A different budget travel experience this time around.

different budget travel experience

I think I need a different budget travel experience this time around…

As you guys may know from a recent post ( Next budget backpacking destination) the wheels are in motion, and I’m ready to stat traveling again. The sabbatical away from traveling is coming to an end, I feel fresh, reinvigorated and ready to leave England behind once more. However this time around I would like a different budget travel experience other than what I’m used to.

What I mean by having a different budget travel experience is, that, for the majority of my traveling life I’ve lived the typical backpacker life. I’ve stayed mostly in hostels; everything from big party hostels to small home like hostels. I’ve partied my way from country to country, I’ve got most the T-shirts (Bingtang and Chang vests all around.) I’ve done touristy stuff and ticked off so many things from my bucket list and although that won’t stop, I’d like something different.

different budget travel experience

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anybody that is living life to the max in a party hostel, or a crazy booze filled boat cruise, doing the touristy things, or even doing nothing but living a hostel life. In-fact going back to hostel life would be in the belly of my comfort zone – but I want to leave my comfort zone. After all, traveling life is having new experiences right?

I Would leave tomorrow if I could.

Some of you may or may not know, when I travel I travel long-term, and I mean years; 6 months is a short trip for me – I am a nomad. I would just love to pick up my backpack and leave tomorrow. In the past I’ve been able to do just that as I could supplement my funds by working in foreign countries on working holiday visas however that isn’t an option anymore as I’m too old for that now. (I’m in my 30’s). The reality is I need to have enough funds to sustain my traveling life or find alternate means.

different travel experience

I can still obtain work visa’s, skip over to Europe, (well before Brexit kicks in) or work for accommodation in hostels but I don’t want to do that anymore.

Of course the long-term goal is to become location independent, to have forever roaming the world be a global budget travel brand, an influencer in the budget and solo travel world (Yes I dream big). However in saying that, I am only 4 months into this blog. I’m under no illusions and know I’m just a spec of sand in this digital world and yes I know that the money is not going to come from the blog it-self; this is just the first step. So for now, I need a job or some other way to supplement my travels.

A different budget travel experience…But what?

While I’ve been looking at destinations to start my nomad life again, I’ve been exploring the alternate ways to experience budget traveling and be able to sustain it.

It recently dawned on me there are viable options I can explore, I don’t need to just look for just a standard job, there are other options to have a different budget travel experience. These are options I’ve known about but never utilized in the past; which may come as a surprise and might even sound ridiculous considering I’ve been a budget backpacker for 6 continuous years.

I’ve narrowed my choices down to these three options for now (of course things can and will most likely to change).

Workaways and Volunteeringtravel differently - forever roaming the world

“Workaway is an international organisation that enable travelers willing to work as volunteers to contact hosts (who can be individuals, families or groups) wanting help with their projects or activities. Volunteers or ‘Workawayers’, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food provided by their host.” (source: Wikipedia) 

This is something that I’ve known about in the past but never really gave a thought to – Until now. Having looked into it in some detail, I think this would be a fantastic option for me. Not only would I be provided with food and accommodation from a local host but it would completely bring me out my comfort zone. I could learn gain new skills, do jobs wouldn’t normally do, meet different types of people, live with locals, learn the language. Just to be around them day to day would give me more of a local feel and experience local culture from a different perspective.

With workaways or volunteering in general, depending on the type of work, it could give me that sense of pride and accomplishment that I’ve helped make a difference to somebody. This would be a brand new experience for me. There are other types of volunteering programs like helpx and woofing that I can also look into.

(If you are interested in this check out their website – www.workaway.info )

Homestaystravel differently - forever roaming the world

“Homestay is a popular form of accommodation whereby visitors stay in a house or apartment of a local of the city to which they are traveling. The length of stay can vary from one night to even a year and can be for free, in exchange for monetary compensation, in exchange for a stay at the guest’s property either simultaneously or at another time, or in exchange for help on the host‘s property. It is sometimes used by people who wish to improve their language skills, immerse in a particular culture, or become familiar with the local lifestyle.” (source: Wikipedia)

I think more often than not you have to pay rent for the room for this option but if it works out cheaper than a hostel then it could be a shout to. With this option I’d be living with a local family and completely immersed in their way of life. Like couchsurfing, I may get shown around, learn the local culture more, their ways, the language but I would be living like a local and not just another tourist. however with this option, i would be spending money on rent and really would have to get a job to fund myself. This would be my third option for sure but definitely one I want to experience at one point.

(more info at www.homestay.com )


House sitting is the practice whereby a landlord (or “homeowner”), leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house-sitters”, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner’s pets, performing general maintenance (including pools, lawns, air-conditioning systems etc.), keeping trespassers off the property, readdressing the mail, and in general, making sure that everything runs smoothly just as if the owner was at home. (Source Wikipedia)

From the research I’ve done into house-sitting, It seems like something that is growing in popularity amongst backpackers and budget travelers. It would be another good option for me, I do like my peace sometimes, I’d be ok with looking after a property, doing some general up keeping or looking after pets depending on what pet it is (I’m a dog person not a cat person) with this option I would have to choose carefully and depending on location and what the house owner is looking for in me.

However I also have a couple of concerns with this one. My biggest concern for this would be if I would get lonely, I do like having my own space but not for too long. At least with the other options you are in around locals and living with people. With house-sitting how hard would it be to get to know locals. Also you’re looking after a house, if something does happen that’s on you. This one is an option but I think I need to look into it a bit more before I’m completely sold on the idea.

Those are the three options.

I want to explore a different budget travel experience. If you have had any experience with the above or anything different let me know how you found it? Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? What advise would you give? I’m very keen to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Workaway seems to be very interesting, I have never been a nomad like you. It’s so great to read about you and your lifestyle. I wish to go out someday and never come back. Then would resort to workaway, homestay, and many like that. Have you experienced WWOOFng?

  2. I have never experienced those options maybe because I am more of a weekend traveler than a long-term traveler. I think house sitting sounds amazing, maybe you can just go out sometime to meet people. Unless the house, of course, is too secluded. I don’t mind being alone and if there are dogs all the better, that’s why I find that option really good. Hope you get to find more options to help you pursue your life of travel.
    Marge recently posted…Technically speaking, I went to Malaysia three timesMy Profile

  3. I really liked what you have written and what you are trying to do. Getting out of one’s own comfort zone is a must .Out of all the different budget travel experiences you mentioned above, Homesitters have never interested me much. I personally feel you are taking somebody’s huge responsibility on your head. Homestays I have experienced and they are awesome and still to try my hands with workaways. Go ahead and keep sharing!

    Suruchi recently posted…Koh Samui City GuideMy Profile

  4. This is a bold and adventurous decision. Giving up comforts and going in for budget stays is really an enriching experience. I am eager how it is all going to turn out for you. Keep us posted.

    • It’s not really as I’ve been a budget traveler for the last 6 years staying mainly in backpacker hostels…im not a luxury traveler who does short trips …i ling term budget travel …this is just an alternate to staying in hostels ?

  5. It is amazing how many options there are for accommodation! I didn’t know you could house sit or stay with a local family. I’m sure staying with a local family would be fun, so you could live like a local!

  6. I don’t really know anything about any of these options – but they sound like they’d work well for you! I have the same dream as you do of being a digital nomad…so I’m going to see if any of these might be feasible for me in the future! Hm, I wonder if they take people who are in their 50s… :-0

  7. I am a long term traveller in my 30s too (also English lol) and I totally agree – I am over party hostels! I think generally as you get older you get less into getting drunk all the time and start to enjoy other things (as well as getting drunk sometimes!) I’m just coming to the end of a year in Mexico and Central America, and I used Workway a lot here, it is a great way to travel without spending too much, using your skills and learning new ones in a local environment – I can’t recommend it enough!!
    claire recently posted…Taking Your Travel Photography To The Next LevelMy Profile

  8. It is always amazing to see different perspectives and approaches to the way folks around the world travel. I think the love of travel binds us all together and articles like this help us learn from our collective wisdom. I have done some volunteer travel myself and it is a very enriching experience. Wishing you the very best for your coming journeys.
    Prasad Np recently posted…7 Travel Blogging Lessons I Learned From Mahatma GandhiMy Profile

  9. I could not have traveled the world for three years without these kinds of websites. I used Workaway for two years and had over a dozen volunteer jobs in almost as many countries. I also used house sitting for a year, and am actually at one now for six weeks on the Isle of Skye. They really do make long-term travel possible on a budget.

  10. I think you hit the nail on the head here, there is only so much drunken debauchery you can partake in before the days begin to blur. On the flip side, short term travel leaves you isolated from the country and people you are trying to connect to. I believe in karma and getting what you put into this world. No matter what you do, make sure you are bringing value to the people you meet.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Seven Reasons to Visit Dark Harbor, Besides Being Scary AFMy Profile

  11. You are right. There is fun in doing the touristy things and the not so run of the mill stuff too! The quirkier the better for me too! More memories that way!

  12. I did stay in a homestay in Ubud, Bali one time. Though only for a couple of nights, I would say it was a great experience. It looked like the son took care of the homestay. He took me around through locals path and asked me a lot about life in Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia, where I came from), about his favorite singer whether I lived close to his house, etc. It was fun. But the volunteer sounds interesting though.

    • Ahh that’s great that you did that …i actually lived in Bali for 9 months a few years ago …although I was ready to leave at the time in starting to really miss it …i think I may need to go back for a holiday haha ?

  13. Unfortunately I don’t have any hands on experience with any of these options you mentioned. However as a young family we have looked into housesitting and wwoofing as viable options for our future travels. I think you have the fantastic advantage of solo travel and being able to choose any of these and changing it up if its not for you. Also none of the options would give you an income for sustainable travel. Lastly, i think its awesome you have goals to grow your blog to make future travel possible. So another question would be, which option of the three would facilitate the ability for you to work on your website while you are travelling? Would these places have reliable access to the internet? If you are volunteering, how much free time would that leave for working on your website? Anyway, just some thoughts. Can’t wait to see what you decide on doing and making it happen!

  14. It’s great that you are exploring so many options to make your dream a reality. I really admire that. I hope you find a great situation that allows you to explore the way you want to!

  15. I like the first one, the volunteering, although my parents hire house sitters for several months a year while they travel. with the right family, or situation its a pretty sweet gig. Although they live in the middle of nowhere LOL. All the person does is make sure the house is still there, and let the dog out twice a day. Oh and feed the dog! Maybe look at what makes the most sense for the destination(s) you want to visit. Like if you want to be in a city or rural area, that might mean more opporunity for one of the experiences you listed.

    Also dont forget, even though your blog is young, you might be able to score some free meals/accomodations/experiences for writing about it on your site???
    Harmony, Momma To Go recently posted…Fall Round UpMy Profile

  16. Great ideas! I’ve been looking into workaway for a while as well, but with the added complication of having kids in tow. I think it could work if we found the right place, but need to try it out somewhere close to home first.

  17. this is so awesome! i am also a frugal budget backpacker (and own too tank Chang and Bintang tanks too HAHA), thanks for the awesome list. I will have to look more into some of these the next time i get out there!

  18. I’ve said this before to you and I’m gonna say it again – I’m really inspired by the way you travel but I know I’ll never actually have the courage to do it ! ? Taking care of pets however does sound like an interesting option ! I’m slightly skeptical if Home stays. Hostels still sound like the safest option for me ? All the best though, I’m curious to read where you go next and how your experience is !

  19. I have not experienced any of those sites but can say that they would be awesome! I agree too that while the backpacker life is great, it is hard to maintain! When you get older it’s just harder to find jobs, etc especially with the upcoming generation! Thanks for some ideas if I decided to do this!

  20. I really like the idea of doing travels your own way. I do think volunteering is a good idea to know more bout that place and also to get to know locals. you must be having awesome experiences. keep going

  21. Workaways, volunteering, and housesitting are nice but it doesn’t make a lot of money ? That being said, I lost my job and moving to Australia to try my luck and will take any job that comes my way. I just applied for a housesitting and dogsitting job and it will definitely help with free accommodation and a bit of money on the side. Good luck on your future endeavours!

    Justine recently posted…Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, AustraliaMy Profile

  22. So many ideas and they’re all brilliant! I’ve met a few people who have had successful experiences all over the world with Work Away. I would try this option first and you’re usually somewhere interesting as well as with people so you won’t be alone like in house sitting ? Love that you’re up for trying new things though. Sometimes, the shared dorm life can only last for so long.

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