Traveling full time sounds very much like a fantasy. It’s almost hard to think you can always find cheap flights, hitch rides or score cheap or free places to stay. No one can actually do this, right? In the first part of our series on how to travel full time on a budget, we outlined how to plan for a lifestyle of travel before you hit the road. We detailed how to prepare and save so that when you do eventually take that first step, you aren’t a fish out of water. Now, we’ll tackle some of the ways to keep traveling full time once you have left the comfort of your home.

 

Work for Free Accommodations

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One of the biggest expenses of traveling full time can be accommodation. If you want to travel without end, you can’t pay $200 a night for a hotel for three months. Sure, you can splurge on a nice hotel every now and then, but you have to find a sustainable option for where you will rest your head each night. One way would be to plan periods of working for accommodations. You can base your travel itinerary around where your accommodations are free of charge. Some examples of work-for-free programs include house sitting, the work-trade outlet WWOOF, and even hospitality gigs in which you can stay at a hostel for free in exchange for a few hours of work each day.

 

Cook the Majority of Your Weekly Meals

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[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If you are house sitting, make as many meals a week as you can at the place you’re looking after, or try and rent an apartment with a kitchen so that you can prepare your daily meals yourself. [/pullquote]

Some travelers who hit the road for full-time travel tend to get “vacation brain”: They start to eat out every night and their savings dwindle all too suddenly. Full-time travel can’t be an unending vacation unless you have a lifetime of savings. Eating out while traveling full time can quickly add up and deplete your budget. You have to make a commitment to at least try to save on meals here and there. If you are house sitting make as many meals a week as you can at the place you’re looking after, or try and rent an apartment with a kitchen so that you can prepare your daily meals yourself. If you don’t have access to a kitchen, you just need a viable meal budget plan. Five-star restaurants are okay to spoil yourself now and then, but frequenting them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner isn’t a sustainable option.

 

Go Budget with Your Transportation

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One way to actually travel full time is to go budget for your transportation. Fly budget airlines when you can. Take the bus instead of cabs when you are in cities. Board the slow train instead of the costlier express rail. These simple choices you make will make it possible to travel longer and smarter. You might have to spend a bit more time digging to save on plane and train tickets, but the extra cash in your pocket will keep you on the road longer.

 

Pack Light

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[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Not only can packing heavy be costly, but it also turns into a huge pain. A light traveler is often a happy one.[/pullquote]

You might not think that packing three suitcases to travel full time could be a burden on your budget. It isn’t a good idea to travel with loads of luggage for long periods of time. If you plan on skipping from country to country and place to place, you’ll be flying a lot. Heavy luggage and multiple pieces can end up costing a huge chunk of change with each flight. Not only can packing heavy be costly, but it also turns into a huge pain. A light traveler is often a happy one. Lugging loads of suitcases through small villages, on and off buses and trains, will only lead to travel burnout and fatigue.

 

Find Some Sort of Income While You Still Have Savings

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Yes, you can save, save, and save for full-time travel, but at some point, your savings will hit a brick wall. Money you have set aside for traveling full time will eventually evaporate. If you didn’t line up a source of income before you took off, now is the time to start looking while you have savings to live off of for a while. A few suggestions on earning cash on the road include teaching English, service industry work, or as I do, working online. I freelance write and my husband is a German translator. We both just need an Internet connection to do our jobs. If you can’t find local work, look at your options online. More and more companies are allowing employees to work remotely.

 

Avoid Burnout by Making a Life Where You Roam

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[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Don’t think of traveling full time as a chance to check off every destination on your bucket list. Enjoy each place and give it the time it deserves.[/pullquote]

Traveling full time might sound like a picnic, but you will eventually experience travel burnout if you don’t go about it in the right way. Traveling non-stop can quickly wear you down to the point where you aren’t even enjoying the road anymore. Take it slow. Make a life for yourself where you roam. Join meet-ups, clubs, and teams to make friends. Develop relationships with shop owners and have a favorite place for coffee in the morning. Don’t think of traveling full time as a chance to check off every destination on your bucket list. Enjoy each place and give it the time it deserves.

Hitting the road full time and on a budget is no easy task. From the preparation and saving before you leave home to maintaining that lifestyle while on the road, it takes a bit of know-how and skill to travel endlessly. With a little bit of an adventurous spirit and by following our guide, you’ll be on the road in no time, making everyone back home a little bit jealous that you found a way to explore the world for a living.

 

Have you ever traveled full time or for a long period of time? How did you maintain a life on the road? Share your tips with us in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.