How We Finance Our Lifestyle of Travel

We recently received a great question from Johann via Twitter. Johann (owner of Chalet Robyn’s Nest) asked us how we make money to upkeep our travel lifestyle. This is one of the most common questions we get as long-term travellers, and in this post I will explain five points that have helped us successfully finance our digital nomad lifestyle.


1. Long Term Travel Is More Affordable Than You Think

A typical two week overseas vacation that includes a few nights in a hotel, all inclusive meals, and a selection of tourist attractions can get rather expensive. By spending a longer period of time in each destination we visit – usually a month or longer – we reduce the cost of travel dramatically. For example, renting an apartment for a month can cost the same as spending a few nights in a four or five star hotel, or renting a scooter for month in Southeast Asia can cost the same as having your car serviced back home. By spreading our travel costs (including the cost for our visas and long haul flights) over a longer period of time, the average cost decreases substantially making it more affordable.

2. Valuing Experiences Over Possessions

We all have limited time, and most of us have limited disposable income, so deciding how we spend these two valuable resources is a huge decision. Over the past few years I have gone through a transition where I have downscaled my personal possessions, and made a conscious decision to only buy what I really need moving forward. By valuing experiences over possessions I’ve made a commitment to having less and doing more. While travelling I take photos, create videos and collect experiences. Living out of a suitcase has helped me prioritise what I really need. The truth is, I don’t need much at all to be comfortable and content.

See our Ultimate Packing List and Mobile Office Setup to see what’s inside our suitcase and what gear we use to work remotely.

3. Convert Unused Assets Into Income

From selling off possessions to renting out a house or apartment, selling or renting unused assets could help finance your next trip. While travelling long-term it would be a waste to leave a house or apartment standing empty when it could be rented out and generating an income. Similarly physical possessions that are not being used now or while travelling will just get old and worthless. I chose to sell whatever I could to generate some additional income, which we used to pay for part of our month long stay on Koh Samui.

4. Minimise Long-Term Contracts & Monthly Payments

There are many companies out there that will offer you great products and services for a monthly payment and/or a multi year contract. Mortgage payments, car payments, health insurance, gym membership, mobile contracts, clothing store accounts, and the list goes on and on. I made sure to cancel as many of these contracts as possible, which brought down my monthly expenses substantially. For example, there is no use being locked into a two year mobile contract in your home country if you won’t be there to make use of it. It’s better then to purchase a more affordable phone and use the additional cash to purchase a pay-as-you-go card at your next destination.

5. Find & Secure A Location Independent Income

In order to pay for travel and living expenses it’s important to have a reliable source of income. This could be anything from a trust fund, investment dividends or a donation from a family member. For me it is earning a location independent income by providing online marketing, web development and video services to my clients. For more info visit Posmay Media

To my own surprise and delight, travelling is not as expensive as I believe would be. It’s as easy as saving money, living within my means and earning additional income.

If you have any further questions, please submit them to us on Twitter (@FreemadicLife) or on Facebook.