4 Ways to Fund Sustainable, Long Term Travel


It’s the dream of many to drop out of the rat race, take a sabbatical, and go on a journey to restore health, sanity and a sense of thrill and adventure in life.

There’s just one problem – finding the means to finance it!

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can. I’ve been traveling, working and living abroad for 9 years now and there are many ways to fund your travel-based lifestyle.

These are 4 of the best ways to fund your dream trip as you go, and if you really like traveling and decide to never return to the humdrum everyday life, these will also work as ways to fund longer term travel as a lifestyle choice.

4 Ways to Fund Long-Term Travel

TEFL – If you’re a native English speaker and hold a college diploma, teaching English as a foreign language is a way to travel for basically as long as you please. With a 30 day TEFL course you’ll be able to teach the hundreds of millions of students around the world who are hungry to learn English.

I was able to fund 5 years of travel by teaching in England, Turkey and Indonesia. I was offered jobs in Brazil, Russia, and even Kazakhstan, and hundreds of long-term travelers I know make healthy salaries in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand, taking time out during the holidays and between contracts to explore the country they’ve chosen.

If you want to teach abroad, it’s possible to do so now more than ever before and not only make enough to pay the bills but save for the future, too. It’s not for everyone, but those who like people and can adapt quickly can travel for as long as they desire by teaching TEFL.

Freelancing – 10 years ago freelancing was beginning to gain traction. Today it is a colossal multi-billion dollar global industry where anyone with a talent for writing, web design, graphic design or marketing, to name a few valued skills, can make a very decent living from virtually anywhere with a web connection.

While it’s true that freelancers don’t usually make as much as their corporate counterparts, the view from a hammock in the Caribbean is much better than the four walls of an office cubicle, and the freedom to pick up and go wherever you want, whenever you wish, more than makes up for the paycut. 

Making money online has never been easier, and freelancing gives probably the greatest degree of freedom from all of the work-while-traveling options.

Agricultural Work – If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and working up a sweat, there are plenty of countries around the world crying out for agricultural workers. Those in particular need, like Australia, will even offer those willing to work 3 months or more in the agricultural sector a second year working holiday visa as an incentive (note: you must be eligible for a working holiday visa to begin with).

Canada, New Zealand and many countries in Europe offer seasonal work to travelers who want to experience something different and spend time working with their hands and connecting with nature.

Some of the farms one can work on in Australia and New Zealand are simply sublime and worth visiting in and of themselves. Getting paid to work in these places daily is just an added bonus which makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

This may not pay enough to fund luxuries, but if camping under the stars, eating over an open campfire, meeting like-minded people from around the world and working close to mother nature sounds like your thing, this could be an ideal way to fund your long term travel ambitions, at least in some parts of the world.

For those who prefer short stints on a volunteer basis, there are programs like WWOF – Working With Organic Farmers – which have participants willing to host you all over the world on their farms for a few hours of work each day.

Online Business – It may be difficult for some to wrap their heads around, but there is an entire generation of people out there traveling the world as a lifestyle, funding their never ending adventure by running one-person businesses on the web.

While some run blogs and make money from advertising and touting products related to whatever they write about, others buy unique and interesting goods and products in the countries they are traveling in and sell them on their own websites, through major e-commerce platforms like Ebay and Amazon, or at markets back home through a trusted partner.

From tasty blends of fair-trade coffee to handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces of art and furniture, tens of thousands of people are making a living using the trend towards globalization and the worldwide connectivity of the internet to their advantage.

This may take a while to set up and there is no guaranteed minimum income, just like all businesses, but it is nonetheless an ideal way to fund long term travel for those with an entrepreneurial bent.


Almost everyone dreams of traveling somewhere, for at least a while.

Whether you want to go around Europe by rail for 6 months or live on a paradise island in Southeast Asia and heal yourself from years of modern lifestyle abuse, or just take a gap year to gain perspective and immerse yourself in another culture and way of life to broaden your mind and assess your options, there are many ways to make your travel dream a reality.

The 4 methods outlined in this article are ways this writer has personally tried and tested, some for months, others for years. As a result, I have been able to live on 3 continents, and travel in more than 30 countries over the past decade, all while earning along the way.

You can make your travel dreams a reality, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! The only thing standing in your way is your own limiting thoughts bout the situation. Challenge them by giving one of the above a try.

Travel well!

G is an obsessive writer, avid reader, fitness fanatic and doting dad. You can check out his writing at www.artofselfhood.com