Many people dream of travelling full-time. Most never fulfill their dream, since it seems too expensive, too difficult, too much work. But it can be easy if you prepare in advance, sort out your finances and start dreaming specifically rather than generally.

To listen, hit play below or find episode 81 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:


Travel isn’t as expensive as you think it is. We love to pamper ourselves on holiday, to make up for having to sit in an office for the other 50 weeks of the year. And the flights are expensive when you’re only going for two weeks.

But the flights seem cheaper if you’re travelling for six months, and you can spread your money more widely if you stay in hostels rather than hotels. Plus, you won’t spend as much on food if you don’t eat in flash restaurants every night.

Finding the money

You do need some money though, to pay for the flights and to have a buffer for if things go wrong. But you probably have plenty coming in if you just spend a little less and organise it better. Start by killing debts and cancelling subscriptions, and cut down to just three bank accounts: a current account, a savings account and one credit card. Remember to never spend more on your credit card than you can pay back at the end of the month.

The cash trap

Don’t fall into the trap of buying heaps of expensive travel gear. Make a list of what you need and budget a certain amount per week to buy it. Keep the money that you would have spent on gear in the bank and buy yourself several meals in Malaysia or a week’s accommodation in West Africa.


Keep dreaming, but set a date for your escape. Give yourself plenty of time for the preparation you need – we gave ourselves four years to pay off debts and save, which took the pressure off our finances and a lot of stress out of planning. Having a rough date set for departure will give you motivation to prepare and should keep the dream alive.

Social research

Start researching by subscribing to travel blogs like Almost Fearless, Nomadic Matt, and Ottsworld; and listen to podcasts like the Amateur Traveler, Everything, Everywhere, or of course, the Indie Travel Podcast.

Join online travel networking sites like Matador, the Thorn Tree, Couchsurfing or Hospitality Club. The last two give you the opportunity to offer your couch or spare bed to an incoming traveller for a few nights, and in return you can stay with people all over the world when you do start travelling.


Do some training so you can work on the go. Bartending or teaching English are great jobs for travelling, or investigate if you can use skills you already have.

Learning a language can be a great way to get into the travel spirit – you’ll want to go so you can use it. Spanish, French or German are useful in Europe, or try Mandarin or Japanese for Asia. Try to find a language exchange group rather than shelling out on a school course.

You can travel full time. Start preparing now.

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Your thoughts on "Preparing to travel podcast"

  • Don't forget us, if you are considering extended travel as a family! We are going on our third year of an open ended world tour and find it easier, more rewarding and even much cheaper than most people realize. We live large on 25K a year ( total costs) for a family of three! We have been to 4 continents, 28 countries so far, but have spent most of our time in "expensive" Europe. The bootsnall forum is also a good one for gathering information. I think with the economy going as it is now, more and more people will be looking into extended travel and mobile living. It is a fantastic way to live!

    on November 27, 2008 at 3:00 am Reply
  • It wouldn't hurt if they checked your ebook, too Craig. It's a great place to start for those of you that are starting to plan travel. If you know the places you are going, try to find expat blogs in your country destination, and start reading. Even if you aren't moving, you might find some atypical destinations

    on December 5, 2008 at 4:55 am Reply
  • Thanks Soultravelers3 and Newwrldyankee. Some great ideas there. BTW, both of their blogs are well worth looking into.

    on December 5, 2008 at 6:33 am Reply
  • Hey love the site & podcasts. Preparing for my first "world travel trip" now myself. It seems like this episode cuts off abruptly at 5:25, like its incomplete!

    on September 26, 2009 at 9:57 am Reply
  • Me again, the download link seems to have the complete episode, so I'm good! Thanks.

    on September 26, 2009 at 10:05 am Reply
  • Hi Jason, Great to hear from you; good luck with your planning! Where's it cutting off at five minutes? In the iTunes version or here on the page somewhere? We'll try and get it sorted.

    on September 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Seems to work fine now. It was in the embedded media player on this page that was giving me trouble, it was only playing up until about five minutes. But now I play it and it's the full thing. Sorry for the trouble :)

    on September 29, 2009 at 4:45 am Reply
    • No need to apologise; we tend to miss mistakes and bugs unless they're pointed out. Thanks heaps!

      on September 29, 2009 at 8:55 am Reply
  • I agree with these tips, but I think it's also very important to know a bit of the culture and habits of the population you will visit, to avoid cultural misunderstandings and inconveniences!

    on August 18, 2011 at 7:19 am Reply

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