Friday, September 26, 2014

Travel More | How to Travel Full Time

{photos by Nick Danforth}

Traveling the world is easier and cheaper than you might think. My husband and I have been traveling full time for almost a year. In the past nine months alone, we’ve passed through 12 countries over 4 continents!

People ask us all the time how we’re able to travel so much. We aren't trust-fund babies, and between us we only make around $35,000 USD a year. Even with an average income, it’s possible to get out and experience the world. I want to share some of the big “how-to” themes behind our lifestyle, and hopefully encourage you to get out and travel more!

Have Flexible Work

The biggest “secret” to full-time travel is having flexible work. We both work from our laptops, so we can travel anywhere that has decent wi-fi. Because we’re working while traveling, it’s not a constant vacation. We still usually put in an average 30-40 hours a week. But, our time off is spent checking out awesome places and doing cool, new things!

Maybe you aren’t ready to transition to a new online job, but you can start a side project. If you’re good at creating things digitally (writing, web design, photography), you can definitely find a way to make income online. Or even just start setting aside a small amount from the job you currently work at! Before I had a flexible job, I would just set aside a tiny bit every month. Every dollar helps you go on your next trip!
{Check out sites like,, and for a start!}

Travel Light

Let’s be real here...luggage is a pain in the ass. It sucks up time, energy, and money! Between packing a giant suitcase, lugging it around, and paying exorbitant checked baggage fees- that luggage becomes a much bigger hassle than a commodity. Often, it’s better to avoid checking bags at all and just fly carry-on!

I know it can be challenging to think about packing for a two-week trip (let alone longer adventures!) in such a small bag, but I assure you it can be done! Clothes and shoes are the biggest offender when it comes to massive luggage. In order to travel lighter, I try to stick with a few high quality items in neutral colors that can be worn a few times each before washing. To spice things up, I always have my favorite accessories because they weigh less than extra outfits! With less clothes, you’ll probably have to do laundry once a week. But the freedom of being able to get around easily with such a small bag is totally worth it!
{Project 33 is a great resource for advice on how to have a full wardrobe with less items!}

Be A Cheapskate

As I mentioned, we don’t make that much money compared to the average North American couple, but we actually spend less money traveling than we did when we were settled down.

Yes, LESS! A vacation mindset causes people to think that travel has to be expensive, but it’s actually really easy to get by on $50 USD or less per day in most cities!

Accommodation is usually the most expensive part of any trip. Instead of staying in expensive hotels, here are three ways that we save money on accommodation.

Stay with friends.
This is often the cheapest and easiest way to stay. If you have a friends in a city you’d like to visit, see if you can crash on their couch for a week. On top of getting to experience a new place, you’ll get valuable time hanging out with a friend. Just be sure to clean up after yourself and try to take them out for dinner or drinks to say thanks!

Using the popular website,, you can meet locals in cities all over the world and crash at their home or apartment when you’re in town. While this may sound dangerous or scary, it’s actually extremely safe and so much fun! You’ll get a chance to see how locals really live in different parts of the world, and usually you’ll get great recommendations on places to eat, drink, or see the sights! Just like staying with friends, be sure to clean up after yourself and do something nice for your host to say thanks!

A lot of folks are scared of hostels. Don’t be. In fact, in many countries, hostels are even nicer than mid-range hotels! Most hostels these days are clean, have fast wi-fi, and even have caf├ęs or bars on-site! Plus, staying in a hostel is a great way to meet other travelers and make instant friends in a new city! Some of our favorite travel memories are the times we’ve shared with friends made in hostels. Check out to learn about hostels in any city around the world. Hostelworld has a great rating system which will help you figure out which hostels are the most reputable and best-suited for your trip!

Even with a year of full-time travel under our belt, we’re still always learning how to travel better and cheaper! No matter what you want to experience, there are many ways to do it on a budget and more often. If you really want to travel, there are lots of ways to make it work. Find ways to adjust your travel style in order to fit your budget, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to building a lifestyle of travel and traveling more often!

Steph Danforth

Steph Danforth and her husband Nick have been traveling full time since late 2013. Steph makes handmade jewelry inspired by her travels and sells her jewelry on Etsy. You can follow their travels by following them on Instagram, reading their blog, or subscribing to their Youtube channel.

| Youtube | ShopJewelry & Prints | Instagram: Steph & Nick


  1. These are some great insights, I'm going to have to look into them further. Thank you!

    1. No problem, I'm glad you found them helpful Lauren!

  2. I wish I could make a full time income solely online. It would be nice. The truth is, I'm going to have to get a job real soon, and after almost 10 years out of the workforce, I'm scared out of my mind about it!
    Thanks for all of your tips. I've been practicing the whole "cheapskate" thing all year. I cut the cable bill, phone bill...Among others. Baby steps, right?

    Have a great weekend!


    1. Are you on bloglovin? I just followed your instagram (I'm @2justByou), and I know I'll be visiting you there often. =0)

    2. Baby steps are good. I've been cable free for a while now, it's just the internet bill that's killing me!

      I am on bloglovin, but there seems to be an issue with the recent posts being shown & some photos are gone as well. I think I'll have to contact support, but here's the link:

      Thanks so much for your support Kim, I've followed you back on IG as well. :)

  3. Traveling light is a great tip ... something I plan to work on for future trips.

    1. It definitely is hard to go through with. (you should have seen my suitcase on my last road trip!)
      I'm not sure if I could do with just a few outfits on a trip, but it is worth it not having to lug around so much stuff!


  4. In fact it is so simple, but a little scary to start )) Thanks for your advice!