As I retured home after my two-month long backpacking trip across Europe, one question I was repeatedly asked was, how did I afford to travel in Europe for so long, despite having no job, and with it, no source of permanent income for the past few years.
Those who knew me personally but had a little idea about how I make money travel mocked me by saying that my dad or someone else in the family supported me financially.
And when I spoke in defence and confessed of my innocence, declaring “it’s my blog that supported… and that’s how I travelled Europe for so long” they said I was lying. “We all know your stories fucker, now tell us how did you do it,” one of my friends snapped.
To be honest, blogging had been the best thing happened to me so far since I’ve started travelling — at least if financially speaking. It has provided me with sponsored trips and even helped me make a little money here and there. And when I say, helped me make money, it doen’t mean a single source of income but a mix of few. I think because every blogger starts with limited resources and many challenges — with the biggest of all being gaining popularity and making money during the process. It’s important to find a mix of revenue models. Eg I use Adsense, freelance writing, affiliate marketing, product reviews, and a few other things… and I get to do it all because I have a blog!
And using a little money I make from blogging, and a lot of brand partnerships, I managed to travel Europe.
How Did I Travel Europe 2 Months In Less Than 70k
In reality, if I were to pay for all the experiences I savoured during these two months, hotels I stayed, and transportation I took, I would have ended up paying somewhere between 10 or 12 times of that money. But thanks to the blog, I was fully sponsored, or partially supported, by travel boards and independent tour companies in more than 6 countries. This allowed me to travel places without having to spend too much.
I partook in day tours, travelled one country to another and explored cities without having to pay anything. But one thing that really helped bring the cost of my travel down is spending absolutely no money on accommodation. You heard that right! In 5 cities including two in Germany (Stuttgart and Frankfurt), one in Slovakia (Bratislava), and one in Switzerland (Basle) and one in Hungary (Budapest) my entire stay, between accommodation to transportation to free tickets to events were sponsored by their tourism board. For other places I travelled to, I partnered with a hotel or a hostel. [Read: How To Find Sponsors For Your Next Europe Trip Europe, If You Run A Travel Blog]
Though of course in return I was reviewing their property or providing them pictures of their property/services etc, and promoting on my social media channels, it was something I was anyway doing, as a blogger.
And to keep a balance between work and play, I planned two hospitality network jobs, once in Germany and once in Italy (using workaway.info). Where on one side it kept travel-for-work and travel-for-life in equal proportion, it also saved money on the other. [Read: Hospitality Networks That Let You Travel The World For Free]
So if I classify the costs. It will look somewhat like this, for two months in Europe (all costs in INR)…
Accommodation: NIL | Food: 20 to 30k | Transportation inside Europe: 5 to 10k | Miscellaneous: 10 to 15k | Flight cost: 30k | Visa cost: 7k | Duration: 58 days