How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)

By Nora Dunn on 14 February 2012 (Updated 9 July 2014) 100 comments

For the last five years, I've been traveling the world full-time, and for less money than I've ever spent (and I'd wager less money than most people would spend) to live in one place.

My worldly possessions fit into one bag (just larger than carry-on size) and a backpack containing my laptop and computer gear. This small entourage (weighing less than 45 pounds in total) comes with me as I wander around the world, sometimes quickly, but mostly slowly. (See also: 40,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus with US Airways)

In 2011 alone, I traversed 13 countries and over 45,360 miles. Sounds pretty expensive, huh?

What if I told you it wasn't? What if I told you that both 2010 (a similarly busy year of travel) and 2011 cost me just over $17,000 (including some major non-travel related purchases)? Would you believe me?

Believe it. (Here's proof, with a full breakdown of where I went and how much it cost: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2011).

How to Keep Your Travel Costs Low

Of course, I could travel for way more than $17,000/year. The sky is the limit for what you can spend on the road, from food and accommodation to flights, destinations, and tours. I could also travel for less than this, if I made different spending choices. 

Here are a few of my secrets.

Don't Pay for Accommodations

In the entire year of 2011, I paid $173 for accommodation. And that expenditure was a function of a discounted stay at the Hilton in Stockholm as a luxurious “splash out.” The rest of the time, I had free accommodation in various forms, including...

Work-Trade/Volunteer

There are lots of creative opportunities to work in trade for your accommodation (and sometimes food) and enjoy a more immersive travel experience. Many of the sites that introduce you to these opportunities involve a monthly or yearly subscription, but in my experience it's well worth it. Here are some resources:

Hospitality Exchange

Got a few nights to kill at a given destination? Try a hospitality exchange, where locals who would like to host a traveler can put you up in a spare room or even on their couch. Good manners predicate you move on after a few days, and although it's a free stay, expect to provide a gift for your host and help out wherever you can. But there's also no better way to see how the locals live than to actually live with a local.

House/Pet-Sitting

After five years on the road, I've come to crave my personal space, as well as time to work on my location-independent career as a travel writer. So when other people hit the road to do some traveling of their own, I come into their homes and take care of the property, pets, gardens, and any other chores that require attention in their absence. I tend to the home fires for periods of time ranging from weeks to months, and I'll soon be enjoying my second three-month stint of house-sitting and dog-minding on the Caribbean island of Grenada, where I have my own beautiful free beach-front villa and use of two cars. 

Crew on Sailboats

My most recent foray into free accommodation has come in the form of volunteering on sailboats. Every boat is different in what it requires, from capable sailors or people with boat-specific technical skills to simply being an extra set of hands to share chores and provide good company. I started out with absolutely no sailing experience, and I have met all sorts of people in the cruising community and been aboard three boats in the last month alone. This is a whole lifestyle and way of travel unto itself.

Another way to get free accommodation includes home exchanges; check out more information on home exchange resources and etiquette.

Don't Pay for Flights

When I have to fly (which I try to do as rarely as possible), my long-haul flights are in business class, and cost less than the price of an economy ticket. I do this through the creative use of frequent flyer miles. I started out (years before I became a full-time traveler) simply as a passive collector with my credit card before delving into the world of creative frequent flyer mile accumulation through various promotions (here's the first big promotion I took advantage of in 2009).

Now I'm hooked, and always on the hunt for a frequent flyer deal, often accumulating thousands of miles each month without actually flying, which is easy thanks to my Travel Hacking Cartel membership.

Sometimes it actually works out better to pay cash for a flight, especially if it's a domestic flight. If this is the case, here are some resources and tips to ensure you get the lowest price, even after you pay for your ticket.

Travel Slowly

The slower you travel, the less money you'll spend on transportation, interim accommodation (for example, between when you land in a new place and begin a house-sitting or volunteer gig), and even set-up expenses like buying groceries/staples or wear-and-tear on personal effects like luggage.

And the slower you travel, the more immersive your experience will be, and the more likely you will be to develop relationships with locals (who may not want to invest the time and effort getting to know somebody who is simply passing through) who can in turn deepen your travel experience and help you learn what life is like around the world.

Your Travel, Your Style

There's more to full-time travel than these three techniques to keep your costs low. I made purchases that weren't totally necessary, and I could have further reduced my expenses if I'd gone without. I also could have spent more money on any number of occasions. But for the most part I've found a groove and a personal style for my own full-time travels; one that leaves me wanting for nothing and spending how I wish on what's important to me. And all for less than I spend to live in one place.

I also have a career as a writer and travel blogger that lends itself well to my travels, creating a lifestyle that is a career, and vice versa.

Budgeting for travel is very different for everybody, as can be evidenced by this informal spending study: Taco Tuesday: The Inner Mechanics of Budgeting on Vacation.

How much do you think you would spend on full-time travel? Would you give it a shot?

If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!

More great travel advice from Wise Bread (Editor's Picks):

 

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Will Chen's picture

"I have my own beautiful free beach-front villa and use of two cars."

Wow I am incredibly jealous. Thank you for sharing your secrets. =)

Guest's picture
Krystal

You are a budget travel pro indeed

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Guest

Great article, thank-you

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Kurt

Very good tips. Planning is the most essential when traveling. When you stray to far from your plans and find yourself having to scramble is when you break out of your budget the most.

Guest's picture

Maybe I will eat these words because I have never traveled full time. But I find if I try to stick too much to a plan is when I spend the most money. Being able to get deals on the fly has saved me the most money. Being flexible seems to be something that helps. And traveling slowly and trying to find things for free. Sure, setting up couch surfing, a stay at a friends, or house sitting is planning to a certain level, but a fairly high level. Once you plan for the more expensive things the lesser things come easier on the fly I find. But I have always been the walk around and discover things as I go traveler, but my longest travels were 3-4 months and I had a job while doing that (well research grant, sort of the same thing).

I do love the tips you give for finding freebees and I think I might have to sign up for the travel hacking cartel to learn how to get more points. I have 75k but that is not enough to get where I want to go coach :). Though I tend to fall asleep in any moving vehicle quickly (unless something is really horrible or I am trying to stay awake) so first class has always been a waste for me the very few times I have gotten it.

Guest's picture
Shane

"my own beautiful free beach-front villa" - you certainly picked an apt name when you chose to call yourself the Professional Hobo.

And much appreciation for including our main site, PAYAway, in your list.

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Katelyn

What a great article! Reading about your house sitting gig on a beach in Grenada makes me want to drop everything and go explore the world. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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Will

Most certainly appreciate this article, very inspirational for traveling. I long for the day where I would be able to experience this vast world and it's beauty's.

Guest's picture

Great tips. I have been an avid user of frequent flyer miles, especially those gained from credit cards. I travelled business class between Australia and Canada on a number of occasions - it is the way to go on something that far! Have yet to try the house sitting - something to consider down the track.

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Barbara

My husband and I like to travel on the cheap (not like we really have a choice) but these are good tips. We generally will go to TravelExplosion.com or TripAdvisor and get as much info that we can. Oftentimes our friends will tell us of smaller low-cost B&B's that are much less than the typical tourist hotels. Thanks again and hope that helps.

Guest's picture

Really enjoyed this, we're about to go on a year long trip and although we haven't done a lot of things on this list, I certainly will be attempting some of them whilst we're away! Probably when we get a better idea of how much we are actually spending each day...definitely fancy WWOOF!

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Guest

This site rocks ! = P i don't travel very often... usually just twice/year but i'm always up how to save money !
Thanks for sharing your experience indeed. Btw let me know if you or your buddies want to visit Selinunte, the ancient Greek archaeological site on the south coast of Sicily. I own a two floors house in Partanna which i could rent for very little cash.

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Guest

Where sis you get the $17,000 from in the first place?

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Guest

She said she's a writer, remember?

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surminga

Wow, this is a great article, quite a few of these are useful for students who want to taste backpacking or travelling for cheap.

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Guest

Do you ever worry about personal safety when traveling?

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Jordan

But how do you have the money to spend 17,000 a year with no income?

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Marina

Hi Wisebread, great post! I stumbled you and sent your post to my facebook fans. You have a great way of living. The only courage you need is the courage to live your dream life.. you are a great example! Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture

Great post! We are currently attempting to travel indefinitely on $20k per year for two people! We sold our home and all our belongings to fund our dream of living 'in the world' as opposed to being owned by our jobs and mortgage. It's not for everyone, but life is short, why not make it an adventure? Thanks for your tips :)

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christine

I just did the same....I am scared but excited as well!

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Guest

i'm so happy for you! brave and awesome :)

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Guest

Sarah, that's fabulous almost a year later I hope it's been a wonderful adventure. Just today I thought I could sell the house and the car and just travel around the world. Of course that little doubtful voice shouted "that's nuts, no one does that" then I read your post. How cool, good vibrations on your journey...

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Guest

17000 a year and you say it's less than most people spend in one place? For someone who has travelled so much you know awfully little about the realities of this world.

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Calcifer

If you consider the cost of rent/mortgage, the cost of food and utilities, and the add-on's of internet and cable, most people in North America do live on far more than $17000 per year.

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Guest

Who is her target audience, poor people in the third world or middle class people from developed countries trying to get out of the 9-5 rut? People easily spend more than $17,000 in a year.

Guest's picture

Nora, or anyone with experience, was getting your first house sitting gig hard? Is it really competitive? I only have reviews from family/friends who I house/pet/kid sit for. I also have a FBI background check results copy from applying for a visa so that is helpful. Have any advice for getting a position? Could that be an article? Have your written that article already?

Guest's picture

Truly amazing! So many of us are in LOVE with travelling, but are limited by money. You've shown that if we really want to travel at a fraction of the price - it's possible!

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Bryan

Great post and great advice. I've done some similar long term trips and a lot of people don't realize how cheap traveling can be because they are so hung up on traveling a certain way and have high standards. The key is flexibility and a willingness to try new things. Thanks for the tips!

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Mauritius

Really interesting but is that even possible???

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Ana Pérez

Hello I want to know if it is safe for a girl to travel this one by herself. Cheers

Guest's picture

That is just amazing that you can continue to travel around the world constantly for so little. Kudos to you for sure! I feel like this would only be able to be accomplished as a single person though; once you get into having to feed, house, and transport more than one person it can seem like a much bigger hassle than just one person. Perhaps I am wrong- I'd love to get your opinion on that.
Also, just the fact that you can travel with so little belongings is what impresses me the most I think. Do you just buy clothes and wear them out until you need new ones? How do you accommodate for extreme weather differences (like from Russia to Grenada)?

Guest's picture

It seems even people with families do it...the cost for the accommodations for 2-3 people often does not change, can even be cheaper (per person) because some places charge singles supplements. Many of the house sitting arrangements prefer two people it seems for more work. Also if you go to Nora's site she explains exactly what she travels with and why and how its changed. I think she has a down jacket i could be wrong though.

Not my sites but people with families:

http://www.traveltoast.com/
Many on here if you search http://www.nunomad.com/

Guest's picture

I'm not sure it's that easy to travel on a cheap budget, by the way I really like your free accommodation ideas, despite I doubt they are easily applicable

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Suze

Highly recommend house sitting, been doing it for many over 5 years now and saved tons of money. I use some of the sites you mentioned in your article, another good one is http://www.ozhousesitters.com.au/

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Guest

I still find it expensive.. I traveled full time 10 months last year (over 9 countries) and it cost me around $5500 (including visas and flight tickets)

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Justtravelicious

WhoopWhoop!!!
Great article! great tips!
I have been on some serious budget traveling myself, (1 year, 10.000 euro's) but am sooo taking notes right now. It is time for my new adventure, doing it Nora Dunn style! Thanks for sharing!

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Andy Tope

I travelled for six months on $3000 back in 1999, but that was travelling only in three countries. I'm sure $17000 is perfectly doable!.

Great way to live your life (although nice to share it with someone).

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Nicole

I'm envious - and pleasantly surprised - that you were able to travel for an entire year for just $17k. It gives me hope of being able to do the same (although, I know I'd need to bring a little bit more luggage). Thanks so much for the tips.

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Annika

This is so true:

"And the slower you travel, the more immersive your experience will be, and the more likely you will be to develop relationships with locals (who may not want to invest the time and effort getting to know somebody who is simply passing through) who can in turn deepen your travel experience and help you learn what life is like around the world."

We have just spent more than two months of our 6 1/2 months volunteering (www.workaway.info is one more of the volunteering pages to add) and we have made plenty of friends here and really got into the Turkish culture. Tomorrow we will go on cycling. We chose the bikes for our world trip for many reasons, but the main reasons are the cost (my bike cost 70 € second hand and Roberto's bike was a gift of a friend, you pay for no gas, tickets, parking, tax etc, only some reparation from time to time), the speed (fast enough to make more than 100 km a day but slow enough to get to know all the small villages on the way) and the nature friendlyness (no smog, no use of petrol, no noises).
We use a lot of hospitality exchange (again one more to add: www.warmshowers.org especially for cycling tourists), try to eat whatever is grown in the place we are and cook a lot ourselves.
But thanks so much for the housekeeping- and Sailboat-tipps, we are defenitely going to try that out! You can read more about our world-bike-tour here: www.tastingtravels.com

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Ariana

Yes! Workaway.info is simply one of the best! The website, is clear, open, and engaging, with lots of pics and reviews, and the experience is just amazing. The families are so sweet and thoughtful.

Please do check it out guys!

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Guest

I wish I could do that, but I have pets, and it's just not feasible.

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Mona

Thanks for the tips. We are beginner travelers and this has given me some motivation to explore more!

Guest's picture

All really good tips. I completely agree on traveling slow. If you don't take the time and really explore a place, what's the point of even going? I really love to travel, but really hate the actual traveling part of it, so when I get somewhere I tend to stay a long time.

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Cathy

You are so wise. I loved seeing the different ways to AVOID spending on accomodations. I think that is where some people throw away their hard-earned cash. Another great tip you provided was traveling S.L.O.W.L.Y. - this makes a huge difference. I try to avoid flying as well and it has been quite helpful. :) Thanks for this wonderful post. I enjoyed reading every word.

Cathy Trails

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Benay

Great tips and thank you for all the links! Have you come across any families who are doing what you're doing? Would you make and different suggestions for a family of 3?

Thanks!
B

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Laur

It seems that you are on the way all the time ;)
Very good tips, even it is not my type of travel.

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Jule'

Thanks for this great article. What an interesting life! My husband and I started a new travel website this year as a result of wanting to use home rental, hosting and swapping to travel. We are amazed at the global connections to be made! We had never heard of the sites for house sitting. Amazing!

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Guest

I really can't express in words how much I love you for writing this.

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Steve

Great tips! Living in China has provided us with lots of cheap travel opportunities around Asia.

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wally

I traveled for 10 years and thought it was great until I tried to get a job. That 10 gap is more than frowned upon when you try to explain you've been traveling around the world. Employers really don't like that.

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Armands

You can only do it if you are alone. Once you start family life, it is impossible. But yeah, the experience that you receive is unbelievable.

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Paul Williams

Hey, I found your life style very intriguing and most rewarding.
I have hardly ever gone traveling for most of my life and i know i will one day.
Your advice and tips are very inspirational, and kinda makes me excited knowing it doesn't take much money to explore other cultures, places and meet new people.

You also say you work as a Hospitality Exchange to Work-Trade/Volunteer but i would like to know a bit more info on these, like how did you find them, by luck? or by the laptop you speak of and in the internet from the local area? and if so maybe post a few links that were of used to you, as it would be to us. Help us achieve some security in thinking of going traveling to it becoming a reality. this would be a great help to me and even more inspiration, thank you for your time i reading this

kind regards
Paul Williams :)

Guest's picture

I'm planning on quitting my desk-job in January to take off travelling and had planned on budgeting $20,000 for the year. I'm hoping photography + a couple other ideas will see me make $10,000 in the first year, which will be enough to encourage me to go for a second year and hopefully continue to base my lifestyle around long term travel. This article is certainly encouraging!! Paying for flihgts is the biggest roadblock I can see and need to figure out how to get around it.

Guest's picture

Great tips Nora!

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Ric Duncombe

what a load of nonsense. $17,000 is an enormous amount of money to spend traveling, and you're doing all that crap like crewing boats and working on farms? What on earth were you spending the rest of your money on?! You can easily travel the world, non-stop for well under $10,000 a year, paying for accommodation every night and eating and drinking all you want while also doing anything you want. The writer either knows nothing or it has been written for people who know nothing.

'of course, I could travel for way more than $17,000 a year'.... well good for you! Why don't you get on that and stop peddling this clap trap

Guest's picture

Ric. She also said she can travel for less, but chooses not to. Plus she is not just including traveling expenses but also certain expenses related specifically to business. She chooses to travel in nicer classes and stay in nicer accommodation. She also does it to spend enough to be comfortable to make it sustainable for years. I can do a lot of things for one year I do not do for multiple years. This is not a RTW vacation to her. It is her life.

Guest's picture

WOW, these are some GREAT TIPS! This article has definitely inspired me to do some more traveling. These tips are great for anyone interested in backpacking or just traveling on a budget. Thank you.

Guest's picture
Raj

Its a great article with lot of information.

Looks like somebody copied your article - see here:
https://minimalistlifestyle.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/how-to-pay-for-full...

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Travel Vis

Very interesting article, but having $17,000 for a year, would mean you have $1400 per month. If you assume that most of the countries have average monthly salary much less than $1400.. traveling with so much money is far from anything special. Try going around the world for $5000 a year, using couchsurfing, etc. and you will see the true nature of being on the road... Honestly I don't consider this a cheap travel but expensive one.

Guest's picture

She did not say this was the cheapest way to travel but that she travels full time for YEARS at a time, indefinitely, as a JOB for 17,000 including business expenses. She says you can travel for more or less depending on your needs but she chooses to travel more comfortably because she can. Also if she went way cheap all the time she would probably not have such nice stories or experiences to tell and make less money on her blog and writing. We all travel how we want and because she does not travel house want does not mean she does not see hte "true nature of being on the road." She is tyring to make enough money and enough business to make this sustainable for a lifetime not for a few months or even a few years. Most people think they need a lot of money to travel full time for their LIFE (not vacation or a trip). The people she is targeting probably make 40,000-100,000+ a year that think they have to make that type of money to do what they want. She is just pointing out how much LESS you can make if you live a certain way (not just travel a certain way). People certainly live on less. World averages are much much less. Does that mean I have to live like that to be truly frugal? If you look at the average wages a year in some areas being about 1000 dollars, your $5000 is not cheap at all.

Guest's picture
MB

Thanks very much for the tips! I've been using hotel and airline points for years but never realized there were such loop holes in frequent flyer programs! Going to check out Travel Hacking asap and see what I've been missing all these years!

Cheers!
MB

ThePassportReport.com

Guest's picture
elliot

Nice tips but the $17000 is bit high amount i feel

Guest's picture

Obviously what is 'cheap' differs from person to person, but I also think the $17,000 seems very high. I've spent well under $10,000 (probably closer to $5000) over the past year of traveling and I paid for my own accommodation (hotels and guest houses--mostly private rooms) every single night and I paid for all my transportation costs as well.

That being said, the author did mention some major purchases, so I think that's probably why the figure seems so high to many of us. And of course, it depends on the region traveled. A lengthy amount of time in Europe or N. America will drive up costs quickly.

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Lisa

Great to "Stumbleupon" Nora. I've read numerous entries by Nora across the web and ended up here. I'm gearing up for my nomadic way of life and am addicted to any tips I can gather. I plan on heading out in the Spring of 2013.

Guest's picture

This is a great post! I manage to travel for next to nothing because I do a lot of volunteer work and hardly ever pay for accommodation. Such a great thing to make travellers aware of because I meet so many that haven't a clue it's even an option. Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture
Dave

My partner and I are traveling the world together and doing a lot of the things you seem to be doing. We are on track to spend $10k each on a year trip through Europe, a stop in north Africa and a stop in the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia, and china.

It is definitely possible! It just takes a bit of dedication and endurance to make it happen!

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Ria

Great tips! I may haven't had any clue on how much I would spend for full-time travel, but I absolutely would like to give it a shot, thx for sharing it!

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Arty

I left Moscow in November of 2009 and traveled to Sourheast Asia, with only 150 USD in my pocket. I traveled for 1,5 years and ended up in Armenia last spring with 300USD. 17K USD a year?? Why would one even need that much money to travel?

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jane

you are my hero!
planning my escape for 2014.

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Kleiber

I'm shocked that the writer actually thinks she's not spending a lot of money. I travel a lot and even when travelling in the most expensive countries in the world I never spend more than $1000 per month, included flights.

The first rule about backpacking is take the less money possible with you. The less money you have, the more you will ask people for help. The best experiences I had when travelling was when I hitchhiked! It is the best way to know the local culture.
Second rule : doing a world trip by flight is cheating! DON T TAKE FLIGHTS. The thing with the credit card is the worst advice possible that the writer could give. Only take a flight if there is really no alternative. Trains, buses and boats are cheaper and to experience the change in the landscape is worth the extra time spent travelling . If you decide to travel for 6 months- 1 year, you will have the time anyway.

Google blogs with the words "word trip free" or "travel free". There are hundreds of blogs with good advice on how to travel with little money.

Guest's picture

These are some great tips. I especially gravitate towards your comment on traveling slowly. Too often I hear of people who try to pack in so much in a week long itinerary. I find that choosing one destination and focusing on exploring that one area for a long period of time helps me not only soak in the atmosphere more, but also save on traveling expenses.

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Turenne

Great tips and I am in a travel mood...

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Guest

I don't understand why there are so many good comments, while this post is almost useless:
1) It is pure luck if you find an accommodation in the place where you want to be.
2) To become a frequent flyer w.o. flying will require to spend 50K USD for a gold status, in average it is 1 Mile for 1 USD spend in the Promos buying completely useless things, event the link here goes to a book which helps you to earn miles, LOL!

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Dave Erin

I love how travelling for long periods of time is far less expensive than trying to maintain a balanced "settled" life.

Guest's picture

Well, with 17 000 $ I can travel about 6 years! I've been travelling no stop for the last 3 years, spending an average of 200€ per month. How can you spend so much money using couchsurfing and not paying for flights?
This year we hitchhiked from Romania, to Portugal to over the Artic Circle and back, about 20 000 km by land, and we spent as much as you do for 1-2 months

http://www.nomadtravellers.com/blog/120-12-000-km-by-land-in-7-months

And there are plenty of people travelling without money, just google and you'll see

Guest's picture

Great tips and being an expat who's lived on a shoe string before I can honestly say people are often surprised on how little people can live. At the same time it is nice not to have to! Now doing the transient expat lifestyle while still living in Asia.

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Sab

Totally agree with most of the comments here. If she thinks 17.000 $ is not expensive, she probably traveled with closed eyes. I think 17.000 Dollar is a hell amount of money. I used to live in Berlin on less than 10.000 EUR a year and I wouldn't consider Germany as a third world country nor myself as a poor person. Now I live in Istanbul on 300 EUR a month, which means I need roughly less than 4000 EUR for one year. Whenever I travel I try to spend less than 500 EUR a month. This is definitely not an article for "Frugal Living".

Guest's picture

The tips you offered are invaluable. Hospitality exchanges are a great way to meet people, especially in CouchSurfing. Before taking a trip, one can build up credibility on their profile by meeting people in their local community through the forums or by hosting others for culture exchange. Thank you for sharing this!

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Arianwen

Great advice! I would like to add to this 'Don't go to Brazil'! But I'm just bitter because it's so much more expensive that Bolivia was... :(

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Guest 1111111

Wait, so you used the points you earned on your credit card from buying PERSONAL Christmas presents and other items to pay for your PROFESSIONAL Business travels?

That alone means your traveling expenses are horrible misrepresented.

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Molly

Loved this article, so informative & inspiring - a must-read for any wannabe traveler!

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George

Love this post I really do, great links for those websites always been interested in housesitting but never tried. $17,000 sounds a lot to me ha. Especially if you are not paying accom ;P

Guest's picture

Nice one Nora! Great post!

I'm currently on a house-sitting assignment in Greece and got here through volunteer work! Very cool! It's completely possible to live on a pittance if you are WILLING to do so, problem is people love spending money it seems...

Have a good'un!
Paul :-)

Guest's picture

This is an excellent article. I have been doing online marketing for years now and I've used my freedom to explore the world. I am a surfer and I love taking surf trips. All I need to work is an internet connection and my laptop. However I'm a bit of a homebody, and need familiarity so I can't travel for weeks on end.

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LittlestHobbo

I'm sorry but I have to agree with a number of comments on here - $17k is A LOT of money! The fact that she doesn't pay for accommodation (and sometimes food) makes the number even more ridiculous. It suggests people who don't want to couch surf or work their way around the world need $1000's more than $17k to do it. This is clearly NOT the case. I've looked at her figures and it might as well have been Paris Hiltons costs. Other than that great blog :-)

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Guest

What does she do for healthcare?

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Sam d

Thanks for sharing such good tips! :)

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Guest

Inspiring! Great resources. A truly creative approach. The house-sitting is something I am definitely going to try this summer.

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Edelyn

These are nice tips and recommendations! I’ll try to work-trade/volunteer on my next travel which is scheduled on September. Working for the sake of free accommodation would be a good idea to save. Availing of free flights might be impossible; however, there are low-cost flights that you can avail at least 3 months before travelling.

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Helen

I can't agree more with your point about travelling slowly, its something that we're planning for 2014

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Sarah

Wow, talk about really travelling on a budget. It still amazes me how you can travel full time for less money I would spend if I do the same! But thanks for sharing your adventures and the ways you see the world without spending a fortune.

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Mary Ellen

Thanks so much for all the information. I have lived in Mexico for the past 2 years near the border (still work in San Diego) in Tijuana and Rosarito and plan to start Social Security next year and travel all over Mexico and the western U.S.
I already have some resources bookmarked but found many more that will be useful for me when I start traveling around in 2014.

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Thanks for the tip. I like. You make traveling seem so easy on that kind of budget...

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Thanks for these tips. My first year of traveling, I spent too much mostly because I was traveling too fast. Getting to know a place allows one to get to know where cheap food is, where to stay that doesn't cost a fortune, etc. Will look into some of these ideas for my future travels.

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I think it's too tiring to travel full-time, but some people like this.

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Si

I love travel, having travelled full-time for a number of years. However, personally I prefer travelling for only a month or two at a time. I don't like the pressure of always having to budget so carefully which, ironically, is a small price to pay for some people but isn't for me. You can totally do it, as you've show here - but unless you really hate your job or where you come from, why would you? I guess I just got to the point where working abroad wasn't any better than working in my home country.

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Guest

17'000???? Don't get me wrong.. but to be honest.. this is not budget!! Even with $1000/month you can travel and live like a king.. including flights.. and I've survived with much much less than that!!

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Many thanks for the great tips! I like "travel slowly" most of all, besides reducing expenses, it gives you a chance to better feel the place you're traveling around and to see more without being exhausted.

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Carina

I think it is possible to travel for even less. Check out our monthly expenses in Thailand and the Philippines: http://aroundtheworldinaday.com/philippines_thailand_comparison/cost_of_...

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This is a great post, Nora. Very eye-opening. thank you for sharing your secrets.