Category Archives: Travel and Money

We got this question a while back. We do get many questions and we love them so do keep them coming. Send them to or post them in the comments below. It sure helps us to know what’s on your mind and in what way we might be able to assist you.

Anyway, the whole question was:

“I was just curious as to how possible and realistic it would be to travel for 10 years or more with little initial savings, no education past high school, and no other source of income?”

The answer to that is very simple: it is absolutely possible! But, and this is important to remember, it all depends on any specific desires you may have regarding your travels and what you want them to be like.
It’s a very common misconception that long term traveling has to be expensive. Maybe it’s because a lot of people see it as an extended one week holiday in high season, when you stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, hang out in bars every night and spend money on tourist attractions. Multiply that by 52 and you will of course get an astronomical figure for a one year journey. And if this is the way you want to travel you will need lots of money in the bank or a big steady income. For most long term travelers , this is not the way they do it though, usually because that are not their circumstances.

A lot of people who want to travel long term don’t have the money for an extravagant journey. So they have to plan accordingly and find solutions that match their situation and their desires. Even without any money saved up it is still possible to go on a long journey.

The truth is, traveling long term can often be much cheaper than staying at home! We have met many and talked to many travelers who confirm this. For instance, when you’re on the road, you don’t have all the fixed costs that come with keeping a home and staying in one place. No rent, no home insurance, no car (if you are not traveling by car that is), no electric bills, no expenses for commuting , no day care costs…

All you got is basically the expenses for food, lodging and transportation. And there are also many things you can do to keep even these at a minimum. It just takes some creativity and a willingness to find solutions.

One idea is network travel which we have written about earlier here. If you choose this way you can basically eat and sleep for free. That would mean that the only expense that remains is the actual transport. Furthermore, you can always choose to ride a bike or walk. Maybe it won’t take you around the world, although that is possible too, but will definitely keep the expenses close to zero :-) .

And this is possible to do for a year or longer. To have plenty of time absolutely makes it easier to be able to travel inexpensively. We have some friends who did just that. They used WWOOF for their network travel, and spent 5 years traveling around Europe (and this is not the cheapest part of the world). They just kept going and even became parents along the way, and then continued to be “WWOOFers” with their child.

Of course this may not be everyone’s choice. But neither are first class tickets and 5 star hotels. You just have to find whatever suites you and your circumstances.

And yes, just to be clear: Education has nothing to do with this being possible or not…

Don’t forget to write your own question in the comments :-)

How does one get the money top travel long term? Or like a recent question that we got from a German lady who wrote:

“I love the idea of getting out of the rat race and spend my whole life travelling. But there will be food and gas that I have to buy. Where do I take the money from, when I’m not working?”

It is a very easy question to ask but much more complex to answer. It really depends on a lot of factors and your personal situation.
We are all unique with unique talents living our own unique lives. Therefore there is not one answer available that suites all. And as long as you are hoping for someone to give you the one and only answer you run a big risk of being disappointed. What works for us may be impossible for you or the other way round.

A very sad thing we have noticed through the years when we’ve been asked these question, is that our answers may even be more discouraging than encouraging. We can literally see the light and hope vanish from people’s eyes as they hear our answer and they often say something like: “Well we can’t do that”. They take our answer as the only way and then they use it as a reason to why it is not possible for them to do it.

And this happens no matter what our answers have been. Through the years our circumstances have been varying and accordingly so have our solutions been different to how we have made it possible to travel.

It is very important to us to do our best to support anyone who has a desire to go on a long journey. All our long journeys have been extremely rewarding to us and we wish that more could have a similar experience. That is basically why we started writing a book and also this website in the first place.

So nowadays we are very careful to offer quick solutions that have worked for us. We believe it is much more helpful if we can support, encourage and inspire you to find the quick solution that is tailor made for you.

To do that you will basically have to take a look at your own situation and also what you want your extended journey to look at.

We have met so many long term travelers through the years. From the wealthy ones, who stays in hotels and eats in restaurants every night to those traveling on a very limited budget and gets away with spending less money than at home. Yet others even make money traveling and can literally return home to a bigger bank account than they had when they left. Actually, money doesn’t have to be a problem after all… Even if you doubt this we are convinced that it is definitely a possibility for you to.

Someone said:

” You don’t need money to make money – you need creativity”.

We would change that to:

“You don’t need money to travel around the world – you need creativity”.

Our book: Extended World Travel is our attempt to, in the best way possible, support you to create the dream trip of your life, the perfect journey that suites your personal circumstances.

For you who are really determined to make your trip happen and are interested in getting some extra support, Maria will soon start to offer travel coaching. This will of course for natural reasons be a very limited offer and only on a first comes first serve basis. If you want to you can express your interest in an email to Maria at .

When we were planning our first extended journey we basically had no money to travel at all, actually quite the opposite. We had overwhelming debts as our business was down the drain and couldn’t even keep our home. Still, it was in this desperate situation that the idea of going on a longer journey first did strike us. We had heard of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and the possibility to work on farms a number of hours per day in exchange for food and lodging. And we could even do it as a family…

Not having money to travel can feel like being stuck. But there is always a way out!

Not having money to travel can feel like being stuck. But there is always a way out!

It didn’t turn out that way in the end though and we didn’t go WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland at that time as was our initial plan. But we did go on a longer journey. Life took some unexpected turns and we took off in an old (very old) campervan on a 5 month journey through Europe instead.

Looking back now, I realize that it was actually when we were experiencing the lack of money that our desire to go on an extended journey with the family was first brought to life. Prior to that situation, we had hardly ever thought about it. We were just so preoccupied with living our everyday life with all it included, like taking care of family and home, work and school and then just running out of energy at the end of the day.

Interestingly enough though is that the lack of money, which is the most common reason why long term travel is out of the question for most people, was actually the reason we left on our first longer journey.

How can that be you may wonder? Well, when we considered the possibility of WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland, we realized that once we’d arrive there, we would almost be able to “live for free”. We have some friends who did just that, WWOOF-ed around Europe for five years with literally now money (they even became parents along the way:grin:). This possibility just wasn’t available if we’d stay at home.

This is something that is so hard for most people to understand; you don’t actually need a lot of money to travel long term! It can be a lot cheaper than staying at home. Traveling short term though can often be very expensive.

And this is not something that just we are saying. It has been confirmed to us by other long term travelers over and over again. Here is a great article that describes how you don’t need money to travel to go on a long journey. Another example is this man which we’ve mentioned before and who twittered himself to the other side of the world.

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Travel insurance is not the most inspiring thing, at least not to me. It won’t get me anywhere, I will probably, or should I say, hopefully, not use it and it will cost me a lot. Still it’s definitely not something I want to go without.
We have always been well protected when we have gone on any kind of journey. And we’re very happy for the fact that we’ve never had to bother any insurance company with anything when we’ve been away (I’m sure they are too:lol:). There is this one exception though, a long time ago when our family consisted of only me and Maria and Viktoria was only soon to be. Maria and I had for the last couple of years been flying down to the Alps for a week or two to do some skiing. This year though we decided to drive and at the same time take the opportunity to visit some friends on the way. But only a few days after arriving at the ski resort Maria had some complications with her pregnancy. Maybe because of too much activity (the fact that she was 5 month pregnant didn’t hold her back from skiing both downhill and cross country and go swimming – on the same day, hmm) or the altitude, and was hospitalized for a week before being flown back home to Sweden. Everything was taken care of and arranged and also of course paid for by the insurance which was a great relief. I just don’t want to think about how much it would have cost us if we hadn’t been protected!

Sweden has, and I am rather grateful for that, a publicly paid health care system. It has for us personally permitted a lot of freedom. We haven’t been forced to hold a steady job or to pay a lot of money out of our own pockets in order to get the benefits of healthcare. And since Sweden is a member of the EU we can travel throughout Europe and still receive health care protection. On top of that, there is usually a 45 day travel insurance included in your home insurance policy. This obviously covers most travel insurance needs for most Swedes. When we’re going on an extended journey and outside of the EU we can buy an extension of the travel insurance we already have.

I am well aware of the fact that the health care system can look very different in other countries. Therefore it is very difficult to give any general directions for what is best to do and I have no intention of even trying.

All I want is to make it clear that you include the cost of travel insurance in your travel budget. You don’t want to find yourself in a place a long way from home needing medical assistances and not having the funds for it. Whether or not you should seek medical advice should not be a financial decision. It’s much better then to include the cost for travel insurance upfront and if you don’t need it then the better.

For a calculation of how much your travel insurance may cost you this little tool from World Nomands Insurance is a great way to start. World Nomads is the recommended choice for travel insurance both by Lonely Planet and Rough Guides and who are we to recommend anything else:roll:?

Travel Safely!

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Another area where you need money to travel is of course for living. One way or another we all need something to eat every day. And we usually want some money to buy nice things, do fun stuff and to get around once you’re in a new place.

Having dinner with new friends in New Zealand

Having dinner with new friends in New Zealand

As in our previous money to travel posts, there are also many alternatives when it comes to these expenses. It is possible to live on a small budget while you’re on the road. It is even possible to cut your cost of food down to zero which is probably cheaper than it is at home for most of us.

First of all it’s important to remember that no matter where you are, be it at home or out traveling the world, you will still have to cover the cost of living somehow. This is no extra cost that’s connected to you traveling and in that way not really money you need to travel. It is just money you need to live.

The most obvious way to keep the living costs down is of course to travel to low cost countries where your home currencies take you a longer way. And to really keep the expenses low – live like a local.

I remember when I was in my youth and spent 3 weeks in Thailand. This was long before it had become the huge tourist destination it is today. I ate at street food stalls and my cost for food was next to nothing. Then one day I passed a European restaurant and decided to try it for a change. It turned out that the prices were European too and I spent more money on that one meal than I otherwise did for probably a week.

If you come from a wealthier part of the world there’s always a risk that people will try and take advantage of it and charge you more than they would a fellow countryman who knows what things really should cost. Even so it is still possible to cut your food budget down to a level well below the one you have at home. And often it doesn’t bother me that I have to pay a little bit more than the locals since I choose to view it as free contribution and a way for me to share my welfare with them. I kind of prefer to support local business men than just giving to beggars.

But you don’t have to travel to low cost countries to keep your cost of living down, there are ways to live very inexpensively even in western countries.

When we for example traveled North America for 3 months using Network Travel and stayed in people’s homes, we not only had a low cost, or rather no cost, for accommodation but also for food since people wanted us to join them at meal time. We always offered to pay our part but were usually not allowed to. What we often did instead was to buy and cock some of the meals.

Organized network travel like WWOOF is another way to cut food costs. It is part of the whole deal with doing WWOOF-ing. In exchange for your work a number of hours a day you get food and accommodation. We have some friends who lived this way, WWOOF-ing around Europe for almost 5 years. They even become parents during this time and only decided when the kid was a couple of years old to settle down in one place.

So just like we write about in the other blog posts on money to travel, there are ways to keep the cost of living within very reasonable limits. It all comes back to what kind of journey you want. And this is a choice you have when you plan your trip.

Do you want to spend years before you’ll go on that journey to save money so you can have a lazy time spending it all? Or are you willing to travel in a way that keeps your expenses down and makes it possible for you to go much sooner?

Only you know which choice suites you the best.

Our experience is that when we travel in a more economic way, we have more social interaction and a better experience of the local culture and way of living than what we get when we just pay for everything. But then of course what we want out of a journey can be different from time to time.

Only you know what you need and what kind of travel experience you are looking for this time.

A few posts back we wrote about how to Travel for free or even make money while traveling. Later on we bumped into this man and his unique way of how to get paid to travel. It is an unusual way and definitely not one that we would have thought about.

Stan Grist

Stan Grist

Stan Grist is an adventurer and explorer. Living his life like some Indiana Jones character in pursuit of hidden treasures he travels the world. And apparently he makes good money living out his passion in this way.

It does amaze us that gold prospecting and treasure hunting is a way of making money still in these days. We thought the only money to be made in this area was by writing an adventure book or shooting a film.

Well, this just shows how restricted we are by our limiting beliefs. It shows us as well that it’s possible to make money and travel in almost any way.

How would you do it? What is your passion? How could you travel and make money doing that?

Consider these questions for a while and see what you come up with. It’s like when you’ve just learnt that you will become a parent for the first time. Suddenly you start noticing all the children in the world, who have been there all the time but just not been on your “radar”. In the same way you will discover opportunities with your passion if you give it attention.

And for all you adventurers out there who dream of going exploring and finding hidden treasures. Check out Stan’s website at .

Happy Prospecting!

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We were talking to a friend the other day about long term traveling and the fact that money being the major obstacle for a lot of people. “Wouldn’t it be great if it was possible to travel for free”, I said? It would be a lot easier for us to inspire people to really go for their travel dream if money wasn’t an obstacle.
Money to travel
Our friend took it even one step longer and said: “Wouldn’t it be nice if when you come back from your extended journey you would have more in your bank account than when you left?” This was really an interesting thought. Yes, why can’t it be that way?

That would mean not only to travel for free but actually make money while traveling. And sure enough considering the idea we realized that there are of course people who do go on extended journeys and when they get back they are better off financially than when they left.

• First of all we got those who have a passive income of some kind that makes them money no matter where they are. That makes them more money than they actually need to travel. Unfortunately not everyone is that well off.

• But then it is also possible to create a passive income for the journey itself like renting out your home. If that gives you an income and you also travel low budget, you may have more in the bank at the end of the journey than at the beginning. At the very least it will be a contribution to your expenses.

• It is also of course possible to turn your actual traveling into a money making activity. You can write articles or take pictures to sell. You can negotiate an advance on a travel book deal.

• You can write a travel blog, or any other blog for that sake, that makes you money. Some guidelines on how to write a travel blog that makes you money can be found here.

• Find a sponsorship like Matt did in “Where the hell is Matt”. Find out what’s the special twist on your journey and then find someone who is willing to pay you for doing it. We mentioned before about Ewan McGregor and his friend Charlie Boorman who rode around the world on motorbikes. They got sponsors for that journey even though they probably had the money anyway.

• You can become a guide. If there is a journey you want to make there are probably others who would like to do the same but are afraid to do it on their own. We have a friend who has been taking groups of people to Hawaii for 3 weeks once every year for the last 20 years. Our daughter Aurora who is a great Jane Austen fan (see her blog at ) just met up with friends from the USA who were visiting England and the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. A journey arranged by another Jane Austen fan…

• Get a travel job and work along the road. Stop in places, find some seasonal jobs and get to know the area. John and Tyson have some great tips her on how that can be done.

Well these are just a few ideas that popped into our heads. We are sure you got some idea of your own which probably will suite you the best.

A cool thing to remember though is that this is a mind game. What you believe you will perceive, as some smart guy said. If you expect an extended journey to cost you lot of money it probably will. But if you put your attention on finding a way for your journey to actually make you money you will sooner or later come up with a solution.

And if it is not your choice to spend time working during your extended journey then that’s just great to. All you have to do is create the money you need before you take off. You can check out our Creating Money page on some tips for that.

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When you try to calculate what kind of money to travel you’ll need, even rather cheap accommodation often sums up to big numbers. But, and you have probably guessed this by now, there is an endless number of variations to this issue as well. We have written about some of the different ways to stay on our Travel and Accommodation page.
Cost of accommodation
Of course, a journey with a 5 star accommodations requires a totally different budget than if your choice is hostels. But even hostels cost something. There are also other ways to cut your cost, even for cheap accommodation…

Some of the ways to drastically cut down on your accommodation budget can be Home Exchange, House Sitting, camping in the wild or Network Travel

We, all 5 of us, once spent almost 3 months in the US only using Network Travel. It not only kept our accommodation budget to a minimum (as good as zero) but it also gave us a way to travel that took us off the beaten tracks. This also gave us the possibility to meet with people we otherwise wouldn’t have met and be a part of their lifestyle and traditions. It was a journey where we met many old friends as well as many new ones.

It all really comes down to what your travel plans are. How flexible are you and how important is cheap accommodation to you? Is it just a place to sleep or does it in a way lay the foundation for your entire journey? Or put the other way around, is it the size of your budget that determine your choice of accommodation and therefore the character of your entire journey?

With a big travel budget a hotel might be the easy choice but maybe not the choice that will give you the most valued memories.

With the multitude of ways to find a place to stay you surely realize that it is impossible for us to give a price estimation that makes sense to everyone. But we want of course to give you a little hint of how you can estimate what the cost may be for you.

Our suggestion is to start at the top and see what figures you come up with. A hotel booking engine, like the one below, is a way to find out just how much hotel nights in different countries and cities may cost you.

Likewise if you are interested in finding out what the price of hostels may be you can use this booking engine:

Some different aspects that may have an effect on the price for accommodation is also of course if:

• You travel off season – It is all a matter of supply and demand. Demand is usually biggest during school holidays.
• You travel off the beaten track – If you find the hidden places it is also possible to find prices at a different level.
• You travel to “Cheaper Countries” – Going to a country that has a favorable exchange rate is also a way to keep the cost down.
• You stay for a longer time – Buying quantities is a way to get a lower price also for accommodation nights.

  • Our Books

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  • e-Course

    We have just created this amazing support program for anyone who really want to make their travel dream happen. During eight weeks we will take you from discovering your travel dream to actually having it all set up so you will be ready to go.

    This first opportunity is on the 27th of October and is offered at a substatially reduced price. If you want to join us hurry up because it is already starting to fill up and spaces are limited...

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  • Talks

    To share from of our own traveling independent lifestyle and to encourage and support families (well, anybody) to act on their dreams of doing something different, like a longer journey, we offer two different talks, in Swedish or English:

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  • Coaching

    Are you seriously considering taking yourself and your family on that journey of a lifetime, but have now idea where, or how, to start?

    To strengthen your inner as well as your outer supporting systems and to help you find solutions you, at the moment, may not even imagine exist, we have created our special Travel Coaching Program.

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