Having lived in some of the world’s most expensive cities—London, Hong Kong, San Francisco and New York—you might say I chose the wrong career. In many ways I did; running a blog, juggling clients and sleeping in hotel beds more often than my own isn’t exactly the “dream job” people see from the outside.
That said, I don’t regret my choice. I choose it everyday but even that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s taken me years to finally find that soft balance between wellness and wanderlust. I shouldn’t just “live” when I travel, nor should you. So, here are 5 ways to fund your trip without “losing yourself.”
1) Prioritize your expenses
If you want to travel, prioritizing your expenses is, well, a priority. This means different things to different people and that’s okay. For me, it means sticking to consignment shops and emerging designer markets rather than splurging on high-end goods. It also means paying $99 a month for a part-time flexible work space rather than shelling out $400+ for a dedicated desk. Need to de-stress? Go to donation-based Yoga to the People or join a running group. Keep this mentality and you’ll feel good about how you spend and save your money.
2) Be an early adapter
Prioritizing your expenses will help you save money but what about making money? Besides putting aside a savings account for travel (I funded two trips this way) I also suggest taking a more modern approach. I’ve started using Grabr, which is a platform that connects shoppers seeking unique or hard-to-find items in one’s home destination with travelers heading their way. I usually have extra space in my luggage anyway and some of the rewards are upwards of $50. Multiply that by a few items, and you’re golden.
3) Never stop learning
Like many bloggers, I have lots of side jobs. I’ve chosen to run Bohemian Trails alongside other side projects, maintaining a fine balance of risk and reward. I like helping brands get their products off the ground, and I’ve learned skills I never thought I’d master learning new skills or accepting work outside my comfort zone. Most of my income comes from copywriting gigs, social media strategy and consulting. So, keep an open mind and learn a new skill. You never know; you might end up with an extra revenue stream and a new-found passion.
4) Work with what you’ve got
Don’t be deterred by expensive flights and overpriced hotels. There is almost always a workaround. First off, choose your destination wisely and by “wisely” I mean not canceling out far flung corners of the globe right away. For example, Hong Kong is a long-haul flight from the US but because there is so much supply, tickets are surprisingly affordable. The city is also a jump off point to Southeast Asia, which is packed with culture and budget friendly. Keep your mind (and calendar) open and you’ll reap the rewards.
5) Show your worth
One of the reasons I started a travel blog is because I didn’t like working in a cubicle and getting 10 vacation days a year. This is something most Americans relate to, seeing as our vacation system isn’t exactly generous. On the bright side, though, more companies are taking note and making changes, whether in the form of remote work or unlimited vacation. I’m not just talking about startups here; the shift is real. So, if working remotely or having more time off is integral to your well-being, state your case. We all deserve to bloom.