How I Finance Traveling Full-Time

Originally when I left home in late 2015, my travels were only supposed to last a year.

I budgeted for one year– accurately breaking down my budget to $50 a day and swearing to stick to it. What ended up happening was a surprise to me (a former shopoholic)… I repeatedly came under budget.

Month two abroad, somewhere in Portugal, I started blogging, earning (very small) passive income and later began consulting on social media strategy.

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Remember when my blog had a different name?  “Heather’s Wander World” hahaha…Oh boy.  This was taken while working at a little cafe in Porto, Portugal in September 2015.

What happened after that was even more surprising to me than my ability to (for the first time in my adult life) stick to a budget- I began earning money off my blog and social media.

Before I knew it, I entered a whole new field and started a new “job” so to speak, without so much as an interview or salary negotiation. I completely fell into this world by simply stepping out of my former life- and sharing the journey with those who were curious.

At first, and I’ve said this many times, I couldn’t believe anyone was reading my “silly little updates” from country X, and that enabled me to remain authentic and true to myself and my newfound audience.  I really never considered the fact that soon I’d have thousands of followers and a community of online friends who’d keep me afloat during this crazy journey around the world.

I was, and am, incredibly fortunate.

2.5 years later, I’m still traveling. The difference between now and then, is that today I know with certainty I can keep myself going by blogging and consulting, whereas it wasn’t even in cards a couple years ago.

I’m regularly asked for advice on how to begin a lifestyle like this, primarily how to fund it and stay afloat while traveling.  I never shy away from telling people that it is not as glamorous as it looks and payments come in form of experiences far more often than actual dollars, so that’s something to consider before you jump into this whole digital “thing.”

Here a few ways I stay afloat while floating around the globe:

Consulting/ Coaching

I’ve been in management roles since I first started working at 16 years old.  I find so much joy in motivated others towards a shared or common goal, and coaching/consulting helps me do that.  I’ve worked with individuals, small companies, and start ups over the last couple years- helping them with personal branding, pitching and negotiating, social media, and marketing strategy.  This is my favorite type of work (outside of pure TRAVEL) and I hope to really expand my expertise and experience here.  Check out my Consulting page here.

Sponsored Posts

Sometimes I am approached by marketing firms who want to be included in an upcoming blog or social media post, and are willing to pay for the link or even a dedicated article.

*Here’s an example of a dedicated article.

I am VERY careful who I choose to include in each sponsored post as I will only share valuable content to my audience, so if you see a link, please feel encouraged to click on it knowing I placed it there with ample thought.

Advertising

See that banner above my page?   That is paid (VERY small amounts) but it adds up every time someone visits my page, so you can imagine how much I appreciate all of the sharing you guys do of every article I post.  Every click helps me keep going, so thank you for any/all sharing you’ve done for She Goes Global.

Affiliate Marketing

If you see a link to a hotel in one of my posts (specifically via Booking.com), and book through that link, I get a small percentage of the sale.  So, if you’re looking to book your next trip, it would mean the world to me that you do so through one of my links!  Check out my “Destinations” page for a list of countries and cities I have been to with Booking.com links on each location.  Those links go to a general enquiry page where you can choose whatever you hotel you want, while still helping a sister out!  🙂

Comped Accommodation, Tours, etc.

Perhaps the biggest perk, or value, or being a Travel Influencer is all the free hotel stays, tours, etc., that come with experience and outreach.  With 2.5 years under my belt a decent social media following, I am fortunate to be comped for most of my activities and hotel stays.  Comped hotel stays mean very little (or no) overhead costs during my travels, aside from meals and transportation.  I only share my genuine opinions on each experience, which I am sure to express to the company before they host- a positive review is never promised, I just happen to have been very lucky so far and haven’t had to write a negative review.  There have been a couple negative experiences, but I gave the hotel/hostels the option to forgo publishing the review so as not to hurt their business- instead I gave honest feedback directly to them.

It’s been so fun traveling around and experiencing all types of different hotels and resorts around the world, then sharing that experience with you guys.  Traveling alone and living in hotels can get lonely, so sharing it with you eases that ache!img_17994323991504_img_5082


There are many more ways I’ve been exploring diversifying my income, but these are the ones that have been tried and true the last couple of years.  I hope it paints a clearer picture for you, so you know I’m not just out here on beaches sipping cocktails all day (but, admittedly, those are some of my favorite days).

Full-time travel is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned, despite how it may appear.  It’s not all glitz and glamour, and sustaining yourself while constantly on the go can be a lot of hard work that can take from experiencing wherever it is your planted that day.  It does take quite a bit of self-control to stay motivated on the road.  All of that aside, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything and am grateful for every opportunity to that has come to me since this all began.

I’ve learned so much since I began blogging and will continue to learn, grow and share along the way.

Thanks for joining me, always.

-HMD

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15 thoughts on “How I Finance Traveling Full-Time

  1. Thanks for sharing. Working on building my blog as a business and I see the same types of recommendations pop up time and time again. My goal for 2018 is to score a comped hotel 🙂

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  2. It’s nice to see that travel blogging is supporting you. We began our journey a year ago with the same intent. Time will tell how it works. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  3. I love your honesty in this post! I’m slowly working my way up to being able to do the same, and it’s inspiring to hear about your journey. I’m 6 months in so hopefully (with a lot of luck and hard work) it’ll start to pick up soon! 🙂

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  4. I have always wondered how people pack up everything and begin to travel the world. My biggest fear is INCOME, its like my whole life has been based on INCOME. I hate it. Reading blogs and article like this give me hope to at least be able to travel more.

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