05Feb2013

So How Can I Earn Enough Money to Travel the World?

How do I earn enough money to travel the world? Dahab sunset.

Along with “What do you do about school?” probably the second most common question I get asked about our lives is “How do you earn enough money to travel?”

I hate the term “location independent”, but that’s one way of describing what we are, because I can work and earn from most places in the world as I travel with my son.

That’s provided, of course, our travels are going to plan and I’m not stuck somewhere with no internet or handling third world bureaucracy for a week.

I’m going to do a post on how I, personally, earn enough money to travel in a couple of weeks (this post is a good, bubble-bursting introduction to what can be a difficult and precarious living), but here I’ll explore how some people make the location independent thing work — even if they have families to keep.

The basic principle is: cut your expenses and work as little as you can for as good an hourly rate as you can get.

How to earn enough money to travel the world: jar full of pennies.

Rule 1: Travel Cheap

The first rule of world travel is, if you come from an expensive country (see this post for the other side of the coin), most countries are going to be cheaper than your own.

Our 20 day trek to Everest Base Camp, for example, including food, accommodation — everything — cost us roughly my share of the mortgage for a month in our old place in London. (See How Much Does the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost? for more.)

You can rent a three bedroom house with a guest cottage and a pool outside Ubud in Bali for a month for the price of a week’s rental of a two-bedroom flat in my old part of London, or a simple three-bedroom house in Dahab for a month for £150 (more here).

WWOOFing is an option for some, where you live on a farm in exchange for your labour. House-sitting gigs are another way to remove accommodation costs, and, if you’re part of the couchsurfing community, you can find families prepared to host you for free.

So you don’t need to earn a lot of money to travel. We live on a lot less than we did in London, and, because of vast global inequities that I do feel guilty about, we live much better than we did.

How to earn enough money to travel the world: a tricycle in the Philippines.

Rule 2: Travel Slowly

The second rule is to travel relatively slowly. This is the only way that longterm travel is sustainable for most – there’s only so long you can sleep two nights in one place, wake for a 5am bus ride, then sleep one night in a new place and move on again, before you start to go stir-crazy.

And it’s also cheaper. Longterm rentals are cheaper than short-term rentals, and having the leisure to get on the ground and look around, rather than being limited to what’s available online, means that you can find the good deals. You can travel overland, which I prefer to plane travel, and is both greener and cheaper.

In much of Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, it’s possible for two people to live well AND travel on $1000 a month or less, while even in places like Spain and Greece you can find longterm rentals for 300 euros a month.

Travelling slowly is key, though. If you’re taking planes every week, and staying in posh hotels, your costs will skyrocket. By contrast, if you take a rental for a month or more, you can go diving every day on the change you’re getting from staying in a hotel.

Personally, I like to mix things up. Have a base somewhere for a month or two, exploring largely locally, then go on adventures for a few months, covering a lot of ground, then get a base again.

But… What about MONEY?

If you’re lucky enough to have married rich, won the lottery, retired on a pension, or own a house with no mortgage that you can rent out, or a house with a tiny mortgage that you can rent out, that’s your revenue stream sorted, so you need read no further.

If you’re not, then here’s a basic principle for you.

How do I earn enough to travel the world? Laptop commuting.

Rule 3: If You Can Telecommute, You Can Travel the World

Any job you can do online or via telecommuting, you can do while travelling the world.

But — and this is an important but — you can’t do a fulltime job while travelling, because travel in itself takes time.

If you commit to a fulltime job, you’ll spend your time stuck in one place, grappling with bad internet, running to stand still: and even if you’re on the world’s most perfect beach — especially if you’re on the world’s most perfect beach — you will be living quite the reverse of the dream.

Some portable jobs? Freelance writing. Graphic design. Web design. Computer programming. Day trading. Marketing. Online businesses from Etsy stores upwards, though shipping can take some juggling. Medical transcription. Virtual assistant-ing. Translating. Teaching via Skype. Photography. Legal research. Business research. Search Engine Optimisation. And, of course, voodoo stuff like life coaching, social media consultancy and travel blogging.

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Many skilled jobs can increasingly transfer over to an online role – here’s an example of how a qualified nurse might be able to translate those skills and training into working remotely.

Let me say that one more time. Anything you can do online from home, you can do online from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. And, most likely, you’ll need to do less of it, though you may need to choose your time zone carefully.

Further, anything that can be done on well-paid short contracts can be done with gaps between those contracts spent travelling.

But what about if you’re not currently in one of those jobs?

How do I earn enough to travel the world? Dudes in suits.

Rule 4: Unless You’re an Expat Working for a Big Company, Travel Doesn’t Mean Big Bucks

Jobs that require a physical presence can be portable, though you’d be looking at stints of months in one place getting together money, followed by a stretch of travel, followed by a pause to replenish your finances. There are fairly few flexible jobs available overseas, and most don’t pay particularly well.

If you’re a qualified, experienced teacher, teaching at international schools overseas can provide a living that’s good enough to keep a family well, and enable you to travel the region you’ve chosen during your holidays. (Most Brits and Americans will enjoy a better standard of living teaching overseas than they do at home, and the home base will typically be good enough to allow a high level of home exchange.)

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)? Less so. These are great jobs for a single person, or a couple, but unless you’re a really strong career TEFL teacher with a stack of qualifications and experience prepared to make longterm commitments you’re not going to earn enough to even keep a family, let alone to travel with them.

Hospitality? If you’re an elite bartender working in high end bars, you’ll be able to make a good living overseas, though again you’ll be looking at longterm contracts. Bar gigs in traveller spots will typically keep a roof over a single person’s head, with some money left for beer, drugs and cigarettes, but very little more – this is also the case with working in hostels or guesthouses, or in promotions roles. There is no money in cooking or waiting.

Other options? Gigs like teaching yoga, or teaching scuba diving, are portable but tend not to pay well (scuba instruction, like many dream jobs, involves long hours for not much money: see this post for more). Offering hair cuts, tattoos, massage or crafts on the beach can keep a single person in beer, weed and fried rice but is unlikely to do more.

Incidentally, anyone who tells you you can make big bucks online easily is lying to you. (You can see how many travel bloggers spend their time here, and it isn’t travelling.)

How to earn enough money to travel the world: Diversify.

Rule 5: If You’re Freelance, Diversify

It is absolutely critical if you’re freelancing anywhere, but especially when you’re travelling the world, to have multiple clients and, for many, multiple income streams as well.

You’re likely to be picking up most of your work online, rather than through face to face networking as you might at home.

So a writer might do some writing, some editing, some blogging and some English teaching. A marketer might do some social media consultancy, some marketing, some blogging and happen to be a yoga teacher on the side. Some graphic designers also do photography and/or branding work; translators might also teach languages, work correcting translation errors in advertising and menus, and even land up copywriting.

This blogger was at one point combining medical transcription, diving instruction and paid writing work.

Flexibility, initiative and regular gigs are key to making the location independent work thing, well, work.

What if I Don’t Have a Job?

How do I earn enough to travel? Gokyo Ri sunset.

Rule 6: Just TRAVEL!

Some of the toughest questions I get on Facebook, normally as messages, and on my About page, are from other single parents who would love to travel like we do but can’t currently see a way forward: often unemployed young mums feeling incredibly trapped and terrified that life is passing them by.

Because, here’s the thing, if you’re not part of the digital economy, where you can live somewhere cheap while earning Western wages online, it IS hard to earn enough to travel by working in many countries, because wages in non-digital jobs tend to be much, much lower than at home.

Working while travelling as a single parent is especially difficult because you need to also care for and educate your child, or children: you’re the sole earner, sole carer and you’re keeping at least two people on your income.

I tend to recommend two things to single parents who want to travel with their kids and aren’t currently working — in the UK childcare costs can be so prohibitive that single parents are often better off not working.

The first is, if you have a supportive family who can help with childcare, move in with them, lose your rental costs and childcare costs, then bust a gut doing some job – any job! – for a year until you have the money to travel for a few months or a year: £5000 should be enough to get you and your kids at least six months overseas, far longer if you really shoestring and stay for long periods in cheap places.

The second is to get a qualification and some marketable skills, be that teaching, nursing or coding (media and writing degrees turn out about as many pro writers as arts degrees turn out pro artists, AKA close to zero). You can then use these to work as you travel, and to work on your return, or wherever you end up.

How do I earn enough money to travel the world? Graffiti reading "begs".

Rule 7: Not Everyone Can Earn Money While They Travel

But here’s the rub. Brutal honesty? Not everyone can earn while they travel. Not everyone has those skills. And, you know what? That’s OK!

Some people can find a path that leads the way they think they will. Some people will find a very different path from the one they expected. Some will find this path is not for them.

But travel is a good thing in itself. It opens your mind, and your children’s minds, it transforms all of you, and it’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your lives.

So I would always, always recommend you take the leap and go, be it for a few months, a year, or as long as you can last before the money runs out – you might find, for example, that there are ways of making a living you hadn’t anticipated.

Because the quality time you get with your children while travelling, the experiences you have, the adventures you go on, will stay with you, all of you, for the rest of your lives.

So go. Even if it means moving in with mum – if she’ll have you. Just go. And, if you’ve got the money to go now, quit planning and go NOW.


Photo credits: Mindsay Mohan, Rob Pearce, Judit K, Hampton Roads Partnership and Victoria Graffiti.

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92 Comments

  1. Robert Schrader says:

    Nice post! As someone who has been “location independent” for three years now, I agree with a lot of your points.

    One thing I would advise people is to stick with their strengths. Say you’re a poor writer or photographer, but are great at selling people on things they don’t need. Rather than create an awful blog and make money selling others “How To Make Money as a Travel Blogger” eBooks, just buy crappy merchandise as you travel and re-sell it for way more than it’s worth. That way, you don’t taint anyone else’s profession!

  2. Talon says:

    Some great advice!

  3. Indeed… five years in… financially stable NOW… but was a long process. Too many people selling snake oil on this point. Hard work plus creativity plus commitment plus more hard work… no magic pill.

    • Theodora says:

      Oh god, absolutely. I damn nearly ran out of money this month, actually. I haven’t got to that point on the blog, but, take it from me, it wasn’t pretty in the slightest.

  4. budget jan says:

    I keep on forgetting you have changed blog names and I think, hang on I know these people! This is a very informative and realistic post. I hope it gives people the hope and inspiration to get up and go. This time I found you via Y Travel Blog’s Travel Tuesday.

    • Theodora says:

      It really does take a while for the new name to come across, doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that mine is difficult to spell…

  5. Saved the best line till last… “just go”. So many people are scared to commit to travelling which I think is the saddest part of all.

  6. Theodora says:

    The ones that make me weep, Cole, are the ones that plan and plan and plan and plan and never do it, the ones with the money all there, and the income all there, and just so busy planning that they let it slip by. Very, very common among families in particular. I see a LOT of it.

  7. George says:

    Wow just wanted to say really really excellent tips. Always thought of earning money only meant through freelance writing, or blogs. But you are so right, it’s all about mixing things up and doing a multitude of things. Great tips.

    • Theodora says:

      Thank you! Freelance writing isn’t an easy way to do it, unless you’re lucky enough to have a regular monthly gig or several, which are gold dust (I actually do), but there are lots and lots of related things that open up.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Mixing things up is good. Also, having local work gets you into the community, wherever you live. ‘Location Independent’ too often means pecking away at a keyboard, in English, and not really getting into the rhythm of your temporary home.

      • Theodora says:

        I’d agree with that, but it can often involve long stints in one place, which is not necessarily what people think of as travelling. But, yes, location independence can leave you a long way out of the local community…

  8. Steve says:

    Good article and it touches on quite a few important points. I especially like the comment about diversifying. A lot of the financially successful folks I’ve met and read about all have a few income streams, one of which is having a few clients for whom they do work especially for.

    • Theodora says:

      Multiple clients is absolutely key. But most of the people I know doing this have various different income streams — even within the writing world, there’s lots of different types of writing. Not all: there’s a few who have a specific online business and work it.

  9. Great post! It’s great to see a single parent perspective as well. I say this as a single parent of course! But really, this is a great snapshot with ample amounts of realism as well.
    I love your summary, so much so that yes, I am just going to get up and go :) a week from today and I can’t wait!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Great post, Theodora! I particularly liked your brutal honesty “But — and this is an important but — you can’t do a fulltime job while travelling, because travel in itself takes time.”

    So, so, so, so, so very true. It is very hard to balance working on the road, as well as traveling. One has to suffer…and that’s why slow travel is so appealing!

    • Theodora says:

      The other challenge, of course, is stopping any freelance job from becoming full time, wherever you are. But I think it can be particularly acute on the road…

  11. Sean says:

    Great post! I laughed when you said, “voodoo stuff like life coaching, social media consultancy and travel blogging.” Those are less than easy ways to make money in my opinion because you really have to sell someone on your services. And there’s about a million people trying to do it too!

    Better to stick with something that can lead to more tangible results for clients/customers. Be excellent. Get great results. And your business will grow by word-of-mouth all while you’re really living next to the beach – It works for me!!

    Great topic! Looking forward to your upcoming post on your own income breakdown.

    • Theodora says:

      Yes, there are better ways to earn a living — I think most portable businesses are insanely competitive, though. And, good to know that living on the beach is working for you….

  12. Aviva Jewel says:

    Wonderful post! It took me a long time of “planning” before I got to the point where I just threw my hands up in the air and did it. Been traveling several months now, though, and would like to start an attempt at an income. Any advice on how to find freelance writing work? Not really sure where to start looking.

  13. Amy Scott says:

    Great post, Theodora! I get asked this question a lot too. Keeping expenses low is the #1 way I’ve made this lifestyle work for me for the past eight-plus years. By spending most of my time outside of the U.S. (and other expensive places), and not being much of a consumer, I can support myself even when I don’t work very much.

    • Theodora says:

      I think many people assume that you spend travelling what you would do on holiday, which isn’t the case, of course,

  14. Great post. I’ll have to forward this along!

  15. Terry King says:

    Many people have a misconception that travel is for the privileged. It isn’t of course, and its even possible to earn while travelling.
    Great post :)

    • Theodora says:

      On a global scale, it tends to be for the privileged. But on a national scale in a wealthy country, you certainly don’t need to be privileged to travel.

  16. Micki says:

    Excellent tips. In the past week, I’ve met two traveling families who’ve managed to keep their regular 9 to 5 job and work remotely as they travel the globe indefinitely. It is possible, though it takes the right kind of job and skills.

    • Theodora says:

      Yes. I wonder how much actual travelling they’re doing, though, that’s the thing. It’s perfectly possible to rent a house, sit in the house and do a 9-5. But the sort of adventure stuff that many of us bracket with longterm travel is harder to do while combining with work.

  17. Bethaney says:

    I love this post! Currently refering it to anyone who approaches me about how to live the dream and travel full time.

  18. Larissa says:

    Right there with you, Theodora! One of the things we learned while traveling is that we just don’t need as much, which means we don’t need to earn as much. Still not break-even, but getting closer every day. . .

    The tagline on our site is “Just Go Already!”, so we are definitely of like minds :)

  19. Great advice and so true that even if you do all of this you still might not make money online! Everyone finds their own way in the end I think…if they are determined enough.

    • Theodora says:

      I think there’s a way forward for most of us. But you do need, normally, to be part of the digital economy on one level or another.

  20. This has been my goal for ages…getting one step closer (though I do have the pesky husband to deal with!)

    • Theodora says:

      Well, speaking as someone who’s ironically extremely short of cash at the moment — watch out for a disaster post coming soon — I can say that having an extra income can only be a help.

  21. Theodora, great article. Appreciate the brutal honesty. I have been pondering how to travel more for years now. I started blogging. I’m a good photographer and writer but …no gigs yet. I’m not giving up!

  22. Thank you for this great post. We have been traveling full time for 12 months and of course are going through our funds quite quickly! We will take some of your advice to help cut down our spending costs. One day we would love to earn a living online but of course we know its a very tough gig and hard to do. So for now we will just enjoy our travels, save where we can and just see where our path leads.

    Nicole

    • Theodora says:

      I’m glad you’re finding this helpful. A month or two somewhere you like will absolutely slash your costs. And I’m glad you’re enjoying travelling without getting too hung up on work.

  23. excellent post Theodora. I wanted to point out that there is the option of staying in one place or just traveling for one year and returning home after a year. Better to do that than five up on travel just cause you can’t do it for longer than a year.
    We rent a fully furnished home in France and use it as our base to travel out to different places. I can work when I want and its relatively cheap for our place too.

    • Theodora says:

      Thanks for your comment, Annie. The post is certainly skewed towards Brits, Aussies and Americans who tend to be encumbered with much higher property costs.

  24. Suzy says:

    These are great tips. I just work online. Otherwise there is no way I could just pick up and travel whenever I want. It does come with some disadvantages, but the freedom it lends to travel the world is worth it. Your tip about working for lots of different clients is a good one. If you are going to freelance, you need to make sure if one project stops, you have other sources of income.

    • Theodora says:

      I think you’re right that the freedom is worth it — particularly if you’re nomadic, or based somewhere low cost. Sometimes I wonder, though, Suzy, sometimes I wonder…

  25. Great post. How do you recommend getting freelance jobs from overseas? Are there particular job boards you can check?

    • Theodora says:

      It depends which sorts of freelance you’re looking for. Odesk.com seems to be reasonable for virtual outsourcing of non-creative services. Good writing jobs and graphic design jobs and photography jobs still run on that magical thing called contacts. I’m going to try and pull something together on this, but if you’d need more help in the meantime, let me know what sector you’re in and maybe I can help.

  26. Kirsty says:

    Ahhh, I love this post Theodora! We just need to travel before our kids grow up and fly the nest. Towards the end of our year I’m planning on getting ourselves somewhere cheap for a few months and thrashing out our options if we still fancy a life on the road.

    I do think about a ‘location independent’ career but having no background in anything that lends itself to an obvious route that could bring in money straight away, I think I’m going to go with your advice and think about getting a marketable skill. Now, which one…. Ah, maybe after a few months travelling it will become clearer. Or maybe not, I admire your stance on the fact that not everyone can do it. An important message to get out there, and even if everyone could, not everyone would want to.

    Lots to think about.

    • Theodora says:

      Both of those messages are important, actually. I think there’s a real trend to say “Doesn’t everyone want to travel full-time?”

      And, no, this life is not for everyone. I like this life, even when it has its downs, which I’ve been writing about a bit lately, but I do understand why other people like having their own house and doing up their own kitchen and decorating and all that domestic stuff.

      What is your background? Some jobs can translate over into digital — even nursing/doctor/lawyerly jobs.

  27. Travel boy says:

    Hi, Very nice post. I am traveler like you and I like your blog a lot.

  28. Samantha Machado says:

    How smart! This is great for college kids.

  29. hayle says:

    wow! awesome article! I’ve always though travelling is expensive and hard to sustain. thanks for the tips!

  30. Amar Kukreja says:

    Its quite possible if you know how to trade the financial markets. If you are a swing trader you can actually make your money to work for you instead of you working for money. Just learn the time tried and tested strategy and stick to it. You will definitely be able to travel while your money works for you 24x7x12
    Although you need to become an expert in it. And believe me the expert in this field just buy on retracement of a trend, Keep SL below previous low, Trail stoploss as the trend continues. It needs some scanning of trending stocks and right entry and exit points.
    Rules:
    Buy and exit as explained above.
    Cut losses short
    Run profits.
    Trend is your friend
    Manage money wisely
    Strictly follow your plan and strategy to avoid catastrophes
    Good luck

  31. Paul says:

    Rule 8: Travel hack? Sure, it won’t “earn” you money, necessarily, but it’ll definitely reduce your costs when traveling from place to place (free airfare is huge). I realize this isn’t an option for most people outside the States, however.

    • Theodora says:

      Well, there’s various ways of travelling cheaply. Typically frequent flier miles &c work better when you’re in one regular location, although AirAsia sales can be a joy.

  32. Another portable profession for the preferably already expereinced and well organised is yoga teaching. I know of a number of teachers who are on the road much of the time whether teaching one or two week courses and moving on to the next or several months in a place.

    I’m generally rooted in a fairly conventional house/child rearing arrangement in the UK but we (myself, wife and two boys) have escaped twice to India where I’ve taught for a few weeks and then travelled a few.

    • Theodora says:

      Thanks for that, Neville. I was aware that it worked for single people, but didn’t realise it could fit for families as well — that’s brilliant!

  33. We have noticed that it is harder to leave when one has more money. So when people ask us how much money I need to have before I can become a global nomad, we tell no money at all.

  34. Ben says:

    I have been learning how to trade the currency markets (forex) for the past 3 years, with the goal of creating a true location independent career for myself (you can trade anywhere with a good internet connection). Most people assume it’s just a form of gambling but if you get your head around the concept of risk management it can be approached very sensibly and professionally. Prepare for a few years of study before you start to make money however, I am only just starting to turn a regular profit now after 3 years learning the ropes. Once you do master it though the income potential is huge.

    • Theodora says:

      I assume you know Marcel at WanderingTrader.com, Ben? That’s exactly what he does. I know some people can never make it work, and it’s not an approach I’d try myself, but I know a handful of successful day traders, nomadic and otherwise, so it IS doable. And glad it’s happening for you.

  35. Terrance says:

    I want to say a few things for people who are looking to get into the travel area. I personally love to travel blog and earn money through advertisements( Google), selling my own trip DVD’s and so many other ways.

    One of the most important aspects travel people do not realize is that you have VALUABLE knowledge in the form of specific places that you have gone or even LIVE IN!.

    I travel to Jamaica all the time. I know more about Jamaica ( as a tourist) then 99% of people. I have the ability to get paid by creating a blog that showcases my videos ( on YouTube) and then getting paid a number of ways….

    #1.) Google pays alot of money when you understand how to place specific knowledge ( best hotels, best beaches that you visited)… …I am amazed that 90% of blogs do not use Google Adsense to make IMMEDIATE long term money for their photos and videos ( Google pays me enough every month where I dont need another source of income to live)………………

    2.) Did you know you can actually sell your own homemade DVD online where you explain the best places to go in a city?….I used Kunaki.com to load up my videos of my vacations in Cancun and will sell videos for $10.00 each!……( Kunaki handles all the payments)….

    There are so many ways to make a living while doing what you enjoy. You can start by freelancing first..just to get some money coming in…but creating a niche blog and sell information or get advertisements is VERY HOT…..

    Hope this helps

    Terrance
    http://www.videotravelblogging.vom

    • Theodora says:

      Travel blogging is a difficult area to get into, Terence, as you know. I notice that you’re linking not to one of your destination sites but to a “how to make money travel blogging” site — which are typically much more profitable than any travel blogs.

  36. Jennifer says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I graduate in 2 years going half time with a Bachelors in Psychology and plan to become a certified teacher and then go on to my Masters in Clinical Psychology. I’ve been looking at possible jobs abroad that I could do with my son. I’m okay being in one place for a year or two, I think it would be better to begin with actually. I am from America and have always wanted to go abroad. I have so many concerns about my son being abroad, schooling, safety, money, medical care (as we both have ADHD), etc. I love how this has given me a different perspective. Thank you for that.

  37. [...] Escape Artistes – So How Can I Earn Enough Money to Travel the World? [...]

  38. [...] So How Can I Earn Enough Money to Travel the World? Theodora provides advice on which skills can be used to create a location independent work thing income. [...]

  39. shepon says:

    Great post. I got many tips from your post. I always cut some money from my monthly income to travel and find cheap strategy to travel.

  40. The first point is really to live on little money and learn to be frugal!

    • Theodora says:

      That’s true for some, certainly. But I’m not frugal — and I know plenty of people who aren’t frugal and still travel the world. I think for most of us it’s about picking and choosing what you spend your money on — you don’t have to shoestring it if you don’t want to.

  41. Andy says:

    #2 is a big helper. Traveling slowly gives you more options and also allows you to save money on cheaper options.

  42. HG says:

    Logistics are always the biggest problem.
    You do need a certain amount to get going though..
    Nice encouraging post!

    • Theodora says:

      Yes, you do. Although it’s arguable that if you start out establishing yourself in somewhere costs are lower than your home base, you can get started easier.

  43. Rand says:

    I think a point that is missing is to use airline miles and hotel points to offset the costs of travel. One can easily earn enough miles to book a free international flight every year and get a week or two worth of free hotel stays. Although it’s not for everyone, it’s definately something to look into.

    • Theodora says:

      I think that’s a better strategy for the vacation traveller than the longterm traveller, to be honest, because it’s cheaper to travel on lowcost airlines and stay in longterm rentals than to spend the money to work up the points. But I agree that points can come in handy — I just used some Agoda points on a free stay, actually.

      • Rand says:

        I completely agree about vacation vs. longterm traveller, but I still feel like it can play a huge roll in saving money. Yes, you are not going to be able to pay for ALL flights and hotels with points, but it can hugely offset the cost when you mix it in to long term rentals. The key is not spending money to earn the points but rather applying for credit card offers that have huge bonuses that require little spending.

  44. Wow I am so impressed with your travel tips – very informative and illuminating. You are so right about diversifying and travelling slower, having less luxuries etc. I am new to travel blogging but have procured some freelance work. I am currently in Costa Rica with my trusty acoustic, condenser MIC and NI Maschine .

  45. I enjoyed your post. Great ideas on how to travel and earn some income as well.

  46. Gemma says:

    how did you know where to stay and if was safe enough for you and your young boy? I have two sons and this is the most important point to me.

    • Theodora says:

      You can find places to stay either by pounding the streets, looking online, or using a guidebook. I’ve never found anywhere unsafe — in general, the world is a kind place. That said, we don’t do hostels because I think putting young boys in a men’s dorm is a risk too far, but in most parts of the world you can find a cheap local hotel for less than the price of multiple (sometimes even one) bed in a tourist hostel…

  47. Sam says:

    Im so glad ive found your website! I’ve just sold my house and myself and my 2 daughters 11 and 13, are moving to thailand in feb where I’ll hopefully find work as an english teacher. We’re so excited although my mum nerves are starting to kick in, but your post has confirmed the whole reason I’m doing it and i can’t wait for the adventure!! Your page is full of great tips, thanks x

  48. Ruth says:

    Great post! I like to read different perspectives on people who have attained “location independence.” I have tried different approaches to gain income working from my computer. I have only had modest success but I keep learning and trying. Another thing to consider is the time it takes to obtain payment when freelancing. I used to get payment very quickly a few years ago. Now companies are taking longer to pay and I feel like I have to chase my contacts to get payment (not in all cases). So, if you want to subsist as a freelancer you have to take into consideration how the payment situation affects you travels and/or budget.

    • Theodora says:

      Word! There’s a really wide range of standard payment terms within even freelance writing, and balancing what’s coming in when is one of many challenges of being freelance, whether location independent or not.

  49. Ross says:

    Thats a great insight into how easy and especially hard it can be to live the ‘dream’ of travelling. Well done to you.

  50. Phil says:

    Great Post, This helps answer some of the questions that most of us nomads are constantly being asked, I must add that since I have been traveling the money is not as good as the corporate world, but the constant Awe, and the feeling of being alive more then compensates.

  51. Ann Cee says:

    Great post! We built onto our house ten years ago, but haven’t finished it yet. We are paying cash as we go, but have spent the last ten years spending our money on travel. No, I don’t have the beautiful, big kitchen that awaits me, but my teenager has seen most of the world. I’m sort of okay with that.

    • Theodora says:

      I think I’m OK with those kind of choices as well. I doubt that I’ll regret the life I’ve lived. Well, maybe bits of it. But not most.

  52. Heidi Raki says:

    Great and inspiring post. My family is about to begin a “location independent” adventure o our own, with our income coming mainly from my teaching resources, although I am looking into ways to diversify. I am very thankful to you for sharing some of your tips with us. We have been doing our research and learning from the amazing bloggers who are willing to share. I feel very blessed to live in the “era of the internet”.

    • Theodora says:

      That’s a great way of looking at it, Heidi: and that sounds like a fab way to earn a location independent living. I really really need to update this post incorporating some of the great stuff that people have come up with in the comments. Enjoy your adventure! And…. don’t work too hard…

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  1. [...] Escape Artistes – So How Can I Earn Enough Money to Travel the World? [...]

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    [...] So How Can I Earn Enough Money to Travel the World? Theodora provides advice on which skills can be used to create a location independent work thing income. [...]

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