"How do you travel so much?" This is the most common question that I receive. There seems to be the misconceived notion that travel bloggers only travel when it's free. Sorry Charlie... this just isn't the case. Most of the travel bloggers that I know have one, two, three, fifty-leven jobs.
I started traveling mostly for work. My job required that I travel to China six times per year. Yes, you heard that right! I was on a plane for 16hrs, 12x per year going back and forth. In case your were wondering, that's almost 200hrs in the air.
But I don't blog about my business trips... mainly because they're boring. Work, work, work, eat, sleep, work, work, work. But after the work was finished, I was lucky enough to have time to explore another country for a few days. Since I was already in Asia, for free... thanks to my job... I would hop a on a $200 flight to places like Bali, Thailand, Cambodia etc.
Now, I know you are thinking, how the hell does this help me? It doesn't, unless your dream is to become a shoe designer and work in a factory in China? In that case, email me and I'll hook you up. But for everyone else, here are a few pointers on how YOU can travel more.
1. Stop buying stupid shit!
We live in a consumer society where we are programmed to buy MORE MORE MORE. Commit yourself to only buying food and toiletries for three months and see what happens. Log out of your amazon account, leave your credit card at home, only carry food money on you... and I guarantee that in 3-6mo you'll have enough money for a vacation. (Unless your pocket are getting killed by Sally Mae, Child Support, Medical Bills and any other soul crushing debt)
2. Study Abroad
If you are in school, or thinking of going back to school... why not study in another country??? There are whole departments at Universities that are set up to help you do this. They can even help you find scholarships and grant money to pay for it.
3. Volunteer Abroad
When you start searching for volunteer programs, you will find that some want you to PAY THEM? What??? I'm not paying anyone for my free labor... But keep digging because there are work abroad programs that will provide living arrangements, food and maybe even a small salary in exchange for labor. Check for programs on websites like ww.WorkAway.info. Also, if you can make it Down Under, there's a Working Holiday Visa that allows you to do farm work and live in Australia for a year.
4. Intern Abroad
If you are in school, and you need to get paid while you travel... because you like to do basic things like eating everyday.... consider applying for an internship in another country. You have a chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture while you get your skills up... and get paid! If you are older and maybe you're changing careers, click here for more information on finding internships post-college.
5. Use Your Points
If you must buy stupid shit, use your credit card. I pay for gas, groceries, travel expenses and shopping all with my Chase Sapphire card (there are other cards with good rewards, but I like this one). I usually rack up enough cash back points to pay for one flight a year. And the best part, Chase kicks back extra coins towards the flight. Example: If you have 20,000 points which would be worth $200 in cash back... Chase will give you $250 towards purchasing a flight.
6. Couch Surf
Do you have a friend that's moved abroad? Go visit them? Being an expat can be lonely, so they probably wouldn't mind the company... and you get a free place to lay your head. They may even let you eat up all of their food (but it's better if you don't, and even better if you cook FOR them. They'll appreciate it.)
I hope this helps you! I'd love to hear your comments and questions!