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Freedom and happyness
'How do you afford to travel?'
This is by far the most common question I receive. So I’ve compiled a concise list of information and resources I use.
Saving money to travel comes down to prioritizing how you spend your money. Traveling is expensive, but so is buying lots of stuff you don’t need. The only way to make it happen is by working hard and spending/saving wisely when you are not traveling. Moneysavingexpert is a UK based site that gives excellent advice on saving and boosting your income by earning extra money on the side.
Travel Hacking is about earning airmiles and points for free flights and accommodation. The main method of doing this is through credit cards that reward you for spending. Some good resources for finding the best airmiles schemes are TravelHacking, and Flyertalk. If you are from the UK, read this article, check HeadforPoints, and use HUKD for good travel deals.
Budgeting and planning ahead is the best way to avoid overspending. Check fares early and often using flight comparison sites like Skyscanner and Kayak. Flying during off-peak times (when kids are still in school) is generally cheaper. Doing all your traveling in one go and making a proper itinerary, can save money in the long run. You can sleep for free if you Couchsurf. Hostelworld is great for budget accommodation and you meet lots of people this way. Airbnb allows you to rent rooms and apartments from people directly, and finding somewhere with a kitchen is a great way to save on food expenses.
Do your research before you leave. The absolute best way of finding out the cheapest deals on tickets and transport in a city is by asking the people who live there. Go on reddit, and find a specific subreddit for the city you are going to (e.g. /r/Tokyo). Search the subreddit, and ask people there for advice and tips. Ask at the desk at hostels and hotels. If you stay with Airbnb, many hosts are super helpful and full of knowledge of the best budget bars, restaurants and stores. Avoid tourist traps. Visit a place because you want to, not just because it has a good rating on Tripadvisor.
Earning whilst abroad is an option if you want to travel long-term. TEFL is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is probably the most common ‘working abroad’ route for travellers in Asia, because it’s easy to qualify for, in demand, and pays well. I use TEFL.com and ESLCafe for information and job searching. You can also find plenty of other work abroad, in hostels, bars, cafes, summer camps, or working as a personal tutor or nanny. Networking, making friends with the locals and word-of-mouth, is the best way to find these smaller jobs whilst abroad.