This article is not about magic. It's not about the lottery or some secret method for making money while you travel.
The truth is that mostly likely you have everything you need right now to save and make plenty of money to travel the world. You have money now. You have skills. You just need to take a step back and see how much money you can mange to find and put away for your new life of travel.
Can you cut back on your expenses more?
Can you start finding ways to make some extra money?
I think you can.
I think everyone can.
Once you have a vision of how you want to travel and live your life, the next step is to think about how you're going to make it happen.
What do you need to go from now and here to later and there?
My vision has always been pretty clear. And if a suitcase full of cash fell from the sky I'd be in Mexico by tomorrow, but that's not going to happen. I have to plan. I have to find the money I need to travel.
4 Simple Steps To Finding All The Money You Need For Travel
If you follow these 4 simple steps you will find yourself with enough money to travel. I know because I am doing it right now. Around this time last year I had over $60,000 in debt and couldn't even begin to get my head around the idea of affording long-term travel. And now here I am, 300 days later, and I know my family will be able to generate enough money to travel for at least 2 years, and hopefully many more after that.
4 steps and a little faith and you'll be on your way in no time.
1. Minimize Your Expenses
You have to make choices.
Many of you will say you have already cut back as much as you can, but that is rarely the case.
It's about more than cutting your cable and phone bills. It's about cutting everything, everywhere you can. The groceries, the clothes, the gas. It's about installing energy saving appliances and cutting back on the coffee. It's about sacrificing now and reaping the rewards later.
I recently got to meet a guy named Chris Tecmire who wrote a book called Eating Well For Only $2 A Day. Getting creative and disciplined, as Chris puts it, "will save people up to $7,000 a year, and that's just on food". It's thinking like this that will help you find the money you need to travel.
The money is out there people. You're spending it everyday. For most of us it is just a matter of finding creative ways to save and sacrifice.
2. Kill Your Debt
Debt is really simple. And it's something that, despite being horrible and draining, can help you get on the right path. There's nothing more motivating than successfully fixing your mistakes and making sure you don't repeat them.
We all know debt is a life sucker. Just look at some of the economic situations in the world today that have all pretty much been caused by borrowing and buying what we can not afford. The pitfalls of debt are obvious, and yet it seems very few of us learn from the obvious.
We hold our loans, credit cards, and homes. We buy things we can't afford.
Having a 30-year mortgage on your $200,000 home it is actually going to cost you almost $400,000 by the time you're paid in full? When you carry debt of any kind you're actually paying 2, maybe 3 times more than what you initially borrowed.
The longer it takes you to pay off your debt; the longer it takes you to travel.
Kill your debt.
3. Start Saving
Now it gets fun.
You have minimized your expenses and paid off your debt. You're free! You've got nothing holding you down anymore. It's time to fly! (I stole that from my 3 year-old who totally believes he is Peter Pan. It's getting scary. In his sleep he is yelling at Captain Hook. I have to video it.)
Anyway, now you can save, and this is the best part. From now on every dollar you put away is a taco, a beer, a toilet paper fee to give to some wise, entrepreneurial lad outside some Chinese tourist spot.
I save like it's a game. I push myself. I try to put something away everyday in my online account like it's an old-school, ceramic piggy bank. When saving, you have to keep things fresh. You need to know where your money is going.
What are you saving for?
Once you know this, it becomes a whole lot easier to put that travel money away.
4. Making Money While Traveling
Well, the saving part was fun while it lasted. Now back to work!
Let's be clear though. If you can save $35,000, you can easily travel for a year. If you are content to stop after that, then forget about work and just enjoy your time traveling. But if you're kind of obsessed like me and figure once you get a taste of the open road you're never going to be able to get back behind a desk again, then you have to start thinking about making some money while you travel.
I have spent the bulk of the past year meeting and learning from literally hundreds of bloggers, designers, bartenders, volunteers, teachers, magicians, lawyers, writers, photographers, cooks and housesitters. And in that time I have learned that if you can travel, then you can work and travel. It's not as hard as you think. It just happens. You set out on the road, you develop a skill, you work, and out pops a paycheck. Just like the life you know now.
My advice for those who are looking to work and travel is to stop searching for articles and lists on how to make money while traveling and start talking with people who actually make money while traveling. Ask them how they did it. Many of the people who leave comments on this blog are working travelers. Find them. Talk to them. And before you know it you'll have a new career - in Costa Rica!
OK Escapists, that’s it for now, but make sure you come back and check in on our progress in our quest to travel forever. We promise we’ll put everything we’ve got on the table for you. And if you're looking to plan your own travel adventure, take a look at our Escape Guide.
All The Best With Your Adventures!