7 Key Things To Consider If You Dream Of Traveling Full-Time

 7 Key Things To Consider If You Dream Of Traveling Full-Time


When I quit my job in 2017 to spend a few months traveling to find more meaning and purpose in my life and work, I thought I was crazy. The Great Resignation came a few years ago, and it made me a trendsetter!

I really thought I was taking a break from racing; I plan to travel for 3 to 6 months and then return to “real life.” However, I love full-time travel, and, 4 years later, have already traveled to 27 countries on six continents-and the first 2 years is in my initial budget. If you’ve read my other articles, you’ll know that I spent 2 years healing in New Zealand because of the pandemic, and it wasn’t cheap!

More and more people are quitting their jobs and traveling. Some alone, some with another. What is clear is that what started some “crazy” people jumping ship was an idea that the pandemic was making a new normal. There are many types of full-time travelers; some want to relax and reconnect with themselves, and others choose to work remotely and sell a home office for a world office. However, some have already reached retirement, or are close, and want to travel the world as the next step in their lives.

The question I’m always asked, whatever kind of full-time traveler they want, is, how do you get there? As a full-time travel coach, I teach people how to pay for full-time travel. I’ll share some of my top tips to help you travel full time, if that’s on your radar. Whether you’re retired, quitting your “normal day job,” or becoming a long -distance worker, all of these tips can help.

Troll statue outside the Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand.
A sculpture outside the Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, reminds full-time travelers not to exceed their budgets.
(Photo Credit: Heather Markel)

Create A Budget

The foundation of providing full-time travel is to have a travel budget. There are many reasons for this, and many methods need to be tailored to your specific purposes and assets. As such, here are some points to think about to guide you in creating your travel budget.

1. When Do You Want to Travel?

The duration of your trip is very important. Apparently money will grow even more in a shorter period of time than in a longer period of time. So, if you travel for 3 months on $ 10,000, you can get more than you can if you plan to travel for 6 months on that budget. Your desired timeframe is important to know in order to set the right travel budget. That’s just the beginning.

2. Where Do You Want to Travel?

Next, think about where in the world you want to travel, and how much money you travel. Whether your home currency is the dollar or euro, most of the world is cheaper for you than other currencies. Parts of Southeast Asia and South America are very cheap and you will be amazed. But an African safari or trip around Europe or America is more expensive. The places you go play an important role in how far your budget is.

3. How Do You Travel?

Do you plan to fly, rent cars, take a train, bus, or ship? The transportation methods you choose have a direct impact on your budget. The more prepared and able you are to ride buses, the cheaper your travel will be. Obviously, a long bus ride can be heavy on the body, so it’s a less comfortable option.

4. Be Honest About Your Travel Style

If you’re accustomed to traveling on vacation with a corporate job, you’ve probably stayed in luxury hotels and eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world. If you try to travel full time in this style, you won’t be able to travel long, unless you’re rich. (And if you are, good for you!) If you want trips to last longer, then adapting to a style that is more budget -conscious can give you plenty of time. This is a choice you have to make.

I shared a few rooms with monkeys and lizards, used a shared bathroom, and loaded my own bags up the stairs. But that’s not for everyone. I love to travel, so I will do what I can to add to it. If you like luxury travel, be honest about that. The worst thing you can do is travel in a style you hate and find yourself disappointed with the whole experience.

Author of the Namibian desert.
Author Heather Markel enjoys Namibia
(Photo Credit: Heather Markel / Heather Begins)

Rethink How You Use Money

The value for money will change if you travel full time. If you’re in a specific location, you buy bottles of shampoo, olive oil, and a lot of things on Amazon that you don’t need. If you travel, you want to save money and space. You’ll likely carry your own bags, so consider reducing the weight of your luggage – it can be a back and money saver, as you’ll often see bills for extra luggage. You will change from first buying souvenirs to buying experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.

5. Save Before You Go

You may realize that you need to do some savings padding before you go, but it can be stressful to know how to do it. I took a Financial Planning 101 class years ago, and it opened my eyes to spending and saving and allowed me to start being more money wise. If you’re looking for a good read about how you spend your money, there are some great titles by Olivia Mellan. Even if it was written before, I found his insights very helpful, especially in understanding the style of spending your money – and how it works well.

The more money you can save before you travel full time, the more time you can travel. This is a good time to clarify your travel purposes and then check each expense whether it will take you to the destinations or away from them. Also, cutting “nice-to-have” and recurring expenses are good places to start cutting costs. You can put that money in your savings account and watch it grow.

6. Saving On Flights

If you fly, there are some great ways to save on fares. You probably know that choosing flights with stops can save you a lot of money, but, of course, spend a lot of time. If you get a credit card that will help you rack up points on future travel, the flight may be free. There are some other good strategies that can help reduce the cost of flying.

Be flexible with your travel dates. Flying in the middle of the week is usually cheaper than flying in a week. On a recent trip to Florida from New York City, I cut $ 300 off the price by flying on a Wednesday. As a bonus, I also know that I can upgrade more on mid-week flights than on weekends.

Apps like Secret Flying (or follow it on Twitter) will inform you of amazing flight deals and wrong fares. Keep in mind, however, that wrong fares come with the risk that your ticket may not be honored.

7. Saving On Lodging

Since you need a place to rest and live every night, anything you can do to reduce this daily expense is the key to providing full-time travel, at least if you want to do so. this for more than a few months. One way to save is to stay in the same place for more than a week. This is always when the discounts start. If not, talk to the manager of the property or hotel and see if they will reduce your rate for a longer stay.

Sitting at home is an ideal way to reduce the cost of housing. Usually you take care of someone’s pets while they’re away, and you can use their kitchen, which can also help reduce your food costs. If you love animals, there’s that added bonus of nice companionship as you travel. However, it can be difficult to leave some pets, speaking from personal experience. Reliable Housesitters are the most reputable, but you can also find petsitting companies in the country.

The advantage of joining an international home care service is to make good assessments. However, depending on country competition, member prices, and availability, locals may list on a local website.

There are other options, such as Couchsurfing and Host A Sister, where you can get a few nights free at someone’s house. If you’re able to rent your current home while you’re traveling, that’s a great way to fund your trips.

The Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.
The Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia
(Photo Credit: Heather Markel / Heather Begins)

All -Time Travel Can Be For Everyone

As you can see, full-time travel is available to anyone, but it takes some in-depth planning and strategies to make it happen. Your unique situation will determine the best way to save money, make money while you travel, and how long you can keep going. I jumped into the belief that my budget would last 3-6 months. The more I travel and the more committed to the lifestyle, the more I am able to last that budget. In the end, my initial budget lasted over 2 years. This lifestyle is truly applicable to anyone who wants to do it.

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