(Last Updated On: June 17, 2018)

Long term budget traveling realism’s.

Long term budget traveling realism's: Forever Roaming the world brings to you a series of posts showing the other side of the budget traveling coin - Want to know what everyday life on the road is like? What happens when you run low on funds? What if there are...

(Forever Roaming the World’s Long term budget traveling realism’s is a series of posts (which you’ll find at the bottom of this one) covering the things you rarely hear about budget traveling life. This series mainly applies to anybody looking to budget travel for 9 months+)

Long term budget traveling realism’s are the things you don’t get told about!

Let’s be honest here before most of us start budget traveling we do some research and planning. In doing so, naturally, our imaginations run wild and we build highlight reels in our minds. We read blogs and watch videos about all the amazing things to see and do, the new countries and cultures we’ll experience. Most of us will fantasize and dream up how the trip will play out, thinking about the people we’ll meet, the food we’ll taste and the adventures that are sure to captivate us.

Long term budget traveling realism's are a series of posts showing what really happens while budget traveling, things that don't get talked..

These pictures and highlight reels we conjure up in our heads show how our days will be filled with amazing adventures from one day to the next. However, we tend to block out and don’t dwell on anything that might be negative, after-all that’s why we plan and research; to prevent it. Most of us forget to even think about the days without adventure, the transit days, times our funds might dry up or if things might go wrong.

And why would we? They are negative thoughts, we don’t want to dampen our spirits before a dream trip. Sure we might prepare for some eventualities, safety aspects and have a backup plan if certain things do go wrong but how deep do we really think about it?

The harsh truth.

In truth, It’s not always the case that we don’t want to think about it, sometimes we’re just not aware these things will happen. When we read blogs, articles and watch videos, these things are not heavily talked about; they’re edited out. I understand it, I mean why would you want to read or watch something about a traveler feeling homesick or running out of funds?

Long term budget traveling realism's are a series of posts showing what really happens while budget traveling, things that don't get talked..

So, why am I not only just talking about it but making a whole series about it?

Well, because It’s all well and good hearing about the good side of budget traveling but wouldn’t you want to be made aware of the other side of the coin too? From a personal viewpoint, I wish there was something like this for me to read before I embarked on my traveling life back in 2010. Yes, I did my research and planning, yes there was lots of information on things to see and do; landmarks, locations, events, even places where I should eat. But information on everyday backpacking life, how to cope and adapt when things go wrong – Well it was non-existent and I had to find out learn for myself.

This isn’t about me though, It’s universal. Over the years I’ve met and come across so many people who have been incredibly under-prepared for what long-term budget travel entails and in most cases through no fault of their own. It was because they just didn’t know any better. One of the reasons I started Forever Roaming the World was to make first-time budget travelers more aware of the realism’s of long-term budget travel.

Long-term budget travel is different!

This might ruffle a few feathers but Long-term budget travel is not like normal traveling and it’s sure as hell not like what some Instagramers may like you to believe.

We do live in the digital age, fake news is rife and so are fake travel pictures. Now let’s not get confused here, I’m not talking about spectacular landscape pictures, I’m talking about those pictures when somebody might be deep in the jungle, or in the desert or in a conservative country looking like they’re on a modeling shoot. Yes, of course, there might be some luxury travelers out there who might look like a million bucks all the time – but I have never seen a budget traveler looking their best in a jungle or in a scorching desert.

Also, you’re not taking a short trip and returning back to the comforts of your home. You won’t have a fixed address, you’ll have to figure things out on the go, people will come and go from your life and It’s definitely not luxurious.

Long term budget traveling realism's are a series of posts showing what really happens while budget traveling, things that don't get talked..

Long-term budget traveling is testing, there will be major bumps in the road, things will go wrong, situations will occur and it will throw you – no…Yank you out of your comfort zone. It will test you both mentally and physically and some people can’t cope with it. Sounds harsh I know but I’ve seen people struggle, some even packed their bags and went home because they weren’t aware of situations, their dreams turned into nightmares and they couldn’t cope.

The other side of the coin.

So, the question is, what are some of these situations and the other side of the so-called traveling coin?

Well, as a long-term budget traveler you will experience things you normally wouldn’t on shorter trips. As mentioned above we don’t have a fixed address, we’re away from home for a prolonged amount of time and that in itself can get tiresome. Homesickness will kick in at some point; birthdays, significant events, births, and deaths can be missed. There will be times you feel down, have anxiety, feel left out, lonely, days where things go wrong, run low on funds or get tired of moving around, of packing and unpacking.

Picture for Forever Roaming the World's post Long term budget traveling realism's

There’s also the trivial things, just everyday traveling life when you try not to spend any money, days when you just can’t be bothered, figuring where and how to do your laundry, shopping and cooking for yourself. One one the toughest things you have to get used to is making friends and then saying your goodbyes to people you’ve got close to.

You might be shaking your head saying, “Nah that won’t happen to me, I’ve got enough funds, I’m a positive person and nothing can get me down.”

Unfortunately, these things can happen to any of us –  One of the first things a traveler learns is how quickly things can turn on its head. And, no amount of planning can prepare you for when shit goes horribly tits up!

Not trying to put you off long-term budget traveling.

Now, before you think I’m just being negative and trying to deter you, these are not just my experiences, it’s the experiences of hundreds of others I’ve encountered over the years. And, it’s not the case that I’m trying to put you off.

The complete opposite actually! I’m saying you should travel but as a long-term budget traveler, you should be aware of what to expect.

Wouldn’t change a minute.

I can categorically say since I first packed my bags in 2010 and embarked on my nomadic life It’s the best decision I ever made. Long-term budget travel changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t swap any of the bad days I’ve had because It’s shown me what my character is made of.

Traveling; all forms of it can be the most eye-opening, enriching, fulfilling and life-changing experience of your life. You can learn so much, not just about the world and other cultures but about yourself too. And those things you only dreamt of can come true and lifelong memories can be made. Just bear in mind when there are highs, there are lows. And the point of the Long-term budget traveling realism’s series is to help you prepare for those lows so they are not such a sharp blow to you if they happen.

Long term budget traveling realism’s posts:

So, with that being said, below are posts from the Long term budget traveling realism’s series – I hope they help prepare you and help make your future travels smoother.


Part 1

Part 3

Part 5

traveling life - backpacks and booze

Part 7

long-term solo traveling: feeling lonely


Part 2

Part 4

Part 6

Long-term budget backpacking life

Future Long term budget traveling realism’s series posts:

  •  Backpacking through multiple countries.
  • Transport problems/ Traveling being the worst part of traveling.
  • Those days you just don’t want to do yet another activity.
  • Not having a fixed address.
  • Backpacking not being the most glamorous form of traveling – But one of the most enriching.
  • Being a local and not a tourist – How locals treat you differently to passing travelers.
  • Becoming homesick.
  • Traveling long-term is hard and tiring – It will test you.
  • Taking the rough with the smooth.
  • Long-term backpacking changes you.
  • How long-term traveling can detach you from reality and traveling becomes normal life.
  • Countries you won’t get along with.


Did you find this Long term budget traveling realism’s helpful? Let me know in the comments below if there is anything else you would like to know about backpacking Australia’s east coast.

If you would like further posts and series like ‘Long term budget traveling realism’s’, other in-depth solo/ budget travel advice and weekly blog posts come and join Forever Roaming the World’s ever-growing community, we would love to have you.

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  1. Great post, I am always shocked when people think that all long term travellers are living the dream. It really bothers me when people aren’t real about their lives and showcase that this is the easiest, best thing in the world and ANYONE can do it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. The post is an honest account of a budget and long-time traveller. It is not always hunky doy as it seems and people make it out to be. And you are so right about those ‘perfect travel pictures’. I, for myself never look pretty while I am travelling and a lot of hard work goes to take that ‘perfect’ instragrammable picture. And that happens rarely. 😀 😀
    Thanks for bringing out the reality of long time budget travels. It needs to be told.

  3. Agree with your thoughts outlined in the “The other side of the coin” – things could happen outside of your planning scope, no matter how meticulous and detailed you are. But you’ll emerge enriched, with newer experiences.

  4. This is a really thought-provoking post. As much as I love to travel, I couldn’t do it long-term. However, I still can relate to feeling things like homesickness and not liking a country, it happens! Still, it’s great that you inform others, but also see the awesome inspiring experiences you’re having in this life. Enjoy it Amit, you’ll have so many memories to look back on!

  5. I really appreciate your honest assessment of a life of travel. I know I have often idealized it in my head, sure it would be perfect. But your description helps bring people down from the clouds to let them know what real ups and downs they will experience. You are doing travelers a favor!

  6. This is such an interesting post. It is difficult to travel long term on a budget, constantly tracking what you spend, spending hours picking a restaurant if you have to eat out… it is so stressful at times.

  7. It’s really great that you are talking about a really important thing that needs to be talked about in long term traveling world. Back in the day, I used to day dream about being a long term traveler but somewhere in my heart I knew it wasn’t for me solely because I will miss not having a typical regularly programmed scheduluke in my life. I hope future long term travelers find your post! It will surely benefit them.

  8. You are a hero to be on the road for so long. I don’t think I would be able to make it. At least not the way you do. I still wanna have a place I can regularly return to and call home.
    I think I am finding a good balance for myself though. Half of the time I work remotely and I feel like I can be more location independent with.

  9. I appreciate the honesty in this post (and series). I would rather know exactly what I was getting into than see only the “Instagrammable” moments. I know sometimes I fantasize about living this lifestyle, but I know that I appreciate having a home base too.

  10. I’ve definitely been guilty of dreaming about what a trip is going to be like, only to realise that it’s completely unrealistic when it comes to planning. Love how in depth this series is, no doubt it’s going to come in useful!

  11. When I first started traveling I forgot all about the money I would spend getting to and from airports (even once home) & about the money I would spend in layover. This is. Real talk and I enjoyed it!

  12. Love the realism of this. You have stated some things that I couldn’t agree more with. We only ever see the nice things on Instagram. Thanks for the read!

  13. A series of posts dedicated to long-term travel and what to expect, well you took that up a whole notch. I’m sure a lot of travelers contemplating on being on the road for a long while will learn so much from your posts. How long have you been travelling non-stop for? My longest was only for 5 months, but that took a lot of budgeting and actual will-power to push through it. We need to be as realistic and frugal as possible otherwise, we won’t even last a month if we don;t plan carefully.

    • Hi Sarah ….the longest.i was away from home was 6 years ….good researching is key for me but not over planning …and yeah hopefully these posts will come in handy for first time long term travelers 😊

  14. I hope you get to travel more long-term 🙂 and there is always the right and the wrong ways of traveling and we will take both of them sometimes, but we all learn while we’re alive.

  15. It’s not easy as it sounds or as it’s been told or shown in Instagram or Facebook. The reality maybe little harsh and thanks for sharing your experience with us. More power to you!

  16. This was an superbly written post and I could tell it came from your heart. We have always been a step or two removed from long term budget travel. I love how simple life becomes and how freeing that can be. For us, we want to see the world on our terms. We are actively looking for ways to facilitate just that. It turns out, the hardest part of that equation is clearly defining what our terms actually are.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Secrets of Sigiriya Rock: Holy Temple or Pleasure Palace?My Profile

  17. I believe there are right and wrong ways to travel. While these may be more cultural and personal, to travel based on someone else’s itinerary even if it doesn’t suit us is probably a wrong way to travel. I say “probably” because it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning but it may also turn out to be an experience we will forever cherish. But if we travel in a way that is not congruent with who we are, and if such lifestyle burns us out and makes our travels feel purposeless, is that not a wrong way to travel? So, I say, there are right and wrong ways to travel, but it’s our responsibility as travelers to find out what’s right/wrong for us.

  18. That’s a very good overview of Long term planning on budget. Not many people are familiar from this side of the story and they all think it’s a piece of cake and very easy thing to do. When planning to live overseas on a small budget you have to overlook so many facilities and desires which seem quiet easy to get at your home place. It’s good post for people who are planning it will give them a good idea how to plan it.

  19. That was a very truthful outlook on solo backpacking. As you have said, it has its pros and cons. It is not for everyone and your post can help someone go into it with their eyes open, not with a rosy glass of glamor. Great post, pinning it for future reference too.

  20. When the full-time travel bloggers have started to become a thing, I was one of those who wanted to follow in their footsteps. I too wanted to travel long-term. After all, traveling is the only thing that truly makes me happy. But when I got out of job and I didn’t have enough saving, I realized that I couldn’t do it. Sure there are many people like you who could do this for real, but I realized that it’s not for me, and that’s okay. I can still travel whenever I can.

    And it’s good that you are painting a realistic picture for people who may want to do this. At least they know it’s not all about being pretty on Instagram the way some influencers make it out to be. It’s important to follow your dreams, but it’s also important to at least be prepared for it.

  21. Was good you laid out the things one could expect in a long term backpacking travel. Some real experience you acquired could help other travelers. Also encountering somethings you never expected makes it a beautiful learn!

  22. This is a very candid post that busts many myths about long term backpacking. More often than not, only the glamourous part of the experiences are shared creating a rosy picture minus warts. But your post places the facts in bare truth. The pros and cons are there for all to see and make their choice.

    • Thank you very much, throughout my hole blog even with my country guides I give a candid and honest opinion the good and the bad …ive meet so many travelers over the year who have this picture of roses but when things go wrong they don’t know what to do because they wernt aware of it….i want to show the glamour but also make people aware of the realities too

  23. Thanks a ton for pointing the cons of long term budget traveling. I always had doubts whether i love traveling or i like to travel. I think that your post has clarified that I cant travel for a long time. It has to be short trips and back home. Thanks once again!

    • It’s interesting that you’re seeing them as cons, the point of the posts are not to put anybody off traveling, more just make aware that it’s not always going to rosy. But at the end of the day long-term traveling isn’t for everybody.

  24. Yeah dude, I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s an interesting read, to share the less glamorous side of it all.

    A couple other difficulties that can arise – loosing your bank card / getting your account frozen. If you are travelling solo you are pretty screwed as you don’t have close, trusted friends around you who you could borrow money off. Loosing or renewing your passport it also a bit of a shitter.

    Good read man, thanks!

  25. I really wished for a long term travel… but responsibilities and budget won’t allow me to.. so I went for 3 months that became 5 months… even for a short-term, the discomforts are real as you mentioned above… but still, the joy and fun still win ?

  26. The series really sounds interesting. Yes, we always fancy very nice things when we plan our travel but at times the unexpected and unforeseen happen and then they upset our whole budget. It’s important to learn how to provision for them and still be able to travel long term on a budget
    neha recently posted…Using the Paris Metro as a localMy Profile

  27. Well done! Myself, I was always dreaming of traveling long-term,
    At the moment, my work makes me travel a lot., a good third of my time I am somewhere else. It has its benefits, the company pays for your flights, but you can stay in a location longer by yourself.
    On one side it is good, but unlike a long-term traveler, I don’t get to stay in locations I love for as long as I want. And during most of the trip, I hardly get to know local cultures, more communicating with expats like me.

  28. You have laid out an excellent post here. For months even I was battling the fear of long-term travel and living without an address. I knew my money wouldn’t last. Although I’m a huge fan of a nomad life I did weight the pros and cons like you did. I thought hey, I could have a small space as a base and move around travel weekend, maybe a few weeks and then come back, rest, recooperate. That works out for me as of now. Travel has truly shaped a lot about me in the past few years and has been a catalyst for change. Thank you for sharing your realism with us. ? Looking forward to the series.

  29. I’m no full-time or long-term traveler but I can completely imagine that it is often daunting and is not always as glamorous as it looks. Good for you for showing another side to it!

  30. Yep! That pretty much sums it up. Wish I read this before I left for two months backpacking through Scandinavia 8 years ago. It was my first ever trip outside the country, I was 21, had 300 euro budget for the entire duration of my trip, and every now and there I had a trip partner, but the best time I had, was traveling solo.

    It sounds super glamorous but it is an experience that is going to change your mindset. And yes, if you can’t adapt, it can easily transform into a nightmare. In some cases it will have you in survival mode (sleeping at -20 on a bench in a train station in Sweden waiting for a connection), camping in snow outside Oslo, hitching a ride with truck drivers, getting picked up by German policy outside Berlin.

    It is difficult, but it is also INSANELY awesome!

  31. This is very insightful and very true! Behind our very nice travel photos and travel stories and looking free from all the worries is the fact that we have a lot of things to face when we travel long term.
    Having said, this type of traveling is very fulfilling in that you’ll learn so many things along the way. Also good for sustainable traveling as we don’t get to flights as often.
    Jen recently posted…A Travel Guide to Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, NegrosMy Profile

  32. You have touched a chord ! Travelling long term & budget go hand in hand. Just returned from our 4 months trip to Europe and I can very well empathize with you. Public transport, street food, looking for a decent toilet… all part of the game. ?

  33. I love this no-BS post – we so often see the Yay-Wow-Hooray posts with gorgeous instagrammable pictures and how everything was so delightful and fluffy, that we make travel plans on the notion that everything will be brochure ready! With the realisms that come with traveling, there’s always a bigger emotional aspect to dealing with it and I like how you’ve been honest about it. I have a mission to prove people wrong so at some point I’m definitely solo backpacking and will refer to your “realisms” posts!

  34. There are so many challenges in long term travel even slow travel for that matter and budgets need to be worked upon creatively! You have put it out so well, especially the part where it is distinctly different from luxury short term travel. No permanent address , loneliness… People find traveling all the time toooo glamorous, well this is an eye opener to the flip side!
    Divyakshi Gupta recently posted…The Art of Doing Nothing at Mystic Mountain, NagarkotMy Profile

  35. Love, love, love this and the way you have written it. We are 10 months into a 12 month trip and whilst we are not really backpacking (we have suitcases and don’t stay in hostels but apartments) and we are travelling as a couple, there are certainly challenges that we face pretty regularly and it is not for everyone. I could do it for ever, my other half not so much he is ready for the comforts of home. Having said that we would never give back our experiences. Great post, there needs to be more honesty in travel blogging and you have set the bar high with this one. Thanks

  36. Nah, no arguments from me. I don’t know if I’d do long-term travel even if it were more possible for me to do. I know it’s a whole different kettle of fish from even a sabbatical. >2 weeks already has a different rhythm to anything shorter than that. I can imagine multi-month would require an even bigger shift of how you live.
    Teja recently posted…2 Days in Tacloban: Beyond YolandaMy Profile

    • You’re right the linger u travel the challenges change …from a week to two week ..to a month …for ling term traveling 3 months seems to be when people hit the brick wall or find a new lease of life and want to continue …for me anything under 6 months is a short trip haha ….although I came home for short holidays I was out there roaming living and working for 6 years before I really needed to come home and have a break from traveling …..now having been back home nearly a year I’m ready to jump back innthe horse haha

  37. You are so right. Long term travel has its own restrictions. Budget is really a great constraint especially when I am so cleanliness freak. I had this problem even in my regular travels.

  38. I am not interested in backpacking, but I follow some blogs of families, like mine, that do a Round the World Trip and I bet that is amazing and you see so much, but I know I would miss my friends, family, you miss holidays and events. I think my kids would go nuts without other kids to play with. I would miss nights out with
    the girls!
    Harmony, Momma To Go recently posted…6 Hacks for An Affordable Road TripMy Profile

  39. I am past the stage in my life where I would do long term solo adventures, however the idea of it intrigues me, as I know I would probably go everywhere imaginable. I love traveling, but I also love family life. Today my family and I travel the world together and amazingly have seen a good part of the world as a family – over 20 countries! Great info for the solo traveler though!

  40. Long-term traveling looks so cool, and maybe if I had known about it when I was younger, I might have given it a shot. When I would have been able to do this, the Internet was in its infancy. Now I am 42 with a college kid and an eight-year-old! I do love exploring with my family, though, and we do as much as we can as time and money allow. This is a great post for those who are considering long-term travel. It’s great that you can share your experiences!

  41. I love that you wrote about this! A lot of people only see the good things because it sounds pretty romantic to travel all the time. I have to admit that I am not a solo traveler at all – it’s kinda on my list just that I get to have this experience but I don’t really feel comfortable about it. Maybe it’ll change my mind but not sure haha.
    I love your blog posts as they are always super informative and honest. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences!

    • Thanks for your comment Kate ? one 9f the reasons I actually started the blog was because I meet so many people traveling who are painted this picture of it always being glamorous but then in utter shock when it’s not, I have to say it was the same for me when I started to travel …my main aim of the blog is to give an honest account …the awsome times (which as you know are plenty) but also the not so good …glad you enjoy my posts ??

  42. I love travelling but going on solo trips is something that I am not completely comfortable with. It is probably to do with the deeply ingrained safety paranoia haha! However, I do live vicariously through people’s stories. People like you! Thanks for the info! My favourite bit was the expectations vs reality of hotels. It rings a true sound in such backpacker countries like Cambodia.

  43. I love travelling but I know (and reading your post confirms it) that it’s not something I want to do as a long term thing, not only because budget can run dry and that can be very discomforting but also because I do quite like the feeling of coming back home at the end of a trip, it gives a certain feeling of comfort and belonging which I really like. I don’t mind being on the road very often but I do need a place I can call Home and be at every few weeks ? This is very insightful Amit, like all your posts x
    Medha recently posted…Going offbeat- why you should consider LebanonMy Profile

  44. Love this post! I’ve only done one big backpacking trip in my life and it was 7 weeks in Europe with two of my college friends. I definitely had the rose-colored glasses on when we started out, but never anticipated how hard it would be. The hostels and overnight train rides were not always glamorous, I was exhausted most of the time, and we definitely had to pinch pennies in most cities. When we could crash with friends or family, it was so nice. This series is a great way to give people a reality check about backpacking, and traveling in general.

  45. I can relate to this post. The freedom and adventure of long term budget travel is super rewarding, but it’s not always roses and sunshine. Long hours in a crappy bus, smelly dorms in the hostels with people that are not always very clean or respectful, missing friends and family. It’s good to prepare for that before you leave. I like to, once in a while, get myself a nice hotel room for one night just so that i can catch up on sleep and feel more comfortable!
    Wallis recently posted…5 Reasons why you MUST Stay at the Costeño Beach HostelMy Profile

    • Your dead right, I do the same in certain countries, if I can afford it, get a hotel room and just unwind more than anything. Don’t get me wrong I love budget traveling, and like you said it is rewarding but for me, there was a lack of information on what it was going to be like, so I’d like to give first time long-term budget travelers some advice from my experiences to help ease them into it.

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