Are you tired of scrolling through Instagram, watching other families explore the world, while you sit on your couch, still trying to figure out how to make your travel dreams a reality? Well, it’s time to stop dreaming and start packing! As a seasoned traveling family, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make those travel dreams a reality.
Here is our story
Let’s go back in time to September 2021. We were living in Brunei, in our 5th year and second year in a country with closed borders due to the covid pandemic. We were coming up to decision making time. Our international teaching contracts were finishing and we needed to make a decision about renewal or moving on.
After five years, we were at the ideal point to move. School contracts are typically two years to begin with, Indi had just finished year 4 which meant we had two years before she started secondary school. We loved our lives in Brunei but it was time for a change.
We spent several nights diligently updating CV’s and began the search for a new job when…wait….hold on a minute….
Is this what we want to do? Or is there an alternative?
We have all dreamt about travel, that’s probably why you are here reading this, but to make it a reality takes something else. There are many things to think about when it comes to moving into full time travel and here are our tips for making it happen.
1. Just do it!
Seems like a pretty obvious one but make the decision to do it and tell people. Commit to making it happen. Whenever we told people our plans, the general response was either;
‘You are so brave’ or ‘I wish we could do it!’
It takes a bit of bravery to step outside of the norm but that is what life is for, living and if you can do it in a way that makes you happy, what is holding you back?
There will always be a reason to not do it but consider how you can overcome these obstacles rather than surrendering at the first hurdle. The fact that it is something you are thinking about gives your enough of a reason to look more into it.
2. Make a plan
So, of all the questions we are asked about our family travels, this has to be the most common. How do you afford to travel?
Set your goal, work backwards, this becomes your plan, and then aim for it. There are lots of numbers out there of how much long term travel will cost you. It’s a very personal number, in a sense of knowing how you travel, what level of comfort you want or need, where are you going to travel to and what do you want to do when you are there?
If you are looking to travel first class through Australia, stopping at all the sites and eating out all the time then your budget will be very different to a family planning to backpack through India for six months.
Discuss what your comfort level is, and where you want to go to help establish some numbers for costing up your savings plan.
Then add at least 10% more on top!
Where will the money come from?
Okay so let’s be honest, we are all hoping there is some magical answer in here about making money whilst travelling. Well, this is going to be a big disappointment. There are no easy answers or quick fixes. If you are fortunate to have a business or career you can travel with, that’s great but for everyone else, we need to figure out shifting from the conventional location specific job to a travel friendly, money-making opportunity.
At the heart of every successful budget-friendly trip is finding the money to make it happen. While it might seem daunting at first, there are plenty of ways to save and earn extra cash to fund your travels. From cutting back on daily expenses to exploring new income streams, there’s no shortage of options to consider.
So here is a starting point
1. The Money to Travel
Our first year of travelling is with savings. Scrimping and saving for the last 18months before we left.
We budgeted 30,000gbp. We supplement with a small monthly income from a variety of income streams.
The key to travelling with your budget is to ensure you prioritise the things for your family. We know our budget restricts our access to 5 star hotels and the kids are just going to have to wait for their bucketlist trip to Bora Bora, but this is plenty to travel with.
The slower you travel- the cheaper it gets.
2. Make Sacrifices to travel
Once you make the decision to travel, saving becomes easier. You have a clear goal. Knowing that the price of that restaurant dinner could be 3 nights accommodation in Thailand puts a different spin on things. It might hurt sometimes, but it pays off in the long run.
3. How We Raised The Money to Travel Full Time As a Family
We lived internationally for five years before choosing to travel, we sold everything we owned, keeping one suitcase of mementos to hide under someone’s bed for who knows how long. We picked up extra work, tutoring online and selling photos. We evaluated our spending and looked at ways we could save, changing the shopping list or supermarket, eating at home more, cancelling the gym membership (ha! Who am I kidding? There was no gym membership) or just not eating as much cake out (this…I did this, saved thousands!).
Take your card out of the purse and carry cash to set yourself a budget. Stop buying stuff. We don’t need stuff. Get yourself a cashback or rewards card for when you really need to buy something.
It all starts to help out.
How to earn as you travel?
This is a whole post in itself, but here are some ideas.
If you have a particular set of skills, like Liam Neeson (Taken reference for those not in the know!) you can put them to use by freelancing online. Websites like Upwork or Fiverr offer a variety of gigs ranging from graphic design to voiceover work. So whether you’re a master of Photoshop or a talented voice actor, there’s a gig out there with your name on it. Just don’t be surprised if your clients demand that you have a particular set of skills.
¿Hablas español? Parlez-vous français? If you’re fluent in a second language, you could put your skills to use by offering language tuition. You could even go one step further and become a language exchange partner. Not only will you earn some extra cash, but you’ll also get to practice your language skills with a native speaker. Just be prepared to deal with some tricky grammar questions.
Teach other people your skills
Are you a whizz in the kitchen? Or maybe you’re a master of DIY? Whatever your skill, why not teach others how to do it? You could offer cooking classes or host a workshop on how to build a bookshelf. Just make sure your students don’t outshine you in the end.
Make things to sell
Are you a creative type? If so, why not turn your talents into cash by making things to sell? You could create handmade jewelry, knitted scarves, or even custom pet portraits. A side tip- I wouldn’t recommend selling to a saturated market, for example, my children decided to sell shells…at the beach!
Check out Workaway for paid positions
If you’re looking for a more immersive travel experience, why not check out Workaway? This website connects travelers with hosts who are looking for help with a variety of tasks, from farming to teaching. You’ll get free accommodation and meals, and in some cases, a small stipend. Just be prepared for some hard work and the secret to making it work…flexibility.
Sell your photos
Do you have an eye for photography? You could sell your photos online through sites like Shutterstock or iStock. Just make sure your photos are high-quality and visually appealing, or they may end up languishing in the depths of the internet.
Write an Ebook
I know what you are thinking here, but supposedly it’s one of the best ways to make money online…who knew?
If you have a wealth of knowledge on a particular subject or a great story to tell. You could write an eBook and sell it online. Whether you’re an expert in personal finance or an accomplished baker, there’s an audience out there for your book.
There are more, this is was the list I could come up with without being ridiculous. I’m not planning on being a street performer anytime soon but that will come up as a viable money-making option whilst travelling. Perhaps, it’s not an idea for me but maybe it’s a way for the kids to start chipping in for their travels!
There are a bazillion people offering you the secrets to their success, sign up for their free course, join their webinar and learn how to make money but it will rarely be that simple. We are very much exploring options to give ourselves the financial freedom we crave…so keep checking is, we might have all the answers soon. Speaking of which…
Sell more, spend less.
Place boxes around the house. Put things in you haven’t used for a while. If you don’t get it out in the next two weeks then get rid of it. We had three boxes, one to keep, one to take (check out our travel gear here) and one to get rid of. We do a walk around the house each week and start placing things into the boxes. These then go through these boxes and slim down again. As a good friend once advised, you aren’t taking Justin Case away with you so don’t pack for him.
5. Get inspired
Start researching, put up a whiteboard and jot down ideas of things to do and places to go. Make a visual so there is no escaping this dream. It is a constant reminder of what you are working towards. See how we involved the kids with this too. Get the guide books out, follow travelling families on Insta (highly recommend this one boston_tribe_travels 😊) and begin dreaming. This inspiration will begin to formulate into a plan. You may not necessarily stick to the plan but it is a starting point.
6. What are your values?
So, you’re ready to unleash your family’s inner wanderlust and embark on some epic travel adventures? Fantastic! But before you start packing those bags, let’s talk values. No, not the value of your vintage Pokémon card collection, but your actual values. You know, the things you hold near and dear to your heart.
Are you all about soaking up new experiences? Or maybe you’re more of a “create memories that will embarrass your kids for years to come” kind of family? Knowing your values can help you make the most of your travels. If you’re all about being green, you might opt for eco-friendly accommodations and activities. If you want to fully immerse yourselves in the local culture, skip the tourist traps and hit up the hidden gems instead.
Bottom line? Figure out what you care about, and let that guide your family’s journey. Now, go forth and conquer the world! Or at least the nearest water park.
If you want to make your dreams come true, you need to actively pursue them. Sometimes the hardest part is just having a go. What is holding you back?
- How to Survive a long-haul budget flight with kids
- 7 reasons to use WISE for transferring money internationally
- Every fact you wanted to know about Egypt!
- The EASY and cheapest way to get your visa for Sri Lanka
- A Sri Lanka Safari Adventure for all budgets
- What do you need for worldschooling success?