How I Finance Traveling Full-Time

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.

IMG_1240

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

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? SheGoesGlobal.net is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.

15 Comments

  1. Staci February 28, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

    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 🙂

  2. Kelsey February 28, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

    This is fascinating, Heather! Thank you so much for sharing. Now you’ve got me wanting to pack my bags! 😉

  3. Natalie February 28, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Love the transparency in this post! As a reader, I love the openness!

  4. etherealities1986 February 28, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

    I would absolutely love to travel full time!! It’s super interesting to hear how you make it your reality, thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Emily McDonald February 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Very interesting – thank you for sharing your insight 🙂

  6. Chasa Fulkerson March 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I have actually did a course on Sponsored trips and I am finally about to start reaching out to people for sponsored trips! I am really excited but also really nervous.

  7. I’m so impressed that you have been working since you were 16 years old. At that time I was just hanging with friends. You are a true hustler!

  8. Michelle Joy (@harborsnhavens) March 2, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    So exciting when your passions turn into a career! Glad it’s working out for you!

  9. ourboomerblog March 5, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

    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.

  10. Coach Sheena March 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Dream job, right here! I can’t wait until I am able to monetise my blog and begin my journey as a full-time writer (and traveller).
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Bubu Backpacks March 7, 2018 at 10:14 am - Reply

    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! 🙂

  12. Eljay March 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    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.

  13. britonabudget April 3, 2018 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Love this, I’ve just made a blog post about budgeting as this helps me massively when it comes to saving and spending! x

  14. Kim April 23, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Very helpful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. nononemeth May 20, 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    very helpful, i just recently started my blog… very excited, i really hope i can reach my goals this year… 🙂
    check out my travelblog if you don’t mind giving me some feedback and advice, it would be much appreciated 🙂
    http://www.theworldthroughmyglasses.org

Leave A Comment