Travel and Money

How do I find money for travel?

How much money do I need for my trip?

What will it actually cost?

How much do I have already?

How can I raise more money?

There are many questions we need to ask ourselves when planning for extended world travel trips and at first it can be overwhelming even thinking about it. However we can cover some basics by dividing up the topic into two parts:

1. Generating Money

You won’t necessarily have to actually generate all the money you need for your trip with your present working income. You can also generate money by:

a. Looking at what you already have

b. Changing your lifestyle

c. Working as you go

d. Finding new sources of income

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.”
Bumper sticker

a. Looking at what you already have

There are many things to consider and implement to find money that you already have, including opening your mind to some new ways of thinking.

What do you own that you could live without?
You could exchange this... You could exchange this...

You could exchange this > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > for this!

Maybe you have some things you could sell to raise cash for some life-changing travel opportunities? Traveling can become the foundation for a journey that will take you to the next level in your life. Perhaps there are some possessions you own that connect you to a life that doesn’t fulfill you any more. Look for things that tie to you a lifestyle that isn’t working for you. It could be your house, your apartment, your car (or several cars?). Perhaps you have accumulated lots of “stuff” over the years. Look for things that sap your time and energy in maintenance. Instead of wasting time and money taking care of these things you could sell them and make someone else happy as well as raising money to make yourself happy!

If it’s a drastic step to consider selling your home, consider renting it out. That will generate money to cover your mortgage while you are off exploring the world.

Make a list of things you own and check off the things that you could live without. Consider selling them, renting them or exchanging them for something else you need and would otherwise have to purchase.

Think of ways to make better use of your possessions in creative ways rather than just owning them.

b. Changing Your Lifestyle

How much is your lifestyle costing you?

What are you paying for your home, home maintenance, your mortgage, your car(s) your credit card payments?

What does your job actually cost you?

Include things like the special clothes you buy for work, commuting costs (we met a neighbor the other day who told us he spends 10% of his salary in commuting costs alone), lunches out, the fancy Café Latte on the way to work that you would not otherwise buy – not to mention all the after work activities you think you deserve for the hard work you’ve been putting in.

Think about what you spend on kids activities, toys, etc. Often you think you don’t have the money but if you take the time to sit down and figure out what you are actually spending in “necessities” you could be in for a surprise.

Rearranging your lifestyle can take you a very long way towards realizing a traveling dream.

Maybe you already have what it takes if you just change your priorities a bit. Or maybe you can just make some small adjustments and be ready to go a lot earlier that you imagined.

Just take the well used Café Latte example; by skipping your daily extra special coffee and putting the money in a piggy bank, that one small thing alone can add up to enough money in just six months for a ticket that will take you half way round the world (and usually transportation turns out to be the biggest expense)!

Or you could actually take a part of your salary every month, say 5-10%, and save it for your dream.

Putting a percentage away first thing every month makes it easy to get used to the new level of income quickly. You will probably barely notice – but in the long run the extra money will make a huge difference for your travel possibilities.

But remember to take the travel money out first!

Don’t wait until the end of the month to see if there’s anything left. For most people, this just never happens! You can even ask your company to put a certain amount of your salary into a special account so you don’t even have to see it and be tempted. Also, as with anything else, remember to keep your focus on what you are getting, not on what you are giving up!

c. Working As You Go

Working while you travel is an option if you want to earn extra money along the way or stay longer than your budget allows.

For some people, it is possible to bring your work with you and then just continue with your normal tasks but in new and different locations.

An American friend of ours traveled the world for many years with his computer, continuing to work for his company from different places around the world. He used to send us pictures from his “office view” of the day. A sunny beach in the Caribbean, a busy city in Europe, a tropical forest in Asia (of course, he didn’t work all the time).

Where do you want to work from today? Where do you want to work from today?

The kind of work that is easiest to find along the way is often seasonal work like fruit picking, jobs in tourist areas (ski resorts, restaurants, cruises) and if English is your native language, teaching English is an option in a lot places in the world.

Some friends of ours, a family of five, spent a winter doing different seasonal jobs in Southern Europe. First they caught the grape harvesting season in Southern France, where they all participated (according to their abilities) in picking grapes. They then continued a bit further south to Spain and The Pyrenees, and stayed at a resort where the mother offered massage and the father, who’s an avid cook, helped out in the kitchen. Then, being Swedish, and used to snow and skiing, the whole family worked as ski teachers, helping people who were unaccustomed to the mountains in wintertime.

Farm work is an option for taking you around the world. The grape picking season for example, is at different times in France, California, Australia and South Africa, to name a few places. Farm work is an option for taking you around the world. The grape picking season for example, is at different times in France, California, Australia and South Africa, to name a few places.

Another English friend of ours found a job on a cruise ship and spent a year cruising around the world doing different jobs on ships.

So if you’re a bit creative in your thinking, there are many options for working while you travel. If you really want some inspiration and great information about travel and work, have a look at this site:

d. Finding New Sources of Income

Generating money from new sources usually involves getting an extra job or putting more hours into the one you already have. In both cases, it’s important to be disciplined to really save this money for the trip. As we mentioned under (b), putting it in a special travel account and just keeping it there is crucial!

For ways to create more money for a traveling lifestyle, click here

2. Adjusting Your Travel Plans…

If it is important for you to only stay in 5 star hotels and eat in restaurants when you’re out in the world, it goes without saying that you need a bigger travel budget that if you are focusing on Network Traveling and mainly staying for free. Maybe you want a bit of both? Do you want to travel mainly in countries in the Western world or are you interested in exploring other cultures?

Are you open to travel in cultures where the standard of living may not be what you are used to – nor the cost of living?

Consider this: if you have a house or apartment in some Western country and rent it out while traveling, a month’s rent from your house could actually help you pay for a cottage on a paradise beach in, for example, South East Asia for half a year! Or what you pay for a single evening out at your favorite fancy restaurant could feed you for a couple of weeks in a low cost country.

Sometimes a months living costs at home is about the same as six months to a years cost for renting a place like this!

Sometimes a months living costs at home is about the same as six months to a years cost for renting a place like this!

Someone mentioned the other day that for the amount of money that it costs to fill up your car, you can take the train across the whole of China! Think about that next time you are standing there at the gas station!

Then, of course, there is the possibility of exchanging your home with people in some other part of the world that you would like to go to. You still have your fixed costs but you’ll be staying for free. More about this in How to travel.

Worth noticing also, is that it’s a lot less expensive to travel for the longer term than doing several short trips.

It’s usually transportation that eats up the most money. Also, when you travel for several months (or even years) you usually don’t spend every day going on costly sightseeing tours, eating at restaurants, spending that “little extra because it’s your vacation”….You find other ways of traveling and living. You often become a bit more like a local and your days are more about “everyday living in a new environment.” You learn things like where the locals do their shopping (not in the tourist areas), and also the fact that you have more time; time to choose cheaper ways of doing things, like finding less costly, quality staple foods for preparing your meals rather than having to settle for expensive ready made food. Or just spend days doing things that are free, like reading, walking, talking to people – just because you have the time.

A busy life encourages us to live in ways that use more money. In fact, extended travel can even be cheaper than staying at home!

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