How to fund a travel lifestyle

Geeky Explorer: How to fund a travel lifestyle – without excuses

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If you keep finding excuses for not travelling more, here are 24 bloggers who share some inspiration on how they create a travel lifestyle.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you want to travel more.

Yep, we all think of how to fund a travel lifestyle.

In fact it seems most of us can’t travel as much as we want to. The nine-to-five job, kids, family commitments or simply splashing money on long partying nights or fashion trends – almost everything can work as an excuse not to travel more.

Money is definitely a big factor here. Most people don’t travel more simply because they don’t have enough money.

The thing is: I’m a big believer that travel is much cheaper and easier than people think. There are many life hacks you can use to buy cheap flights online or find secret hotel rooms. This is why I emphatically roll my eyes every time I hear travel is for rich people.

But don’t take it only from me. I’ll show you how a travel lifestyle can be accessible to everyone. And no, you don’t need to win the lottery or have super special skills to make it happen. These are normal people. They just happen to have a travel blog.

Asking the travel experts

I’ve decided to seek some inspiration from the experts and asked 24 travel bloggers how they fund their travels. 

My purpose with this was to gather the widest range of ways people afford their travels. I was interested in seeing how creative people can be, and which solutions they have achieved to answer their own challenges and problems. This is not about the income, it’s about the sources of the income. So how did I do this? I simply shared an online form on my social media and contacted some others directly.

I specifically tried to target bloggers from as many different niches, popularity and motivations as possible to make the mix more interesting. And I got 24 very different answers! Here we can be inspired by how travellers afford their trips – an idea generator to travel more.

How to fund a travel lifestyle: The answers

1. Matt at The Flip Flop Chronicles

MATT @ THE FLIP FLOP CHRONICLES

Matt is a swimmer, lifeguard, aspiring writer and an attempted photographer. He works as a contractor, giving him the money and freedom to explore the world.

How do you fund your travels?
“For the past couple of years I have worked on a contract basis around the world. I tend to settle in a place and work there for the length of the contract (six to eight months) before moving on. This allows me to save money to travel once my contract has finished. It also allows me to really experience a place rather then briefly passing through.”

2. Michael at Bemused Backpacker

MICHAEL @ BEMUSED BACKPACKER

Michael is a charge nurse by vocation and discovered his passion for travelling after a trip to Southeast Asia. So he found a smart way to combine both as a part-full-time worker, creating a healthy and exciting travel lifestyle.

How do you fund your travels?
“I am a qualified charge nurse and I work around five to six months of the year, save up and then travel six to seven months of the year. Not always consecutively, sometimes as a series of snap years, other times for longer, extended periods. I am also a published novelist and author, including a series of travel books tied in with my blog brand, and receive an income from those sales as well as an income from my Bemused Backpacker blog and the various revenue streams (such as my Travel Clinic) that it generates.”

3. Aileen at I am Aileen 

AILEEN @ I AM AILEEN

Born in the beautiful Philippines, Aileen quit her corporate job to travel the world at the age of 21. She has managed to get diverse freelance gigs and establish herself as an entrepreneur. Basically, a queen of the digital world.

How do you fund your travels?
“Previously, I mainly relied on my income from my digital nomad jobs where I offered services like graphic design, web design and online marketing. At the same time, I was also blogging and that helped me score all-expenses-paid trips from time to time. At the moment, after launching my online business in July 2014, my income now primarily comes from it. However, I still occasionally do design projects on the side, and I still continue to gain perks from my travel blog.”

4. Hugo and Christina at Breathe with Us

HUGO AND CRISTINA @ BREATHE WITH US

This Portuguese couple based in London is on a quest to explore the world’s best cultural and natural destinations. Surprising that even with full-time jobs, they can afford to spend one-third of the year on the road.

How do you fund your travels?
“We work full-time jobs in a relatively well-paid industry: software. This allows us take a good amount of it to finance our travels and still have some savings in case something goes wrong. We rather spend on travel than going out much or waste with other superfluous things. The balance between financial security and the ability to be around 1/3 of the year on the road (including time-off and weekends) is very important to us."

5. Vlad at Eff it, I'm on Holiday

VLAD @ EFF IT, I’M ON HOLIDAY

Travelling has been a drug for Vlad, a part-time traveller from Romania. Passionate about photography, tapas and port wine, he has managed to get a travel-balanced lifestyle that completely works for him.

How do you fund your travels?
“I have a deposit solely for travel and I add a percent of my salary each month. If I have an upcoming trip planned, I do a rough estimate of how much I’ll need (accommodation and spending money) and change the amount I add accordingly.”

6. Olga at  The Russian Abroad

OLGA @ THE RUSSIAN ABROAD

Olga grew up in independent Latvia and lived in South America, where she felt the urge to create her travel blog. Embracing a low-cost creative style of living, she now just wants to travel more, laugh a lot and eat well.

How do you fund your travels?
“Since I have a full-time job, I only manage to travel on the long weekends that I occasionally take. It helps that I’m working in Germany and not somewhere in Latvia or Russia, where for example, because in Germany I’m allowed 28 days off per year instead of 14. So I’m always splitting my vacation period, taking a day off here, a day off there. Not only do I get to travel more throughout the year, but it also makes my travels cheaper, too, since they’re all relatively short.

In between, I’m obviously working on my budgeting skills, even though I also try to have a life, too. I still occasionally meet with my friends for a drink, or go to the movies, or buy a new outfit.

Of course, life isn’t about just travelling – life is about having life every day. But in moderation. So being reasonable in my expenses is the only secret I have, really! I eat out but I don’t eat out every day. I shop but I don’t leave all my salary in a store. I still buy books instead of reading online but I buy used cheap books on Amazon that cost 1 cent + EUR 3 for delivery. And then, when I travel, I’m staying within the reasonable limit, too. I couchsurf. I eat food I buy in the supermarket. I go on free tours. I’m trying to use every opportunity to save money but, again, moderation is a keyword here.”

7. Bram at Travel.Experience.Live.

BRAM @ TRAVEL.EXPERIENCE.LIVE

Born in Belgium and based in Vermont, USA, Bram has travelled the world in many different ways. He currently works as a freelance travel photographer and author. More than safe to say you won’t find bad travel photos in his website.

How do you fund your travels?
“Although I do earn a bit of extra cash through my blog and book sales, the lion’s share of my income comes for my work as a freelance travel writer and translator.”


8. Cathy at Roar Loud

CATHY @ ROARLOUD.NET

A full-time position does not stop Cathy from pursuing new adventures and hiking challenges everyday. She manages to get some extra offers through her website too.

How do you fund your travels?
“I work full-time in an unrelated field, my blog allows for some discounts or upgrades only.”


9. Leif at Runaway Guide

LEIF @ RUNAWAY GUIDE

The name of Leif’s blog couldn’t be a better fit to him who literally ran away from home when he was 16 to explore Europe and Middle East without a single cent. Since then, he has mastered the art of travel on a budget, worked as a tour guide and converted his blog into a profitable business.

How do you fund your travels?
“My blog, The Runaway Guide, represents my entire livelihood, and funds my travels from Timbuktu to Stockholm. The guide aims to inspire through travel possibilities and budget destination guides. In these guides I often promote travel-related deals, accommodations and products, which I myself often use. In return, I then receive a small commission. The other way I fund my travels is by offering small group tours through Central America and southeast Asia. Although the tours are cheaper than any other tour on the market, I still make enough to fund my adventures for at least a few months afterwards.”

10. Patti and Matilda at The Travel Sisters

PATTI AND MATILDA @ THE TRAVEL SISTERS

Patti and Matilda are sisters, best friends and travel buddies. They started off with a back-backing trip to Europe, and since specialise in hacking the airline miles system through smart use of their credit cards and online shopping.

How do you fund your travels?
“We used to fund our travels from working part-time and travelling on a budget. After we finished school, we started working full-time and funded our travels from our savings. Recently some of our travel is funded using miles and points from travel hacking."


11. Jameela at Diary of a Serial Expat

JAMEELA @ DIARY OF A SERIAL EXPAT

A full-time ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, mum of two and blogger, Jameela is a super woman. She is now based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and focuses her blog on cultural differences expats and travellers can find in the places she has visited and lived in.

How do you fund your travels?

“The way I travel is to look for jobs abroad. I am an ESL university teacher and when I want to go somewhere new I simply apply for ESL jobs in that country. ESL jobs are easy to find, and they pay well so it allows me to live abroad and take some very nice holidays too.”

12. Kathryn at Travel with Kat

KATHRYN @ TRAVEL WITH KAT

With a background in zoology and psychology, Kathryn is all about nature and sustainable tourism. The hard work on her visually striking blog has clearly paid off.

How do you fund your travels?
“These days nearly all my travelling is through press trips and campaigns. I work long hours on my blog but the return is well worth it.”


13. Amanda at Simply Sojourns
AMANDA @ SIMPLY SOJOURNS

While still working full-time, Amanda and her travel partner manage to wander the planet by saving money on everyday life and using Airbnb both for hosting and for their accommodation abroad.

How do you fund your travels?
“I work full-time and my husband is self-employed. We save our money by hosting friends instead of going out, making coffee at home, travelling off-season, searching for cheaper flights and staying at places through Airbnb.”

14. Simone and Dan at The Aussie Flashpacker

SIMONE AND DAN @ THE AUSSIE FLASHPACKER

Travel has been an essential part of the life of Simone and Dan, who met while wandering around South America and now explore the world together. Using hardcore saving techniques to make their money last as long as possible on their trips, they sure seem to have all sorted out.

How do you fund your travels?
“We have both always worked full-time to fund our travels. Travel is our hobby and our passion and so we sacrifice things at home including social events etc. to be able to travel. In order to fund bigger trips we will save hard for six to 12 months to be able to travel for more than months without working. It’s all a balance and we find that hard work and dedication allows us to travel.”

15. Tami at Postcards and Passports

TAMI @ POSTCARDS AND PASSPORTS

Tami has been hacking her lifestyle for some time now and saving as much as possible in everything she can, and she’s now the 'travel agent' of the family. She's a mum of four children and grandma to five grandchildren, but she has never stopped travelling and encourages everyone around her to do the same.

How do you fund your travels?
“We use frequent flier miles from my husband’s business travel, rent apartments to cut costs (much cheaper than hotels), earn or save money with websites like mypoints and ebates, buy all gas with our Costco card that gives rebates, and apply all savings or extra earnings/bonuses to our vacation budget.”

16. Natasha at The Boho Chica

NATASHA @ THE BOHO CHICA

Starting off her career in finance, Natasha has shifted to a freelance career while keeping her blog running. She’s based in Dubai but her itchy feet have taken her to many different places like Nepal, Australia and Turkey.

How do you fund your travels?
“I used to work in finance and initially dipped into my savings for my travels. Now, I’ve transitioned into a career as a freelance writer and social media consultant. I work with brands creating content for them and working together on social media campaigns.”

17. Bianca at It's All Bee

BIANCA @ IT’S ALL BEE

Bianca was born in Zambia and has lived in London since she was 13, where she currently works as a business analyst. Taking advantage of the extremely well-connected airports of the major UK city, she manages to travel everywhere, both in business and personal trips.

How do you fund your travels?
“I travel a bit for work so I sign up for loyalty schemes a lot for train travel, hotels and flight reward accounts. I have previously earned enough to travel free and stay free. My longest free stay was a trip to Hong Kong for over a week.”


18. Federico at Mai Travel Site

FEDERICO @ MAI TRAVEL SITE

Federico has lived across the globe – Chicago, Belgium, Spain and Australia – and has a serious case of itchy feet. Apart from a well-established travel blogger, he’s an online business entrepreneur and freelancer, and his online mini-empire allows him to fund his travel lifestyle.

How do you fund your travels?
“I have several online businesses now: paid membership websites, website designs, internet marketing consultant, sponsored posts, helping others get sponsored posts.”

19. Laura and Tanbay at The Travelling Weasels

LAURA AND TANBAY @ THE TRAVELLING WEASELS

This Anglo-German couple has been using a whole variety of sources of income to fund their travels. Plus, they’ve been smartly using HouseSitting to eliminate all accommodation-related costs, managing to travel luxuriously and cheaply at the same time.

How do you fund your travels?
“We fund our travels from our blog from advertising/affiliate links and by receiving free trips. We’re also freelancers – we translate German/English and teach English online. We also write and sell our own ebooks (both travel and un-travel related)."

20. Heather at Conversant Traveller

HEATHER @ CONVERSANT TRAVELLER

Heather is a part-time traveller who seeks to combine luxury and adventure on most of her travels. Using a combination of blogging, press trips and her full-time position, she manages to make the most of her journeys.

How do you fund your travels?
“I work full time, and don’t spend much on entertainment/going out while at home. I have a travel savings account, and do as much overtime as I can get my hands on. I also earn a little from sponsored posts and affiliate links on my website, as well as undertaking some press trips which greatly reduces my personal travel expense.”

21. João at Nomad Revelations

JOÃO @ NOMAD REVELATIONS

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, João has been seeking to explore the world since an early age. He now has been to more than 110 countries and has managed to develop his personal brand as a top travel expert and blogger.

How do you fund your travels?
“The money I spend travelling comes mainly from my websites and also from several freelance online services I provide for several travel-related companies. I don’t use the money from my other businesses – so I have to work harder to get money to travel while working on the web.”

22. Tim at Elite Travel Blog

TIM @ ELITE TRAVEL BLOG

Tim uses his full-time job as the main source of income – until he wins the lottery. Until then, he blogs and finds ways to save as much as possible.

How do you fund your travels?

“I find flying to airports outside of the city can reduce the cost of a flight. There are usually easy and cheap transport links in the city centre, too. I use Airbnb to rent a cheaper place to stay compared to a hotel room. Spending money is an important part once you’re there; little things like carrying a water bottle with you so you can fill up at water fountains; enjoying authentic street food and not eating in restaurants.”


23. Megsy and Tommo at Travel Freedom Network

MEGSY AND TOMMO @ TRAVEL FREEDOM NETWORK

Another pair of travel-crossed lovers. Megsy and Tommo met in Denmark in 2010 and been travelling together ever since. They now manage to live fully as digital nomads.

How do you fund your travels?
“Freelance writing. Affiliate sales. Sponsorship. Ebooks.”



24. Kirstie at Venga. Vale. Vamos.

Digital marketer by day and travel blogger by night, Kirstie is now living the expat life in Sydney, Australia, after working in Spain as an English teacher. Her work experiences allowed her not only to see the world but also to save money to fund her present travels. Venga tia!

How do you fund your travels?
“I’ve lived as an expat in Spain and Australia – and used those as bases from which to travel by finding jobs in those countries. In Spain, I taught English through the North American Language and Culture Assistants, which provided a visa and enough money to live and travel regularly and only had me working 12–16 hours per week. I then came to Australia on a working holiday visa, which allows travellers to work for up to a year, a great way to fund explorations of expensive Australia. I found a job here as a digital marketing specialist and have since been sponsored for a full work visa. In both Spain and Australia, I have managed to save significant money that has funded and will continue to fund my travels.”

Wrap-up

First of all, I wasn’t expecting to get responses from so many bloggers with full-time positions. Having a stable source of income, bloggers with full-time jobs are naturally in better positions to have more money to travel but less time to do it. Still, it was interesting to see the different solutions they’ve put in place to travel more: Taking advantages of weekends and bank holidays, travel hacking airline miles and even mini-retirement schemes seem to be great workarounds to achieve a more efficient travel lifestyle.

On the other hand, achieving a status where one can live exclusively from the blog is indeed rare, as the numbers on this sample of bloggers prove. To maximise the changes of success in the pursuit of full-time travel, it seems more and more bloggers need to combine their website with some other activity — freelancing, entrepreneurship or part-time work — to achieve financial independence. And here, creativity is key.

In any of the cases, it’s always inspiring to see travellers of so many different backgrounds being successful in launching their own brand out there. The internet today is a jungle and it takes a huge dose of creativity and hard work to survive and most importantly, thrive.

What to take from all of this

For me

For me in particular, these testimonials were encouraging to continue the hard work I have everyday on this blog. Working full-time and having a blog literally feels like having two jobs. But there are much more people like me out there (cheers guys!) who are able to travel even more by using travel airline rewards or smart mini-retirement schemes. Still, I’m ready to take the next step and seek the location-independent lifestyle I dream to have.

For travel bloggers

As I expected, these interviews proved travel bloggers have access to several ways of getting money with their websites, such as affiliate marketing, press trips or plain advertising. While the harsh truth is that more than 90 percent of us will never reach the point when the blog is our exclusive source of income to pay our bills, with a little work, we can legitimately expect a decent amount of money. We just need to be creative and use our skills right.

For everyone

In the end, if you really seek a travel lifestyle, it does not matter if you hold a full-time position as an executive, an online business or a temporary job in a restaurant. The truth is that acceptable excuses preventing you from travel are rare and virtually anyone, with or without a blog, can travel more. I hope these ideas can inspire someone out there to pursue a travel lifestyle they dream of.

How do you fund your travels? Which other out-of-the-box ideas do you know to fund a lifestyle of travel?
 

Reprinted with permission from Geeky Explorer.

Geeky explorer – blogger bio and pic

Bruno is a portuguese digital geek learning to travel smart around the world. On Geeky Explorer he shares not only his stories abroad but also valuable advice, technology guides and insider tips on how to use money and time efficiently to improve your travel experience. Find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

Photo Credits: Moyan Brenn (Thumbnail).

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1 Comment To This Article

  • archie06 posted:

    on 2nd December 2015, 14:33:27 - Reply

    Cool! I'm also a travel blogger at "Travelogues of an Aftican Girl" africanahgirl.com
    These are great tips...!!