The Top 10 Ways I Afford to Travel the World


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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 www.couchsurfing.org (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 www.wwoofinternational.org and www.workaway.info.

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 comments
  1. GiselleandCody

    May 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Justin

      May 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      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!

      Reply
  2. Tavo Figueroa

    May 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    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

    Reply
  3. Annette Behrmann

    May 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    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.

    Reply
  4. Justin Egge

    May 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    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!

    Reply
  5. Audrey Worrell

    May 14, 2014 at 1:21 am

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

    Reply
  6. Dan Wilde

    May 14, 2014 at 1:23 am

    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.

    Reply
  7. Go Road Trippin'

    May 14, 2014 at 5:20 am

    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!

    Reply
  8. Cheryson Cheri

    May 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

    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.

    Reply
  9. Jenny

    May 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    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?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. My travel fuel

    May 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

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

    Reply
  11. Thomy Gold

    May 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    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.

    Reply
  12. Corinne

    May 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

    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

    Reply
  13. Mike & Anne's - HoneyTrek.com

    May 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    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 HoneyTrek.com then when we were both working corporate jobs in in NYC.

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

    Reply
  14. Tirumal Madireddy

    May 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    You guys are awesome!

    Reply
  15. Sofie

    May 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

    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

    Reply
  16. Karisa

    May 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    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

    Reply
  17. Anna

    July 1, 2014 at 2:36 am

    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 🙂

    Reply
    • carmen

      March 6, 2015 at 8:09 am

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

      Reply
  18. Justin Carmack

    July 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    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!

    Reply
  19. Phoebe (Short Road to Happy)

    July 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

    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

    Reply
  20. Gracey spurek

    August 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    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.

    Reply
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  22. Bill J. Humphrey

    January 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm

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

    Reply
  23. Miles of Happiness - Marie

    January 19, 2015 at 10:34 am

    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 🙂

    Reply
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  25. Marissa De Los Santos

    August 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    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!
    Marie

    Reply
  26. Usman Ashraf

    February 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you aso much for sharing anna.

    Reply
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