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!

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Someone once told me to never stop writing, so I'm not. Sharing my soul journey. You can find my yoga teachings and insights on my brain over on my website. therecklessnomad.com

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