dabble in freelance work. I recommend it.
  • Blogging – I have not made much money from blogging, but I know some people do. I am a small-scale blogger, currently only focused on sharing my experiences and what-not. However, I am sure if i played my cards right and got more traffic I could bring in some decent money.
  • Mercari/Poshmark/Depop – All the apps that let you resale your old clothing are an amazing resource if you are like me and have way too many clothes that you have hardly worn. I made pretty good money on these apps reselling things. In past years I would impulsively buy something cute and never wear it, so I had a lot to get rid of. I also believe Mercari lets you sale things that are not clothing as well, like household stuff and toys. I got majority of my money from this.
  • Surveys – I know there are a lot of different resources for this one and usually you can’t get actual money, but the gift cards and discounts are nice.

I know there are many other ways people make money online/while traveling: such as remote work like tutoring or teaching english. However, I have not dabbled in any of those things yet, but I’d love to hear about your experiences if you have. These are just the main resources I use for income while traveling.

In addition to making money, I also try to cut cost and save money where I can when traveling. Here are a few ways in which I did that:

  • I didn’t have to pay rent or for a storage unit. I was lucky enough that my parents let me keep my things at their house (as well as watching my dog for me when I went international).
  • When traveling internationally I stay in hostels or with friends instead of hotels. I know hostels sketch some people out, but they really are not that bad. Especially if you find one that has curtains so your bed is like a cozy little tent.
  • When traveling domestically I live in my car, so I do not have to worry about a hotel or hostel. I will sometimes stay with friends though.
  • I don’t eat at restaurants often, unless it’s a place I am dying to try. I go to grocery stores and get something from their market or fresh fruit, etc. When I am traveling in my car, I have a camping stove I can use to make food as well.
  • I don’t pay extra for my bags when I fly. I will be a minimalist and bring the least amount of items and fit it all into my backpack carry-on.
  • I don’t typically buy souvenirs, unless It’s cheap and sparks joy or is needed…..example about needed: when I was in Australia and got super cold and did not have a jacket, so I bought one.
  • I take public transit or walk if I don’t have my car. I will not use an uber or taxi, because those are super expensive.
  • Drink majority water using my reusable water bottle, especially in the states where the water is *semi* safe to drink.
  • I check out free museums and different parks first. I’ll then look for deals online for other things I want to do and see if they offer any type of discounts (I still have my college ID so). I also just intuitively travel and wander majority of the time. I find myself in spots with locals a lot.
  • I just try to be observant when I spend money, ensuring it is something I need and have enough money for.
  • I find the cheapest flights when flying. I am not joking. I paid about $300 round trip for my trip to Europe and I am not being dramatic. I actually paid a little extra because I wanted an aisle seat on the way back because I was sick. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS. You just have to be super flexible. Maybe check out dollar flight club. Also, you may end up in a middle seat for 12 hours, but if you truly want to travel, it is worth it.

I think that is majority of the things I do to afford to travel. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times where things get tight and I have to be extra careful, but rev pays weekly so I can usually count on figuring things out if i am desperate. To be safe, I do hide money in a safe place for an emergency and do not touch it and have not had to touch it yet.

I hope this helps give some insight and inspiration to others who are wanting to travel. For those who do travel full-time as well, I’d love to hear what you do to afford to travel! Let me know!


Haley Nicole View All →

Someone once told me to never stop writing, so I’m not.

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