Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world, but felt like it was out of reach? Maybe you believed that being rich or having plenty of free time was necessary. Or perhaps you thought you just didn’t have the skills or experience to make it happen. Well, let me tell you something: you’re mistaken.
I’ve been traveling the world solo and on a budget full-time for the past 1.5 years. I’m here to share how you can do it too. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely possible. In this article, I’ll share with you the secrets to earning remotely, traveling on a budget, and living a life of adventure. So if you’re ready to start living your dream, keep reading. Because the world is waiting for you.
What’s My Story
I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but I always put it off for later. I thought I needed to have more money, more time, or even be married before I could start my adventure. But then I realized that I was just making excuses.
Back in March 2022, I quit my job while on a work trip in Mexico, and started traveling the world solo and on a budget. Now I want to show you how you can do it as well. 7 months ago, I started sharing my experiences on social media (Instagram and TikTok). I ended up with 300K+ people following my journey and learning how to earn money online and travel the world. You can read my life story on my blog.
How to Start Traveling the World Solo
I often get messages from people asking if I ever feel scared or bored traveling the world on my own. At first, I was. But during this journey, I learned a lot and grew my solo traveling skills. Now, I can share them with you.
How to Practice Solo Travel Before Your Trip
This might sound kinda funny, but it works. There are various ways you can prepare for solo travel and embrace being independent before starting on your first solo trip. I’ve suggested it to many of my followers and this has worked for them very well. While being back home, you can start doing some simple things:
- Take walks on your own. Start with something familiar and simple. Then try to plan different routes and places that you perhaps haven’t visited. Take your time to enjoy the views. Observe your environment.
- Go to a restaurant and have a meal on your own. Take your time to enjoy the meal and the whole experience. Start trying different restaurants.
- Go shopping on your own. Choose the stores that you want to check out. Make shopping decisions on your own and make smart pre-travel shopping decisions.
Once you have tried these, you can take it up a notch with some more challenging activities, such as:
- Go to a bar and get a drink on your own. Take your time to enjoy the drink.
- Go to a club or a party on your own. Try to have fun by yourself or meeting new people.
- Plan a small trip not far from your location. Perhaps, consider staying one night in a nearby town.
Remember that this is a practice. It won’t be nearly as exciting as actually doing the solo trip. The purpose is to just prepare mentally and grow your solo traveling skills before going.
Safety Tips for Solo Traveling
Different destinations come with varying levels of safety considerations that are important to keep in mind. To ensure your well-being while traveling the world solo, here are some general tips to help you stay safe:
- Share your live location at all times with a close friend or family member. There are different ways you can do that, one of them is by using the feature on the iPhone.
- Share your travel plans with a trusted friend or family member. Provide them with details of your accommodations, transportation arrangements, and any updates to your itinerary as you go along.
- Solo travel safety is all about confidence. And you don’t look confident if you’re walking the street looking down at your phone. So when using Maps to navigate your way, turn on the voice command and listen to the directions by having one earphone in your ear.
- Try not to wear obviously expensive items like golden watches.
- It’s always a good idea to learn some basic self-defense.
- Get a sturdy fanny pack that you can put over your chest. You can also get a hidden wallet and a sturdy theft-free backpack. My favorite one is the Northface Borealis backpack.
- Try to wear comfortable shoes at all times, especially when exploring unknown areas.
- Always keep an eye on your drinks and food. Don’t leave your meal alone.
- Have at least one backup payment card with you. Depending on the location, it’s usually a good idea to have some cash with you in local currency.
- Be careful of people approaching you. In some cities, there are fewer scams, in some – quite a lot. Make sure to read about local scams before going to your destination. And limit conversations with strangers on the street.
- Read about local natural disasters like typhoons, earthquakes, etc. Make sure you know what to do in case that happens.
- Listen to your gut instincts. If a situation or person feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it immediately. Your intuition is a valuable tool for self-protection.
- Try to blend in with the local culture and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself as a solo traveler. Dress modestly and respect the local customs to minimize any potential unwanted attention.
These are just some of the tips that will help you travel the world safely. At first, it might be scary, but as you get to explore the world, it gets easier.
How to Meet People and Have Fun When Traveling Solo
Based on the questions that I get from people, it seems like people are more scared of being bored than getting into danger. Traveling alone can seem boring and awkward, but there are ways you can make it more fun.
- During my solo travels, I learned to enjoy my company even more. It’s a great way to discover yourself and become the person you’ve always wished to be.
- It’s important to take your time to enjoy the little things – good meals, nice views and more.
- Before your travels, create a list of experiences you want to try there – like your trip bucket list. For example, surfing in Canggu, seeing Big Buddha in Phuket and more. That will make you more excited.
- Allow yourself to deviate from rigid itineraries and seize unexpected opportunities. Say yes to new experiences, try local cuisine, explore hidden gems, and engage with the local community.
I know what you’re thinking. You want to have an adventure, you’re asking how to have real fun. You want to meet new people abroad, but you’re not sure how you can do that. So here are some tips on how you can meet people when traveling:
- Stay in a hostel. Not just any hostel, but a party hostel with great reviews. Not all hostels are the same. That’s a fact. In some places, people stay just because it’s cheap. In some other places, people stay because of the experience. One of the party hostel chains that gives you this experience is Lub D. Those hostels have events every evening, and people go there with the intention of meeting other people.
- Wear conversation-starting shirts. I went on a trip wearing a hoodie that said “I need new friends” and many people would start conversations with me. It’s a good idea to wear a shirt that shows your interests, like sports, movies, music, hobbies and more. That increases the chance to meet people with the same interests.
- Join group tours. I’ve made tons of new friends by joining group tours that I find on platforms like GetYourGuide or GuruWalk. You can also join group activities, like surfing lessons, local dance, yoga and more.
- Use this opportunity to indulge in activities you genuinely enjoy. If you love photography, capture stunning landscapes or vibrant city scenes. If you’re a food enthusiast, start on a culinary exploration and savor the local delicacies. Engaging in activities that resonate with you will keep you engaged and entertained.
- Approach each day with a sense of curiosity and an open mind. Be receptive to new experiences, be willing to step out of your comfort zone, and embrace the unfamiliar. This mindset can turn even the simplest moments into extraordinary adventures.
Use these tips to meet new people when you’re traveling solo. Set your mind to find a great adventure, and the adventure will find you.
How to Travel the World on a Budget
You don’t need tons of money to travel the world. By using different tricks that help you get flights, accommodation, and other things for cheap, you can radically decrease your trip costs. By traveling the world on a budget for more than a year, I’ve learned tons of budget travel tricks that I can share with you now.
The Art of Travel Hacking
Do you love feeling like a total badass? Like you’ve figured out a secret code that only a select few know? That’s how I feel when I use travel hacks.
Have you ever used your travel pillow to smuggle an extra outfit onto a plane? Or skipped the crazy airport bottled water prices by filling your own bottle at the water fountain? These might be very small hacks, but at the end of the trip, they all add up and help you save tons of money. I’ll give you a few more examples:
- In Thailand ATM fees are quite hefty, around $6. But if you take your passport and go to a local bank, you can get cash without the commission.
- In Japan, you can look for cheap restaurants by typing “restaurant” and filtering them by price. But you’ll find even cheaper options by typing it in Japanese. You can copy and paste it from Google Translate.
- Of course, not all hotels get full capacity all the time. They use different methods to sell the rooms that otherwise don’t get sold. One of the methods is mystery deals. They don’t want people to know they offer the same room for a lot lower price, so during the booking process, you won’t see which hotel it is. You’ll see pictures, approximate locations, and more.
- Take advantage of free attractions and activities: Many cities offer free or low-cost attractions such as museums, parks, or cultural events. Research ahead of time and plan your itinerary around these budget-friendly options.
- Opt for street food and local markets: Sampling local cuisine doesn’t have to break the bank. Look for street food stalls or visit local markets where you can find delicious and affordable meals.
- Avoid expensive international roaming charges by purchasing a local SIM card. Or, use a carrier that allows fairly cheap roaming.
How to Get Things for Your Trip for Cheap
For any trip, these are the categories of your expenses:
So let me tell you how you can decrease your costs for each of these expenses.
- When trying to find cheap flights, the best trick is to set your flight time as “anytime” to find the cheapest dates and times for your flight. Or, if you’re not sure where you should go next, by selecting “anywhere”.
- When trying to find cheap accommodation, flexible times can also bring you some good deals. And looking for limited-time deals can help you save money.
- Consider staying in neighborhoods or districts away from the city center, as accommodations there tend to be more affordable. Research the safety and accessibility of these areas beforehand.
- Pack snacks and refillable water bottles. Carry a snack and a water bottle with you to avoid impulse purchases when you get thirsty or hungry.
- If you stay in a hotel with breakfast, collect a few fruits, snacks, or yogurt to eat later in the day.
- When trying to find cheap but good restaurants, using Google Maps and filtering restaurants by “high rated” and “cheapest” is one of the best ways.
- Getting around the city, using a taxi might be expensive. It depends on your destination. Some places like Thailand or Vietnam have very affordable motorcycle taxi options (it can be pretty dangerous, so that’s not for everyone). To make sure you don’t lose money with local transport, you need to research the local transport conditions. For example, when traveling to Japan, you save money by buying a card like a Suica card.
- Looking for things to do, I usually check out platforms like GetYourGuide and compare tour prices and reviews. You can also Google “free things to do” in your destination, or even better – ask that ChatGPT / Google Bard AI. It usually gives a pretty nice list.
How to Earn Money to Travel the World Full-Time
The biggest question I get all the time is – how can you earn money remotely so that you can travel the world? Honestly, that is the hardest part. But it gets easier step by step. So here are some of the methods that I’ve learned.
Getting a Remote Job
This is possibly the easiest one, in the sense that once you get the remote job, you have it and you’re doing your job, instead of having this constant battle of figuring things out. Don’t get me wrong – getting and keeping a remote job is not easy at all. I just personally think it’s more simple than the other options. So here are some tips on how to get a remote job:
- Tune up your LinkedIn profile. Fill out all the information, add a professional-looking photo, an exciting bio and more.
- Make your profile more exciting by taking different courses that provide you with free certificates, like Klaviyo Partner. You can Google “free certificate courses” and you’ll see tons of options.
- When you apply for jobs, take your time to answer the questions seriously. Make personalized cover letters. Some companies appreciate it when you record a video telling about yourself.
- Prepare for the interview. Do your homework, research the company, its target audience, competitors and more.
- A great way to prepare for your interview is by using ChatGPT / Google Bard AI etc. For example, you can show it the job ad and ask what interview questions are you likely to get.
- Highlight your remote job experience. If you have any prior remote work experience or freelance projects, highlight them on your resume to show you did it before.
- Utilize remote-specific job boards and websites that focus on remote job opportunities. Some popular platforms include Remote.co, FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and Upwork.
Remember that many people want to get a remote job, so you need to see this as a competition and make your applications and interviews competitive. Do your best, set your mind to getting a remote job and eventually you should get it.
Freelancing and Doing Side Hustles
If you become a freelancer, it’s up to you to get clients, and that part can be very challenging. However, due time it gets easier. Here are some tips on how to become a freelancer:
- Figure out what’s your skill and practice it. Some common freelancer fields are graphic design, UX & UI design, marketing, video creation, programming and more.
- Create your online portfolio. You can start by having a free website. For designers, there are options like Behance, Dribbble and more.
- Sign up on different freelancing platforms to get your first clients, such as Fiverr, Upwork and more. Consider that platforms take a commission for each job you get.
- Figure out how you can get additional traffic to your site and make a name for yourself. You can do that by starting a blog and using social media to share your skills.
Other than freelancing, you can do some side hustles and odd jobs.
- UGC. User-generated content. This can also be a full-time thing, but if you’re just getting started, it’s probably going to be like a side hustle. Firstly, you learn how to create content – product photos, videos and more. You create a portfolio of the content you’ve created. And then you can start selling your service to companies – creating content for them. There are different platforms like Insense where you can earn by creating content like this.
- You can also earn some extra cash by doing user testing on platforms like UserTesting. There you have to test out your experience on different websites and share your opinion in recordings. You would need to practice sharing your opinion in at least a semi-professional way to get paid for this.
- There are online survey sites that pay money for filling out surveys. You won’t earn a lot this way, but this can give you some extra cash.
- Offer administrative support remotely, such as managing emails, scheduling appointments, data entry, or customer service.
- Share your expertise by offering online tutoring or teaching services in subjects like languages, math, music, or coding.
- Develop and sell your own online courses on platforms like Udemy or PluralSight, sharing your knowledge and expertise in a particular subject.
Explore the different methods of side hustling to figure out what makes sense for you.
Starting Your Own Business
Personally, I think that starting your own business is the most challenging one, as it includes figuring out so many things, learning business etiquette to detail and more. However, the more you do it – it gets easier. Here are some options on what kind of online business you can have:
- Creating a blog and earning with affiliate marketing and sponsored content. You first need to figure out a topic that you enjoy and an industry that can bring money. Research different affiliate platforms and programs to find which companies make sense for you.
- Doing dropshipping. You’d need to find products that you resonate with. You can also explore print-on-demand and sell designs on different products like shirts.
- Subscription services. That’s a fun one. You can figure out something that people need, for example, on a monthly basis and deliver that to them. It’s elegant in the sense that you get recurring revenue, so you need to worry less about increasing your retention or getting more traffic.
- Sell digital products. It can be music, or designs that you can sell on platforms like Envato, etc. It can also be courses that you can sell on Udemy or your own site. Or ebooks.
Take your time to think about which method makes the most sense for you. Do your research and choose something that a) can bring you money and b) you can enjoy.
Now I’ve shared the key tips I had for you on how to start exploring the world. But it’s just the beginning!
What You Can Learn From Me
I focus on sharing content about how to earn money online and how to travel the world solo and on a budget. I have several channels that you can explore:
- Instagram – for destination inspiration, affordable destinations and short travel hack videos
- TikTok – destination tips, insights, travel hacks and more
- YouTube – longer videos, mostly sharing all the things you need to know about different destinations, as well as epic compilations of travel tips
- My website – I create tons of free resources, itineraries, checklists and more
If you’re serious about learning how to earn money online and travel the world, I suggest you check out all those channels and subscribe to my newsletter to stay tuned for more resources and webinars.
Starting Your Journey
Congratulations on taking the first step toward your dream of traveling the world! I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that you can do it. There will be challenges along the way, but don’t let them discourage you. Just remember why you started this journey in the first place.
Remember the feeling of waking up in a new city, not knowing anyone or anything, but feeling completely alive. Remember the feeling of tasting new foods, meeting new people, and seeing new cultures. Those are the things that will make it all worth it. So don’t give up. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep exploring. The world is waiting for you.