We all share the dream of traveling across the planet. Jetting off to faraway lands in search of worldly wonders. From The Great Wall to Angel Falls, we all want to see the Taj Mahal.
These days it’s easier than ever to travel, and thanks to modern technology, the term digital nomad has been coined.
If you want to see Machu Picchu, you don’t have to beg the boss and book 8 months in advance. In this technological age, you can book a flight on your phone, pack a laptop and travel anywhere whilst building a business and earning money.
As I sit overlooking the most beautiful of lakes surrounded by green snowy mountains I am preparing these 5 tips on how to be a savvy traveler, save money, and work on the road:
1. Choose your destinations wisely
The idea of embracing the Northern Lights or exploring the Rocky Mountains might sound out of this world, but your saving will take a nosedive and you’ll wonder how you spent a year’s hard earned cash in just 2 months. Not the ideal way to start a business.
Instead, consider a destination like South America. It’s stunningly beautiful, they have great transport options, and you can dine like royalty for just a couple of dollars. There’s wifi too!
One night’s accommodation in Bolivia’s capital is $4.79 at this time of year. In New York, it’s $35, that’s a 600% increase. A week in a Bolivian hostel costs $33.53. A New York hostel will put you back $245 for the week.
Think about that the next time you fancy heading to the top of King Kong’s climbing frame.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
2. Airbnb is where the smart traveler lives
A traveler’s biggest expense is accommodation. Most travelers will hop from one hostel to another in an alcohol-fueled daze. This is what I did back in 2007.
You want to explore the world and experience its wonders, but at the same time you want a bit of space and peace, and good night’s sleep.
Any long term digital nomad knows that in order to successfully build a business and earn money online, you need to have at least a little comfort. All you’ll get in a hostel is restless nights, dirty showers and broken kitchens.
This is where Airbnb comes in. They provide you with the opportunity to rent a room or apartment in someone’s home for a very competitive price. With over 1.5 million listings in over 190 countries, they are a brand to trust.
An Airbnb host will likely point you in the direction of all the best tourist, and not so touristy spots. You’ll have the use of a kitchen, a living room and you’ll have the space and peace necessary to focus on your online business. You’ll even get a discount for a longer stay.
3. If you love animals then housesitting might be just the ticket
These days I hang out in giant houses with saunas, tennis courts and swimming pools. The kind of places that are surrounded by lakes and beautiful mountains. I’ve been traveling for 14 months, and for the last 4 I’ve been living like a King, for free.
I get to focus on earning money and building my business simultaneously. I pay for this by walking a dog in a forest a couple of times a day. How do I get to the forest? I drive in the car that is provided to me.
It sounds too good to be true, but these days Fido doesn’t go to the kennels. When his owners want to go on vacation they get someone like me to come and look after their home and pets.
This saves me a tremendous amount of money. I get to stay in local areas, the accommodation is incredible, and most importantly, I get to work really hard online.
A site like Trusted Housesitters is really easy to join, you just need to get a few references, arrange a skype call and turn up. Did I mention I get the free use of their cars, bikes, boats, and skiing equipment?
4. Volunteer and get into gear
During my current excursion I have volunteered at a few different places. During that time I’ve learned to seek out the diamonds.
By committing to 3-5 hours a day you can receive free food & board by learning something new and help out others.
Not only will your heart grow bigger but you’ll make friends, have true local experiences, and enjoy glorious locations. In your free time, you can finish your website, write your blog, complete some freelance work, or just sit back and enjoy the view. Places like Work Away are great starting points.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
5. Pack light and live heavy
The first time I traveled I had the usual 85 liter backpack filled to the brim with needless items that I never used.
Now I roll with a 40-liter backpack complete with foldaway guitar, camera, and laptop. I used to spend hours rearranging the old beast of a bag. These days if I want something, I know exactly where it is.
By carrying less, not only is it easier to move around but you’ll be more organized which directly translates into productivity. My phone is my camera, book reader, map, compass, and diary. It’s a lifesaver. Pack minimally and see maximum results.