Your budget is your choices

So often people tell me they wish they could do what I do: travel. So often I am asked how I can pay for it all. I did save up before I left my country, but I am far from a rich person. There are many ways to save money or travel for cheap though. It’s all about your choices.

Farm work in AustraliaFirst of all, I can’t do everything I want to do. Just like a fashionista can’t buy all the clothes she wants, I can’t do everything I want. The choice to travel comes with concessions. Before I left I didn’t spend much on new things. What’s the point if you are going away with one backpack anyway? The latest technology will be old by the time you get back, and it is way easier to take some of the clothes you already have. That way, you’ll be less disappointed if something would happen to them.

Working abroad is a good way to experience a new culture, get some sunshine, or have a cheap holiday. There is the obvious option of going for a working holiday. While some countries offer this, there is usually an age limit to it and you are never sure of a job. There are plenty of other alternatives. Of course you’ll have to work, but there are enough fun options where even the work can feel like a holiday. Don’t expect to get rich. Instead, enjoy the experience, take every free moment to explore and relax. Make use of the opportunities handed to you on the job.

Working at the beach isn’t so bad!

European summer
Spend your summer on a campsite or in a hotel in Europe. There are many organisations recruiting enthusiastic people for a season in the sun. Most will require you to stay all summer (May – September), but there are also options for a shorter stay. The jobs are diverse and range from managing a small camp to bar work or entertainment. When you look for a job through a big organisation, there is often a training and selection process. Another alternative is to find campsites in a place you like and contact them directly. Speaking the local language will often increase your chances.
For my fellow Dutch, check out Estivant, Vacansoleil or Animatie Compagnie.

Summer camp
USA, Russia, Canada, but maybe also your own country. Like Vinea in The Netherlands. This one is still on my wish list.

Go ski
Skiing can be done all around the world and any time of year. Sure, the European Alps, Canada and America are the Obvious choices, but if you have some experience, you could ski all year long. Australia, New Zealand and South America have some cool ski fields. The lifestyle of the ski bum can be pretty expensive, but it’s a great way to stay abroad, and at the end of the season you can explore the country. You’ll meet loads of people from all over the world, ski for free on your days off, party in the evening and enjoy many staff  benefits and discounts.

A day at the ski field

Work for accommodation
There are many websites offering work for accommodation. Check out Workaway, Wwoofing or HelpX. You can opt for long-term or short-term work all over the world. Your choices range from farm work to tourism or even staying with a local family. What better way is there to get to know a culture and the people? I’m currently staying with a great family. I help out and in exchange I get food, accommodation and they show me around. I’ve seen things I would never have seen if I wouldn’t have chosen this.

All in all I’ve managed to live and travel abroad for over two years now and I’ve even had enough money for a visit home. The internet is full of great sites with tips and tricks. Use it! Sometimes it’s tough and I must admit there were moments where I nearly ran out of money. In the end it all comes back to your choices. The picky traveler won’t get far.



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