“Traveling the world is cheap and easy.”, said no one ever.

Yet, thousands and thousands of people are doing it every day. During your own journey you’ve likely met people that have found their way into travel with less finances, but a perspective of traveling longer than you. So maybe it is true?

The initial questions most people ask themselves are – “How can I keep my expenses as low as possible – or maybe even live for free?” “What are the requirements to continue to travel as long as I want?” “Can I actually travel as long as I want, or do I need to keep certain obligations in mind?”

The good news: It is definitely possible to travel cheaply – or even better – for free. The bad news: It takes a little practice, effort, and planning to do so. Traveling around the world can be scary from time to time. Especially when you have to keep in mind the costs or probable hazards. Nevertheless, all you need is optimism, good-will and faith within yourself to begin your journey to – personal – freedom.

A Handful of Tips to Keep Your Expenses as Low as Possible - Or Maybe Even Live For Free.

The key word here is volunteering. Besides being an opportunity to immerse yourself in a totally new and unique culture wherein you can share your life spirit, it gives you a chance to discover new places for a very small, or even no amount of money. It is important to keep in mind low-cost or free volunteering programs might be harder to find, but – most certainly – not impossible. Everywhere around the world helping hands are needed; whether it’s a global oriented organization on one hand, or a self-sustainable local farm on the other.

Two very useful and trustworthy websites to find such volunteering programs are www.workaway.info or www.gooverseas.com. For example, on the former, you can find our very own Dreamsea Surf Camp Costa Rica as a host for such an amazing volunteering possibility (read the interview Workaway did with Dreamsea after recognizing us as a Host of the Month: HERE)!

Besides sharing enthusiasm, experiences and lifetime development, there are two important pillars that can help you on the way to a successful long-term travel. Both knowledge and skill can help you pave a path to the cheapest way of living abroad. Whatever you can imagine is possible. Literally. Going from teaching English to children in Phnom Penh – Cambodia, to making and selling bracelets in Mirtos – Crete, or cutting hair in Tamarindo – Costa Rica.

Think of something you would like to learn, could earn money with abroad, teach yourself the knowledge and skill to do so and… just do it. Gain knowledge or experience in a certain skill you can practice in any country, master it and share it with the world. It gives you the opportunity to earn money abroad in a way to break-even or even gain more money than expected.

To have realistic expectations is also one of the most important elements to build your long-term travel on. By far the most important expectation to be realistic about will be expenses and budget. That’s why it is important to point out a plan that brings your probable expenses and earnings together. The amount of long-term travelers who left their home carrying only a backpack and a few dollars, fits through a keyhole. It is essential to save up, point out a realistic budget plan and – most importantly – try to stick to it.

Insights Into Long-Term Travel That Can be Life Saving, Life Changing, Or Even Both.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a recipe or formula to guarantee a successful long-term journey. However, both initiative and common sense are determining values for a successful trip. As each individual has a different skill set or range of qualifications to offer, the opportunities and outcomes of likely situations abroad differ extensively. Find out what you like and what works for you.

Before you leave, there is some big time self-reflection necessary. What do you own that you actually don’t need during your travels or won’t actually miss when you come back? The sky is the limit to make that last little bit of extra money. Think about your bike, your car, clothes, furniture … Also, leaving with a tidy mind and knowing that you can come back to start with a clean slate, helps to make you feel at ease throughout your travel.

Speaking about coming back; it sounds pretty badass not having a return ticket home. However, if you are not a experienced long-term traveler, it might be a good idea to have that golden ticket – in case you need it. You never know what may come along in your path. Whether it’s struggling with mental or physical discomfort, money issues or – it is possible – being homesick. Knowing that you actually can go home can be soothing in times you need it.

Last but not least, whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, certain risks are always involved during the journey. The ground rule here is: always better safe than sorry. Follow your heart but always listen to what your head has to say. Google around or ask other more experienced travelers for advice regarding general safety, criminal activities, illnesses… concerning the countries you’re traveling to, as this will help you to outlive your long-term travel to the fullest.


THE WORDS: This article was written by the magnificent Saar Jacobs, who is from Antwerp, Belgium and is currently on her own long-term travel journey, shifting her own (and the World’s) perspective about the possibilities and liberation of travel. You can follow her incredible adventures via her INSTAGRAM or her PERSONAL BLOG.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 
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