How I afford to travel in college and beyond

How I Afford to Travel the World

I subscribe to the belief that traveling is the most important investment you can make. If you’ve ever visited my blog before, you know I’ve been to almost 30 countries. Travelling is basically a compulsion for me at this point, but I wanted to share how I afford to travel the world. It’s not as hard as you might think, and no I’m not rich!

The biggest secret is it’s not a secret at all.

I don’t really like to tell people how much I’ve traveled. When I do, I get a wide-eyed look and cookie-cutter judgment. It doesn’t matter what I say, I become some luxurious jet-setting guru who takes perfectly styled Instagram photos from my exotic destinations. The reality isn’t nearly so glamorous.

There is no magic secret when it comes to affording to travel. I’m 22, and I don’t have a lot of extra income to waste on things I can’t afford. Before this year, I didn’t have extra income at all. I was living paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes it was really, really hard to make ends meet enough to afford groceries.

The “big secret” to affording travel, if you can call it that at all, is to just make it a priority. I can afford to travel because, to me, it’s a top priority.

For you, travel might not be a priority. Maybe you like to spend your money on having a nice apartment. Maybe you’d rather keep a nice wardrobe or buy the latest tech equipment. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

I don’t buy those things. I buy new clothes for myself maybe once or twice a year. I don’t go out very much, and I do a lot of saving where it matters. Instead of spending money on things, I like to spend my money on travel experiences. It’s that simple.

I make money while I travel.

I’m lucky enough to be able to work while I travel. While I do have a part-time job at a marketing firm, it’s flexible with scheduling which allows me the freedom to travel. My primary income comes from blogging and writing full-time. As long as I have my laptop (or tablet!) and internet access, I can make money from everywhere.

This means my office travels with me, and I never have to worry about losing money while traveling! Are you ready to earn money blogging? Sign up for my free course below to get started today!

Join the community of 9-5 escape artists.

While writing takes time, I usually fit it in easily while traveling by spending an hour or two working each day and taking time off when I want. I also have a few different passive income streams thanks to this blog, so I actually make money in my sleep.

Skipping the traditional 9-5 job gives me the freedom to travel, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I travel a lot, but I travel cheaply.

If being frugal is a sport, I’m an all-star. When I explain that I travel a lot, I think most people have an image of what that looks like. They think of Instagram “travel bloggers” with the perfect dresses on Italian beaches. They think of sipping champagne on a balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

My travel reality is nothing like that.

Traveling, for me, means basing the entire trip around the budget. I choose my destination based on where I can get the cheapest flights. I’m incredibly flexible with my dates, meaning I can travel at the cheapest times of the year. Basically, I let flight costs choose my destination and dates for me!

When I stay in a new country, I stay in hostels. I can count the number of times I stayed in an actual hotel on one hand, and I was always sharing a room. Hostels are terrific for budget travelers because you can get a clean bed and a shower for as little as $10 in some places!


I can’t pronounce the name of this city but it’s really pretty…

A post shared by Samantha Tetrault (@samanthability) on

My meals are equally inexpensive. Most of my meals abroad are from local-only restaurants or even markets. I do a lot of planning before I go to keep the price down! Once I’m in the new place, I stick to cheap transportation and attractions. I’m not really one for formal tours. There’s something to be said for walking and just taking in the sights by foot!

There’s no magic formula to afford to travel.

I’m lucky to be able to travel as much as I can now. I recognize that not everyone has these same privileges I’ve been given, and it isn’t reasonable to expect everyone to have the freedom to travel as they please.

That being said, I wholeheartedly believe everyone can do SOME traveling. You don’t have to fly abroad to see something new! There’s always more to see and experience even in your own city, you just might need to think outside of the lines.



Hey, I'm Sam! I'm the blogger and full-time writer behind Samanthability. I blog about starting your own blog and rocking post-grad life. You can find me exploring Seattle, binge-drinking iced coffees, and reading spicy romance books. I'm glad you're here!