save money travel

8 Major Money Wasters to Avoid When You Travel

What’s stopping you from traveling as much as you want to? If you’re like most people, your answer is probably money.

The costs of traveling can definitely add up, but there are tried-and-true ways to avoid overspending when you take trips.

If you’re looking to keep expenses down (so you have more to put toward your next adventure), make sure you’re not wasting money on any of these unnecessary travel expenses. Continue reading “8 Major Money Wasters to Avoid When You Travel”

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How to Renew Your Passport Fast in 4 Easy Steps

From delayed flights to lost luggage, trips don’t always go as smoothly as we expect them to. One of the worst setbacks you can encounter is realizing your passport is about to expire right before you’re supposed to leave the country.

Not only does your passport need to be up to date to cross borders, but most countries won’t let you in if its expiration date is arriving within the next six months (Canada and Mexico are a little more lax, requiring three months of passport validity).

So before travel day is upon you, check your passport’s expiration date to see if you need passport renewal. And if it’s set to expire within the next three to six months, read on to learn how to renew your passport, step by step, so your international travels can go off without a hitch. Continue reading “How to Renew Your Passport Fast in 4 Easy Steps”

7 Life-Changing Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

I recently wrote about the downsides of being a digital nomad, so anyone considering this path has a realistic sense of what it entails. Now I want to focus on the amazing benefits that come with this lifestyle.

Most digital nomads work online, leveraging technology to make an income without being tied to a specific location. Because “going to work” simply means getting online, they can work from anywhere with WiFi.

As a result, a lot of digital nomads head to far-flung destinations like Bali, Chiang Mai, Budapest, or Medellin. Driven by curiosity about the world (and possibly a soon-to-expire visa), many stay on the move, filling up their passport with stamps as they explore this “pale blue dot.”

While this exciting lifestyle has tons of benefits, here are seven that stand out to me. Continue reading “7 Life-Changing Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad”

Is Digital Nomadism Right for You? 7 Potential Downsides to Consider

If you follow the Instagram feeds of digital nomads, you might think their life is one long vacation. You see epic sunsets and beautiful people with perfectly highlighted hair leaping in front of the wonders of the world. Or you see someone casually reclining in a hammock, laptop on their lap as they sip a piña colada (ugh, so bad for your neck and shoulders!).

But we all know Instagram only shows the highlights; it doesn’t tell the full story. As with anything else, the digital nomad lifestyle has cons along with all its pros. So while the perks of being a digital nomad can be pretty incredible, there are also some downsides to consider if you’re going to embark on this path.

If you’re wondering if becoming a digital nomad is right for you, first consider how well you’d adapt to these potential downsides. And if you’re already a digital nomad, rest assured that your struggles are totally normal. Continue reading “Is Digital Nomadism Right for You? 7 Potential Downsides to Consider”

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How to Manage Your Money as a Location-Independent Digital Nomad

Hey, digital nomads: Do you have a plan for how to manage your money while on the road?

When you’re traveling from place to place, it’s easy to forget about financial matters. After all, saving for retirement probably isn’t top of mind when you’re watching the sun set over a Thai beach or hiking up Machu Picchu.

But if you neglect certain steps, you could end up broke in a foreign country with nowhere to turn. Instead of being boring, getting your financial life together can actually be really empowering.

You can fully enjoy your travels knowing you’re keeping up with loan payments or on track toward your savings goals. So what do you need to learn about how to manage your money as a globe-trotting digital nomad?

Here are seven key steps for getting your financial life in order. Continue reading “How to Manage Your Money as a Location-Independent Digital Nomad”

Secret’s Out: How to Reduce Your Student Loan Payments to $0 When You Go Abroad

If you’re a millennial, you’ve had to endure a pretty harsh economic landscape. First, you graduated into the Great Recession, when good-paying jobs were scarce. Experts say millennials will never catch up financially compared to the previous generation. Sigh.

Second, millennials are dragged down by student loans, with more than 44 million borrowers owing a collective $1.48 trillion. Student loans have a nasty habit of eating up your paycheck before it even has the chance to settle into your bank account.

If you’re one of those 44 million burdened with student loans, you might think traveling the world is out of reach. But if you’re interested in living in another country long-term, an international lifestyle could actually work in your favor.

In fact, working abroad could mean your federal student loan bills get reduced to zeroand you could get loan forgiveness eventually. Here’s a little-known trick for traveling with student loans that could just get rid of your student loans once and for all. Continue reading “Secret’s Out: How to Reduce Your Student Loan Payments to $0 When You Go Abroad”

cheap travel insurance

10 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Plans for the Savvy Traveler

I’ve gone on a lot of trips, but it wasn’t until I spent five months traveling around Southeast Asia that I thought to get travel insurance. Since I was away for a long time (and was a tad worried about dengue fever), I decided to protect myself with a travel insurance plan.

As a newbie to the world of travel insurance, I first had to answer, what is travel insurance, anyway? In a nutshell, travel insurance will cover costs incurred while you’re in another country for injury, illness, trip cancellation, lost luggage, stolen belongings, car rental insurance, emergency evacuation, and more.

Some plans are super pricey, but the cheap travel insurance plans on the list below are the most reasonable ones I’ve found that still offer decent coverage. Plus, most of these companies offer different levels of plans, so you can choose between a basic or robust one to find the best travel insurance for you.

Continue reading “10 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Plans for the Savvy Traveler”

how to become a digital nomad

How to Become a Digital Nomad and Design Life on Your Terms

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of visiting far off places. I think it might have come from growing up by the ocean. I’d gaze out over the infinite sea, and like many others before me, wonder what lay on the other side of the horizon.

But for years, I worked a job that required me to stay in one place, only granting vacations a couple of weeks per year. If you also have a wanderlusting heart, you know that going into the same office day in and day out can feel almost painful.

That’s why I set my sights on a location-independent job that would enable my traveling, rather than be an obstacle to it. Now that I’m a writer, I’ve worked from all over the world, including Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, France, and Ireland.

I learned how to become a digital nomad through trial and error, but there are tried-and-true ways to achieve this lifestyle. If you’re ready to turn your digital nomad daydreams into a reality, read on to learn how to become a digital nomad — and start indulging your passion for travel whenever you want. Continue reading “How to Become a Digital Nomad and Design Life on Your Terms”

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7 Government Programs That Offer English Teaching Jobs Abroad

When I graduated from college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a job, but I did have one clear goal: I wanted to travel the world.

To make this happen, I applied to Spain’s Language and Culture Assistant program. This program hires English speakers to work as assistant teachers in public schools around the country. I ended up in Seville for a year, where I taught English in an elementary school and traveled around Europe during breaks.

As it turns out, there are several governments around the world that offer English-teaching jobs abroad. Not only do they promise a steady salary, but they also help you get a visa for a year or more. If you’re looking to teach English abroad, check out these seven government programs in countries around the world. Continue reading “7 Government Programs That Offer English Teaching Jobs Abroad”

5 Common Travel Costs That Are Worth Splurging On

For most of my 20s, I was the dictionary definition of a budget traveler.

I stayed in bunk beds in 16-person hostel dorm rooms. I packed carry-ons to avoid paying for a checked bag, even on long trips. Instead of eating in restaurants, I wandered the aisles of foreign grocery stores. And I never, ever took a taxi if there was a bus or subway available.

But now that money’s not quite so tight — and I just can’t with hostel snorers anymore — I’ve started spending more for the sake of convenience. I wouldn’t trade those utterly broke travel days for anything, but I’m glad to have more financial wiggle room in this new stage of my travel life.

If you have some room in your travel budget, but you also don’t want to break the bank, give yourself permission to treat yourself with these five travel expenses. Continue reading “5 Common Travel Costs That Are Worth Splurging On”