How to fund your round the world trip
How to fund your round the world trip
One big question many ask and some are too embarrassed to ask, is how we fund our round the world trips? We get asked this question all the time by friends, family and fellow backpackers. To be honest we sometimes ask ourselves the same question, just how the hell did we do it? I don’t blame others being curious as we did travel much of the globe and continue to do so when possible. We will be honest it’s not easy to get your money together, for the most part it takes sacrifice in some shape or form.
We have sacrificed a cosy existence having our own place, regular income and bulging wardrobes for a life on the road, sometimes staying in busy hostels and using the same clothes a few times a week. It is however worth it in our opinion so here are our experienced tips on how to fund your round the world trip, before and during your travels. How to fund your round the world trip
How to fund your round the world trip without robbing a bank
We will say from the beginning that we do not have children, mortgages or bank loans, so these are primarily the main reasons we have the money in the first place, but here are other ways we saved our money to fund our round the world trip.
Living back Home
We had the opportunity to move in to Declan’s parents for a couple of years to save money for our wedding and our future plans, which turned out to be our travels. We were able to save money on rent which was a`huge benefit to our savings account. If you do not have the option to move back to your parents or family find something cheap if possible. House sharing or even hostels are an option. Unfortunately this doesn’t suit everyone and it is tough not having your own place, but in Ireland where rent prices are overpriced and not worth the money we had no choice. We could continue to pay a greedy landlord our hard-earned cash but it was the one large payment we could do without for a while.
Work like a dog
Together with Declan we both worked full-time jobs Monday to Friday, 9-5. I also worked extra jobs as a dancer, ring girl and nail technician. Again if you are lucky enough to live in a country where there are job opportunities, take them. It may seem strange to work hard when travel gives you the opportunity to escape the monotony of a 9-5 but it was a necessary evil for us to follow our dreams. Fortunately for Declan he could avail of a career break but it can be a big decision if you have to quit your job for good. In the end if you are not passionate about it you won’t have any regrets about leaving.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Everything you have that has no sentimental value to you, SELL. Any gold you don’t use? Cash for gold is an option. Do you have any clothes you won’t be taking travelling with you? Cash for clothes may be an answer. Anything else you have that can be sold advertise on Facebook in a group message. I sold most of my stuff to work colleagues. This saved posting, dropping off and waiting for collection costs. Old fashioned garage sales and car boot sales can also come in handy.
It’s time to keep your money in your wallet. Of course you can disappear and not enjoy life, but dinners out, take aways and parties will all lead to money draining from your account. So stay low as much as you can, learn to say no sometimes and keep remembering that all that sacrifice will be worth it when you visit Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, The Great Wall of China or simply laying on a beach down under.
No gifts please
Cash only policy! If Christmas or your Birthday is coming up ask your loved ones for money instead of a present if they insist on giving you a gift. The money will come in handy more than a voucher for shopping or a gift set. In many cases family and friends are happier as it saves effort looking for a present. We are very fortunate to have wonderful family, friends and work colleagues who have parted with their hard-earned cash to give us a welcome present over the years.
No more fine china, gravy bowls and pot sets. These days a wedding is all money. Now this is obviously not the only reason to get married but costs are a fact of life when it comes to weddings. Coming from Poland with a large Polish extended family I always knew my wedding would most likely be in the country. Living in Ireland we both noticed that an Irish wedding will leave you almost bankrupt with large costs from chairs to cars.
If you are getting married before you travel try arrange a small, family wedding abroad, A cheaper destination can benefit your savings account. Our wedding was a memorable occasion and we didn’t penny pinch or hold back, it was a special day we wanted all our guests to enjoy so we spared no expense. Having the wedding in Poland did help us as the equivalent celebration in Ireland would have us paying until today.
While You’re Travelling
The most obvious way to save money is to stay in hostels, especially shared dorms. They will always be cheaper than a hotel and private room. We must admit Declan and I are not the biggest fans of shared dorm rooms and we avoid them when possible. Remember to always pay attention to what they offer within the hostel, as whatever is offered free you should avail of. Free breakfast, Yes Please. Free laundry services, Don’t mind if I do. You take what is given.
CouchSurfing is also a great way to save money as basically someone provides you with a couch to sleep on for free. Some will also accompany you and show you around the area. Don’t let the tag “hostel” put you off too, they are not the dingy prison like structures from the past. Some hostels are even nicer than many hotels we have stayed in during the years. Like everything in life some you love some you hate. Check out our accommodation reviews to see why. Accommodation Reviews
Beggars can’t be choosers
Do not be afraid, eat local food. It is always the cheapest. Believe me I can talk as I am very fussy about what I eat, particularly local food, especially street food or unhygienic looking premises. Some of which can look like vomit and dog pooh all on the same plate. It might be the best food I ever taste, but unfortunately once my eyes make a decision that is it. Not every local food will look like vomit and dog pooh, even if it does it might be fantastic. Whatever is cheap and available, you eat. Cheap snacks like instant noodles are a great way to stop you feeling hungry. Yes, you will probably crap it out in the next hour, but hey! Were you hungry during that hour? Exactly. It fills a hole as I say!
“What has comfortable shoes got to do with funding your trip?” You may say. Simple answer, wearing them makes long walking more bearable and will save on transport costs. Transport all adds up whether it be plane, bus, train or car or even a cheap tuk tuk. If your hostel is not far from where you arrive, you walk. Want to explore the city? You walk. In the end the walking will take you places you never knew existed and the exercise isn’t bad for you either.
Many cities provide free tours and attractions from museums to beaches or parks. Check out our blog from Perth, Western Australia as an example of how you can “do” a city for free.
Do your research
Many like to go with the flow and plan their travels on the day, spur of the moment. Whether it be transport, accommodation or tours. I however do not like this method and prefer to have all my research done before. Declan likes to take it as it comes and we did it his way in South America. As a result we definitely spent more money as it was easy to stay longer in a place and you become lazy to move. When we did decide to move booking flights become more expensive due to the short notice. In Central America we did it my way where transport, accommodation and some tours were booked in advance and we spent exactly how much I planned. Again this is entirely up to the individual. You know yourself if you’re the laid back backpacker or the organised freak like me.
An organisation where you can volunteer in different areas in return for free accommodation or food etc. all of them are different. We haven’t done this as of yet but hope to in the future. If you have any experience of HelpX we would love to hear and share your story. Contact Us
Work along the way
Many backpackers work along with their travels to keep up the cash flow. From teaching English, working in hostels or even by availing of the working holiday visas. Offer your services to the public and hostels. So many times we have seen hairdressers cutting hair in hostels, others offering language, dancing, instrument lessons to even making and selling bracelets. There are always jobs going around. Ask any backpacker, look at the notice boards or just simply look up the internet. Before we went travelling we completed a CELT (English Teaching) course. We still didn’t practice in this field but Asia is always looking for teachers so I have no doubt this is where we will be able to earn some cash before we end up on the streets! Pearling Western Australia.
Become your own hairstylist
When you’re backpacking you will not want to spend money for haircuts or hair colour treatments. So teach yourself how to do it. I’m fortunate this way as I always cut and styled my own hair. Unfortunately for Declan, as I never cut mens hair, until now. I must say I am getting better and better at this. It all depends on the mood I’m in. He doesn’t mind being a guinea pig as he can get his hair cut in the comfort of his own hostel room without having to explain his preference to a non-english speaking barber. All it takes is a little investment in a shaving razor kit which can be picked up for under €20.
So there it is How to fund your round the world trip, just some ways we have made our travel dreams come true. There is no denying travel is an expensive business and we are grateful and thankful each day that we are able to follow our dreams. Depending on the type of person you are you could see the world for relatively little, or see only one country for a year’s salary. It’s up to you, we are still searching for that magic formula but every little helps.
That is why we set up a donate page on our website. It is what it is, if you enjoy what you see please feel free to give if you wish. In addition to helping us explore and bring new content, a percentage will be sent to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and CF Australia, two causes I know well. http://continentchasers.com/donate/. Wherever you end up on this planet, enjoy your travels, it’s not all about money but it helps!
How to fund your round the world trip