Lots of people tell us they’d love to travel full-time but don’t know how to do it. It can certainly be overwhelming to think about or plan for … and even scarier to do! But if your desire to get out in the world to experience a new adventure continues to call, there’s a point you will not be happy until you listen and follow it.
There are many travel lifestyle or digital nomad blogs to learn from. You can spend days reading articles or watching YouTube videos on how to live your traveling dream. When we started it was so overwhelming!!! So today Hotel Crashers wants to share some of our practical advice on how to get started.
Our Advice on How to Travel Full Time
Make the decision.
Hands down this is the most important aspect of living on the road. Until you decide it’s really what you want to do AND are going to do it, there’s no point in doing the other work. Donetta and I talked about how to travel full time for years. We would daydream together about the never ending possibilities, but it wasn’t until we said we are absolutely gonna do it at all costs that it became real.
When you make the decision it becomes more tangible.
Even better, set a date for when you want to make it happen. This gives you the day to look forward to and a commitment to work toward. And if you’re really brave, announce it to the world. Doing so makes you accountable and will help push you to make that leap of faith when the time is right.
Forget the roadmap.
When I started doing research and planning, I tried to learn from every “expert” I could find online. While there was plenty of great advice to follow, I learned that every adventure is unique to the individual or couple. The best thing ever told to me (from a friend and US Marine) was “just f-ing do it” and I listened. He was right!!!
When you forget the roadmap it becomes easier to just go.
It sounds so counter-culture right? We’re always told to make a plan and follow all the steps. But the truth is you don’t need one because it’s all going to change on a regular basis. You will constantly adapt, improvise, and overcome. Yes it’s good to have an idea about how to get started, but you won’t know what works until you actually do it.
Save up some money.
There’s a misconception you need to be independently wealthy to travel the world but it’s absolute BS. Many people have fulfilled their dreams, including us, without having a bank account full of money. I’ve read about people who started with only a $1,000 in their pocket yet have traveled for years, so you don’t need a lot to make it happen.
When you save some money it helps you get going and reduces stress.
Having a little bit of a cushion helps reduce stress and worry, especially for unexpected costs or emergencies. We’re fortunate to have some backup income from the sale of our house, but we continue to work every day at building our online businesses to maintain a certain level of living — but we could get by on a lot less.
Reduce your expenses.
When you start your travel journey, it’s good to know what the minimum threshold of lifestyle it is you want to live. If you don’t mind living in cheaper hotels and making your own meals, it will make a huge difference on your budget over five star resorts and eating out each night.
When you reduce your expenses it gives you more freedom.
It’s easy to love those local craft beers, souvenir t-shirts and stickers, fancy cappuccinos, or many other shiny objects needing your money, but when you say no to them, it gives you more runway to keep traveling and making memories. And full disclosure, this is my area of struggle because I enjoy beer and I am a sticker whore. 🙂
Get rid of almost everything.
The hardest part of learning how to travel full time is letting go of sentimental items and useless shit. You will have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. It’s not gonna be easy! Memories and tears will open up like a flood gate, but there really is no reason to save stuff you will no longer need or use.
When you get rid of everything you will lighten your load.
This sentiment applies physically and metaphorically. You can’t take everything with you on the road regardless if you’re living in hotels or an RV — space will be very limited. All that weight matters when traveling. Besides, it’s VERY liberating to get rid of things you don’t need and in embracing the minimalist lifestyle. So let it all go.
Build an online business to make money.
Unless you’re one of those lucky few who don’t have to worry about an income, you’ll need to figure out a way to keep cash flow coming in. While there are options like working seasonal jobs in tourist towns or temporary work arrangements, it’s so much easier to launch your own company.
When you build an online business you can work from anywhere.
Technology gives us the power to make a great living anywhere there’s an internet connection. You can start an online business for $100 and be making $2,000-$3,000 per month fairly quickly. Plus you can set your schedule to work around your new traveling lifestyle. It’s not always easy but so worth the effort.
Choose hotel brands you like.
Assuming you’re going to live in hotels or resorts like us, it’s important to stay in places you actually like. If you haven’t traveled a lot in the past, this might take time to figure out. There are pros and cons to hotel living, but when you find a hotel brand that delivers consistent experiences, you’ll be happier and feel at home. And you learn the ropes.
When you choose hotel brands you like it comes with rewards.
Most hotel chains offer rewards programs where you can earn free stays or VIP perks. Some companies are better than others so it pays to do your research, but being loyal to a brand can pay off. IHG and Choice Hotels have been very good for us. Now we mostly use our Diamond Resorts membership unless there are no resorts in the area we stay in.
Enjoy the journey.
This is the second most important piece of advice we can share for traveling full time! The whole goal is to get out into the world and live the adventure, regardless of the challenges you will face. There will be days when things get tough but that’s gonna happen whether you travel or not.
When you enjoy the journey you will have priceless memories.
We’ve stated so many times on this blog that life is so very short. Time is not infinite for us. So the best thing we can do is focus on making the best memories we can while we’re here. Don’t dwell on the fears, the negatives, or the unknown; embrace it all and move on. Choose to live in the moment and enjoy it.
It’s your turn!
Share your advice with us by commenting on our article or by joining us on our Facebook page. We’re always interested in learning from others and sharing experiences with our community.