Traveling the world is an enticing proposition regardless of how old you are. However, many of us have a set budget to work with while going on the adventures of a lifetime.
Thankfully, there are many ways to make your money count as you explore, work, and embrace the world. Recently, savvy travelers met in an online discussion to reveal their best tips!
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1. Consider a Holiday Work Visa
Many countries have generous work visa programs, especially if you’re a student. According to experts, work visa programs offer the best value in terms of earning money and exploring a new country. “Look into the working holiday visa program,” advises one man.
“Lots of countries offer an opportunity for young people to travel and work. I wish I had known about it when I was younger!” Depending on your qualifications, getting accepted could be as easy as filling out a few forms.
2. Travel With Friends
If you’re worried about rising travel costs in 2023, traveling with friends can help cut your expenses by as much as 50%! When it comes to saving money on hotel rooms and Airbnb, traveling with a companion is the smartest way to ease the burden on your wallet.
In addition, you’ll be less inclined to spend needless money because you’re “bored.” You’ll find exploring an unfamiliar city with a friend is exciting enough as it is!
3. Teach English
As long as you have at least a rudimentary grasp of the English language, you can open doors leading to touring the world and teaching English to international students!
“You can get TEFL-certified through a course, and you’ll be eligible to teach English in most countries for the rest of your life,” reveals one woman. “If you like teaching, of course.”
4. Find Bartending Work in a Local Town
If you know your way behind a bar (and many travelers do), one of the savviest strategies is to make money while exploring new cities overseas. Countless small taverns and bars offer international travelers temporary barback or bartending positions.
Take it from someone who has been bartending most of their life: It’s an invaluable opportunity to make money and meet many new people.
5. Your Money Can Stretch More in Certain Parts of the World
If you’re open-ended with your travel plans, you can easily make your money count more in areas of the world that have a lower cost of living. One person puts it all into perspective. “Depending on where you want to travel to, you can stretch your money a lot more efficiently,” reveals one man.
“For example, exploring southeast Asia is way cheaper than living in London or Paris for a few months. You can live anywhere, no matter what your budget is, so don’t worry.”
6. Become a Flight Attendant
Ask any flight attendant why they explored career opportunities with airlines, and they’ll invariably tell you the same reason: They love seeing the world! While the hours and hard work aren’t necessarily appealing to everyone, nobody can deny the opportunities that open up. Imagine setting foot in a new place every week; that’s the life of a flight attendant!
7. Consider Working at Hostels
Did you know you can stay at hostels worldwide in exchange for working there part-time? It’s true; it’s one of the most clever ways to maintain an income while traveling.
“I stayed at a hostel in Mexico and met a lot of world travelers who actually worked there,” explains one savvy traveler. “They get to stay for free in exchange for volunteering for the hostel.
They were provided breakfast and a bicycle to get around, too. So they just had to pay for lunch and dinner.”
8. Avoid Unnecessary Expenses
To maximize your money, avoid unnecessary expenses. While we’d all love to go on a hot air balloon ride in Tuscany or party on a yacht in the Mediterranean, those activities are prohibitively expensive.
By refraining from mindlessly blowing your money, you can make it last a lot longer. Trust me, you won’t have any less fun by enjoying local activities and experiencing authentic culture.
9. Work on a Cruise Ship
Like being a flight attendant, working on a cruise ship is an easy way to see the most beautiful destinations on Earth! From being a bartender to an operations director to a housekeeper (and everything in between), cruise workers usually have a few days off a week to explore local ports.
“You can always work on a cruise ship,” offers one woman. “They would pay you, and you’d travel the world! It’s not the most glamorous job in the world, but it makes seeing the world way easier.”
10. Wing It and See What Happens
I don’t want to tell you what to do but don’t think twice if you’re (relatively) young and debating traveling the world. Just do it. Millions of men and women can’t be wrong:
There’s nothing more thrilling, exciting, and eye-opening than exploring new cities. If it puts you in debt, so be it. I believe it’s worth it, even if you can’t necessarily afford it.
11. Get a Remote Job
By far, the easiest way to make your money count is to have a steady job that allows you to work remotely. I’ve been doing freelance and contract work for a few years now, and I’ve worked all over the world. Working remotely allows me to experience what it’s like to actually “live” in a new city instead of just feeling like I’m passing through.
Many people (myself included) consider having a great job that allows you to work remotely akin to winning the lottery.
12. Start Saving Now
As with all life decisions, exploring the world is infinitely more manageable if you’re responsible with money. “Honestly, you can go anywhere you want in the world if you have the discipline to start saving before you go,” explains one frequent traveler.
“You can live in many European cities for less than $2,000 all-in for a month at a time, room or apartment included.” Without preparing my finances beforehand, I’d never attempt to live in Europe for a few months; you shouldn’t either!
13. Join the Military
I get it: Joining the military isn’t for everybody, but it does carry countless benefits. Not only does it pay well, but you have the honor of serving your country while stationed in some of the world’s most remote and beautiful places.
Talk about making your money count as you embrace your travels! Of course, enlisting in the military takes a certain kind of person, and your mileage may vary.
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.