The Top 10 Ways I Afford to Travel the World


This month marks four years of full time travel for me! My most asked question is “How do you afford to travel?”. I have decided to make an extensive series detailing how I afford to travel. While I am working on that, I decided to summarize the main things that enable me to afford traveling full time. Of course there are many other ways to make travel your reality, but this is how I personally can do it.

First of all I have no debt. To make money I work remotely doing social media marketing, consulting to help people plan trips or consulting to help people start a new travel blog. I travel nanny one or two months out of the year, photography and I pick up odd jobs that fit into my travels. Once in a while I partner with a brand. I even make quirky restaurant review videos for a Japanese website called CChannel! This year I also partnered for the first time with a gear company for a 12 day sponsored trip.

1.I have learned to live on much less-I cut back on going out to eat, new clothes and spending money on things that I don’t need. I often cook my own meals , I always carry my own snacks and often pack a whole lunch. I sometimes sacrifice convenience or comfort for a cheaper price. I prioritize spending my money on traveling.We tend to overestimate how much we need to be happy.

2. Traveling full time saves me expenses such as rent, car insurance and other monthly bills. I also shut my phone off every time I leave the US.

3. I use many free or cheap accommodation options. I stay with friends, carry a tent with me and camp, use (a community of people interested in travel that you can stay with for free) and hostels. Hostels can be as cheap as $5.00 per night. Starting this year I have splurged on hotels here and there as well.

4. I take advantage of coupons, sales and any other discounts that I can find. Especially at grocery stores. I also negotiate prices when I can.

5. For transportation I use tools like Skyscanner and Kayak to find the cheapest dates and airports to fly. I save money by being completely flexible on my flight dates. I subscribe to a newsletter that features incredible flight deals called Mighty Travels. I also take busses, car pool, public transportation and hitch hike on occasion. I typically spend at least two weeks in a country so that by itself cuts down my travel costs. I also submit a written complaint to airlines if my flight is delayed more than four hours due to reasons besides weather, often they give me a flight voucher. I also give up my seat on overbooked flights in exchange for flight vouchers.

6. I have traveled to a country and volunteered in exchange for room and board. Typically it is 25 hours of work per week and can be found on websites like and

7. I often travel to places where travel expenses are very low. For example: Renting a hammock in Nicaragua was $3.00, a huge plate of food in Peru was $3.00 and an hour on a motorcycle taxi in Dominican Republic was only $2.00.

8. I find fun things to do for free or cheap. I spend a lot of time in nature, go to free museum days, free concerts and other free events I find.

9. Starting in 2014 I have gotten a handful of tours compensated or partially compensated in exchange for taking photos and sharing them. I have done and continue to do most of my travel independently.

10. I always carry a water bottle and I use a water Sterilizing pen called a Steripen so that I can drink tap water in any country for free.

0 Replies to “The Top 10 Ways I Afford to Travel the World”

  1. Such great tips Anna!!
    Volunteering is such a great way to cut down on costs and do some amazing work while on the road.
    Never thought about writing to airline companies if the flight is delayed longer then 4 hours….Thanks for that one!!!
    GiselleandCody recently posted…The people of MyanmarMy Profile

    1. Thank you for this, Anna! These are the tips the rest of really need to break out into the world without ruining our finances. Please keep posts like this coming!

  2. Tavo Figueroa says: Reply

    Anna …. I have been following your page for a while and I love what you do …. i am old now and my budget is little but i will take my fear away and by learning from you I know that soon I'll start my journey …. hope one day we cross our ways…. 🙂 thank you for share your life

  3. Thank you for sharing and inspiring Anna! Your wonderful experiences and resources have given me the tools needed to pursue a life long dream that I always knew was possible regardless of income. Looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  4. Thank you for this, Anna! These are the tips the rest of really need to break out into the world without ruining our finances. Please keep posts like this coming!

  5. Audrey Worrell says: Reply

    I travel a lot myself and its so nice to hear other people's stories! Traveling can be so fulfilling! 🙂

  6. I have backpacked many parts of the world myself. I can share with you many things I have learned along the way. The rest of the world would be graced with your positive energy.

  7. Thanks for sharing this Anna! It's good to see how various bloggers afford to travel full-time, so hopefully one day we can combine the methods that work best for each of us and set out on our own full-time travels. Keep on traveling, rocking, and blogging!

  8. That is great, that is why i have been encouraging my friends/clients that a Safari is possible with the little money you have.
    Keep it up and hope to see you once you are in Kenya.

  9. Thanks for the great article! I want to get a traveling water sterilizer, but there are so many choices. How do I narrow it down?

    1. Hi Jenny! I like the Steripen Freedom, that’s what I’ve been using. You can see my photos and even a video of my using it here:

  10. Great post! Often you just spend money on "nothing", being careful spending your money actually takes you way further.

  11. That pen looks like a great investment! Specially for countries whose tap water is poisonous (my dear Mexico for instance hahaha)

    Great article Anna!
    Raphael Alexander Zoren recently posted…8 Songs for the perfect travel playlistMy Profile

  12. This is very insightful in how to save money, but my question is where does the income come from in order to save? Do you waitress or something similar that allows you to just leave and come back? Just curious.

  13. Anna, It pays to be frugal. You are a great example that shows being frugal as not a way to scrimp and be deprived, but able to have the whole world at your doorstep! Great post!
    Corinne recently posted…Sheepherders in Southern TurkeyMy Profile

  14. some great tips in there Anna….thanks for sharing all that awesomeness with everyone. It really takes A LOT of hard work and A LOT of courage to do what you do….and we know from doing it as well sine the end of 2011. we honestly work more hours on then when we were both working corporate jobs in in NYC.

    keep sharing and living the life you choose!
    mike & anne

  15. You guys are awesome!

  16. Hey Anna,

    I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series.
    I know a lot of bloggers do posts like this, but they often stick with just one of the things that afford them to travel or with a summary list like this one. I’m really curious to see what else you will share with us!
    Sofie recently posted…Meeting manga characters and sumo wrestlers at JapantagMy Profile

  17. Fab tips Anna. People need to hear that it IS possible to travel without a ton of money and there are so many ways to do it! Kudos!
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels recently posted…Falling in Love with TrastevereMy Profile

  18. Thank you for the great advice on how you afford to travel. I always get nervous about not having enough money to go to some of the countries I want to visit. I hate having to rely on money more than anything else. Hopefully i can find my way around it soon!

    -The Southern Adventurer
    The Southern Adventurer recently posted…“Oh Look! It’s Wine o’clock”My Profile

  19. Great advice, Anna! Having No bills is helpful! Especially phone bills-they’re SO expensive in the US. When I was in SE Asia I just bought a cheap phone and topped it off for as little as $2 a week.
    Karisa recently posted…A Casual Rosé Wine TastingMy Profile

  20. Thanks for this! Such great tips!
    Tiana of Single-Serving Friends recently posted…My Love Affair With Green CurryMy Profile

  21. We share the same name and passion!
    I’ve been following you for quite a while and love all your photos and stories! I too have travelled a lot and also done it with my own hard earned money!
    These are some great tips, many I already use and constantly tell other people the same!
    I also get asked the same questions that you face, most people underestimate just how easy it is to save, get past the fear of the unknown and just get out there and do it!
    You are an inspiration and I look forward to many more great posts from you 🙂

    1. way to go, girl! I am in my fifties now, but have always done what you are doing now….

  22. Hey Anna! I love this series you got going here. People can really learn stuff from you, and get the courage to head out and see the world on their own!

  23. Great list that I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy. I get asked this all the time and I think some people forget that we do work on the road! Haha. Furthermore, there are so many free things in different places, as you said, that not enough people take advantage of! Again, just really love your enthusiasm!
    Phoebe (Short Road to Happy) recently posted…7 reasons why it’s better to travel in your 30sMy Profile

  24. Great tips. Not having a lot of fixed expenses makes it easier to travel full time. Most people do not understand this but hopefully they will by reading your articles.
    Jeff @ Go Travelzing recently posted…How Traveling in Europe has Changed in 20 YearsMy Profile

  25. Hey great ways. If you are traveling with a proper planning then it will really help you to stay within your budget. So have a detailed planning before you go for your journey. Thank you for sharing this post.

  26. […] As for tips I recommend traveling to places where cost of living is cheap, for example while a meal at a restaurant in Norway may cost $40, a meal at a restaurant in Peru is only $2.75. I recommend being flexible; I just purchased a round-trip plane ticket from NYC to Ecuador for only $430 including two checked bags. Because I am flexible I was able to book on the cheapest possible days. Always carrying snacks is a simple but effective tip, it’s easy to overspend on food when you’re hungry. To see even more ways to save money traveling you can check out my article: The Top 10 Ways I Afford to Travel the World […]

  27. Read the short article you are commenting on as she answers your question succinctly there.

  28. Yes that’s the deal – to find smart way to travel, instead of just thinking about the money! I like your list. I pretty much have the same ideas 🙂

  29. […] to the blog The Legendary Adventures of Anna, and her post “The Top 10 Ways I Afford to Travel the World“, I discovered Skyscanner – a search engine site that finds the cheapest dates and […]

  30. Hi Anna,
    I was so amazed with your tips and I gain much much information and knowledge! Especially the workaway link which caught my attention….Life is really a blessing and you are a blessing!..
    Thank you and be safe always!
    Godbless and Hope to hear from you soon!

    All the best!

  31. Thank you aso much for sharing anna.

  32. […] often find that searching using the flexible date option means that you get to see prices on either side of the dates that you want. You can also do this […]

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