This subject keeps popping up on our conversations either with other travelers or from our followers on our social media.
A lot of people would like to know how we sustain travel for a long time. In addition to body fitness, energy levels, long distances on the road, the most important and frequently asked of all these questions is “how do we fund and sustain finances in long term travels?”
It has been a learning process for us and most of the times we are listening more than contributing. This is because one year down the roads and 16 countries, we still don’t have a means of income and are still spending from our savings. The balances are not looking good but we are determined to find means of earning some income or saving on our travel. As we share our story on how we saved for our travels and ways we use to ensure we spend less on our travel for more travels, we also take tips from fellow travelers.
Before you embark on a long travel, you have to save money and have a budget. You need to know what kind of activities you would like to do during your travel and estimate their cost. Air, bus tickets, accommodations and food have to be factored in your budget. Don’t forget medical and miscellaneous expenses such as souvenirs and gifts. The length of your travel is a big factor in budgeting. With this in mind, you get a good picture of what kind of money you will need.
It is difficulty to raise all the money before departure and a lot of travelers will attest to this. We all got out with what we had but not what we needed. This therefore is why this topic is inevitable everywhere. Travelers and those looking to travel alike, we all want to know how we can save and sustain our travels.
We saved for two years, took out our pensions, sold our everything to start off but that does not stop us from cringing our faces every time we look at our bank balance. With an initial plan to travel around the world in about three and a half years on the road, we definitely need to up our game. We have however found a few ways to making a savings on what we have.
HOW TO MAKE A SAVING IN ORDER TO TRAVEL MORE .
1. Make your own meals when you can.
Eating from restaurants is expensive. In addition, you only eat what they offer even if it’s not what you wanted. There is no where in the world you can’t find a grocery store or supermarket to buy your ingredients. By making your own meals, you save up a lot, eat healthy and eat the food you like. You also get to prepare your to go meals ensuring you don’t spend in restaurants while on the road.
2. Camp as much as you can.
The cheapest accommodation is ofcause camping. In rainy and winter seasons it may not be possible to camp. However there are good seasons in a year when you can maximize on camping. If you are in an all year round warm countries, you have all year to camp. It’s easy to find free campsite using apps such as free camping in some countries and if not, campsites are really cheap and safe.
3. Stay in Hostels instead of Hotels and Airbnbs.
I understand camping is not for everyone and so hostels make the next cheapest accommodation. Apps such as Hostel World have hostels from all over the world. The advantage of using this App is that you can read honest reviews from other travelers and makes it easy to pick a place. In addition, prices are always listed and so you find what you can afford as well.
4. Sign up for group tours instead of solo guided tours.
The main reason you are traveling is so that you can learn the history of a country, see and experience it’s beauty, go for hikes and many other activities. All these experiences come at a cost. Signing up for group tours or activities is always way cheaper than when you sign up for solo guided tours. Some experiences are mandatory to have a guide and group tours make the best options as guides are not cheap at all.
5. Make good use of the complementary toiletries, you have paid for them.
How many of us take away the shampoo, soap and oils from their hotels/hostels/B&B? I mean, like the whole complementary kit? Don’t lie, I can see you 😂😂. Well, you have already paid for each and every item referred as “complementary”, so you better use it up. Use those kits and carry the remaining ones for your next couple of showers. Your toiletries budget will shrink. I carry them all the time.
6. Do your own laundry.
Laundry services come at an extra cost. I don’t like doing laundry but when I think of the couple of dollars I need to pay, I do it. The best way is not to accumulate the laundry as that becomes difficult to do when traveling. Some hostels will have laundry area with amenities but it’s not something to look forward to after long hours and days of traveling. Ensure you wash few items as you travel and have a clean item to wear always. Even if you will have to pay for laundry at some point, this reduces the number of times you pay for it hence saving you some money.
7. Buy your alcohol from the supermarket.
Drinking from a pub is expensive in two ways, the price of the alcohol and the fact that you tend to have one too many. The discipline to stop is highly reduced by the atmosphere and you eventually spend a lot more than you wanted. Get your own alcohol. The advantages of this is, you buy what you need and have budgeted for. You manage your drinking as you can only drink what you have. This way you can stick to your budget and get cheaper alcohol hence another savings 👏🏽👏🏽.
8. Volunteer in exchange of food and accommodation.
This is the ultimate saver. If you are in a position to volunteer, do so. You not only get free food and accommodation but you get to learn new skills that are absolutely good for your curriculum vitae. The downside of this is that it’s not accessible to people with a short stay in a particular place as most places require you to volunteer for more than a week. Check out Work Away App. Am yet to try out this. It’s on the top of my plan for this second year of our travel.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON THE ROAD.
1. Create content on YouTube and grow your subscriptions to be able to monetize it.
As a traveler you have unique experiences that only you can tell the story. Find your niche and create content from your travel. It’s not a two days affair, it takes time to creat, edit, upload as well as get good numbers in subscriptions and time watched for monetization of your content. But, nothing good comes easy. If you choose this, you must be willing to put in work.
2. If you are an artist; sell your art (music, jewelry, accessories, paintings) etc.
I have seen majority of this and travelers have funded their travel from art. One such traveler is Michel (See picture above). Michel is from Brazil and has been traveling for the past 3 year in South America. He combines volunteering and selling his art to fund his travel. He makes bracelets, necklaces and anklets (see featured image). He is also a musician and does street and hostel performances. He is not going back home anytime soon and he has been able to fund his travels well.
3. Selling branded merchandise.
If you are especially looking to make your travel name a brand, this is a nice way to create awareness as well as make some money. The merchandise comes at a cost and so you have to think through what items you would like to sell. This is because you want to manage things such as shipping costs, dead stock, operation cost, hiring personnel and cost of acquiring the items. Whatever you chose, remember you are traveling and the shop should be easy to manage at the least cost and labor.
4. Teach a language.
Teaching a language pays so well if you can be able to do. It however requires some form of stability to be able to schedule your classes with your students. The good thing is that you can do this online. Most hostels have free WiFi and that’s an advantage for cutting cost on your class expenses as you make the mullah.
5. Teach dance lessons.
This is such a fun activity that will bring you some income. Travelers in hostels and camp sites are looking for exercise and fun. At a small fee, you can get to teach some dance moves that will travel the world. Check hostels and campsites that have space and can accommodate it. The other option is to sign up as a dance teacher in the towns you are traveling through. Look out for community dance halls and dance schools. Shake a leg to the money.
6. Special skills like … yoga, masseuses, chef etc.
I have so far met travelers who do all three above. They offer their services in the hostels and backpackers for a subsidized cost. They would stay for a while in one hostel and combine this with volunteer work. One of them was in Antarctica. Even though he did not charge anything, it was a really good marketing strategy for his business.
7. Invest your savings in money market.
If you have some accumulated savings before you start traveling. It is good to invest in money market such as fixed deposits, Treasury bonds etc and fund your travel with the interest.
Are you ready to travel now?
Are you ready to travel now? Have you found some helpful information to get you on the road? Let me know in the comments below and stay here for more travel inspiring blogs.
I have now been on the road for one year, 16 countries and a tone of experiences and lessons. I will continue sharing with you.
Am currently in Ecuador and it’s three words for this country.
BEAUTIFUL: GREEN :CLEAN