After all the planning and dreaming while enduring the monotony of your humdrum job, it’s finally time to dive in to book your diving course or upload the webpage that will see you hiking up a mountain.
But not so fast! You’ve saved up a little cash for the tickets and perhaps some initial accommodation, but you don’t want to come back to Blighty that early. So unless you win it big somewhere such as at SuperCasino you’ll need to do some planning. Here are three steps for reaching those far-flung destinations and improving your cultural and social understanding of the world.
1) Using your money wisely
If you think you’ll be happy to visit south-east Asia and not bother wanting to visit the temples and animal parks, or go scuba-diving or elephant riding, you’re deluded. Even a small outlay of around £20-30 a day equates to anywhere between £600 and £1,000 a month. Be realistic about your aims and ambitions, but also fluid, because you may not even know which countries you are visiting at the start of the journey.
There are so many ways to save money abroad that won’t ruin the experience, but here’s a few to remember; try picnics rather than always eating out, B&Bs rather than hotels, travelling off-peak, buses instead of trains, and booking attraction tickets early. And before you depart practise restricting the usage of your mobile phone, because data roaming charges on-the-go are financially crippling.
2) Working abroad
The first place to start with working abroad is the Government visa page, to find out the requirements wherever you work. There’s no harm in learning a few skills before you depart (particularly language) and if you’re planning a career break that lasts at least a year you should be aiming to boost your skills before you leave.
If you’re planning on-the-fly there are many ways to boost your coffers in the digital age through writing and/or freelancing – cultivate these relationships before you leave. Whether you’re having a great time in Cambodia, Caracas or Christchurch, for at least an hour each day consult the internet in your hostel or hotel for offers and opportunities. You could produce content or design work for marketing agencies, PR companies or websites. Don’t forget to keep your LinkedIn profile fresh for the sad day when you plan to return.
Complement these consistent writing jobs with using social media to keep an ear and eye out for part-time jobs in your next destination and find contacts. Ask people at home if they know anyone in the area you’re visiting, and definitely try couchsurfing – free advice over a coffee from a local expert, and you may even get accommodation. Word of mouth still works. It’s adventurous, it’s daring, it’s brave, but it might just pay off.
It would be lovely to think that you will turn up in an Indian or African village and help orphans, and be happy not to be paid. But your food, warmth and accommodation will need some form of finance from somewhere, even if you’re not making any cash.
Working furiously before you leave to raise funds from friends, family and the community is one option. Organisations such as Rotary that support humanitarian and charitable enterprises across the world are worth approaching.
Another is Fundmytravel; similar to Justgiving, but specifically supporting individuals who aim to study or volunteer abroad. There’s a high success rate, and the stories are wonderful – yours could be just as good.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post helped us to fund our own life abroad