Do you want to get started traveling the world? In this post, I’m going to be sharing some advice to help you take the leap. From making money while you travel to saving money to travel, this guide is part ‘my story’ and part full-time travel advice. I can’t wait to help you create a life where you can travel as much as you’d like!
I’ve been traveling the world for almost 10 years, pretty much full-time (with the exception of the days when none of us could travel, you know which ones I’m talking about…) My partner and I often move from country to country every couple of months, exploring the US in our sprinter van, backpacking around Europe, Southeast Asia and hopefully soon, across Africa.
I’m not the same person as I was when I first started traveling. And I truly believe that everyone can benefit from going far away from home (often alone), as cheesy as it sounds, to find themselves. I know, I know, how cliche… but I really did find myself out there in the world. I can’t even imagine the person I’d be today if I’d never put that backpack on and left home.
That’s why it’s my goal to encourage everyone to travel more, whether it’s months away or on the weekends when you can get away. Let’s dive right into how you can get started traveling the world.
How to Start Traveling the World
I’m going to share three ways that you can travel the world full-time. And yes, one of them is ‘saving money’ but that’s truly how I got my start!
I’m not here to tell you that you should quit buying your $5 latte so you can see the world. I do know that working several jobs and living at home longer than my peers helped me have two incredible years of traveling the world full-time. But don’t worry, that’s not my only tip! Keep reading for all three.
Saving Money to Travel
When I took my first trip abroad, I was traveling entirely on savings. I spent a lot longer living at home and went to university where I could get a scholarship and avoid taking on lots of debt. I worked hard to save money and when I was in Europe I often stayed in hostels that cost as little as $10 a night. With cheap street food and no room for souvenirs, it was easy to stretch my budget and continue traveling that way for the first two years.
Saving a ton of money to travel isn’t always easy. It took a lot of dedication. I found a way to live for free at university (staying with a friend’s family), I often worked two jobs and I sold everything that I could. It was worth every penny because I still miss the days when I didn’t have to work, I could get up every day and just explore the world.
Working in Exchange for Accommodation
After a while, my money started to run low and I learned that you could volunteer with many hostels for free accommodation and often free meals. That also meant staying in places longer, and slow traveling will always cost you less than shorter, quick trips.
I started to make more friends and put myself out there for more opportunities, but at this point, I was always working in exchange for accommodation. All the while I was trying to grow my travel blog and Instagram as another way to support my travels.
It was during this time that I had the opportunity to travel to Bali and learn from another blogger in the travel space. This trip to Bali was one of the pivotal moments in my travels. Not only did I learn how to better monetize my travel blog, but I also got the opportunity to stay in Bali and work with the retreat center as their community manager.
If you want to learn more about volunteering opportunities abroad, check out Worldpackers! They’re a great way to get your foot in the door and travel the world on a budget.
All of this led me to meet one of the most influential people in my life. I was making very little money at the time, taking any opportunity to live for free when a friend invited me to house sit and watch two dogs with her. Over the course of that month together she taught me how to offer my services online, as a Virtual Assistant, to actually make money from my laptop.
Finding Work That Allows You to Travel
In other words, becoming the coveted digital nomad.
I was able to use the skills that I had gained running my own travel blog and helping other people run their retreats, to work with people online. I started out taking an online course that teaches you how to become a Virtual Assistant in just 90 days. Then I put myself out there in every Facebook Group, on UpWork, and networking events in Bali to start landing jobs.
If you want to learn more about becoming a VA in 90 Days, click here!
Now, I don’t think that you need to be an entrepreneur or even a freelancer to work from anywhere. There are a lot of jobs these days that allow you to work remotely.
What I really recommend is finding a job that works for you. Something that you can do remotely, and then travel within those limitations. You might not be able to go all the way to Southeast Asia (because of the time difference) but you could spend half the year in Europe.
The most important thing is staying in places for longer because you have to work while you are there. And making sure that you can stay motivated to get your work done when there are fun distractions all around you.
Having the Resources for Full-Time Travel
Full-time travel is often a full-time job in itself. You have to be very flexible and ready for anything! But luckily in today’s world, there are a ton of resources to help you get started.
CoLiving is an exciting way to travel, meet new people, and get to stay for a longer period of time in a particular place. What typically happens when you ‘co-live’ is that you rent a room in a house shared with other digital nomads. What works great about coliving is that you get to live with people who are also working remotely and it’s a great way to have immediate friends wherever you go.
They also tend to offer better deals than renting for long periods of time on Airbnb, which can end up being really expensive and isolating!
Trust House Sitters
House sitting is something I’ve done for years. I started out in Facebook Groups but since then an incredible resource called Trusted House Sitters has launched. Trusted House Sitters connects you with home and pet owners who need someone to stay in their home while they travel, usually watering the plants and watching the pets! I’ve done house sits from San Deigo to Bali, across Europe and the US. It’s an amazing way to stay for free, but keep in mind that you are beholden to other people’s travel plans.
Sign up for Trusted House Sitters here (and save 25% off your membership!)
Digital Nomad Insurance
Another incredible new resource that we have access to today is digital nomad insurance. This allows us to be insured abroad, in a subscription-based service. It’s easy to join and cancel or pause anytime you’re heading back home.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I used to travel without insurance… and when stuff went wrong – I would end up paying a lot of money out of pocket for items stolen, routine doctor’s visits and so much more.
Learn from my mistakes and make sure that you’re covered wherever you go! SafetyWing offers digital nomad insurance – I’ve used them for several years now (and will continue to use them anytime I leave the US). They have great prices, good coverage, and really helpful customer service!
If you’re ready to start traveling the world full-time, and you want some more inspiration about where to go, read this post next.
What questions do you have about full-time travel? There are many ways to get started, including saving up for a longer trip, volunteering abroad, and finding a remote position that allows you to travel while you work. I’ve done all three, and while saving up and simply traveling was my favorite – knowing that my work allows me to keep exploring the world is a blessing I’ll never take for granted.
Come hang out over on Instagram where we can chat more about building a life that allows YOU to travel full-time too!