Long-term budget travel…how to sustain it.

long-term budget travel

Here’s how the conversation usually goes:

Fellow traveler: Ah, you’re a long-term budget traveler, me too.

Me: Nice, how long have you been on the road for?

Fellow traveler:This ones been a long one, I’ve been traveling for 4 months on this trip. It’s nearly time to go home and back reality. What about you how long have you been traveling for?

Me: A little bit longer, I’ve been traveling since 2010.

Fellow traveler: Ah, so you must be like me, go home, work and travel again?

Me: No actually I’ve been continuously traveling, living and working around the world since 2010.  I slow budget travel, I just roam the world.

Fellow traveler: WHAT! HOW?…Is that even possible? How can you sustain and fund long-term budget travel like that?

It’s a conversation I’ve had on a regular basis and a question on so many lips. It’s something that pops up not just with other travelers but with friends back home and even family members. Some people just can’t fathom how long-term budget travel is sustainable.

long-term budget travel

No, I’m not a millionaire…No I didn’t get a family inheritance…no my family are not funding me.

So how can you sustain long-term budget travel?

The truth is, It’s not as hard as you may think. There are so many options out there for us now, we live in the digital age, we live in a world where traveling is more accessible than ever before.

Over the year’s there’s been different ways that I’ve been able to sustain long-term budget travel. Don’t worry I’m not a drug trafficker or anything; although I’m sure some people are convinced that I am.

So if you’re looking to long-term budget travel but not sure how it’s feasible, let me show you.

Working holiday visas:

long-term budget travel

A working holiday visa is one of the most popular ways to start with long-term budget travel. It allows you to work as you travel, the visa is available in a number of countries all over the world and available for people between 18-31. (Sucks after you become 31)

So how does it work? Well in a nutshell, with a working holiday visa, you’re allowed to be in the country for a year in most cases (Sometimes you can apply for a 2nd year.) During your time in the country you are allowed to work in full-time employment for a single company for up to 6 months. Technically you’re only supposed to supplement your travels but in reality you’ll work as much as you can.

long-term budget travel

There is no limit on what type of work you can do, so you can apply for and work in any job that suits your skills. So that could be office work, sales, restaurant or bar work, laboring, or if you have skills in a specific niche. Basically any job you did back home you can apply for.

Personally at first I didn’t want to work in the same field as I did back home so I just looked at other options when my funds ran dry. The beauty of having a working holiday visa you can just work to top up your fund so you can just work here and there as you’re moving along. It wasn’t until my second year that I decided to go back into my field of work where I worked for a single company for the maximum of 6 months.

second year option:

long-term budget travel

Some countries will allow you to apply for a second year extension depending what country you are from (mainly between commonwealth countries and agreements between countries). It depends what country you’re in on how you can get your send year. For example if you want a second year in Australia you have to undertake 3 months rural work, while in other countries you can apply directly for a second year once proving you have enough funds to continue your stay.

For full breakdown and information on Working holiday Visa’s check here. Working holiday visa  or Working holiday visas STA travel


long-term budget travel

Volunteering is such a great way to experience traveling, giving you a completely different experience of local culture. Not only will it help prolong your travels but it can fill you with such a sense of accomplishment knowing that you’ve helped make a difference.

There is such an abundance of choices when it comes to volunteering abroad; there are so many organisations that offer all kinds of options. Organisations like HelpX or workaways can help partner you with local families or certain projects. You can choose to live with a local family, help with day-to-day work, work on farms, wildlife conservation’s, marine conservation’s, community building projects, and so much more on offer.

For more information on how to participate in volunteering projects see here Workaways  Volunteering abroad


Being able to speak English in a foreign countries is a massive plus if you’re looking to work and the best way to put your English to work is to teach.

long-term budget travel

Like with Volunteering there are so many different types of options on offer. Different countries will have different requirements for travelers wanting to teach; like different levels of qualifications and experience.

In some countries, you don’t actually have to be a qualified teacher back home. In these cases you can obtain TEFL qualifications which you can complete online.

Although I’ve never taught myself, I have met a lot of fellow long-term travelers who fell in love with teaching. These are people who never considered teaching before hand but wanted to prolong their travels and once they started found that they loved it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

For more information on teaching abroad check here TEFL, Teach away.

Digital nomad.

Sometimes you don’t have to look for work while you travel, you can simply just take your work with you. We live in the digital age, almost all of our work is done through the internet, so many jobs can be done remotely.

Long-term budget travel

I can’t give much information on this as I’m not a digital nomad; I’m just a nomad. However I do know there are plenty of fields that allow you to be one like IT, IT developers, website design, online marketing, online business owners, graphic designers, SEO consultants, writers, photographers, freelancers and probably a lot more than I know of.

I even met a guy in Nicaragua who was working remotely for an American based tele-marketing company. He would simply put in 4-6 hours every other day on the hostel computer, use a mobile provided by his company and make his calls. This was a traveler who hadn’t stepped foot in America for more than 5 years.

Of course if there is anybody in the position to be called a professional travel blogger (I’m not there yet) they would also be considered a digital nomad.

Here is a great article on how to become a digital nomad. by Johannes Voelkner, a digital nomad from Germany and owner of web-work-travel

Casual work for long-term budget travel.

One of the biggest lessons you learn as a long-term budget traveler is to always keep an open-mind. And, that also applies to finding some casual work from time to time. So many countries around the world now cater towards travelers and especially budget travelers. Hostels, backpacker bars, budget tours are in abundance and picking up casual work is not hard.

It’s not hard as long as you can keep an open mind and willing to check your pride at the door. What I mean is sometimes as a long-term budget traveler there will be times you have to do some less than glamorous work; trust me I’ve had more than my fair share.

You can work in hostels on reception, or as a cleaner, work with tour companies in exchange for free tours, pick up casual bar work, promo work, even just glass collecting. With casual work, sometimes you will get paid cash in hand, other times it will be in exchange for free rent or food.

There have been times when I’ve had no money but the hostel manager has been able to get me some casual work so I could cover rent and have food.

Other options for long-term budget travel:

Studying abroad.

Work sponsorship.

Make and sell trinkets or ornaments.



Don’t be that guy! (Or girl)

As you can see there are plenty of options and ways to sustain long-term budget travel. However I have to stress I do not condone those people who run out of money and put videos on Social media asking strangers to send them money so they can continue their travels. These are the types of travelers that give the rest of us a bad reputation! If you get into that much of a hole, then it’s time for you to go home!


What were your thoughts on this post? Did you find it helpful, leave me a comment below and don’t forget to forever roaming the world’s ever growing community.

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  1. I’ve been travelling and working at the same time from the past 6 years. I agree. There are so much choices now than before. Also, I would recommend not to limit yourself to teaching English or IT related jobs if you don’t like it. I love travelling but I also love the corporate world. I thought it was impossible to find a job that would cater my passion for business management and corporate world and my love for travel but more than 6 years ago, I found a job that made it possible.

  2. I’ve never did a long term travel but I think another good option to pursue this “hobby” would be something that every human being should have (maybe in the future?): A job or part-time job that leaves 3 or more full free days per week. In that space one could easily afford some short travels , maybe with some cheap flights , and/or follow their other hobbies and care their personal life. We need to “work to live” and not “live to work” ?

  3. I’ve never really done any “long term” travel, I do lots of smaller trips, and work in between. But there is some really helpful advice and tips here should I decide to do some full time travelling in the future ? x

  4. I’ve also read several articles like this one, and yours has given a wider understanding on this matter. Traveling long term should really be prepared well. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and surely this will be a help for me as I’m planning to travel long term soon.

  5. Thanks for sharing your tips on this! Long term travel is a thing I’d love to try one day, especially working holidays

  6. Amit, these are very interesting tips. However, I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to quit my full time job completely and travel, relying on these unstable, short term money-earning solutions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing them or anyone who decided to take them up; actually I really admire people who have the courage to follow their dreams and find solutions to sustain them along the way. These people totally inspire me! Have you tried all these tips yourself? Volunteering, teaching, house sitting, etc?

    • Haha, it’s ok it’s not for everybody like I always say there is no right or wrong way to travel 😀 Out these options working holidays have been the main one I’ve done, I’ve done a few of the others but I haven’t done any teaching (admire anybody that does teach but not my thing)

  7. Ohh great I am now age of 24 I explore to many places in india but never visit outside India just looking right time to took from job to explore the world

  8. I love how you started off with “how the conversation usually goes” – I’ve been there! Also completely agree that slow travel is the best way to go, I am working on the digital nomad life! Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Having travelled for years o a tight budget, I know it is entirely possible. Great post, always good to let others know it can be done xx

  10. Loved and enjoyed reading your post, some great insights into how you manage to roam the world,travel, and work.
    I have bookmarked your post as it has some fantastic ideas and tips. I am doing an interview series on my blog on nomads around the globe and would love to feature you.

  11. Thanks for a informative post! I turned 32 a few months back and i feel so bad about my age now! Would love to do volunteering jobs in a far away land. It helps me keep fit and in touch with the local community!

  12. its trye there a lot of option out there but you really need to be professional, or if not take courses and do the job that fits you while travelling. there are those who travel only for vacations and those who are on the road for a long period

  13. You hit the nail on the head with this one! Been long term expating for 5 years now and working holiday visa’s are the best! learn something new, different language and teach yourself to be in someone else’s shoes. great read thanks 😀

  14. I worked as an au pair in the USA and it allowed me to travel, it was the best decision I made and often regret that I had not started earlier. Loved your write up – advice and inspiration filled!

  15. I totally agree – there is a lot of options out there and if you want it you can make it happen! On the other hand i think that not having somewhere you could call home could be difficult for many people.

  16. Its really great that you managed to do this. One of the biggest challenges I face as an Indian passport holder who loves travelling is that we aren’t eligible for working holiday visas 🙁 So, I guess have to do something along the lines of volunteering or Digital Nomad. Personally, I have done internships and studies abroad and great experiences!

  17. Loved reading this post! Looks like I’m too old for the working visa haha! I tend to work a bit in the UK then travel and take time off – have been doing this for over 10 years. Good on you … it’s all great life experience! ; )

    • Yeah it sucks that they limit the age to 31, glad you enjoyed the post ?. This year has been the first time I’ve been home to work since I left in 2010 and I hate it lol …but it has given me a chance to start this blog, always a silver lining I guess

  18. ah work and beach, I miss that about Bali and Australia – Just nipping down to chill on the beach during my break or after work and watch the sun go down.

    • Yeah same here, People ask m sometimes why I haven’t been to more countries and it’s because I work in the countries I go to. I stay longer, see more of their way of life. As you might have seen I complain a lot about being home and working but when I’m working in a different country it just doesn’t feel like I’m working in the everyday grind; if that makes sense lol ?

      • Makes perfect sense! ?? It’s because you are learning so much more, even if the work is simple. Some of the best times in my life was working as a waitress in the Greek Islands. No-brainer work, but the go go go lifestyle of tourist season and beach is just insane. Like you’re in a bubble. Love it!!

  19. Interesting to hear about your Aussie and NZ adventures. I left the UK started my working holiday Visa in 2008 and it was pretty much like you described, odd jobs, being skint etc. I did manage to get sponsored in the end (and later get my PR) which means I can spend time unlimited between AUS / UK while travelling other parts of the world. I hated being tied to one place at the time but it was worth it in the end.

  20. Awesome man! Hope you can keep that lifestyle going ~ Some of my really tough experiences were pruning vineyards in New Zealand but the memories are worth every cent!

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