Ever since we made the switch to full-time RVing, I've met many people who travel full-time. I've met people who don't work and live off of enough money to travel for an extended amount of time, those who are retired, those who find odd jobs on the road, those who work while traveling, and more.
I've met some really interesting and awesome people who travel full-time, and they really prove that anyone can make long-term travel possible.
It all depends on how badly you want it.
And, yes, you can do it with a family too. If you don’t believe me, read Becoming an RV Family – How We Travel Full-Time With 4 Kids and 2 Dogs.
Yes, I understand that not everyone wants to travel long-term, but if you do, then continue reading.
While on the road, I've met the following people:
- There was a couple who were near retirement age but decided that they couldn't wait any longer. So, they bought an RV and started working at campgrounds in exchange for free monthly stays.
- There were people who work from their RV but still have a traditional employer. They work Monday through Friday from their RV – all they need is internet.
- A person who traveled in order to find antiques and other items to resell.
- Several bloggers who write full-time (it's what I do as well!).
- Filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, etc.
- People who worked at hotels and campgrounds and worked as they traveled.
- Rock climbing and river rafting guides.
- Those who work their butt off a few months a year and travel freely the rest.
- My sister did some long-term traveling and au paired at the same time.
- And much, much more!
The majority of the people I have met are not bloggers or online freelancers. Everyone does something a little different, so I'm sure you can find something that will fit your situation.
Below are several ways to save enough money for long-term travel. It may not be easy, but it will be well worth it!
Figure out how much money you need
First, you should calculate how much you need to live on while you travel. While you won't be able to do an exact calculation, you will be able to estimate the average expenses by researching your destination(s). This can give you a good idea of what you will need each month to survive and have fun.
Everyone travels differently, so no two numbers will be alike. You'll want to determine how cheaply or luxuriously you'll want to travel in order to figure out your monthly budget number.
After you figure this number out, you'll want to determine the amount you need in your travel fund. To determine this, think about things such as:
- How many months you'll be gone.
- Where you'll be traveling to.
- If you plan on going home while on your trip to visit friends and family.
- Whether you'll be keeping your home and/or car.
- How quickly you'll travel.
- What you'll do while you travel.
Put money into savings before you spend it
After you pay your monthly bills and set aside money for retirement, the next thing you will want to do is to put money aside for your long-term travel fund. This means that you should put money aside before thinking about your budget for food, entertainment, etc.
This will allow you to save more money and cut back on unneeded spending because you'll have less money each month to spend. This will cause you to think more carefully about each dollar you spend.
I also recommend looking into Digit to save money easily. Digit is a FREE service that looks at your spending and transfers money to a savings account for you. Digit makes everything easy so that you can start saving money with very little effort. Plus, when you reach certain savings amounts, you receive funny texts from them, which can make your day.
Follow a budget
Budgets are great because they keep you mindful of your income and expenses. With a budget, you will know exactly how much you can spend in a category each month, how much you have to work with, what spending areas need to be evaluated, among other things.
This can help you to save as much money as you can for your long-term travel fund before you leave.
Pay off debt
While traveling, you will not want to have to worry about your monthly debt payments. By getting rid of your debt before you leave, you'll be able to travel with less stress, and you'll be able to have a smaller monthly budget.
Read more at How To Eliminate Your Debt.
Create a vision board
Making your long-term travel goal visual is a great way to find motivation and make saving money fun.
Having your financial goal displayed in front of you can make it that much more real, plus it’s nice to have a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.
Various ways to make your financial goal visual include:
- Create a graphic that demonstrates your financial goal. I did some research and found a blog post on A Cultivated Nest about many creative ways to do this.
- Keep a picture of your goal on hand. Having a picture of your long-term travel goal will keep it on your mind. You can even go all out and create a vision board on Pinterest or on a poster board that shows all of the destinations you want to visit.
- Start a blog. Blogging really helped me with my financial goals, because I could easily look back to see how I was doing, and the blogging community was very supportive. Plus, because everything was public, I felt like I had to keep myself accountable. If interested, you can start a blog for cheap with my easy tutorial. Another positive would be that you could start a travel blog!
Work while you travel and be location independent
There are plenty of ways for anyone to make money while traveling. And, while some of you may think this is just a thing of dreams, I am here to tell you that it is real! I am location independent, and I know many others who are as well.
- Run a website. This is what I do to make money while traveling, so, of course, I had to include this one first. Like I always say, I never realized I would be earning as much income online as I do now. Everyone has to start somewhere, so know that it’s a possibility for even you. With blogging, you can make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, reviews, partnerships, ecourses, ebooks, and more. You can read all about how I earn a living online in my monthly online business income reports, where I describe how I make over $70,000 online each month.
- Freelance write or become a virtual assistant.
- Sell products or services. I’ve heard of some who sell items they collect while traveling, those who create crafts to sell at local craft fairs, and so on. If you decide you would rather sell items online, you can sell your products on sites such as eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and countless others.
- Housesit. Housesitting usually means you’re working for free, but sometimes you do get paid. If you aren’t getting paid, it’s a free place to stay, and you may even stay in some very nice homes.
- Work remotely. Some employers allow their workers to work from anywhere.
Learn more at Make Money While Traveling – Yes, It’s Possible!
Find jobs in the places you are visiting
There are many instances in which you may decide to stay in a city for a long amount of time. Whatever your reason may be, there are many things you can do in order to earn a living.
You can try one of the options below:
- Bartend or work at a restaurant.
- Work at a hotel, motel, campground, or hostel.
- Help out on a farm.
- Work on a cruise ship or yacht.
- Au Pair – Read How To Become An Au Pair And Travel The World.
- Teach English.
Work like crazy
Whether you want to beef up your travel fund or if you don't want to have to worry about working while you are on your long-term trip, you may decide to work like crazy before you leave.
To reach your savings goal even more quickly, you may even want to find side jobs or start a side business.
Doing so can allow you to save as much money as possible before you leave for your long-term travel.
- 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money
- 10 Ways To Make Money Online From The Comfort of Your Home
- How I Made Over $300,000 Blogging in 2015
Sell your car
If you're going to be gone for a long time and won't be traveling via your car, you might as well sell it.
You won't be needing it.
We know some people who travel full-time and kept both of their cars. They just drive separately everywhere they need to go, even though they really don't need both cars. I'm assuming many people do this because they are attached to their cars.
However, why create the extra hassle? Save your money instead!
Get rid of your home
The above also applies to your home. If you're not going to be home for a long time, then you might as well sell it. You can move everything you have into a storage unit or even get rid of it all.
We sold our house in 2015, and it was the best decision ever. We can now travel freely without the worry of tending to a home.
Make your dollars stretch
You may need to make your dollars stretch before you go and while you are traveling. By saving money, you may be able to travel a little bit longer, and it can even get you into the mindset of stretching your long-term travel dollars.
Some of the things you can do include:
- Make friends and couch surf.
- Stay in hostels.
- Watch your food spending.
- Cut back on memberships.
- Sell your car.
Read more at: 30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month
Hack your travel
Since you’ll be traveling long-term, you may want to find a way to save money on your trips. Travel hacking may allow you to travel for cheap or even free in some cases.
I know someone who churned several credit cards for their bonuses and saved up a ton of points before they left for a full year of travel, and they were able to get all of their flights for nearly free by doing this.
This can be a great way to spend like you normally would while earning points for free travel.
There are pros and cons to traveling slowly or quickly.
Traveling slowly is what I prefer, as this way usually allows you to travel more affordably. It’s more affordable because transportation costs are typically what eats up a travel budget. Plus, because you won’t be in a rush to move to the next city, you will have more time to enjoy the places you are visiting.
However, traveling quickly means that you may be able to visit more places. If you are in a time crunch, then this may be a better option for you. Or, if you are able to work remotely, then this may be possible.
Traveling slowly is also great for long-term travel because it may be easier for you to find a temporary job if you are going to stay in one place for a few months.
Are you interested in long-term travel? Why or why not?
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