The most common reason people give me for not being able to follow their dreams and travel the world is without a doubt money. Followed closely by ‘commitments’, but it still comes out on top. Hopefully, after reading some of the travel tips I am about to share below, you’ll realise just how much potential there is to earn money on the road and just hoe possible it is to create a sustainable travel lifestyle. Don’t be worried about leaving your monthly paycheque behind, your new pay will come in the form of experiences and people.
Of-course you could begin by handing in your notice tomorrow and heading to the shops to buy a backpack and maybe one or two travel gadgets (see my top 10), but if you can stick it out for a little longer that is probably a better plan. The various working opportunities available to you while traveling probably won’t live up to the wages you can expect to earn back home – albeit you may not enjoy that work. It is for this reason that I would suggest sticking out work for as long as you possibly can (or need too) in order to build up a decent amount of savings – for me this is key if creating a sustainable travel lifestyle is what you really want. You cannot expect to just jump on a plane, land in Brazil, head to a beach, take some photos, blog about it, and all of sudden people will flock; this is going to take a lot of hard work, but it is possible – if you want it enough.
Lets start with research. Without it, you’ll be heading into a cauldron of confusion and, most likely, disappointment – with it, you will have a map of what options are available and what preference you have when it comes to these options. So get online, use your travel guides and research your destinations. Each place has it’s own culture surrounding backpacking work, some see it as a lifeline to producing enough food and money to sustain them, others may be frustrated by the amount of jobless backpackers begging for some hours – so consider this before expecting to gain work in a particular place.
The competition for jobs varies greatly; head to the Nepalese mountain range and I am sure there will be a small village in great need of an English tutor for their school. The employers need dissipates and the employees needs increase when it comes to Australia – depending on the time of year, if you are not willing to put in the prework of finding and applying for jobs, you wont get one – simple. You’ll need a bank account and a CV, if it’s fruit picking you want, then some long-sleeved t shirts and a pair of picking gloves are on the shopping list. You get it now right? Failing to plan is planning to fail, never has that quote been quite so fitting.
To avoid being left disappointed, get online (it’s your best friend with this stuff) and follow some of my tricks for a sustainable travel lifestyle.
The reason I have chosen to highlight Work Away, is because out of all the work exchange websites out there it has the best variety of hosts and is easily the best user experience. Essentially, sites like this will put you in touch with a vast range of hosts from all around the world. Jobs can differ greatly; eco-tourism and farming, to website building and au-pair work – there is something for everyone regardless of age, skill-sets and experience.
In return for an average of 4-6 hours a day, 5 days a week you can expect to have your accommodation provided for free by your host – this can, depending on the host, be followed by up to 3 free meals a day too. If there is a better way to experience a new culture and meet interesting people than working for a comfy bed and some local food in your stomach then I am yet to find it. As I mentioned above, research is key, I cannot stress this enough – find a host with good reviews, you don’t want to end up disappointed after 3 weeks of cleaning toilets or after 3 months thinking you would get your second your visa signed off, only to find out the farm you worked on cannot sign them off! Get planning early.
If you see an opportunity, take it. One guy we met pulled this off brilliantly; he would travel beach resort to beach resort, introducing himself to every activity and tour company around and agreeing on a referral fee. Then he would head to all the nearby hostel/campsites/hotels – you name it he was there, drumming up interest in particular tours and he made decent money doing it! My point is that there doesn’t always have to be an opportunity ready and waiting, you can spot potential and develop your own – building your ideal sustainable travel lifestyle in the mean time. I always keep my eyes peeled for unique products while I am traveling;
if when I find one I will look into ways of selling it back home. Ebay is a good place to start, but if you need capital to make it happen; you can always consider Kickstarter as a cool way of presenting your new product to a demographic of people who are willing and proven to invest in new things.
While only a quick overview of how you got about creating a sustainable travel lifestyle, the tips and tricks mentioned above should help get you started. When considering what work to aim for, you should also consider the type of lifestyle you are hoping to support whilst traveling. If you want to live it up in 5 star hotels earning $20 a day won’t support you, so look into day trading – there are plenty of travelers supporting themselves through this method. On the other hand if you don’t mind the hostel environment or rolling out your sleeping bag, you can quite happily get by earning local wages doing much simpler jobs.
If you have any cool ideas for making money on the road, please share them below! Good luck creating your sustainable travel lifestyle.