Can’t afford to travel? Think again: six ways to make money to travel

work on the beach

People always tell me they wish they could do what I do, i.e., travel often and well. But the thing is, anyone can do it if they prioritize it above other things, and sacrifice a little bit.

When I first graduated from uni, I had grand dreams of traveling around the world throughout my 20s, never having to work a day, living on my charm and wits. Alas, life had other plans. At the age of 23, I was stuck in an office job I hated, bitter and angry whenever I saw someone else’s holiday snaps. Five years later, I work for myself and travel a lot (and get paid to do it, sometimes!). So what changed?

Obviously, I really, really wanted a lifestyle change, but desire rarely equates to an actual outcome. I had to get scrappy. Here’s what I did, with the end goal of being able to travel regularly (and well, not always scrimping to go to hostels), and how I did it.

  1. Working holidays. A lot of people think I must never work, traveling like I do. Sometimes, the traveling itself is work, such as when I’m writing reviews or going on press trips. Other times, I may be traveling, but I will continue to work. That’s the beauty and the blunder of being a freelancer: you, theoretically, can always be available, wherever in the world you are.
  2. Freelancing. I started freelancing when I worked at my office job. I had the goal of  moving to Paris and then London, but my full-time job didn’t pay enough for me to cover my bills and save for the move, so freelancing allowed me to do both. When I did move, freelancing was my only source of income, which allowed me to do more than I thought I’d be able to do off of student loan and savings.freelance working
  3. Higher education. I would never have had the guts to try the freelancing full-time thing if I wasn’t also studying. I started freelancing full-time at the same time as getting my MA. Was I busy? Sure. But I also had access to student loans, which are much lower interest than bank loans, if freelancing fell through and I needed financial help. My schedule was flexible enough that I was able to work and take classes simultaneously.
  4. Paying my dues. I love freelancing, but the jobs I did at first weren’t as glam as they are now. (And even now, there are still some doozies!) But for every boring, repetitive or otherwise mind numbing task I did, I had to remind myself: this is how progress is made, and reputations are built. I saved all the money I made on these tasks, foregoing fun nights out or great dinners, focusing on the end goal. Five years later, I don’t have to pass up movie nights or nice restaurants, and I’ve built my freelancing business that sustains my lifestyle. Still, I know the work isn’t done. I’ll spend many, many more solidifying all I’ve worked for thus far.
  5. Blogging. I started this old thing to keep in touch with friends and family while on my adventures- this is in the pre-Instagram and Snapchat era! It really took on a life of its own after I traveled to Bali and got international press attention. Now, I get lots of offers to go on press trips, or review hotels and restaurants in exchange for a free stay or meal. If you get blogging, who knows where it will lead you!
  6. Multiple streams of income. Freelancing is a good gig; its flexible and often you can do the work anywhere. However, income ebbs and flows, it isn’t as stable income-wise as a full-time job. I therefore supplement my freelance income with other gigs; I let my flat out on Airbnb (see the listing here!) when I’m traveling, I teach at a university part-time and I always look for easy ways to make money (for instance, invigilating exams at local colleges). I also save like crazy for a rainy day or trip that unexpectedly costs more than I thought. Nothing is worse than being caught out without proper plans for how to handle the unexpected.

Khaleelah Airbnb Notting Hill

 

Are you thinking of traveling soon? How are you going to finance your trip?

Comments

  • Lantai

    July 9, 2016 - 7:52 am

    Wooo, that is all realy attention-grabbing. You are such a skilled blogger! x

  • Sophie

    July 9, 2016 - 7:34 pm

    How do you find using Airbnb? I’ve been doing a lot of research on it lately and I don’t know if it would be a good fit for me, I get nervous about the work involved and letting strangers stay in my place- but it would be great if it gave me more opportunities to travel.

    • carefulfeetme

      August 3, 2016 - 10:35 am

      Great question, Sophie. I was a bit apprehensive too when I started so I dipped my foot in by only accepting people with really in-depth profiles, and for a night or two only. As time has gone by and I’ve gotten more comfortable with the system, I’ve gotten a bit more flexible. I say it is a great way to make money, but it definitely takes a lot of work (prepping for visitors, managing your reservations, etc.). I will be doing a longer post about it soon, so keep a look out for that! Xoxo

  • Immy

    July 10, 2016 - 2:59 am

    So many ideas here to use. Thanks for them Immyxx
    http://www.immymay.com

  • Ben

    July 11, 2016 - 10:00 pm

    I like reading your posts, but this one was so helpful for planning. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

  • Mia

    July 14, 2016 - 3:46 pm

    All I can say is, you’re so much more adventurous than me. I wouldn’t let my flat out on airbnb even if it meant I could travel. xx Mia

  • Auré

    July 16, 2016 - 2:16 am

    INSPIRATION UP AND DOWN! MERCI!

  • Emily

    July 16, 2016 - 6:02 pm

    Great post. I’m always so impressed with your traveling spirit and all the places you go. Now I know how you do it!

  • Emma

    July 18, 2016 - 7:59 am

    Great post girlie. And helpful too.

  • Frankie

    July 18, 2016 - 8:52 pm

    Right, so I’m going to work all these in to my life so I can travel as much as you. #travelgoalz

  • Laura

    July 18, 2016 - 11:48 pm

    Would love to see another post like this with even more information on getting to travel and work at the same time. So great to know that people actually are doing this and its not just some gimmicky ad on Instagram!

    http://www.lovedbylaura.com

    • carefulfeetme

      August 3, 2016 - 10:33 am

      Good to know! Definitely planning more, so stay tuned! Will do one to focus specifically on freelancing and another for Airbnb, and then a final one on travel budgeting and costs.

  • Peppermint Dolly

    July 19, 2016 - 11:37 pm

    How can you start freelancing? xx

    • carefulfeetme

      August 3, 2016 - 10:21 am

      I started by finding working writing online articles on Demand Studios (now out of business) and moving up by finding work on Elance. It was a slow, grueling process but it is now well worth it, as I can work from anywhere!

  • Edline

    July 22, 2016 - 3:41 am

    Wonderful ideas. Wishe I would use more of them to travel more.

  • Rachel Gault

    July 25, 2016 - 3:14 am

    Great tips!

  • Sophie

    July 28, 2016 - 3:43 am

    Great tips, I think I can at least take on one or two for an extra holiday here and there. Sophie x
    sophiehmstewart.com

  • Honey

    July 29, 2016 - 2:05 am

    Great recommendations! x

    http://www.thegirlnextshore.com/

  • Zara

    August 3, 2016 - 5:17 pm

    You’ve inspire me so much to get organised and actually do this, I always say I am going do and I never do…

  • Lizzie

    August 5, 2016 - 6:32 am

    Wonderful, inspiring post my dear! xox

  • Auré

    August 9, 2016 - 9:19 am

    Thank yours for the help. Ciao Ciao.

  • Read

    August 10, 2016 - 7:15 pm

    I wanted to draft you a very little note to give many thanks again for all the travel advice, but I accidentally deleted it so…thanks!

  • Birdie

    August 12, 2016 - 8:05 pm

    Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog. Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

    • carefulfeetme

      August 19, 2016 - 9:48 am

      Thanks Birdie, very kind of you. xoxo

  • Shelley

    August 23, 2016 - 1:45 am

    Hello. Thank you so much. I have learned lot of things about how I can get traveling as a lifestyle. Thanks again! xXx

  • Morgan

    August 31, 2016 - 2:23 pm

    Inspiring. So inspiring. I really hope I can do a few of these things- freelancing first. How did you get started?

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