How I REALLY Travel

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I get a lot of messages asking how I get to travel so much. I've touched on this subject in the past but it's been a while so I figured as a part of #365daysofREAL I would share the real ways I have supported myself and my travel cravings over the years...

I am a freelance photographer and writer, but believe it or not I only started getting consistent client work in the past few months! Although I recently started supporting myself through my photo work, for the past few years I have worked countless jobs in order to afford to and have the flexibility to travel. But, aside from working jobs where the scheduling and hours are flexible, here's a few suggestions on how to make traveling affordable so you can start checking those items of your bucket list in 2019!

CHEAP FLIGHTS

I am ALWAYS checking flights. My favorite airline app is by far Skiplagged. I've literally flown across the country from Boston to LA for $50. Cheap flights are out there if you're willing to look!

Photo by  JESHOOTS.COM  on  Unsplash

NATURE IS FREE (more or less!)

Almost if not all of my adventures are getting out into nature. I don't stay in hotels, preferring to car or tent camp which is a huge money saver. And if I do need to stay in the city I always check out the local hostels where you can usually find a bed for less than $30 a night.

I also rarely pay for camping or stay at camp grounds. Camping on BLM land is free, just make sure to obey the laws around where you can park, set up camp, and obey fire restrictions. I can't stress enough how crucial it is for us to respect the land if we want to continue to be able to enjoy it!

Photo by  Patrick Hendry  on  Unsplash

The absolute BEST app for finding camping and car camping spots is definitely iOverlander. My friend recently showed me this app and I don't know how I went so long without it. It's chock-full of awesome information about local camp spots, and all user generated so you're hearing from people just like you!

Last but not least when road tripping the GasBuddy app is where it's at for saving money on gas!

via  Pinterest

SAVE DAT MONEY

When it comes to saving money to travel I absolutely love the Qapital app. It has a beautiful user interface that is super fun to personalize and honestly gets you stoked on saving money. You can create separate goals with different rules from "round up a dollar on every debit card purchase" to "deposit $5 every time I go to Trader Joes." Another plus is Qapital won't take money out of your account if your balance drops below $100 so you're protected from any overdraft fees.

The best part about this app for me is that half the time I don't even realize I'm saving money, and because it's separate from my bank account I'm way less likely to try and use it carelessly. This summer I paid for my trip to Minnesota and my road trip across the country, as well as for my laptop and my car, all through my Qapital savings!

So definitely check it out to set up your "Travel Fund" and start putting away that money today!

Photo by  Benjamin Combs  on  Unsplash

I HAVEN'T ALWAYS WORKED MY DREAM JOB

I've worked two or three jobs regularly since I was sixteen. I supported myself through college and since, working almost every job under the sun from waitress to substitute teacher, resident advisor, social media marketer, barista, bartender, PCA, camp counselor, office admin, Uber driver. You name it, I've done it. It’s not always been the most glamorous, but it’s always been worth it!

One of the greatest lessons I've learned (and am still learning) though is the importance of working smarter, not harder. Although I'm grateful for my work experience, I no longer believe in or resonate with the concept of the "grind" or that you have to burn yourself out to achieve success.

At the end of the day you just have to see what type of work works for you! There are so many opportunities to make money remotely these days, and plenty of part time jobs that will afford you the flexibility to travel. I also have a lot of friends that work full time 9-5 jobs that just use their vacation time responsibly and aren't afraid to send it on long road trips on the weekends. If you want to travel you absolutely can, you just have to make it a priority to find the ways that work for you!