Let’s face it - we all dream of being in a hot country, away from the rainy British weather, soaking up the sun and gazing into crystal clear blue waters. We get stuck in the 9-5 rut, wallowing at our Facebook feed, wondering how on earth people can afford to jet off travelling for a year, seeing all that world that we wish we could see too.

But stop right there, because you can do it too! Enough of the dreaming and more of the doing! And no, you don’t have to have thousands in the bank or be fabulously wealthy. Travelling is in your reach, so start packing your bags.

Here’s the thing. Although there’s a number of ways to travel the world without being a millionaire, they do require just a little bit of work. But don’t be fooled, working abroad is so rewarding. You meet different people, you become inspired and it allows you to see the world. So read on for my suggestions on how to fund your travels without savings.

Stay with a family or organisation for free.

You’d be surprised at the amount of opportunities to find free accommodation abroad in return for a few hours a day volunteering, or light work at a family business. You can stay anywhere from a few days to a few months, completely free, and most even provide meals.

There are always organisations looking for people to help teach English to underprivileged children, building schools, and looking after animals - and what’s better than travelling and helping those in need? If building isn’t quite up your street, how about being an Au Pair? So go ahead - grab some bargain flights on Skyscanner, and check out Workaway for a huge selection of hosts and opportunities. Always go with hosts with a substantial amount of positive reviews and be cautious.

Invest in a TEFL qualification.

If you’re a keen traveller who wants to travel for an extended period of time, there’s nothing quite as useful as completing a TEFL qualification. You can get an online TEFL course for around £100, which is money you’ll earn back quicker than you can imagine. English teachers are so in demand all over the world, so why not utilise the simple skill of speaking it?

You can travel all around Europe, Asia, South America, and more, earning a high salary whilst living in areas with extremely low living costs. I’m off to Vietnam soon, and the average wage for a TEFL teacher is around $1200 a month, plus a housing allowance, for around 15-20 working hours a week. The living cost is around half of what it is in the UK - so just think about how much you can stash away month by month. This allows you to really get to know a place, living there for 6 months or more, but still leaving with enough cash to travel without working for a few months after. Continue that cycle, switch up your locations and you can travel for as long as you want. See what I’m getting at here?

Work on a farm or smallholding

Why not try your hand at some WWOOFING? While that might seem worryingly similar to the sound a dog makes, don’t worry, it’s not. ‘WWOOF’ stands for ‘Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms’, which similar to homestays, gives you the opportunity to live somewhere new and learn new skills. WWOOF hosts will give you free food, accommodation, airport pick-up and numerous opportunities to learn new, useful skills, in return for nothing but a helping hand.

Your duties could range from farming such as sowing seeds, animal care, cutting wood, harvesting, to domestic duties such as looking after the children, cooking meals, or cleaning - so you’ll be able to find a host which has jobs to suit you best. Plus, working hours are normally only 4 hours per day! You’ll be immersed into the everyday workings of the country, being fully involved in with locals and realities, rather than seeing it from a tourists point of view - which is an incredible way to travel.

Become a digital nomad.

It’s entirely possible to work completely of your own accord, from your laptop. As long as you have a WiFi connection, you have an opportunity to make money. Do you have any digital skills? Coding, editing, design, photography, videography, writing, blogging, SEO… the list goes on. You can earn mega bucks simply by possessing these skills and a laptop.

As a Digital Media/Marketing grad, I’ve been working as a freelancer since leaving university - and let me tell you, the potential to earn money is huge. Websites like PeoplePerHour and Freelancer allow you to pick up jobs at the speed of light - all you need is some examples of your work and a bit of persistence when starting out.

If you want to live abroad for a while, then spend a few months establishing yourself in the digital world, creating contacts and gathering reviews. Next, find an area with low living costs (think Asia, Africa, and South America), continue your work while you’re there and voila - you’ve funded your travels.

Now that you know you can travel without loads of money in the bank, what are you waiting for? Do some research, find what suits you best and you could be on your way in no time. Life is worth living, and there’s so much of the world to see - make sure you don’t look back and regret not exploring it.

Keep exploring

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Alice Lang Alice Lang, 10 months ago
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