If you’re anything like me, once you’re travelling, you want to see as much as you can for as long as you can before going back to real life (whatever that is). Here’s my advice for how to extend your trip as long as possible without going home broke… hopefully.
Don’t Pay to Stay (or at least don’t pay much)
There are so many options now to find a place to stay with locals in return for nothing, a little work or just a few bucks. Websites like Staydu, a directory of folks around the world willing to host travellers can set you up with places to crash for free, cheap places to rent or room and board in exchange for some work (my favorite – eventually l always get sick of sightseeing and love to make myself useful). Staydu is especially cool because it offers all three accommodation options in one place so you don’t have to search across multiple sites.
Knowing people can save you a lot of money and make travel more rewarding so spread the word about where you’re going and make contacts. Maybe a friend of a friend in Ecuador needs help on their farm or your aunt’s pool boy is studying abroad in Ukraine and would love to let you stay indefinitely. You never know what opportunities will pop up so keep everyone up to date on what you’re doing and stay flexible.
Account for Everything
When you’re making a travel budget, don’t forget boring things like insurance, credit card payments and student loans or unexpected lame cash drains like getting scammed or pickpocketed. Running out of money is the biggest bummer and having to buy an expensive last-minute flight home because you can’t afford to stay gone makes it even worse. Be realistic and set everything on auto-pay before you leave so you can imagine yourself debt-free while you’re away and avoid unpleasant surprises.
You’ve probably heard of all of the “Slow Whatever” movements popping up. I love them all and Slow Travel is no exception. Travelling slowly can save you money and be a more authentic experience while helping you stay away from home even longer. It’s about more than just relocating from one place to another. Yes, you can opt for buses instead of planes but beyond that, its staying put in one place for longer and enjoying the slow life. Cook a meal from scratch instead of eating out. Go for a walk instead of a whirlwind sightseeing tour.
And if you want to go really slow… Go Nomadic
Yes, it can be done but no, it’s not necessarily easy. If you dig a less predictable life and want to travel as a lifestyle, consider leaving everything behind and going nomadic. We live in a time when more and more jobs can be done remotely. Web designers and writers fit in perfectly here but maybe your job would too (doesn’t hurt to ask!). Being nomadic doesn’t mean you would be trekking through the Kalahari, only setting up a tent for the night before moving on. Instead, you´d be moving from place to place whenever you feel the need for a change, the only caveat being the need consistent access to a decent wi-fi connection.
What’s your advice for making travel last longer?