How to Travel on a Freelance Budget

How to Travel on a Freelance Budget

The freelancer lifestyle is gaining more and more momentum in today’s society because it grants us the freedom to travel without being chained to one specific location or time. You may be looking to start your freelancing career or perhaps are already well on your way, but the fact of the matter is that when first starting, your income is going to be limited. Whether you are offering consultation services, completing writing gigs, creating graphical design work, or whatever other freelancing opportunity you find yourself doing, building a consistent, reliable income for travel can be challenging. Today we discuss how to travel on a freelance budget.

How to Travel on a Freelance Budget

Figuring out exactly how much money you need to make to travel isn’t difficult. You have to take a look at a few important factors, but you should be able to come up with a figure reasonably quickly.Perhaps most important of all is determining where you are going to be spending your time. Traveling through Europe or the United States is going to be much more expensive when compared to Southeast Asia or Latin America. The places you’ll stay, the activities you can do, and the food you can purchase is going to vary in cost depending on your style of travel.


Finding Cheap Accommodations

As fledgling freelancers, the cost of your stay anywhere can be the most expensive part to your stay, but there are always ways to make your budget fit the trip. Here are some strategies:

  • Stay at a hostel. Hostels offer you a cheap way to make your money last longer, while giving you the flexibility of roaming around. Find hostels at HostelWorld either online or through their mobile app.
  • Go CouchSurfing. Couchsurfing is a budding community where hosts from around the world offer you a bed or their couch to sleep on for no cost at all. Yes, you’re going to be sleeping in a stranger’s house, but often such proximity to a local can be a great asset towards finding even better deals around the city.
  • AirBnB. Renting someone’s apartment through AirBnB, a pseudo Bed & Breakfast based off of someone’s home, can score you great deals on a prime location, especially when compared to prices you’ll find at similarly situated hotels.
  • Long Term Rentals.  You can rent out an apartment for a couple of weeks or an entire month and get really good prices versus renting at a daily rate. Some apartments in Bangkok, for example, rent anywhere from $150 and up for an entire month!
  • House Sit. What many travelers are turning to these days is house sitting. That’s when you take care of someone’s home, including any pets they may have, while they are away. Usually you won’t be compensated, but your stay will be free.

Inexpensive Experiences


Traveling is primarily about building new memories, and the best way to do that is to get new experiences under your belt. Whether you want to see the elephants in Thailand, tour the Roman ruins, or explore the Colombian Amazon, you can always score a deal.

  • Take a Free Tour. Most major cities, especially in Europe, will have free daily walking tours that give you a great perspective of the city while keeping costs low. Often these tours are free but tips are suggested.
  • Research City Events. There will undoubtedly be free events going on wherever you are. It could be a fireworks show, the celebration of a local holiday, or free access to a museum, you can always find something to do.
  • Stay Local. You’ll hear it time and time again, but the locals do it best. Go to where they go to have fun, you’ll certainly be surrounded by an authentic experience, lively culture, and assuredly lower prices than at tourist hotspots.

Making Work, Work

It can be difficult to stay focused on doing your job while you are abroad, but the whole concept of how to travel on a freelancer budget relies on the idea that you are going to work while you play. You need to understand that there will be times when you will have to choose work over a fun activity or event, and that is okay. It is part of how to travel on a freelance budget.

  • Find your spot. Just as you would back home, the freelancer needs to create a place where they can work for themselves comfortably. Whether it is a coffee shop, a park, or the communal space at your accommodation, practice getting to work. Find a place that has free wifi available to use your laptop.
  • Schedule. Make a schedule of the things you have to get done, and the things you want to do while traveling. It is easy to ditch work for the awesome experiences waiting outside your door, but the fact of the matter is that if you don’t get work done, you won’t be traveling for much longer.
  • Find more opportunities. The freelancer has to go out and find their work, for the most part, so you should be keeping an eye out for more work to complete. A recurring, consistent gig can be great because it will relieve the stress of not knowing how much you’ll be earning that month.

Travel Budgets for Freelancers

Making and sticking to a travel budget as a freelancer can be a challenge, especially if your income is not where you’d like it to be, but there is great satisfaction in being able to stick to what you set out to do. The freelancer’s ability to move around untethered is something those stuck at a desk job constantly dream of, so take advantage of this opportunity you have. Find your ideal location, make the budget, and follow our tips to traveling within your means and you’ll gain a lot more than the stamps on your passport. Figure out how to travel on a freelance budget and get started right now.

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