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10 Tips for the Long-Term Traveler

10 Tips for the Long-Term Traveler

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A super common question for long-term travelers and expats is, “How do you do it?” How do you live abroad and travel often? People may think, maybe they have money? They probably are spoiled and their parents pay for it. Maybe they are a bum or a drug smuggler? Who knows! Well, the truth is…. It’s none of the above. The way most people get to live and travel abroad is because they worked hard for it. Here I’ll give you my best long-term traveler tips… It’s going to involve lots of hard work. This is your fair warning!

A long-term traveler lifestyle is more obtainable than you think. I’m telling you… For most people out there… It can! 

Here is how I did it….


10 Tips for the Long-Term Traveler


1. Put it down

Whatever is in your hand at the store, just put it down. I can guarantee you with 99% certainty you don’t need it. Unless it’s for your survival as a human on this planet, then put it down. Starbucks is a luxury, new clothes are a luxury, and buying a bottle of vodka at a club is a luxury. It’s not needed. Stop buying it.

2. Hoard mula

Yes, be cheap. Whatever, who cares that your friends think you’re cheap for wanting to eat at home rather than drop $50 on some wine and a dinner. Sit there and eat that PB&J a few more night out of the month and watch your money pile up. On that same note, drinking excessively wastes so much money. Put the booze down. Some (possibly boxed) wine here and there is allowed (pshh, I’m not a total psycho!).

3. Side work

You obviously have to have a job, but what about another one? Yeah, I know it’s not fun and you won’t have much of a social life, but I didn’t say this was going to be easy. Get a second job, make extra money. Whatever it is, you’re saving money to travel, so At one point I had three jobs! This will end up being the best long-term traveler tip because you’ll get to your goals faster.


4. Where to

You have to choose a destination that not only you will feel comfortable starting out in, but where you can get to other desirable destinations without hours spent on a flight (cha-ching). If you want to go to the Maldives, that’s great, but it’s really expensive and if you’re not interested in visiting any of the nearby countries like India and Sri Lanka, then it’s not a smart choice to start there in my opinion.

5. Affordability

When I first wanted to travel, I wanted to go back to Europe because I fell in love in 2008. But I didn’t. Why? Because it’s freakin expensive as hell. You might WANT to go to a destination, but can you really afford it? If so, for how long? Go where your money will last longer. You goal is to be a long-term traveler, you should be open to it all!

Huey Toh waterfall


6. Work again

You may not want to, but unless you saved a million dollars, chances are you are going to have to work while you travel to keep that bank account replenished. Going back to my Europe example, I chose teaching English as my way to make money abroad and compared it to the cost of living. Teachers make very little in Europe. So to Asia I went even though the pay was the same as Europe. The difference? The cost of living in Asia is significantly less. Europe became a non-option very quickly. That’s how I ended up teaching English in Thailand.

7. What work

What kind of jobs can you get abroad? If you have a certain knack for something, then go to a destination that could use your skills. I also have numerous posts on volunteer exchanges abroad, awesome jobs abroad, and tons of info on teaching abroad. There is more out there. Google is your friend, my friend.

I work online now, which is fantastic for a traveler!


8. Less is more

You will need to make some changes, chances are you aren’t rich, right? So stop living like you have money. Who cares if you have a BMW? Get rid of shit before you travel, cancel your expensive cable service and just stream for free online, and don’t think that your six-month-old phone really needs an upgrade. Cut back everywhere you possibly can. Live simply, because if you want your money to go further when you’re traveling, you need to start now.

9. Simply be simple

On the same note, when you go abroad, don’t think that you need to stay at the Ritz to have a good time abroad. Sure you can treat yourself here and there if you have some extra cash, but a rule to live by is to live simply while abroad. Stay at hostels, guesthouses, or long-term housing, eat local, budget yourself less than you have so when you have extra, you can save it or treat yourself. If you want to be a long-term traveler, this is a must. Airbnb for long-term accommodation can be a good choice, as well as sites like Airbnb.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Get Free Accommodation While Traveling The World!

10. Stay put

When you’re traveling long-term, staying in one spot can save money. Of course, you want to travel, but if you are on the road for a while, you will learn that picking up and moving every other day is pricey and extremely tiring. It’s unnecessary to move around like a crazy person. Chill, go slower, savor where you are right now, you will get to the next destination soon. It’s also an awesome feeling to not be rushed, and trying to live like a local.


local thai house - long-term traveler tips
I lived in the back portion of this very Thai house. Live like a local, live cheap, experience real life in the country you are in. 

11. BONUS! The most important long-term traveler tip is to actually develop the guts to do it. The last step is buying that plane ticket and making it happen. Don’t be all talk… After all that hard work, you GOT to do it. There’s no luck involved here, I have discussed that luck has nothing to do with it already. You got to make it happen.

The main point here? Stop spending, start saving, choose a destination that works on all spectrums, live simple. BOOM… You’re one step closer to traveling like a turtle…The best way to travel in my opinion. Take your time, and make the treats and splurges a once in a blue moon type of thing. It will all be 1000% worth it in the end if traveling long-term is truly something you want to do.

 What do you think about these long-term traveler tips? Do you have more to share with everyone?

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long-term traveler tips


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  1. ihti says:

    One more tip 🙂
    Hang out with locals and if possible make local friends, you’ll get a lot of useful tips and cheap stuff.
    For example on market fish in Bali price for non-locals is 3x higher, but if you told them that you live around and know real price you will get it.

  2. Nina says:

    Oh we can talk forever about living cheaper abroad… 🙂 Awesome tip though!

  3. Nina says:

    Yay Rika! Our lives are awesome and WE made them that way 🙂

  4. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown says:

    YES!! Awesome post Nina. People always ask me where I got the money to move abroad…. easy – sold everything I owned, lived super ghetto and didn’t go out much, and worked two full time jobs for six months. It sucked, but I had $12,000 in six months and have been abroad for two years now doing what I love!

  5. Nina says:

    You’re welcome!

  6. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling says:

    These are brilliant tips! Thank you!

  7. Nina says:

    Thanks so much Valerie! 🙂

  8. Valerie SmartMomFInance says:

    I LOVE your tips and your courage to travel!!! You are an inspiration! And you take such beautiful pictures! Great job, I love your posts!!! You make me want to travel more! THank you for that!!!! 🙂

  9. Derek says:

    Top woman, this is a blog with a difference a real blog talking real, for real people. I live in Thailand and don´t work, but sad story to that almost lost my leg and life from road accident and live off a disability pension. Defo add learning local language as a must, no only for saving $$ and getting better price but opens so many doors and makes life more enjoyable. Oh and long term residents read up on immigration law! Comes in useful as I found out!

  10. Aspiring Nick says:

    Hey Nina, excellent post. I’ve been trolling long term travel blogs for 6 months now and this one is one of the most concise. I also learned a good bit from the linked online freelancing article. I’ll definitely be coming back to check in on your blog in the future.

    Safe travels, hope to join the nomadic life soon!

  11. Nina says:

    Awesome! Glad you’re finding them helpful. Good luck!

  12. Ellie says:

    Great post! I’m in my 6th of backpacking SE Asia and i’ve just applied for my Australian working holiday visa as i’m not ready to go home! This makes it all seem a bit more doable 🙂

  13. Nina says:

    Yay! Awesome, Elisa! Make it happen. You can do it.

  14. Elisa K says:

    I am so happy that I found your site! Blogs like this really inspire me to follow my dreams. I recently quit a well paying but life draining job. The goal is the find a way to work remotely and TRAVEL! I can’t wait to read about all your adventures..

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