‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’
Honestly, I believe if you have your heart set on something, there are too many ways.
Three months ago, I quit my corporate job to travel – the outcome of months of guilt for prioritizing my work over my travels and a constant desire to spend more time outdoors.
So many of us want to travel, but the tough question is, how do you travel without the safety of a regular income? Well, in my experience, once you are possessed by wanderlust, you will find ways to live your dream. So once I decided to make traveling my priority, I have been constantly trying to figure out ways to fund my travel plans. I have been focused on finding jobs that will help me travel, be happy and won’t kill me in the process.
Off and on, I do bump into people wondering (sometimes aloud but mostly through their expressions) how full-time travelers fund their trips. So here I am, sharing the top 5 secrets how travel bloggers such as myself support their travels and some options to fund your travel.
Honestly, I have never been able to save money. My salary has always been usurped by Mumbai’s infamous home rents and the residue was dedicated to my travels. However, once I decided to quit my job, I started to think ahead.
I reassessed my lifestyle and evaluated how much I would need in a month to sustain myself, apart from keeping a small amount away for traveling. It is important to foresee the expensive trips in a year, whether they are international or long duration trips, and sketch out a financial plan for them accordingly. Once that’s in place, I allot money to each plan.
For instance, while I was working, I had a quick chat with my HR manager to understand the components of my salary and then decided how much of that would be dedicated towards my upcoming travels. Simple clairvoyance!
It is also a good idea to start purchasing or accepting travel vouchers as gifts. Many travel companies are happy to customize travel vouchers while offering a plethora of travel options with varying validities.
What has always worked for me is maintaining a travel fund. While working full time, I have always had an account within my bank where I would transfer a certain amount every month to fund my travel. It is surprising how keeping away the very little has helped me in a big way.
Working On Freelance Assignments
Technology is the greatest boon for our generation and using it wisely has always worked in our favor. Getting freelance gigs has become easier in a well-connected world. The earnings made from these assignments may not be excellent initially but steadily if the required skill-set is developed, it becomes a convenient source of income while on the road to fund your travel bug.
Since my strength lies in writing and photography, my primary support is freelance writing for publications and websites around the world. Managing social media for companies, online marketing consultancy and transcribing are some of the other popular alternatives.
Getting A Job That Requires Travelling
There are a number of traveling jobs around the world. Teaching English is one of the most sought after traveling jobs. Also, the tourism and hospitality industry are always looking out for managers or coordinators for their agencies and properties.
My tenure in Goa is one such example. My 6-month experience as the property manager in a boutique homestay here has allowed me to gain professional insights into the hospitality industry while exploring the nooks and corners of Goa. These jobs typically provide accommodation and meals and allow a whole new geography to be discovered. Isn’t one cool way to fund your travel?
Learning The Art Of Volunteering
This one is a personal favorite. Volunteering with a non-profit organization is a great way to travel to some of the unexplored places. It is a delicate balance of living the local way while growing at a personal level. Many social enterprises have opened doors to volunteers from around the world and there are a number of activities that one can get involved in. From environment to education to textiles, this is a prevalent choice amongst travelers and a great alternate way to fund your travel.
Volunteers are required to pay usually very small amounts like Rs. 50-100 a day, with some organizations it can go up to as high as 1000 a day, which is decided prior the travel. This has to be paid by the volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation. Apart from these two expenses, nothing is required.
In my experience, this is true for non-profits & social enterprises. With NGOs, things may be different.
Earning Through Your Blog
A lot of travelers maintain their personal travelogue and share their interesting travel stories with the rest of the world. Most of them opt to monetize their travel blogs, which essentially means they allow advertisements on their blogs which becomes an ongoing source of revenue. This can be done through Google AdSense or having an ‘advertise with me’ section on the blog.
However, for this to work in your favor in the long run, your blog needs to attract a good number of visitors (or traffic) which can only be accomplished if you give people something good to read on a regular basis.
In my opinion, ads add clutter and distraction to blogs and may be recommended only for those who are truly inclined to it. If done properly, advertisements can bring in a decent amount of money to fund your travel and take care of a month-long journey!
Initially traveling for a living is the tougher choice and is definitely not as fancy as people assume it to be. But I’d rather be doing this and be good at it than live a half-life. After all, there is one life to love!
Do you have some other wonderful ways to keep your travel-pocket filled while on the move? Share with us in the comments below your smart ways to fund your travel bug.