I know a lot of people who claim that if you are young, poor or from a certain background that you cannot travel the world. My answer? Not true!
I recently watched a video by the one and only Johnny at OneStep4Ward and Johnny perfectly explained his opinions and how he believes travel is possible, saying ‘we all have a choice, be aware that you are making a choice in life, be honest with yourself about what you want and I want to be free’ and then he goes on to talk about those choices saying ‘don’t tell me travelling is expensive when you have an iPhone, drink Starbucks and wear Diesel jeans, it’s all about priorities.’ He is right, if you live an expensive lifetime, expect to pay the price by not having the budget to travel the world. See the full video here.
I agreed something with these comments, and have always believed that if you want to travel, you will. You will find the opportunities to do so, and you will work hard in order to do so. Travel will open your mind, soul and heart and will encourage you to be a one with nature, people and the world. And it is not just good for you, it is good for your family, friends and children.
After a lifetime of travel and 6 years of travelling the world through my blog the most common question I get is: “how do you get paid to travel?” and often that question comes with a lot of judgement and wonder. Well here’s my answer.
It is more so that people don’t believe I deserve the travel I get to enjoy through my blog. But this hasn’t come easy, the only reason I have come to travel so much is through hard work, endless hours of working late into the night and networking more than I have ever networked. From the outside it must look like I’m just always on vacation travelling around, having a blast — but there’s a lot more to it than that behind the scenes.
To fund my long-term travel lifestyle, I make money different ways. This changes from month to month but the one constant I have is my full time job as a PR Officer at a charity in the UK; a job I love and enjoy doing and one I haven’t considered leaving to blog full time.
I work full time in the UK in a 9-5 job
- I still work full time as a PR Officer for a charity and I love my job. It also ensures I have a monthly pay cheque at the end of the month and helps support me for my love for travel.
I downsized my lifestyle in order to live off less
- No eating out, no coffee, no expensive phone bill, no shopping every month for clothes… Over the past three years since finishing university I have slowly began to downsize my lifestyle and this has included all aspects of my life. I have even manage to combat my obsession with shopping and I now only buy what I need, don’t follow ‘trends’ and have begun to invest in my capsule wardrobe.
I work seven days a week (job + blog + freelance)
- I work overtime in order to earn additional money for my travel. I work both full time earning a month to month salary, I then work through my blog with sponsored content and paid for social campaigns and then I also work freelance for some online travel platforms. I work evenings, weekends and bank holidays, working late into the night and 7 days a week.
I ensure I am organised when booking travel (hacks)
- I recently spoke about this in my Cosmopolitan Magazine feature, showing you how I travel at weekends, I travel on off-peak times, I decide to travel to lesser known places in order to ensure flights are cheaper, I am flexible with my dates, I take trains instead of planes where necessary, I always check flight prices on comparison sites such as Skyscanner and I am lucky enough to have my blog ensuring I can travel cheaper through complimentary hotel rooms and transportation.
I look after my money with savings accounts and an ISA
- Get money savvy. Don’t expect other people or the bank to help you out when it comes to savings accounts, ISA’s and interest rates – you need to do that yourself. It is such an important aspect of saving and can leave you financially wealthy. School doesn’t teach you about which bank to bank with or where to set up your pension so it can be very overwhelming.
- Ensure you have a basic bank current account set up, a savings account with a good interest rate and an ISA with an even better interest rate where you save the majority of your savings for travel. Also ensure you can get a good credit rating by 1) registering to vote, 2) cancel any outstanding credit cards and 3) ensure about contracts are in your name.
- Borrow money from: parents if this is possible and pay them back at ease, use a credit card to borrow money from your bank but remember to pay it back or borrow money from a company like swiftmoney.com but remember these are for emergencies and have a higher interest rate.
I try where possible to do ‘free’ things whilst I am abroad
- It is worth doing your research before you travel into the free activities to do whilst you are in a place – I would recommend both TripAdvisor and travel blogs as they often list them. Every city has a multitude of things to do, events happening and passes which give tourists access to museums and other attractions, so it is worth researching this before you go so you don’t end up paying for excursions you might have otherwise managed to get for free.
I sell my photography to other sources
- I earn small about of money licensing my photography for use in commercial marketing campaigns, or for editorial use by media outlets. Tour companies, national tourism boards, outdoor brands, magazines, book publishers and others buy my images from time to time.
I’ve never really talked about the commercial aspects of my blog before, so I really hope you found this post honest and interesting. I certainly have found reading posts like this really useful for my own blog and business, so I hope my experiences can help someone else too!
*This post is sponsored in collaboration with swiftmoney.com however as always opinions are my own and I have thought about the content I have produced around this topic and the brand.