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How Can I Afford to Travel Full Time?

How can I afford to travel full time

I often get asked this question. People tend to assume that to travel I must have a lot of money. True, last year when I travelled around South America I spent around £14,000 – which is not an easy amount of money to save! But, before you assume I am a privileged little rich kid, let me explain step by step how I can afford to travel full time.

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Before I left Spain in September 2015, I was working two jobs to save money for my trip. But I admit, most of the funds came from my grandparents who left me a chunk of money when they passed away, which was originally meant for a deposit on a house.

Do I own a house? No. A car? Nope. Designer clothes? Nah. Have a child? Absolutely not! These are all things that other people may spend money on that I don’t. Instead of spending money on a house deposit, I chose to go travelling.

how I can afford to travel full time
Travelling or working in an office… tough call!

However, (sadly!) money doesn’t grow on trees, and now I have to be much more careful about spending money, and finding ways to earn money while I’m on the road! This time, when I left England again in September I knew I would have to do things differently. I decided to travel more slowly, and figure out how to make this more of a long-term life choice. Last year I thought my trip would be my once in a lifetime journey, so I was spending more as I thought it would be my only chance to experience this adventure. However, after enjoying it so much I couldn’t face going back to an office job, and this year I am choosing to travel full time as long as I can!

How Can I afford to Travel Full Time: Saving Money

One of the big expenses while travelling is accommodation. Many travellers use Couchsurfing for free short term stays, perhaps for a few days in each location and then move on. I have so far only used it to meet local people, not stay with them, but I would like to do it one day! I have also been looking into for house-sitting opportunities but they haven’t been in the areas that I have wanted to go.

This year I am using Workaway to find voluntary work placements, in exchange for food & accommodation. In Peru I worked for a tourism agency writing some posts for their blog, and here in Mexico City I am working part time in a hostel to get a free bed & breakfast. This is saving me roughly half my daily expenses (when I’m not spending money on transportation), and having access to a kitchen in the hostel means I can shop for food at the market & make food at ‘home’.

How Can I afford to Travel Full Time saving money to travel

How Can I afford to Travel Full Time: Earning Money

Earning cash is the hard part! But necessary to continue my love for travel, and hopefully turn my dream of travel writing into a reality. Here’s what I’m up to at the moment:

Travel Writing.

As well as the travel blog, I also do some freelance writing work, and I am building a second blog called This Travel Lover.

How Can I afford to travel full time Authentic Cuba

Commission on affiliate links.

Many bloggers earn good money from affiliate links on their site that allow them to travel full time. Affiliate links mean that if I include a link to Amazon for example, you click through to the page, and then buy something, I get a little bit of commission for referring you to the site. I have the feeling affiliate links have great potential but so far I have earned the grand total of £15.12 since August. So hardly a big money spinner – yet! But if you would like to book any accommodation through Booking or a flight through Skyscanner please click through here as I get commission with them too!

And that is about it for the moment! It’s safe to say I am not rolling in it, but this is the beginning (I hope!). I have got exciting things in the pipeline that I can’t share yet, but I feel like I am making progress, and perhaps one day I will earn enough to follow my dream and be able to travel full time without worrying about having enough money to eat!

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How Can I afford to Travel Full TimeYou may also like:

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Preparing to Travel: Stress & Goodbyes


21 thoughts on “How Can I Afford to Travel Full Time?

  1. Travel Addicted Unicorn says:

    Very interesting and inspiring!!! I wish I can do that one day as well. Still have a long way to go though.

  2. Fernanda Pompee says:

    Hey Claire!!!
    Hello from Malaysia! It’s nice to read you! Hehe
    I’m traveling with my boyfriend around Southeast Asia for the past 2 months and a half and the plan is to do it for 6 months. Let’s see.
    We are also using workaway to cover the cost. I totally understand you when you mention that you don’t want to go back to an office. I’m glad everything is working for you. Whenever you come back to visit us in Barcelona, please let me know! Last time you came I couldn’t meet you. Anyways, keep the good work!

    • Claire says:

      Hi Fernanda! Great to hear from you 🙂 Thank you for reading the blog 😀 Oh yes Workaway is awesome, its been a life saver for me & allowed me to travel for much longer than I could have otherwise. And I still can’t imagine being in an office! 😀 Sorry I missed you last time in BCN, next time I’m back we’ll definitely have to meet up x

  3. Philip says:

    Thanks for sharing this. But I still see how you can afford to travel. The income levels seem really low. I wish many backpackers would be willing to share a monthly income report . Kinda like SPI and EO fire.

  4. Loudy says:

    I have to do the same. I really find this post intersting, and you must be very brave and strong to go for it. I should do the same

  5. Anne says:

    Great tips! I never heard of Copify before but I love that it does solve the problem of pitching that UpWork has. I haven’t tried affiliate links, but I need to sometime.

  6. Paige Wunder says:

    I get this question all the time too. I usually save up a massive sum of money to live off of and supplement with blog work – it’s not quite to full-time status yet. Your collaboration for the ebook sounds awesome! Congrats!

  7. Kerri says:

    I definitely think travelling lots, or fulltime, is easier if you are happy to backpack, couchsurf etc. Not my scene, but I know it works for so many and good on them. Good tips about freelance writing too.

  8. @wanderlusteurs says:

    Congrats on chasing your dream! You’ll definitely grow your wealth of knowledge through travelling the world. Another idea to afford travel is to find a career that combines both passions. Also, there’s many companies that look for ambassadors within their blog niche. For example, I design reversible resort wear and have ambassadors whose blogs focus on travel and style. Hope this helps! 🙂

  9. Jen Morrow says:

    The bottom line is, it is all about priorities. Making saving money a priority. How you spend money (what are your priorities). Setting and sticking to your priorities is they only way to travel, or buy a house, or whatever your goal is.

  10. Gina says:

    It’s good to see how people earn money on affiliate sales and what they do to travel full time. I knew about the house sitting website, but I didn’t know about the one where you can get bed and breakfast in exchange for some work! What do you like most about Mexico? I’ve traveled all over.

  11. Candy says:

    I am so glad I stumbled across your post. I am planning a trip to Cuba and have so many questions and how to avoid scams. Going to bookmark and read the ebook. Thank you!

  12. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits says:

    I truly admire people who are strong enough to leave their homes and travel around the world. I know it’s never been an easy thing to decide and do. I wish I can the same as what you’re doing now so I can start to travel around the world as well. I’ve been to some countries in South East Asia only once a year and I mostly travel here in the Philippines. I truly learn a lot from this blog post of yours. You’re truly an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing about this one.

  13. Patricia says:

    These are great tips! I hadn’t heard of Copify. I did some freelancing at a number of content mills in the last couple of years, but many have gone under or pay so little it’s not worth the time. Good for you for finding a way to travel full time! It’s not easy, but it seems to really be worth it. 🙂

    • Claire says:

      Thanks Patricia! I agree, it is hard to balance what is worth the time with earning at least some money! The good thing is that here my expenses are so low even a bit of income makes a difference! 🙂

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