As more people secure location-independent jobs, the trend in spending a year hopping from country to country is becoming increasingly popular. Even if you don’t have a remote career path, it is still tempting to take a year away from your everyday routine and travel the world. Trust us, you’re not the only one—most recently, the number of Americans traveling abroad has increased by 8.2% year over year.
So why not take the plunge and explore some other cultures? For some of us, it may not be as simple as just packing a suitcase and booking a flight, and that’s where the secret ingredient comes into play. Without this one thing, you will never be able to sustain yourself for an entire year abroad. What is it, you ask?
The Simple Answer: Smart Finances
Yes, that’s right: being smart about your finances will either make or break your dream of traveling around the world for a year (or longer). While we all like to think that we know how to budget, save money, and find cheap deals, the reality is that global travel brings along a range of costs and charges you might not have ever considered. And well before you set foot on any one-way flight, you need to take the time to sift through your finances and your plans to make sure that you can actually afford your ideal lifestyle abroad.
The first place to start in analyzing your finances is to review outstanding loans or debt that you may have accumulated over the years. Looking over your credit report, you can find success in having a collection deleted and be free from any credit limitations. This will come in handy, as oftentimes it’s easier to charge things like international flights, trains, or other transportation means to a credit card.
The Challenge: Even Smarter Finances
Once you know where you stand financially, you can take things one step further and be even smarter in the way you go about budgeting and planning for your year of travel. Spend a fair amount of time learning how to manage your finances for a whole year in a foreign country properly. Things abroad are much different from things at home, and you should make projections based on the quality of life, accommodation fees, prices of food, and more, depending on the country.
With a budget in mind, you can also be even smarter about your finances by brainstorming a way to generate income during the year, even though you won’t be a full-time employee of any certain company. Picking up a few freelancing gigs or marketing one of your digital skills is a great way to gain a basis of recurring clients who might pay you to do project-by-project basis. You can also promote your travels by keeping a blog or Instagram. If done in an advertorial way, you can make money from these channels by registering with ‘influencer’ websites and promoting certain brands or products on your accounts.
Preparing for a year of travel is an exciting undertaking, and by focusing on your finances and potential income opportunities, you’ll be ready to go in no time.