One of the reasons why I switched from traditional office based work to working remotely is to be able to travel more. With just a laptop, good internet connection and a comfortable place to stay, working remotely makes your travel goals possible, while earning and saving travel money easily. In this article, I break down some tips that I gathered from my research and from my personal experiences on how to save travel money while working remotely.
1. Working remotely from home helps you save up for your travel money
If you’re a freelancer or your employer allows you to work remotely, working from home is one of the great ways to eliminate many unnecessary expenses to save up for your travel fund.
When you’re working remotely from home, money is saved via reductions on fuel cost, parking fees and commuting expenses. You can also cut down on clothes, assuming you are not required to “dress up” every day.
Here are other financial benefits to working remotely that will potentially help you save up travel money:
- You don’t need to take time off as often to attend any appointments or handle some long overdue errands. With the flexibility of working anywhere and anytime of the day, you can be sure that you can always clock in whenever possible and make up any time where necessary.
- Forget about monthly public transit allowance – If you commute to work, your everyday expenses on fares can be a huge expense. Working remotely can eliminate or reduce this cost.
- As you can also work from anywhere, you don’t have to take unpaid time off to travel. Take advantage of the freedom to travel while making a steady income!
2. Maintaining two to three bank accounts helps segregate travel money
Even before I started working remotely, it’s been my practice to have a couple of bank accounts and to keep track of my spending. The first one is where my salary goes directly, for withdrawing money for my standard monthly expenses. Then I transfer some money to one account for savings/emergency, and of course for my travel money. Having two to three bank accounts helps me track exactly how much I have saved toward each individual savings goal.
The advantages of multiple bank accounts
- As our money serves different purposes, it is beneficial to segregate this to help manage it easier! Keeping it all together into one account can make it difficult to have visibility into what’s what. As already mentioned you may choose to separate your income, your monthly outgoings (bills, food, and pension etc etc); additional savings / emergency fund as well as the exciting pot of travel money for your travels!
- If you’re aiming to save a certain amount of income in your travel fund, for your upcoming trip, having a separate account helps you to see at a glance how close you are to reaching your travel money goals.
- The separate account will also help you stay focused on your spending when travelling, encouraging not to tap into other funds that are allocated for other reasons.
- Our bank accounts could also fail for many reasons, and it could take time before we have access to our money which can be very frustrating. Keeping some money in another financial institution or bank accounts means that you are more likely to always have funds when you need them.
Another simple way to save travel money is the old way of keeping your small change in a jar. Initiate a habit that you put your small change in the jar each day. You may not save millions but for no effort and barely noticing the progress, you’ll be surprised how much money you can save for your small travel expenses, like for a train ticket or for a pass to a tourist attraction.
3. Don’t spend beyond your means
Further to our basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter, the commercial world entices us through advertising to spend our money on many other things, often leaving us in a situation of continued challenge as we work out what we can and cannot afford. After all money does not grow on trees so we should be careful on spending our money on things that matter and things that we can live without.
How to not spend beyond your means?
- Think about the ways that you can budget more effectively, and consider owning less stuff.
- Identify what you “want” versus what you “need”
- Know how much you make and set your priorities straight
- Spend less money than you bring in
- Stop relying on credit cards as much as possible, it’s better to save up for purchases instead of putting them on credit
- Always have an emergency fund
- And stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians!
4. Boost your income
If you’ve tried cutting back on expenses and stopped spending beyond your means, but you still can’t get by, then you probably should focus on making more money. As a matter of fact, there are many ways to make extra income nowadays.
Many people are finding side gigs to do in addition to their regular jobs. You can make money in sales, by selling a product or service. You can also make money online just like what I did for the past 6 years as a part-time virtual assistant on upwork.com. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my list below of part-time online jobs that you might be good at and start earning extra travel money.
- Virtual Assistant or VA – A virtual assistant provides administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from different parts of the world
- Data Entry – A data entry clerk is a member of staff employed to enter or update data into a computer system
- Non-voice Customer Support – Examples are answering emails, live chat support, help desk and so on.
- Online English Teacher or Online Tutoring – Teach English online to students from non-English speaking countries
- Writer – As a writer, you develop a thought, research and write articles, manuscript and other types of written content
- Transcriptionist – If you have exceptional typing skills, a keen ear, an eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the language, you can make extra money as a transcriptionist
- Social Media Manager – Are you good in PR and advertising? Maybe you can promote a product and come up with marketing strategies for different companies across several different social media networks
- Telemarketing or Sales Associate – If you can demonstrate persistence, diligence and dependability while not fearing rejection, no doubt you can be successful in this line of work
- Blogging or Vlogging – Start making money from the readership and viewership you have through one or more income streams like advertising and affiliate income.
5. Shop and prepare your own food
When you work remotely from home, it is best to shop and cook your own food. Say goodbye to lunch deliveries and expensive set meals. Instead, heat up your leftovers from the comfort of your own kitchen to save for your travel money.
Here are some tips to save money when shopping and preparing your own food:
- Create a shopping list and try not to deviate from it. Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly. So buy exactly what you need to avoid overspending.
- Downgrade to value brands – you can buy a lot of your basic foods from the value range, and sometimes you won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Check out the farmer’s market as they sell fresh and normally cheaper vegetables
- Buy meat in bigger quantities and make it last – for example, buy a whole chicken and use the breasts and thighs for a few meals, use the extras for your sandwiches, then boil up what’s left and use as stock for soups.
- Shop at wholesalers and share the cost with your housemates
- Bring your own bag and save money from extra costs of shopping bags. You’ll help the environment too!
- Plan your meals for the week, again shop accordingly and use the freezer when necessary
- If you eat out or spend money going out drinking, have frugal days to counteract these days
- Sign up and use loyalty cards for discounts and freebies at your favourite grocery stores
- If cooking during the week isn’t an option for you, then think about making a bunch of food on Sunday. Cook larger dishes that will stay fresh for days like pasta, soups, and casseroles.
- Your freezer is going to be your best friend when it comes to saving food, so stock up on frozen foods and thus saving more travel money.
- Most importantly, be excited about cooking!
I heard great stories from people who chose to geo-arbitrage in South East Asia because almost everything here is cheaper than the rest of the world. Geo-arbitrage involves making money in a strong currency and spending it in places where your income travels further for every penny spent. While travelling and working, splitting your time between costly cities and affordable locations is an effective method to combine remote work and travel.
It basically suggests relocating in order to take advantage of the lower costs of a city/country. In this way, you can travel and work remotely for far less travel money than it costs to live or travel in most first-world countries, like USA, Canada, UK and Australia.
Here are some benefits of Geo-arbitrage:
- It lowers your cost of living, making money go further
- Working and travelling to countries with a low cost of living will therefore maximize your purchasing power
- It results in scouring the globe in search for the perfect place to earn more while spending less
- It allows you to find a way to compensate for services in a cheaper way
- Geo-arbitrage will allow you to more easily find a city or country that can cater for your needs and that ends up being more cost-effective for you.
7. Slow travel while working remotely
Travelling slowly and finding places to stay put in for weeks or even months, can save you a whole lot of travel money. Just getting to know a place well is going to help you avoid wasting travel money, and you can also get much better deals on accommodation and co-working spaces if you stay for weeks or even months instead of days. Maximizing your travelling time also gives that chance for more experiences over sights, and more than anything else – quality over quantity.
You’ll probably also save time and work more effectively than if you’re constantly on the go from place to place, which for most of us of course translates to more travel money in the bank. Aside from saving travel money, there are many other benefits to slow travel.
- Slow travel is more relaxing
- It takes you off the beaten path
- Slow travel allows you to form a deeper connection to the place you’re visiting as you’ll have more chance of meeting people
- Slow travel allows you to be spontaneous
- It allows you to live in the moment
8. Keep track of your travel expenses
It is easy to get caught up in your travel destination and spend money freely until you check your bank account and realize how much money you’ve spent. Keeping track of your travel expenses helps with making sure you don’t go beyond your allotted budget for your trip.
But before you can track your expenses while travelling, you first have to set a budget to begin with. It is always advisable to do some research first like the exchange rate and cost to travel in your chosen destination. You don’t want to set a low budget and then find you don’t have enough to cover both your accommodation and daily meals. Here are some of the no-brainer ways to track your travel expenses and make the most out of your travel money.
- Do the old-school way of keeping a notebook and pen with you to write down your daily expenses
- Or use a spreadsheet which you can easily access from your computer
- There are many mobile apps that you can also download and install that help in tracking your daily expenses
- And if your company reimburses your expenses, don’t forget to keep your receipts from the subway or bus, taxi, or shuttle, tolls, or parking lot and restaurants. This will save you time and hassles with your accounting department.
9. Find a travel buddy to save travel money!
When it comes to travelling, we have to decide if we want to go solo or have our trusting friends come along for the trip. There are definite advantages to each scenario.
While I do agree that travelling alone is recommended for people to try at least once in their lives, on the other hand, travelling with someone can also be fun and very beneficial. Perhaps one of the best things about having people travel with you is that you get to save on travel expenses.
- Things can be cheaper when you travel with someone. Sharing the costs of accommodation, cab fares, meals, renting a car, private tours etc. means you pay less.
- You can get incredible group discounts.
- There is someone to lend you money if you lose it in any unfortunate circumstances, and someone to keep you sane thereafter.
- Someone to stop you when you are about to buy something impractical or to persuade you into buying it.
When you are able to find a good travel buddy, travelling can become a more rewarding experience. And remember, if you want your alone time during your trip, you can always ask your buddy for alone time when you feel like doing so. It will also be important to carve out uninterrupted time to work if you both have commitments to fulfil.
10. Save travel money by investing in a good pocket-wifi
For those who travel while working or what many people call digital nomads, reliable internet service is the most important thing. This can be very pricey too and relying for internet connection at your hotel, cafes and restaurants is not always the best choice especially while working.
Thankfully, there is this portable hotspot device called Skyroam and it is one the most convenient way to access WiFi when abroad. Skyroam lets you connect up to 5 devices and enjoy unlimited international WiFi in over 130 countries.
- Skyroam makes it easier and a lot cheaper for those longer trips where you will be crossing through multiple countries.
- It is proven to be most cost effective when travelling through many different countries in a short amount of time.
- You can share it with your travel buddy and split the fee, thus it saves you half of the cost
- There is no monthly contract – You pay for what you use, whenever you want to use it, so you don’t waste money on something that you don’t use
- You will no longer have to deal with SIM cards, or the horror of roaming charges.
- This is especially helpful when your phone is not unlocked so you don’t need to buy a second phone for travelling.
- Skyroam uses an encrypted connection to keep your data safe and secure while using WiFi.
- This is also helpful for occasional travellers as it will come in handy as a backup internet service when necessary
We have asked Skyroam for discount for any of our readers and they have given an exclusive promo code to get 10% discount on your Skyroam purchase! So do not forget to quote “WORKHARDANDWANDER” to benefit from your 10% discount!
If you are going to use remote working as your chosen way to travel more then don’t forget to apply some of the above to ensure you manage your travel money wisely and to help increase your travel money pot.
With the help and advice we provide on the work hard and wander site, as well as other great online resources, working remotely and travelling is achievable.
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