Travel For Less To Travel For Longer

Have you managed to save a little of your hard earned money, but you're not sure how long it will last?
For most people, travel is a two-week break from the 9-5 grind. Then soon as they return they feel like they have not been away or need another holiday for a rest! The trouble with a short break, you rush to fit it all in or you spend a load of money at the bar because that's what everyone else is doing.
Those who feel they want to see and experience more a lifestyle of freedom then it can start with you taking action. You have to change your perception of travel. Long term travel is the greatest experience you'll have in your life.

Travel for less than $10 a day
There are many travel bloggers saying they travel for less than $10 a day! And I believe them, but the way they travel might not be for everyone, who may prefer a better living standard, but you can learn some tips from them, some I sure do use and the longer you are on the road the better you get at it.

To start with you will have to step out of your comfort zone:
  • First, check if you have friend and or family living abroad you can visit. This will be a good point of contact as they will know the best places to visit and have contacts in the area.  
  • Visit developing countries - destinations that are unique and undiscovered
  • Hitchhiking - is a fantastic experience and one of the oldest methods of Backpacker travel out there.
  • Taking a tent - and camping. 
  • Couchsurfing  - Join free lodging sites and communities. Build your profile with Couchsurfing or BeWelcome. Is a way of meeting great/local people, get to know the area you are staying in and is the number one way of saving ££££££££
  • Meet like-minded people via Couchsurfing Groups, you can search for places to meet people and activities hosted in the area you are staying with locals and travelers 
  • Home Stay - Stay with a local family My Colombian Family Home Stays
  • Travel like a local the best you can - Take the local bus and eat where locals eat. Then you can experience the culture for what it is - and by doing so you will have a richer experience and better understanding of the country you are travelling in.
  • Learn to haggle - Dont pay the first offer/price, instead, negotiate a better deal.
  • Travel slowley and Cycle. Do a search of travel the world by bicycle and you will be amazed by the number of people who have cycled the world and by the number of years they have been going/gone!!
  • Volunteer with Work Away , WWOOF & Help Echange
  • Keep clear of bars and nightlife unless you have a job working there.
Also staying in hotels, big cities and where there is more than a handful of tourists is sure going to eat into your daily budget fast.

"Do your research and learn how locals do things. Learn what things should cost and always ask first before buying/ordering" 

More Time Than Money:
With the £ at an all time low, not much interest on savings, and the rise in the cost of living. It is now more important to be savvy and being disciplined with you spending. Continue travelling slowly:
  • Stay in one area for longer, spend more time learning the language meet locals and learn the culture. Staying in one place longer means getting a deal at a hostel and saving on transportation. 
  • Western Europe is expensive - Campervanning is one one to sleep and eat cheap while visiting small villages and national parks. Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention the cost of living in Spain. Many nomads flock to the country because although the cost of living might not be as low as Bali or Thailand, Spain is still one of the best and most affordable countries in Europe where you can sustain yourself with a modest income.
  • Buy foods from the local markets
  • Eat Away is creating a worldwide community of local cooks and people looking for delicious home-cooked food. And Eat With bringing chefs and foodies together one meal at a time.
  • Take a drinking bottle full of water or even a pack lunch if you are going to be out all day. See What I Pack
  • Do your own cooking. View My Recipes
  • Many countries have big lunches and look out for "meal of the day" which you will find is very good value
  • Coffee - If you need you coffee hit then take your own AreoPress and Travel Mug. Buy the stainless filter that can be reused. 
  • BlaBlaCar  long-distance carpooling service, connecting drivers with empty seats to people travelling the same way.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate before redrawing cash as they can go up or down daily.
  • You can also rent a room in an apartment or house through sites like Airbnb.
  • Meetup.com International Travel Meetup groups around the world and start meeting up with the ones near you.

Use the local bus

This post highlights the best ways to save money on travels, but you will eventually run out of money, no matter how good you are at reducing the cost of travel! The most important part is knowing how to create an income to sustain your travels.

Before you travel:
If you have some savings. Rather than blowing it all on a couple of years of travel, invest it into buying a property at home and renting it out whilst you travel "living off the rent money". So much so that I will not even stay at my own place when I return to my hometown. I'll keep renting it out and stay somewhere else.

Work to cover your daily travel costs:
Work - Should first ask yourself why you want to get away? Work can mean commitment and be in one location for long periods. If you are traveling for say 3 months then you can save enough money to travel comfortably. So unless it will be something that is fun, learning new things, and meet like-minded people. Or a job that takes a few hours of your time, something you can balance work and travel at the same time if there is such thing. Maybe after a period of travel, you are more likely to think of away of earning a bit of extra cash or a business idea to cover travel costs. Or even invest in your own hostel and never return.
  • If you are staying in a hostel, this will be the first place to ask if they know of any local work opportunities.
  • Work at the hostel - cleaning the toilet/showers is away to cover your accommodation costs.
What skills do you have, that you could use and sell your skills to fellow travelers or locals?
Some ideas to get your mind thinking:
  • Language skills - Teach English is a popular choice. Do you speak another Language you can use to teach fellow travellers? become a location-independent language teacher through Verbling.
  • Become a tour guide - People like to know the inside information. If you are in an area for a long time, why not share your favorite places and the history to tourists! Put a card/note in hotels, hostels, and coffee shops to offer morning and afternoon tours with a place to meet and your small charge. Offer group discounts and one 2 one tours. 
  • Waiter - why not help in the local coffee shop, if they can't pay you then work in return for free coffee and a meal. It's a great way to meet people, learn the daily life and language. 
  • Partner-driver for uber. If you are staying in an area for a long time why not buy, rent or borrow a car.
  • Yoga instructor - teach 1 to 1 or classes as health and well-being are becoming increasingly more popular with our poor modern lifestyles. 
"You need to be travelling to find the hidden places and to make a business from it"

Travelling opens your mind to business ideas:
See: Work while travelling The Travelling Mechanic For a meal or a roof over my head.
Exporting Coffee from Colombia, where I found out it was more profitable to sell direct to Colombians!

Can you find away to generate a little income each month before you start your travels? 

If you want to work for yourself with total freedom, then you need to start making money online.
  • Bloggers will tell you "That you can earn money while traveling with an online website" while this is true, it does mean a lot of hard work with preparation, ongoing travel posts and news, linking up with companies who will pay you. So my advice is; see what other travellers are doing, if you like the look of their websites, and feel this is for you. Then you will need to build a website, choose a name carefully and make sure it's not already used. You will need to be unique and original with your Blog, people browsing the net are looking for free information of interest. But those who make the sacrifice can make a living to cover their travel costs. You can always build a free Blog for family and friends and see where that takes you. 
So where to start:
We take it you have been saving money towards travelling, sold all your possessions, you have paid off your debts and maybe even becoming money wise with the way you are spending.
The money you saved is in your bank account earning .25% interest if you are lucky.
You have checked that any standing orders and direct debits have been stopped unless you have outgoings while away!!
  1. Act now - Research, make a list of where you can find work while traveling, and contacts. Have a profile/CV ready. Start a to-do list and packing list. 
  2. Choose the best credit card for drawing cash abroad (Always read the small print) I use the Halifax Clarity Credit Card Free withdrawals. (Using a debit card means added fee's) Set up a direct debit to pay off the card in full each month. - You pay interest from the day you withdraw cash. So on the same day as withdrawing or the day before, I make a payment to the credit card for the amount withdrawn. You will need to use XE to do a convert. No harm in paying a bit over can always pay less next time. It may take 2 days to show transactions on your on line account to check you have cleared the amount withdrawn. This way there is no daily interest fee to pay. I use two credit cards, with the other one being the Nationwide card for making payments with, making it easy to keep control of cash withdrawals with the Halifax card and setup a direct debit payment in full for this 2nd card, helping with a little cash flow. But learn not to overspend on it and hopefully travelling will teach you to have more control on your expenses.  
  3. Find out what banks do not charge fees for withdrawals from cash machines abroad. 
  4. When using a credit card for bookings or on line purchases look out for booking fee by credit card.
  5. Travel off season - flights and accommodation is readily available and cheaper. 
  6. If flying try booking with the likes of  Skyscanners via Top Cash Back for free cash back. And check out their travel deals.
  7. Exchange some money before you travel check out John Lewis give one of the best rates, then go to Asda and they will offer a better deal!
  8. Do your research, ask travel questions, and find a travel buddy on the Lonely Planet Forum
  9. Book hostels direct, (A call or email may be enough to book and pay on arrival) check a hostel out on Trip Adviser and then search it on Google to find and contact direct. Ask if there is a free pickup from the bus drop off. 
  10. If using a taxi always ask the price before getting in, even if there is a meter and have the correct money as taxi drivers often can't find any change! 
Martin
The Travelling Mechanic

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