How to financially sustain long-term travelling

Feb 21

If you are looking to travel for a long period of time, it is essential to think about how you are going to finance your stay. While the cost of living in countries abroad may be substantially cheaper than what you are used to at home, flights and insurance prices can be steep and on top of accommodation and food, your expenses will add up. The magnitude of money required for travelling need not come at the expense of the amount of time you want to travel for – as the following tips reveal, there are always ways to afford a little extra time on the road.


CC image credit to onesecbeforethedub

Teach with TEFL

One of the most enriching and efficient methods of financing yourself while you travel is by teaching English to children in schools. This set-up will provide you with accommodation and a consistent salary while immersing you in everyday local life. At weekends, you can use your earnings and free time to satisfy your wanderlust and explore the area.
Teaching while you travel is extremely rewarding in both the literal and cultural sense – you will feel enriched in knowing that you played a part in the lives of the local children who will reap the benefits of your teaching long after to you leave. You will not just experience the culture but completely and utterly absorb yourself in it by sharing the day-to-day lifestyle of the locals.
If you are interested in earning this way whilst you travel, you can qualify for your teaching certification through TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). You will be required to take a short independent course prior to your travels at the expense of around £100 and then locate the school you would like to work at via TEFL’s database.

Take part in a work exchange

Another opportunity to benefit financially whilst travelling is by offering your skills and services in return for daily meals and somewhere to rest your head at night which will, in turn, limit your spend. Places that offer this kind of work exchange include the hostels in which you will be staying or local farms. Hostel work can be easy to obtain and work duties will include a bit of cleaning, customer service, administration and organising events such as guided tours and evening entertainment. Working in a backpacker hub like this is extremely worthwhile as you will be surrounded by likeminded people who are on the same path of adventure as you. Farm work, found through organisations like WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), will entail more physical and manual labour but will add an element of fulfilment to your travels by helping the local community.

Collect air miles

flight ticket

CC image credit to Orin Zebest

Flight tickets are undoubtedly the greatest expense when travelling and, in order to counteract this, it is strongly advised to book your flights well in advance. Further to booking early, in the months prior to your departure you should sign up for a credit card which rewards customer spending with air miles known as ‘Avios’. These credit cards typically offer a generous enrolment bonus of thousands of Avios and will continue to reward you in this way as you continue to spend. A great example of this type of card is the British Airways credit card, which gifts you a bonus of 3,000 Avios upon welcome. By using your card responsibly during the months leading up to your adventure, you will be able to establish a formidable credit history of spending while also racking up a tonne of air miles which could entitle you to a free plane ticket!

Take out a travel loan

Although picking up work as you travel is a cost-effective way of seeing the world, it does limit you to each place you visit for an elongated period of time. If you would prefer to fit in as much travel as possible by packing up and moving on to a new destination every few days, it would be wise to consider taking out a loan to cover you for the period of time that you will be away. Some loans are specifically tailored to taking long trips abroad, ensuring that you’re financially supported throughout each step of your adventure.