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Let’s Talk Money – Part 2: How to Travel Long-Term

To travel long-term is one of the biggest dreams of many people. Wouldn’t it be great to see the whole world before we die?!? But money seems to be the biggest issue and the number one limitation when it comes to travelling. It shouldn’t be though, as there are so many ways to stay on the road without being rich! If you’re eager to explore and travelling is your passion, for sure you’ll accept a bit of an effort in order to reach your goal and live your dream, right?! Check out my first post about how you can travel long-term here!

Mahahual, MexicoGorgeous sunset in Mahahual, a tiny Mexican fisher town close to the border of Belize.

What is it that stops you from following your dream?

Whoever I meet on the road seems to be in a similar situation: Life back home is ok, all sorted out: a job, a house/apartment, family/friends as well as the daily hobbies/leisure time activities. Great! But apparently for some of us wandering souls out there, this seems not enough. If you are happier on the road than in a routined life, you can probably relate to the following: if only money wasn’t an issue, we would all be traveling the world forever, right?

Life back home seems to make sense, though. Everyone chooses this way that society defines to be the ‘correct’ one. If no one would follow that system, the world would be a different place, for sure, and economy would turn into a very hollow concept. Before I take it too far, I should say that I don’t want to change the system or pretend that everything other than conventional is automatically better. In fact, I think we all should decide for ourselves what is ‘right’ or best.  And if that means that you don’t fit into the conventional system, you should at least be given enough creative space to develop your own way of living. Having said that, let’s suppose your mission in life is similar to mine:

MY MISSION IN LIFE: TRAVEL LONG-TERM AND SEE THE WHOLE WORLD

I haven’t had one conversation in my four years of travelling in which other people tell me that they do not want to travel long-term. ‘I wish I could do this forever’, is one of the most heard sentences in these conversations. But they’re running out of savings and want to go back to make more money till the next time when they get their days off from work. Eventually all have to go back and return to a life that is determined by a job and paying bills. Some lucky ones have found their dream-jobs and really don’t mind going back. But it strikes me how many people I talk to are actually unhappy.

Wouldn’t it be great to find something that allows you to travel long-term whenever you want to and for how long you like? Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t actually! Do what you love and try to make money out of it! It might be a bit more difficult or take you longer to set it up, because you have to become creative yourself, but it can’t be harder than following orders from other people or working every day 8 hours in something that you don’t enjoy! Trust me, there is always a way if you follow your real passion.

Vancouver HarbourDo material things really make you happy?

How to travel long-term and turn it into your lifestyle:

First of all, get rid of everything that you really don’t need: sell the ‘things’ that you bought only for that short exciting moment of pleasure, such as clothes, jewellery, decoration for your house etc. All these things that you would leave behind if your house was on fire and you’d have to run away. Make a list! Evaluate the list and start over, for sure you can find more things in the basement! Selling it all through eBay or other online marketplaces might give you the necessary cash to get started.

Tip: Keep your apartment and rent it out in order to see if you enjoy life on the road at all or until you decide to travel long-term on serious terms. 

Once you are on the mission to explore a new country, your main challenge is probably to keep your costs low. Travel more for less in an enjoyable way, right? I travel on a budget but never feel poor or almost every time I want to do something, I decide in favour for it. There is no worse feeling than missing out on something that is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And the idea is to enjoy travelling without feeling guilty about the money you spend. And since you will be on the road for quite some time, beach bumming tends to become quite boring after a while. So, most people don’t mind to pick up a job – if that means that you can enjoy your sunset by the beach on a regular basis.

Mahahual, MexicoLuckily free Wi-Fi has become a standard facility in most places, and sometimes you can get lucky and even work at the beach!

How to make money on the road?

When I realised that I don’t want to go back into the 9-5 job routine, I started to do whatever it takes to travel long-term: I did a lot of research on work visas, ways to make money online and how to safe on your expenses. All I thought of was how to keep doing what I was doing. And it all came down to four major costs/spending areas: Accommodation, food, activities and transportation. I thought, if I can figure out how to live for free, eat like locals and not like a tourist, save on activities and transport, my costs will be very low and don’t need much money. So here is my momentary model of living:

Step 1: Live for free through a work-exchange:

Today we try to never pay for accommodation, ideally not even for food (which is mostly harder though but also a lot cheaper). There are some great websites that help you find voluntary positions that you don’t need a work visa for and where you still have plenty of time during the day to explore or do whatever you like. For me, the 4-5 hours per day in the morning leave me plenty of time to work on my own projects in the afternoon and I have sorted out my major expense, the cost of living:

Step 2: Cash up with a local job in countries where you can get a work permit!

In my case, I started off trying out different jobs in tourism and marketing which I found in each place by talking to the local people. In Chile, Australia and Canada I got a work visa and in these countries I made enough money to be able to travel again for longer periods afterwards. I recently found out about a fairly new website called JetSetterJobs. Here people like me can search for casual work anywhere in the world. Some jobs are paid, some are on a voluntary/exchange basis. Check it out, it makes your life so much easier when you travel long-term:

In general though, you need to do the legwork once you’ve arrived in your new destination. There are very few ways to find a job online in remote places. That’s why I find it a really great idea to set up a platform like the one from JetSetterJobs.com! These guys understood the need for a platform that helps nomads to find jobs easier!

Part-time jobSometimes you’ll find a really fun job not necessarily behind a computer desk! 😀

Step 3: Use your free-time in order to build up your own online-business and become location independent!

Even though I usually try to make money on the road (whenever I legally can), I also always keep my eyes open for freelance jobs, especially in the phases where I don’t work locally. These sorts of freelance jobs such as helping to build websites, translations jobs, copywriting and all sorts of marketing projects are great to move around and not spend too much time in one place. Here is a few example pages that I regularly scan:

Now that you sorted out your living costs and realised that you can actually live comfortably on a casual income, you might want to take your lifestyle to the next level. Who wouldn’t want to stop doing those little jobs and rather spend time at the beach or hiking in the mountains!? And that is the key if you travel long-term: Organise and plan well every step ahead. All my time and efforts go towards the goal to see the whole world. The timeframe doesn’t matter, as long as the journey is enjoyable. So, since I don’t have any regular bills like I used to have when living in one place, all I earn goes directly towards my travels. That means, with the money I make I can finance my life on the road without worrying about fixed costs.

But at the moment I am building up my own online-business of which I hopefully soon will be able to live off. Being fairly new to the blogging scene I can not yet speak for myself, but I’ve learned a lot and know that there are many bloggers out there that make profit from their websites. All you need is a product that is in demand or find a niche and position yourself as an expert. If you travel long-term, you gain great knowledge of all the travel related questions other people might have. I know how scary it can be and how many trial-and-error situations one has to go through before one figures out the challenges of a nomadic lifestyle. So stay tuned and I will hopefully be able to share soon more about my business idea…

Mahahual, Mexico
Enjoy the benefits of traveling…and where best can you do this, in a hammock, right?! 😉

Good luck to you all and happy travels!!! If you have any questions about how to travel long-term, please leave a comment below and I am more than happy to contact you.

By Julia

Julia is the founder and chief editor of Jey Jetter, a site that showcases the option of working remotely and travel as much as you like. Julia is a former PR/marketing consultant who turned into a remote working social media manager, travel writer and public speaker living location independently since 2011. She has been to 86 countries on all 6 continents and lived in several different countries for more than six months. Her laptop is her office and the label 'digital nomad' fits best to describe her lifestyle. On this site, she writes about personal freedom, remote work and her passion for travelling.

12 replies on “Let’s Talk Money – Part 2: How to Travel Long-Term”

Some wonderful tips here and I hadn’t heard about a few of these websites.

It is true that if you don’t have enough recurring and passive income, or the initial funds then working at some point whilst travelling is likely. I think you’ve highlighted a variety of work opportunities so there should be something for most people.

As for me, my dream would be that my share portfolio advances so much that I could live permanently off the dividend income. I don’t know if that day will ever come but for now I keep turning up for work each day.

Hi there and thanks a lot for leaving this comment and I am glad you found some interesting facts! Your vision is probably the dream of most people (including me), to get financial independence and simply be able to enjoy life. Why else are we here for?

Lovely post. I too am trying to build up a digital nomad life although I think i started late. I’m 28 and started 6 months ago only, so far I still haven’t got any financial profits but I don’t care because I’m doing it because I love it. I also believe in the long term travelling lifestyle although not sure how long it can last 🙁 I just read your last post, there was no option for commenting so I’m commenting on this one. When you say you are building up your online business do you mean this blog or something else, if you don’t mind me asking btw and thanks for the handy websites. Some of them I didn’t know about but I’ll check them out as I like to do translations and some online work sometimes. Thank you so much.

Hi Carmen, thanks for you comment and I am glad you found some useful links! Can I tell you something? I am 33 years old and I literally only a bit more than a year ago, I completely figured out how to actually live like a Digital Nomad. Yes, my online business is connected to this blog which is the mother of everything and hopefully one day it will be profitable too. But I am working on an online course at the moment that I’d like to sell and it is for Digital Nomads or those who want to become one…if you are interested, I will post it on my blog once it’s online… And don’t worry, unpredictable doors might open for you soon and offer options that you cannot think of at this stage of your new life. It takes time but it’s all possible!! Good luck and thanks again for stopping by!! Hope to see you back here, happy travels 😀

Great advice! The only thing I would add is start young. Work permits in many countries are often only available to people under 30 🙁

I know it’s a pain!! But there are countries like Canada where it works until 35!! Still, I hope to become president one day and change the rule of work permits!! It would make life so much easier if we were able to work around the world just like that!! 🙂

Fabulous tips – I think investing the time into building an online business is the biggest one for us, location independent lifestyle and the ability to take off and travel while still earning money is the dream! But there are definitely options for those who don’t wish to take that path too, and it’s fantastic that you’re promoting them too. I feel like too many people believe the only way to travel full time is to have a successful online business, though really there are so many other options like living for free through work exchanges etc.

Thanks for the comprehensive guide 🙂

Thank you Megan!! I am convinced that both ways have their pros and cons. And actually the combination of them makes it somehow interesting…it’s all about learning and putting yourself in new situations, for sure some day THE perfect way will open up!! 😀

I’ve never heard of at least 3 of these websites and am also looking for ways to maintain my travel plans. I refuse to go back to the 9-5, but I’m going broke in the meantime while I try to build my biz!! Ah, the entrepreneur life. Never a dull moment right?

Thanks for your comment, Bobbi!! Yeah, it’s a challenge but I believe that if you have a vision and/or at least a driving force in you to change your life, it’ll bring you eventually to what you are looking for! Best of luck and keep us all posted about how you go! Happy travels 😀

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