How am I going to afford this??!
I’ve been working, hard and smart, for a bit more than a few years now. Probably held some sort of job since I was 12, so I know how to make money and more importantly save money. No car loan, no student debt (paid that off years ago praise be to GOD), no kids, and no mortgage, so all I needed to finance my world tour was enough to live on. Answering the questions below helped me get to an answer for the title question
Should I/will I need to work while traveling? After much research and debate I decided not to do a formal “job” as it was going to limit my exploring capabilities (leave a comment if you’re interested in some ways to make money while traveling and I’ll do a post on that). Plus I found someone to sublet my apartment so I wouldn't have the pressure of paying that rent while I'm gone. Huge weight off my shoulders (thanks to the person who found me my subletter- you know who you are ;) But since I decided not to get a job while traveling I'll need to use some of my savings.
How much will I need each month? I took my rent, what I currently pay for electricity, internet, & cell phone, and averaged what I spend monthly on eating and activities. I also read a couple of sites to see what other backpackers budgeted for a year of travel. Took that amount and padded it a little since I did not want to live in a hostel for 8 months. Nothing wrong with hostels, but ya girl is at an age where she prefers her privacy. For 8 months I budgeted about 30k. I have no idea if that’s a lot or little for this sort of trip, but it’s what I was comfortable spending from my savings. That’s $3,750/month to include transportation, housing, food, activities, phone, insurance, basically everything.
How can I save some extra money quickly? My decision to leave was made in January and quitting time is in April, so that leaves me 3 months to squirrel away some extra money before my trip. And when I say money I don’t just mean cash from a paycheck. Here’s some other ways I earned money that helpful for various parts of my trip:
Sell stuff on ebay: If you don’t use it and it’s worth something, you’re sitting on money. I focused on my designer items as they would make the most and require the least amount of time. Made a few thousand there
Sell clothes to places like Buffalo Exchange
Freelance in your spare time: take a part time job on the weekends, babysit, housesit, do bookkeeping for a small company, use your professional skills as a side hustle. All easier said then done, but there’s definitely a way to do all of these things.
- Sign up for those airline memberships. If you travel for work and can pick you airline, stick with one so you can accrue points and use them for personal travel.
- Get paid to do what you already do: the internet has all your personal information anyway, so might as well get paid for it. With Ebates you shop and they send you money. Add the plug in to your desktop and download the app for in-store purchases. Delta now has their version of Ebates. Add & download that as well and earn miles to fly on top of the cash from Ebates! I was out here volunteering to make Staples orders at work because I knew I was getting MONEY!!
- Credit cards: NerdWallet has ALL the information you need on which cards are best depending on your needs, so I won’t go into detail. What I will say is if you know about 5-6 months out that you’re going to be taking a big trip, AND it won't negatively impact your credit score, get a new credit card. Most offer a sign up bonus of points or miles if you spend a certain amount in the first 3 months. If you don’t get a new card, have one that gives you good miles or cash back for your purchases. Last year I paid for my Thailand and Bali flights with credit card points,
Don't spend money on fee: People, it’s 2019. NO ONE should have to pay to use their hard earned money, even overseas. Get a credit card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. I’d recommend a Mastercard and a Visa card just to be safe. Also, get a checking account/debit card that doesn’t charge you foreign transaction, conversion, or ATM fees to use your card at point-of-sale or ATMs. This is great if you’re traveling for an extended period of time so you won't have to find creative ways to hide your cash. Charles Schwab has a great, FREE, debit card/checking account option
Traveling for 8 months without working might seem impossible, but with planning and some creativity it's completely doable, even at a lower budget.
If you're thinking of doing your own world tour, or a short vacation, check out these itineraries to save you time and reduce travel planning stress