Travel Makeup Bag: What To Pack

By Sara | August 23, 2016

Every traveler packs a little differently, but most travelers need some sort of travel makeup bag in their pack. We posted a robust packing list already, but didn’t delve into what female travelers should pack in a makeup bag. Packing light is hard, and I struggled to find posts on what to bring when I initially packed for my trip. Now, I travel with a small sized packing cube that I keep all of my “girl stuff” in, and know what my must-have items are. Here’s what I brought on my round-the-world adventure, and what I regretted not packing.

1. Ponds Face Cream

Keeping healthy skin is very important to me, and I’m sure to many other women. I’ve used Pond’s face cream for years and re-packaged a large tub of it into 100ml tubes for this trip. TSA compliant!

2. Norwex Face Towel

This was a christmas gift from my Mom and an item that I use every day. Norwex is a product line aimed reducing chemicals in the home. Their towels have microfibers in them, which pick up dirt much better than regular towels. In a pinch, you can even use these without soap; the fibers will grab the dirt from your face!

3. Vaseline or Chap Stick

I always carry some mini cocoa butter vaseline cubes with me, and they’re great for travel because of their size. Carmex lip balm also does the trick to keep lips from cracking, and both of these items are so small that you can easily fit them in a travel makeup bag.

4. Acne Remover

Particularly in hot climates, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent breakouts. Though drinking enough water, eating well, and washing your face every day helps, sometimes skin just has a mind of its own. For breakout situations, I carry one small tube of Clean and Clear topical gel to put on my face at night. Though it’s a strong solution, it clears most problem areas up by the next morning.

5. Q-Tips

I didn’t bring q-tips initially and regretted it every time I had water in my ears after a shower. Luckily, they’re an incredibly common product and super cheap, so you can buy them pretty much anywhere. I put a handful in a plastic ziplock and keep them in my travel makeup bag.

6. Foot Exfoliator

This is another item that I neglected to bring and had a hard time finding later in a compact size. Travelers walk a lot, and there’s no helping the dirt and dead skin that’s bound to accumulate. Having a small exfoliator makes the hugest difference in how your feet feel, and makes the beach more fun!

7. Deodorant, Toothbrush, and Toothpaste

Obviously, please pack these.

8. Razor

The girls I’ve met while traveling all do this a bit differently. Some prefer to go au natural and just let their leg hair grow. Power to ya. I have a pet peeve of hair on my legs, so before the trip I began using the most generic razor brand possible. I’ve been able to find the same style razors around the world and keep a few in my travel makeup bag. This gets me through several months at a time, but everyone has their own preference. Find what works for you, whether it’s skipping shaving, buying disposables, or getting detachable blades.

9. Feminine Products

Again, everyone does this differently. In most countries, standard pads and tampons are easy to find, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I have met a few female travelers who swear by the Diva Cup, so if you don’t want to worry about finding products in another country, it may be worth looking into.

10. Small Travel Makeup Bag

There’s a reason I put this last. I stopped wearing makeup almost a year ago and really, you don’t need any to travel. However, there are still times where it’s nice to dress up a bit to go out, so having a few of the essentials in your travel makeup bag can be beneficial. The only products I brought with me were:

TLC Foundation – I like this foundation because it’s oil-free, doesn’t clog pores, and has light coverage

Bobbi Brown Concealer – I love all things Bobbi Brown, and all of the skin products that they make feel light and moisturizing. This corrector is good for under eye and problem spots.

Bobbi Brown Blush – Same as above, the blush from Bobbi Brown shows up very light and looks natural. The colors look much more vibrant in the case, so don’t be afraid of choosing a bright shade!

Maybelline Waterproof Mascara – I’ve used this mascara for years, and it’s great even when swimming.

NYX Nude Eye Palette – This palette rocks because you can choose a shade as light or as dark as you like and play with the palette to create different looks. I use the darker shades as eye liner as well, rather than carrying a pencil.

Lip Gloss – If you’re going to bring lip coverage, choose a darker shade. The lip balm from the list above works as a nude gloss, so I keep a darker lip gloss for when I want to dress up to go out.

With these six items I’ve been able to look ready for night out, a job interview, and every day exploring. Unless you’re a luxury or beauty traveler, makeup really isn’t a priority, and outside of the U.S and the U.K., girls don’t wear much, if any makeup anyways!

That’s It!

Travel quickly teaches that you don’t need much to feel well. Again, every traveler packs differently, and the most important thing to bring is what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. My hope is that for those lost as to what to pack, this list will help make things easier, while keeping you feeling clean and pampered on the road.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase any of the items from a link in this post, we get a small commission to help keep this blog running at no extra cost to you.

14 Reasons to Travel

By Sara | August 4, 2016

Choosing to embark on a long-term trip is a big decision. There are many sacrifices and compromises that come with extended travel, but there are also many amazing reasons why it’s worth it. Here’s our list of the top reasons to travel.

1. Bucket Listing

Travel is a great way to knock things off your bucket list. Not only does travel allow you to explore new places, but it also gives you the time to learn new skills and try new things, which is what bucket listing is for in the first place.

2. Meet New People

Even those who are solo traveling will tell would-be travelers that you’re never truly alone if you don’t want to be. From meeting other travelers at hostels to enjoying meals with locals, the wide array of people you meet will impact your trip and your overall outlook on the world.

3. Learn a New Language

The best way to learn language is to immerse yourself in it. By going to a country where the language is spoken and read every day, you’ll have far more opportunities to practice. Learning a new language can help in countless ways down the line whether you choose to continue traveling or use it in a new job.

4. Choose the Season

Tired of waiting all year for summer? With extended travel, no worries! Just switch locations to chase summer and follow a warm weather pattern.

5. Eat New Foods

It’s possible to travel around the world and eat noodles and chicken nuggets every day, but there are far more delicious dishes to try! Every country and city has a unique cuisine and your food palette will grow exponentially the more you try local foods.

6. Wake Up to A Perfect View

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…until it is. One of the beautiful reasons to travel is having the ability to wake up anywhere you want. Whether it’s ocean views, mountain views, or big city vibes that you’re searching for – traveling has endless opportunities for amazing places to wake up to.

7. Stay Active Without Even Trying

Traveling isn’t for the lazy. Even if you take taxi’s and metro’s in every city, you’ll still end up doing a ton of walking. Traveling forces people to get up, get out, and stay active, whether you’re exploring a city or hiking to that perfect view.

8. Learn to Budget

For most people, traveling long-term means budget traveling. Learning to set and stick to a budget is a valuable skill that you can use for the rest of your life. We recommend downloading an app like Mint to get started.

9. Test Your Comfort Zone

Long term travel pushes people out of their comfort zone. This is one of our top reasons to travel because of all the opportunities that come from being unsure of what the next step is. Travel will make you test yourself and expand the your comfort zone.

10. Get A Fresh Start

Life isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always work out the way we’d like it to. Whenever you need a fresh start, travel will be there. Travel provides a healthy outlet to start over, gain some time to think, and reestablish what your priorities and passions are.

11. Prove You Can

Confidence can be hard to grow, but is a valuable asset to have. For those who struggle to reassure themselves, travel may be a solution. Successfully navigating a different country that doesn’t speak your language can instill a sense of “I can do this” that can in turn give you a boost to try, and succeed at other things.

12. Catch Pokemon

While I personally do not understand why this game is so popular, it has been requested that I include it in the reasons to travel list. Traveling gives ample opportunity to walk around and catch Pokemon, so gamers, don’t forget your data plan.

13. Gain Perspective

The view of other people and places changes when the country next to you at the moment gets bombed. New habits form after seeing how people conserve food and water out of necessity. Finance takes a whole new meaning after meeting someone who lives off a tenth of your salary. Travel puts life into perspective in a way that’s not easily found elsewhere and provides a new sense of understanding.

14. Have Amazing Stories

There’s no doubt about it, traveling produces some amazing stories. Whether they’re crazy, funny, sad, or exciting, anyone who travels long term will come home with a repertoire of stories to hold close and share for the rest of their lives.

There are countless more reasons to travel, and everyone’s adventure will be different. Extended travel is a big decision, but we haven’t met anyone who’s traveled and regretted their choice. We hope that this list helps to inspire others who are hesitating to take the leap and try something new. If you’re still unsure whether travel is right for you, take our travel quiz to find out!

Why We’re Traveling for 1,000 Days

By Sara | July 2, 2016

Last week Greg and I announced that we intend to travel for 1,000 days on our vlog. We left a corporate lifestyle behind last December and have been on the road for almost seven months now. I wrote about why we left in this post, but at that time we had planned a six month to one year trip. Two months into our journey, we knew that we would be traveling for much longer.

Initially, we were traveling to a new city every week. We covered a lot of ground, but we were exhausted. From writing for this website, to filming vlogs, to worrying about our budget, we barely had enough time to see anything. So, we changed our strategy and started to travel slower. Spending ten days to two weeks in a city gives us enough time to work, explore, rest, and plan ahead.  We’ll continue to travel this way to better explore each place we visit.

The result of this is that we won’t see everything we’d like in a year. It just isn’t possible to do with our travel style. It’s not possible to do in 1,000 days of travel either, but our goal isn’t to see every country. We travel to experience and understand other lifestyles around the world while sharing what we learn with others and making an impact where we can.

It has become more and more apparent that problems arise when people don’t make an effort to understand other cultures. Stereotypes, biases, and superiority complexes form that can cause devastating problems as time goes on.

As a race, diversity should be a strength that we value, not something that we fear and shy away from. Travel helps break down barriers and strengthen our common goals as humans. The more places we visit the more we realize that although the world is complex, at the core we’re all the same. We all have goals, dreams, wants, and needs. We all require food, shelter, love, and purpose. Traveling has taught us so much in a short time, and we’re eager to continue learning.

1,000 days of travel will be difficult. It has and will continue to test our relationship, our resolve, our patience, and our health. We will need to be creative in how we travel, frugal with our budget, and kind to each other. In the long run, Greg and I will be stronger individuals from this experience as well as a stronger couple.

For those who still think that three years on the road is too long, here’s another way to look at it. In September 2018, Greg and I will hit our 1,000 days of travel goal. At this time, we will be 25 years old. We will likely have been to every continent, and we’ll have seen about 40 different countries. We will have self-planned and self-funded almost three years of travel on our own, and learned more about our world in those three years than most do in a lifetime.

To me, that seems like a pretty good investment in my future. At 25 years old, it certainly won’t be too late for either of us to re-enter the lifestyle we were pursuing before we left either.

1,000 days of travel is something that we thought about and planned for months. Most importantly, Greg and I have both found something that we’re passionate about, fulfilling our initial purpose for traveling. As always, we’re so thankful for the support so far, and look forward to what the future holds.

If anyone is planning to travel soon, check out where we are and send us a message to meet!

The Ultimate Travel Packing List

By Sara | June 23, 2016

Anyone who is planning a trip longer than a few weeks will want to pack differently than if they were going on a standard vacation. Living out of your backpack long term is much different than packing a big suitcase for a short trip. Depending on what type of travel you plan to do, your travel packing list will vary in content. Below is our suggested travel packing list for long term round-the-world travel with a carryon sized (40-50L) backpack.

The Lists

No matter how long you plan to travel for, you really don’t need much more than a week to 10 days worth of clothes. The trick is to pack items that you can mix and match to create a large variety of outfits. When choosing clothes, try to pack things that roll up small. This way, you can pack more items and have more outfit choices on the road.

Men’s













Women’s
















Medical Kit

You’ll want to pack a small med kit to have minor emergency items on hand. Everyone’s med kit will be slightly different, so pack what you think you’ll need most. Below are some suggestions of common medicines to include. We suggest only packing small amounts of standard medicines, and if you get sick buy the medicine you need in whatever country you’re in at a pharmacy or drug store.

Please note that we are by no means health professionals, and the suggestions below are not dosage recommendations. Always seek advice from a doctor on what medicines to take.

Medical Kit






Bathroom Kit

Again, your travel packing list for a bathroom kit will vary hugely depending on what your skin and hair care routine is. The best suggestion we can give to save space in your pack is to be as low maintenance as possible. Below are the items we suggest and use when traveling, but you can tailor it and substitute them out to fit your own needs. Don’t forget that most products can be found all over the world, so unless you have a very specialized product that you can’t live without, standard bathroom items can easily be purchased.

Men’s Bathroom










Women’s Bathroom











Electronics

There are some standard electronic items you’ll want to have with you, and some you’ll only need if you plan to photograph or video record extensively. Check out our post on the Top 8 Electronic Items for Travel for a more in depth review of the products below and links to our favorite travel electronics.

Essentials



Photo & Video






General Tips

Now that you have an idea of what to pack, here are some tips on how to fit everything into your bag.

1. Roll your clothes instead of folding them

Rolling clothes instead of folding them will save tons of space in your bag. Almost every full time traveler we know packs this way – for a reason!

2. Use packing cubes

Packing cubes are the holy grail of things to have on a travel packing list. By putting your clothes and other items in cubes, not only does your backpack stay organized, but you can fit much more into your pack. We use and love these Ebags packing cubes.

Tip: Order a few sizes and experiment to see what fits best in your bag. When you pack, bring an extra cube or two – it can come in handy down the line for laundry, souvenirs, etc.

3. Lay out everything you plan to pack, then cut back

Before you put things into your backpack or suitcase, lay everything that you plan to bring out. Then start removing items that you don’t really need. When we first packed for our trip we had almost double of what we ended up bringing with us. Your back will thank you later!

4. Choose your backpack first

The best way to avoid overpacking is to not even give yourself the option. We bought our bags* before we even made a packing list, so that when it came time to pack we were limited to those constraints. We have no regrets using this approach and have never needed more space.

*Our backpacks:

Tortura Backpack 44 (Greg’s backpack)

Osprey Farpoint 40 (Sara’s backpack)

We hope that this packing list was helpful, and if there are any items you love that aren’t in this list, we’d love to hear them! Comment below your must-have items for a world trip.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we make a small commission to help keep this blog running if you purchase any of the linked products at no extra cost to you.

How to Plan the Perfect Itinerary

By Sara | June 13, 2016

We’ve all been there before. You’ve booked your travels, perhaps even arrived in your destination, but aren’t sure what the best things to do are. Asking the hotel or hostel reception for tips will usually get you to the top touristy places, but experiencing more than that requires a bit of planning and research. This can seem like a time-consuming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are my top tips on how to plan amazing things to do in any city.

Step 1: Pinterest is Your Friend

Yes, you read that right. Pinterest has more benefits than just photos of cute puppies and awesome recipes. Over the last few years their search function has dramatically improved and their content pool has grown. Type ‘things to do in’ followed by your destination of choice and you’ll see hundreds of pins. Many of those pins link to lists of things to do in any city you search for. Either save these pins to a board or pick your favorites and proceed to step 2. For a head start on this step, check out our Pinterest page to see our saved activities.

Step 2: Make A Foursquare Account

I never understood the use or purpose of Foursquare until I started traveling. Now, it’s a website and app that I use every week. Foursquare allows you to make lists of any kind, so make a list of whatever destination you’re heading to. Then, type in all those fun activities you found on Pinterest and save them to your list. Foursquare will place everything on a convenient map that will be used in step 4. Foursquare also has its own database of things to do in any city that you search for, though I find Pinterest’s variety to be larger.

Step 3: Use Google Search

Just to make sure that you have all of your options on the table, do one last search on Google for ‘top things to do in’ followed by your destination city. Not all travelers use social platforms like Pinterest Foursquare, or tripadvisor.com, and there have been several times that I’ve found some great hidden gems from travel posts by searching on Google. This is also a great time to check out the tourism website for your destination, as they often have deals on activities. Add any of your findings to the Foursquare list and proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Use Your Calendar

Time is the most precious asset you have during a trip, and too many people waste it carting back and forth between attractions. Head over to Foursquare and take a look at your completed map of your destination list. There should be dropped pins of all the things you’d like to see during your trip. Zoom in to a particular area and add items that are close together to your calendar on a specific day. Repeat this process until all of the pins are in your calendar, with three to six items per calendar day, depending on how long they take.

There are several benefits to doing this last step. The first is the obvious; it saves time. If all of your attractions are in one area of a city, you have more time to spend at each of them and less of a commute. The other advantage is that this approach will save you money on transportation. By doing activities that are physically close together, you may not even need to buy metro or bus tickets outside of getting to the first stop that day.

For budget travelers, this could stretch to the point of getting cheaper accommodation outside of the city center since you’d save money on daily transport while you’re out exploring.

Step 5: Explore

While having a plan ensures that you see everything you can during your trip, don’t be afraid to get lost and do things off the beaten path. Some of our favorite memories are from unexpected moments, so remember to relax and leave time to just wander.

The whole planning process should only take 30 minutes to an hour to complete, and will save you so much more time than that over the course of your trip. With the tools above, you’ll be well on your way to easily finding the top things to do in any city. For even more things to do, check out our Destinations page. What are your favorite trip planning tips?

8 Must Have Travel Electronics

By Sara | May 17, 2016

Before we started traveling, Greg and I did a ton of research on what travel electronics to bring. We factored in the space they’d take up, the overall usefulness, and whether they’d work all over the world. Here is our list of the top travel electronics we can’t live without.

1. World Adapter

This is the most useful travel electronic device that anyone can have, no matter what type of travel you’re doing. The outlets and power voltages are different depending on what country you go to, so having a device that can adapt anywhere is a lifesaver. We’ve had excellent success with the Orei M8 Plus all across mainland Europe, the UK, and Africa.

2. Mini Outlet Expander

Almost as valuable as the world adapter, this travel electronic is for anyone traveling with more than one device. In most hotels, hostels, and even Airbnb’s there are only one or two outlets – and even then, with only one power converter, the need for multiple ports is great. This mini expander is perfect with three charging spots and two USB ports. We’re able to charge all of our electronics at once with no hassle.

3. Portable Battery Pack

This is another life-saving travel electronic. Your phone will get a lot of use while you’re traveling because it serves as a navigation lifeline, connection to the rest of the world, currency converter, and language translator. The down side is that the battery drains quicker than at home. Having this light, portable charger in our day pack has helped us out many times over again and we never leave without it.

4. Headphones

Let’s face it. Hostels can be noisy, busses can be loud, and sometimes you just don’t want to talk to that stranger next to you on an airplane. Whether you choose the smaller earphones that came with your phone or a nice pair of headphones, this is one travel electronic that you won’t want to not have.

5. Memory Cards

Whether you’re going on a one week vacation or a two year trip, photos are priceless. For many travelers, the 8GB memory cards will not be enough to store an entire trip, and if you’re taking video, the space drops even more. We recommend getting a 64GB memory card for both your camera and GoPro so that space is never an issue, or at the very least will last a while before having to move footage and photos elsewhere.

6. Spare Batteries

While most travel electronics no longer run on batteries, some still do. A great investment is a set of rechargeable batteries. Also, if you plan on vlogging or recording any part of your trip, a GoPro is a great accessory to bring. We quickly learned however, that the GoPro battery isn’t meant for all-day recording, so having backup batteries is a must. We bought these after we began our trip, but won’t start another on with them.

BONUS: The SmaTree batteries (linked above) come with a charging port that works with the GoPro brand batteries as well, so you can charge them all overnight for a set of fully charged batteries the next day.

7. SIM Card Holder

Depending on your phone plan overseas, you may be switching SIM cards a lot. Those things are tiny. Tiny things get lost. Don’t lose SIM cards. This holder is small, light, and easily stores international SIM cards so you can switch them out with ease.

8. External Hard Drive

Last but definitely not least, a backup drive. The worst thing can and does happen – hard drives fail. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Bite the bullet and get a backup drive. Use it regularly so those precious photos from your travels are a forever keepsake.

We hope that this list helps you get all the travel electronics you need to travel to whatever part of the world you choose. Have a must-bring electronic item we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Choosing Travel Shoes

By Sara | April 9, 2016

When we began researching what to pack on an extended world trip, one of the biggest questions I had was what type of shoes I should bring. Should I go the “try to fit in” route and pack my flats? What about the comfort of tennis shoes? Is that too touristy? Maybe I’ll need hiking boots. And flip flops. Should I pack my boots too?

These were all questions that went through my head as I searched for a definitive answer to my travel shoes debacle. My hope is that this post will help you decide which shoes are right for your travels and save you some of the hassle we faced. For a full round the world packing list, click here.

Step 1: Determine Your Travel Style

We didn’t have a set list of counties picked out when we planned our world trip, but we had a rough idea of where we wanted to visit. If you’re planning to go everywhere, this step isn’t a huge deciding factor in the shoe department. However, if you’re planning to only go jungle-trekking, camping, surfing, skiing, or chasing summer, this will have a major impact on your decision.

For camping and hiking as the main activities, hiking boots are your best option. For some, tennis shoes might work fine but for true hiking you’ll need something with more ankle support and grip.

For summer chasers, choose a comfortable pair of sandals and/or flats that you can walk in for a long time. Chaco’s are a great option if you plan to be in a lot of hot weather countries. You could stick with just tennis shoes but may get hot and they definitely look touristy with a pair of shorts or a sundress.

If you’re planning to mostly walk around and explore cities, a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of sandals or boots are great as travel shoes as long as they’re comfortable.

Step 2: Put Comfort First

A great way to ruin your trip is by not wearing comfortable shoes. Greg and I walk on average 10 to 15 thousand steps per day, and your feet, knees and back will get sore at times even with the most comfortable shoes. Bring footwear that feels right on your feet and that has good support.

Step 3: Seek Style

It’s hard to find travel shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, so if you can do this, congratulations! If not, you can begin to make your shoe choice based on deciding whether to choose a shoe that matches your clothes or that’s most comfortable to wear.

Step 4: Factor in Space

If you’re packing everything in a carry-on sized backpack like we have, there’s not a ton of room for shoes. However, if you have a bigger bag then there are more options. It all depends on how you travel. A general tip is to plan to always wear your bulkiest shoes when you’re traveling to a new place so that you never have to pack them.

Step 5: Try Shoes On

You’ve got to try the shoes on in order to know if they’ll work for you. Take an afternoon to spend time in a shoe store and walk around in a few different pairs. It’s also worth experimenting with different insoles. There are many different insoles that offer heel cushion, arch support, etc. but you’ll want to test these out in person before buying.

Our Choices

I was able to pack one pair of nice black flats and a pair of cheap flip flops into my backpack, and wear my Nike trainers with heel support insoles on travel days. I started off carrying a pair of boots as well, and realized my mistake before we even left the states. The boots are no longer with us. Most days I wear my Nike’s, and I’ll switch them out for flats when dressing up a bit.

Greg opted not to buy flip flops until he needs them and packs his Nike 5.0 shoes in his bag while wearing a pair of Aldo dress shoes most of the time. This combination has worked great for both of us so far.

There is no one pair of travel shoes that is best because everyone’s feet and travels are different. Taking some time to think about what will be best for you based on your location and travel style will make the choice easier. What shoes do you travel with? Comment your favorites below!

How to Save Up Money to Travel

By Sara | April 6, 2016

So you want to travel the world but think you can’t afford it? Sounds like almost everyone who dreams of travel. The good news is that saving up money to travel the world is easier than you think. The down side is that you’ll need to make some small sacrifices to get there. Here are the top ways to save up money to travel the world.

1. Make a Budget

For many, income while traveling is low or nonexistent, so learning how to budget what you have is crucial. If you aren’t a math whiz, no need to worry! Apps like Mint can help you set up monthly budgets and automatically do most of the work.

2. Cut Luxury Expenses

Once you have your budgets figured out, start sticking to them. For many, this will mean cutting some “luxury” expenses like magazine subscriptions, Netflix and Hulu, cable TV, etc. While you’re traveling you will not have many of these things anyways, so it’s best to get used to before you go, while saving money each month.

Also, it’s time to stop eating out. If you aren’t already aware of how much eating out costs, watching your food budget will teach you this. Try buying only groceries for one month instead of going out when you’re hungry, and be amazed at how your wallet thanks you.

3. Buy What You Need

Before you travel, you’ll have to buy some gear to prepare you for the mobile lifestyle, so focus new purchases on things that you’ll take with you on the road. Try to avoid buying any new big home items that you won’t be bringing with you.

4. Sell What You Don’t Need

Time for spring cleaning! Anything that doesn’t hold an emotional attachment or that does not have a practical use can probably go elsewhere. Beginning a life of travel is a great time to go through your house or apartment and cleanse your life of clutter. Many things can be sold online, or can be donated if you don’t think you’ll need it when you get back. Some people even choose to stage and sell their homes for a big boost in travel funds.

5. Roommates

Housing is the most expensive monthly cost in almost everyone’s budget, so lowering it by any means will help you save up money to travel. The two most common ways to cut housing costs are to get a roommate to split the bill with or to move in with a friend or family member for a while to save your income. You could also try hosting your couch or extra room on Airbnb for some quick cash. We did this for almost a year and cut our California housing costs by 40%.

6. Work Extra Hours

If you’ve done all the steps above, you should already notice a big increase in the amount of money you’re saving each month. If it still isn’t quite enough, or if you want to have even more travel funds, see if you can work a few extra hours or get a part-time side job. For some, this isn’t a healthy lifestyle option, so only do this if it’s right for you.

With these six tips to save up money to travel the world, you’ll be well on your way. Set a deadline, make a budget, cut costs, and increase your income. Then buy your ticket and set off on your journey. Comment your favorite money-saving tips below!

The Importance of Travel Insurance

By Sara | March 30, 2016

The nice thing about having a 9-5 job is that the employer usually has some sort of insurance policy for the employee. Things like health coverage, life insurance, or even car insurance are benefits that job seekers usually look for. For most travelers however, this doesn’t work the same way.

Many travelers are adventuring during a gap year, while working for themselves, or living off of savings. This means that many do not have a pre-defined insurance policy, unless they pay for it out of pocket or are under their parents health coverage. While not being insured can certainly cut costs, it is not a safe way to travel, especially internationally.

There are many accounts of travelers getting injuries from the extreme sports we all love like cliff jumping, sky diving, parasailing, snowboarding, etc. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt though, and when injuries happen, that doctor visit wont be cheap without insurance.

Even if you’re not participating in any dangerous activities, what if you get sick? With all the different foods and unknowns going into your body, anything could happen even if you’re the most cautious traveler.

The point is, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The good news is that there are options. If you live in the USA and are under 26, check with you parents to see if you qualify to be under their health insurance. Just make sure to carry an insurance card with you and call your provider before your trip to check what their international policies cover.

If you’re over 26, can’t be covered by your parents insurance or don’t have an international insurance policy, consider purchasing travel insurance. There are several companies that offer travel insurance, and we use and trust World Nomads. The best part about World Nomads is that you can extend and renew your policy online, while you’re traveling.

The two tiers, standard and extreme, cover different situations and levels of compensation should things go wrong. Not only does World Nomads travel insurance cover health related issues, but they also cover damage or theft to your personal belongings and things like trip delay and flights home in emergency situations. Check out their website for more information.

You’re about to embark on an amazing trip, so don’t let it be spoiled by the unexpected. Take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe and have some piece of mind that if and when things do go wrong, you have options and assistance to handle it.

How Much it Costs to Travel the World

By Sara | March 26, 2016

In almost every travel article about how much it costs to travel the world, you’ll read something along the lines of, “everyone’s travel costs are different, so I can’t give you an exact amount.” While this is largely true, it is also largely unhelpful, which prompted this post on how to find your estimate travel cost.

This will require a little bit of math, but if you’re at this article already then you’re seriously thinking about travel and want to find the information. The three main expenses while traveling are the same ones that exist at home; food, housing, and transportation.

Food

To find out how much it costs to eat while you’re traveling, first map out the countries or regions you’d like to travel to. Europe is going to have more expensive meals than Asia and Africa, but this still varies by each country. To get a pulse on meal costs, try looking on TripAdvisor. Input each location and select the food category. Many of the restaurant options will display a price range.

Another option is to check out Numbeo, which will tell you all cost averages for a given country or city. Once you’ve determined the average cost per meal, (remember that breakfast, lunch and dinner cost varying amounts) add up the total food cost per day. Multiply that number by 30 to get a monthly average of what it will cost you to eat each month.

**Note: If you buy groceries instead of eating out, you can reduce this total substantially, no matter what country you’re in. Greg and I save over $300 a month by buying groceries and eating out less.

Housing 

Finding a housing estimate takes a little more planning. One’s housing budget can be very low or very high depending on what your travel standards are. Are you pitching a tent every night? Your housing budget will only be the cost of the campground fee. Can you sleep in a hostel bunk bed everywhere you go? Expect to only pay between $5 and $30 per night. Renting a room on Airbnb? Costs vary substantially. House sitting? Maybe you can score a free stay.

Again, do your research. Pull up two or three website tabs of accommodation sites like hostelbookers.com, airbnb.com, or trustedhousesitters.com and type in the city or country you plan to visit. If you have the dates already, that’s even better and will give you a realistic snapshot of what you’ll pay per night. Once you know the average cost per night based on your housing style, again multiply by 30 or 31 to get a monthly estimate.

**Keep in mind that both hostels and Airbnb often offer substantial discounts if you stay multiple weeks or even a month. If you can travel slow, you’ll save more money. Also consider free stays by house-sitting, working at a hostel to stay for free, or couchsurfing for free nights.

Transportation

Lastly, transportation. This by far takes the most research and has the most fluctuation. We’ve found that the best time to book transportation is 3 weeks in advance. At this time, the prices haven’t risen to meet travelers demand yet, and it still gives you flexibility in planning.

Sites like skyscanner.com, rome2rio.com, and skypicker.com are great for getting flight, bus and train estimates. Also check out out local companies in the country you’re traveling to because costs can be less through them. This post takes a more in-depth look at budget travel options as well.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re staying on the same continent, expect to pay between $20 and $200 for flights, and $15 to $75 for busses to a new city/country. If you’re switching continents, expect costs to be a bit more. We typically budget $100 for two people per city transfer, though it usually comes in a bit under that.

Again, traveling slower minimizes the amount of times you have to pay transportation costs. Once you decide how often you’ll move around each month, multiply that number by the dollar amount of your transportation mode estimate.

The Last Step

Once you have your food, housing, and transportation monthly estimates figured out, add them all together and multiply that number by how long you plan to travel for. Congratulations! You now have a rough estimate of how much it costs to travel the world.

 

Suggested Post: How Much Does it Cost to Travel Europe For 9 Months?