“How are you affording all of this?”
I’ve been traveling the world on and off for a couple years now, and I get asked this question on the daily.
The answers to your questions: No, i’m not a trust fund baby. No, my parents don’t support me financially, and they haven’t since I was 16 years old. And no, I’m not an undercover drug dealer.
For those of you who see others traveling consistently and for long amounts of time, I’m here to help you see that you too, can do it too.
Here are some of my tips for traveling the world on a sustainable budget:
The sad thing is, we come from one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We come from a place where the tagline is ‘land of the free’, and yet, most of the people I know live their lives in a conditioned box, working their lives away, only to spend their money on stress-relieving outlets that help them forget about their money-motivated lives. (Where is the freedom in that?)
Most of the people I know are working decent jobs. They’re making good money, have a solid roof over their heads, and have plenty of free time.
So where did this lack based mentality come from?
The bottom line is this: if you want to travel the world, you can. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, the color of your skin, or your gender. All that matters is that you commit to creating a change in your life, taking a risk, and leaping out into the unknown.
Coming from my own personal experience, here are my top tips to help you trust, leap, and go experience a new part of the world.
1. Get Creative
You don’t have to have a ton of money to travel the world. You simply have to be creative. Use job sites like Workaway or Yogatrade to find exchange opportunities. That way, you can live in exotic (and expensive) places like Costa Rica, Europe, or Dubai, while working an hour or so a day in exchange for all of your living expenses.
2. Save money on your flight
Believe it or not, I have never spent over $1000 on a flight. A typical excuse I hear of why people don’t travel is because “flights are too expensive”. Nope! Here are a few different tools I use to find cheap flights:
The first, and best, is Scotts Cheap Flights. You can sign up for free, and Scott will email you daily, alerting you on different flight deals. Most of these flights are so cheap, it’s hard to believe it’s even real. However, I’ve now booked deals with him a couple of times and can assure you it’s all legitimate. This year I flew roundtrip to Bali for $450 from LAX, and last year I flew roundtrip to Barcelona for $400.
Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City only. Like Scotts Cheap Flights, they send out email notifications with all the good deals. Additionally, you can follow them on Instagram to find their deals on your feed.
3. Teach English in Another Country
This is becoming more and more popular as the demand of English speakers escalates in the world. You can find jobs teaching English all over the world, but there’s an especially high demand in Asian countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and most of all, China.
From what I’ve heard, China offers the highest pay, and if you’re a native English speaker, you’re almost guaranteed a job.
In order to teach English, most of the time you will be required to have a TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) certificate. However, due to the extremely high demand for English teachers, I have many friends who have gotten away with teaching without the certificate.
4. Live like the locals
My preferred way of traveling is to live like the locals do. This means I eat at more affordable, local spots (which honestly, the food is usually better), I stay off the beaten path, I avoid tourists (and tourist destinations) like the plague, and I save a lot. of. money. If you’re not doing a trade or work in exchange for your accommodation, I recommend staying in hostels or guest houses. You can find super cheap options on Hostelworld or Booking.com.
If you have two weeks of vacation a year, then by all means, go all out. But if you’re like me and you’re looking to stay a while, maybe even experience living in another country, then you need to start acting like a local.