First of all, you need to know that it takes a lot of efforts, hard work, tough decisions and dedication to be able to travel long-term. If not, you need to have a fat bank account, be very good with money or have a certain mindset. Fearless, optimistic and wanderlust like… Like Christopher McCandless (film: Into The Wild). A deep passion with a 1000% “I got this mentality”.
13 ways to finance your long-term travels
- Go for (backpacking) travels as lowbudget as possible. The more lowbudget your travels, the more days you’re able to travel.
- Live a minimalistic lifestyle, work hard, only spend money when it’s needed and save as much money as you can.
- Make a vision board. This may help you reminding you of the amazing adventures that are waiting for you, so that you keep on going and don’t give up on your travel dreams.
- Make a realistic saving plan for your travels.
For example, you can put some jars in your room with labels on it: India, Nepal, Thailand, Bali, Europe, North America, South America etc. (places/countries according to your dreams) with the budget amount on it as well. The jars will remind you of your dreams to travel to those parts of the world and you’ll keep filling the jars until at least one of the travels is possible.
- Create some income with your savings. For example, see if there are any fruitful fixed deposit options with nice interest rates.
- Work freelance online, for example via websites like Upwork, Fiverr & Outsource, or work as an online language teacher on Verbling. That way you can earn something extra alongside your regular job and these websites make it possible to work during your travels as well.
- Work during your travels from time to time, for example at hostels, hotels, resorts, cafés or maybe as a live in carer of au pair (nanny). No job is small and often places also offer free stay and food.
- Work on a cruise ship or yacht, as a tour driver or tour guide. For example, organize trips and add a small margin to cover your own travel expenses. You get travel company, make new friends and your travel expenses get covered as well.
- Become a flight attendant.
- Get some small fruitful business in network marketing.
- Become a coach or an instructor in a field for which you don’t need a fixed location. Like: mountain/trekking guide, ski instructor, personal trainer, scuba dive instructor, yoga teacher, surf instructor…
- Try for a transfer at work (or change jobs/working places from time to time). For example, if you work in Delhi and you want to cover more mid or South Indian places, try for a transfer to Bengaluru or Mumbai for example. Your travel expenses will be less for the months you work there (of course this also depends on your salary, housing expenses etc.).
- If you have the option to work abroad for a while and earn money in a currency which is more beneficial (for example euro or US dollars), do it.
- If your working field allows, work freelance during your travels. For example, if you’re a health advisor, masseur, entertainer, artist, musician, photographer, writer or something, you can work anywhere during your travels. Network, promote it through local travel communities and create word-of-mouth advertising to get clients and earn money to cover your travel expenses. Or make some good bartel deals for services you need. For example, I once did an assignment as a mystery guest for a café and got free food in exchange. Also I once gave someone business coaching and he toured me around in the area without charging me even a penny.
- Create your own online business. It takes a lot of time and efforts to build it up and it may give decent results only after at least 2 years (depending on your skills, marketing and field as well, of course), but it can become really fruitful if you do it the right way.
- Do some voluntary work and use services like couchsurfing for stay and food. ALWAYS give something valuable in return. Don’t be a freeloader. Give a little, take a little. For example, if you host couchsurfers from different places, states or countries, next time they can host you. Build up a strong travel network! Travel karma points are very valuable.
Please note that not everyone is able to do this. It takes a certain mindset, ambition, passion, dedication and hard work to achieve some merits. If you’re not willing to work hard, then just forget it.
And please remember: your intention and actions should always be and remain pure and honest. Never begpack, deceive or loot someone and also don’t be afraid to charge money or ask something in return when you decide to work for someone. Give a little, take a little.