One question I was particularly asked, after returning home from my two-month long backpacking trip across Europe, is how did I afford to travel in Europe for so long. People around me wanted to know how do I afford to keep travelling, despite not having a job for the past many years.
Those who knew me personally and had a little idea about how blogging and travelling-in-budget help me altogether to do this thought that I still have my dad or someone else in the family supporting me financially. A few high-school buddies even mocked, stating that I might be into smuggling drugs or busy working illegal ideas, after repeating, yet once again, the usual family sponsorship thing.
And when I spoke in defence, furthermore, and confessed of my innocence, declaring “it’s my blog that supports and I try not to spend too much while travelling… and that’s how I’ve come this far” they called me a Dishonest Don. “We all know your stories fucker, now tell us how you make money in simple words,” one of my friends snapped.
I understand that travelling is not a cheap sport, but it’s not expensive either. And to prove that here are some confessions:
1) In the past 2 and a half years of my travel stint, I’ve not spent more than 3 or 4 lakh Rupees out of my pocket — a part of my savings. [And how could I manage to do that? Because of my travel blog. Read: How Much It Cost Me To Run A Blog So Far And How Much Has It Helped]. And right now, my only priority in life is to keep exploring new places, meeting new people and travelling.
2) I travel money-smart. For an instance, during my recent 2 month travel across 8 countries Europe, I spent no more than 60 or 70 thousand Rupees, and this included my flight and Visa costs too [I’ll speak about this in the article later] But that doesn’t mean you can call me a penny picker, though I take smart decisions of walking, instead of taking a bus; taking a bus, over taking a taxi; and taking a taxi, over something more expensive, and so on and so forth, but I bet you won’t call me as someone who always looks for an excuse and huckster for cash, by the way, I travel.
3) Blogging does contribute a little and has been doing so since day one.
How Blogging Is Contributing Since Day One
Blogging had been kindest of all the things, experiences, people, or events I’ve met so far since travelling — at least if financially speaking. The first three months of my blogging stint did not give me much but one free trip. I was so new to blogging that I knew no one would pay me to travel, and if a company was giving me a free trip it was my best deal. With time and increasing readership, free trips always followed.
I’ve now even started making a little money from my blog. But that does not include one thing, but a mix of many. 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. I use Adsense, sponsored links, tweeting & instagraming about brands, product reviews, and what not… and I get to do that all because I have a blog! [Read: Different Ways I Make Money From My Travel Blog]
Moreover, I’d like to tell that I’ve been blogging for 1 and a half year, but I’ve been travelling full-time for much longer. After I quit my job to travel (and I won’t call it a reckless decision) I travelled but didn’t blog. Blogging came much later, as a way to sustain my travel needs. Slowly blogging took over, offering me monetary help and better ways to travel.
So to summon up the answer, I’d say… I’ve been able to travel the world uninterruptedly, over the past two and a half years, without any steady source of income, because one, I’ve been blogging and blogging has made me a little money to travel; and two, because I have always budget travelled.
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 4 cities including two in Germany (Stuttgart and Frankfurt) and one in Slovakia (Bratislava) and one in Switzerland (Basle), my entire stay, between accommodation to transportation to free tickets to events were sponsored by their tourism board. For other places I travelled, 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 supposed to do, as I was on a blogging trip.
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…
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, or almost 2 months
If you found my posts useful, and learn how you too can travel the world blogging, do not forget to…