How to Fund Your Long-Term Travel Dream

If you’re like many people, you might have dreamed of traveling for longer than the week or two of vacation you’re granted each year but wondered how you could afford it. If you’re really determined, there are steps you can take to turn your dream of traveling for a few months, a year or even longer into a reality. You may have access to more funding than you think.

Your Home

If you own your home and feel like you can’t travel because the mortgage is tying you down, you have a few options. You can rent, swap or sell it. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages. If you live in an area where you can charge a rental price that covers the mortgage and the cost of paying someone to manage it in your absence, this might be the right choice. It’s important to know what you’re getting into if you’re going to be even an absentee landlord, but if you find the right tenants, this can be a good solution.

House swaps can be a great idea to get free accommodation for a few months while you live someplace else as your home base, but you’ll still need to have the money set aside to cover house payments in that time. Selling your home for long-term travel is the nuclear option. It might feel good to rid yourself of all obligations and get a big chunk of money for your travels, but remember that this can also leave you with nothing to come back to.

Your Debt

In addition to a mortgage, you may have other debts that are preventing you from taking time off to travel. One of the most common is student loans. Many people take out federal or private student loans to pay for tuition and other school-related expenses, from textbooks to room and board and more. These can offer low interest rates and favorable repayment options, but it’s important to remain in good standing with the lender and continue paying these even if you’re taking time off work. Like a mortgage, student loan debts might be too substantial to pay off before you head off on your travels, but you should try to get rid of such unsecured debt as medical bills and credit card debt.

Remote or Short-Term Work

It’s not the endless vacation you might be dreaming off, but it could keep you on the road longer. Employers are increasingly open to the idea of employees working remotely, and if yours is not, you might find another in your field who is. If you search online under digital nomads, you’ll find a whole community of people who live this way, moving from place to place while keeping a job or running their own business. You might also want to consider fields of work that let you move from place to place on contract, such as teaching. Within the United States, people who are passionate about skiing or surfing often work seasonally at resorts. If you’d prefer a higher-paid, more career-oriented line of work, you might be able to move into consultancy depending on your current field of expertise.