How to Travel, Even When You’re Broke

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Travel is something we grow up being told is a luxury for those with the money and free time. Travel is something you earn with working 40 hours (or more) a week, but what if I told you it could be more? Travel can be an adventure through the outback of Australia or anywhere you have ever thought to go. Travel doesn’t have to cost a fortune,  but travel to me doesn’t mean vacation. So if you’re expecting me to tell you how to travel without spending a single dime while being on the beaches of Spain drinking sangria – this isn’t the article for you. I’ll be sharing two methods with you. One of which is how to make money and the other is how to stay in a foreign country.

This a post for all of those who want to not just travel but immerse themselves in a culture. I will admit this traveling method isn’t for everyone, but this is how I’m currently in Spain.

  • You can’t travel with absolutely no money in the bank so DO NOT quit your job. You can hate your job as much as you want but the paychecks will come in handy as you buy plane tickets (the biggest expense).

Before I left for Spain I was working at a low-paying job I hated, searching every possible resource the internet could give me on ‘How to Travel’. Travel is something I’ve always had an interest in but never really started looking into until just this past summer. It started with a trip to New Orleans last August for two days, a solo trip to Seattle over the Christmas holiday for a week, and then another solo trip to Ireland for two weeks. Through all these trips I learned how expensive it was to travel. Many of my meals in Seattle cost $10, even when I went to McDonald’s.

One of the first steps I took, and that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to start a nomadic life is to try freelancing. With freelancing you allow yourself to work from home or any place with a strong Wi-Fi connection. The site I’m currently on for freelancing opportunities is Upwork.com. It’s free to sign up, free to apply to jobs, and the structure for the site is great for searching through different opportunities. Create a great profile, and in no time, you’ll have a freelancing job.

My goal with freelancing was and still is to become nomadic. Freelancing isn’t my end all pay for all bills job, just to help with keeping me going while traveling with what is probably the most interesting piece of information.

Workaway.info! This website is not only amazing, but it’ll connect you to millions (okay maybe not millions) of people like yourself and hosts that want to work with you! It costs $35 for a one-year membership, but with the link above you get 3 months free! So, if you sign up using the link! Workaway is a community connecting volunteers (like myself) to hosts in over 170 countries. Sounds insane right? I thought so as well, especially after a failed attempt on WWOOF I signed up expecting to just be wasting $35. I can say that I’ve proved myself wrong as I’m sitting in the living room of my host family in Spain.

I’ll try to explain how exactly I ended up with the hosts I’m with today, part of me believes I just got very lucky so it’s hard to fully explain how I found myself here. I set up my profile, put a bio, photos of myself, and every detail they asked about what I could help with while volunteering. This is not a website for just one type of work. So, if you want to learn about working with sheep, horses, kids, construction, hotels, or anything else really, they have a category for you. If you wanted to work in a certain country but don’t care where – you can search and filter by country too! The options are endless, so I’ll leave this up to you when you sign up.

When signing up I didn’t have a specific country in mind, so when filling out my profile I picked every country off the top of my head that I was interested in visiting. This included Canada to Spain. I sent messages to people asking if I could volunteer with them and received messages from people asking for my help. It took having my profile up for about 2 weeks for me to seriously start talking with one family, but after talking further I decided against the opportunity. It was in May that I started talking to my current host and it just clicked, timing, daily activities, even the location. So much so that I booked my flights to Spain within a week of video calling.

Booking the flight was easy because of the skills I’ve gained from previous trips (and you can read about it in my Broke Girl’s Guide to Cheap Flights post). So, my only concern became how will I pay for my life after I get over there? Luckily if you are pay attention you’ll remember that I mentioned UpWork above. Upwork isn’t paying the bills money, but once you get to your destination it can cover a good amount of the costs of day-to-day costs. Also, some of the Workaway opportunities pay (if they do, it will show on the host page).

So, what are you waiting for? What is stopping you from traveling? Fly safe my friends.

Until next time,

Colleen Rose

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Hanging out in the backyard of the house I’m volunteering at in Spain

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