Monthly Archives: August 2016

Some Things You Should Never Forget Before a Trip

Over-packing can be heavy and costly, but there’s no doubt that under-packing can sometimes leave us worried we’ve forgotten something. Leave the anxiety at home with our list of five important things to always remember before a trip!

CHECK VISA & VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

Every country has different tourist visa and vaccination requirements, so make sure you abide by the guidelines and meet requirements well in advance. This user-friendly interactive guide is helpful in starting your research to ensure you are well prepared. Health updates regarding country-specific illnesses – like the current Zika virus outbreak – should also be monitored regularly.

GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance can cover the cost of lost or stolen personal items, trip cancellations, and even medical emergencies – this can prove to be beneficial in the event of an unplanned disruption of your trip. Just as you insure your home, car, and even your phone, make sure to insure your trip to avoid costly penalties! Different insurances cater to specific needs to travelers (low-cost, medical, international travel) so choose one than fits your travel style and budget.

MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Although nearly everything is sent via email or saved on a back-up drive now, it’s important to realize the value of hard copies. Should your travel documents be lost or stolen, it’s critical to have them saved elsewhere. Keep a folder of these documents on you at all times (in your purse or carry-on) while traveling, and email them to yourself before your trip for added precaution.

Passport (Identification page with photo.)
Visa
Travel Insurance
Driver’s License
Credit Cards (front and back.)
Travel Itinerary
Airline Tickets
Reservation Confirmations (hotel, rental car, cruise tickets, etc.)
Vaccination Certificates
BOOK ACCOMMODATION

It may be tempting to be spontaneous and book your hotel rooms or lodging on a whim, but it’s not usually something I recommend. Events like holidays and festivals can be a nightmare if you don’t already have accommodation booked.

Don’t be stuck with the leftover, low grade rooms and instead book at least a month in advance. Hotel staff insiders even admit that those who book through their website or over the phone usually get better rooms than those who book last minute or through other online booking sites. Be sure to read online reviews, and beware of additional charges like parking, cleaning, and pool/spa fees.

HAVE A WELL PACKED CARRY-ON

In addition to your travel documents (and copies), you’ll want to have some basic essentials within arm’s reach:

Headphones: Thin hotel walls and noisy plane passengers are inevitable, so come prepared and pack a pair of headphones that can easily plug into your phone or iPod.

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals: Better than any generic ginger chews on the market,Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals contains the clinically-tested ginger dosage required for preventing and treating motion sickness common on planes, boats, and windy drives.

Scott and I both suffer from motion sickness on rocky boats and flights, but we’re hesitant to take something that is going to make us drowsy. I tried these Non-Drowsy Naturals on a recent trip to Kauai –during a zodiac tour of the notoriously choppy Na Pali coast as well as a bumpy helicopter ride — and I did not feel a hint of nausea! These are our new go-to motion sickness pills and it’s something I will not leave home without.

Hand Sanitizer: Don’t overestimate your immune system; the last thing you want on your vacation is to catch a cold. Hand sanitizer, or antibacterial hand wipes, should be compact and easy to stash in your carry-on.

Power Converter: One of the most important things travelers often forget to bring on international trips is a power converter. Check online to see which converter you’ll need for the country you are visiting. I always bring at least two because I have so many electronics to charge.

Reusable Water Bottle: Leave it empty as you pass through security in the airport, of course, but carrying a water bottle with a filter attached will save you money regardless of where you fly! No more shelling out money for bottled water or worrying about catching an illness internationally.

The Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel the World

When Scott and I started our blog, our hope was to inspire others to travel, even with a full-time job. Our travel goals don’t include becoming permanent nomads, so we try to find the balance between work and a whole lot of travel.

I was a bookkeeper for years (before I began making a living traveling the world) and Scott is a software/techie expert — both of which provide flexible schedules for traveling. The truth is, there are plenty of ways you can make money while traveling the world. For those of you who are curious about which careers won’t limit your insatiable travel bug, here are ten of the best jobs for people who love to travel the world.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR

Independent contractors like writers, editors, personal trainers, life coaches, and other self-employed positions that work on commission can be a great career for those looking to control their own schedules. For those self-motivated enough to work at it, being your own boss gives you the freedom to prioritize your own work schedule.

Before we started our travel blog, we took a couple of invaluable courses which helped us launch our business. I would recommend these courses to anybody who is considering starting their own business or blog.

BOOKKEEPER

Bookkeepers and auditors can now easily work from home thanks to technology, and is a great career for those looking to telecommute. Even in a more traditional office setting, business tends to come in heavily during certain times of the year when taxes are due, so taking a light hour workload during the “off-season” is customary.

WEB DESIGNER

Since it’s become so easy to access the internet no matter where you travel now, a web designer is an ideal job for the technomad who wants to bring his or her work with them. Maintain a creative day-job with an office in a new place every day.

Before you consider starting an online business, you will need a website and hosting. We recommendBluehost; not only are they inexpensive (get a discount and only pay $3.95 per month by signing up through our link), but they’re also built for WordPress, have one-click install, and offer a number of other handy website management tools.

DOMESTIC SERVICE PROVIDER

Nannies, dog walkers, housekeepers, and au pairs can give you plenty of opportunities to work and travel at the same time. Besides having part-time or flexible hours, nanny and au pair work is also a great way to become employed abroad, especially in countries in Western Europe.

RESTAURANT INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE

Working as a bartender or server is a perfect way to finance travel. The flexible hours can give you the freedom to explore, while an ability to speak English can be a hiring point if you’re applying to server jobs in restaurants looking to attract more English speaking tourists.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Working three twelve-hour days might seem stressful to some, but for those interested in working as a policeman, fireman, doctor, or registered nurse, there are benefits to the schedule. Many of these kinds of jobs offer four days of free time after the condensed, extended on-call shift, perfect for short excursions.

SEASONAL EMPLOYEE

As Rolf Potts pointed out in his traveler’s guide “Vagabonding,” you don’t need to be rich to travel full-time. Working seasonally for two or three months as a field worker, retail assistant, or hotel host can help you save up enough money to finance months of travel in advance.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT OR PILOT

A natural choice for those who like to travel is to take a job that inherently involves visiting place to place. Flight attendants, pilots, and other transportation experts are required to fly to new cities every day — which makes it much easier to visit an exotic destination between shifts.

TRAVEL EXPERT

If you’re especially passionate about a certain city or attraction, why not look for employment there as a tour guide, using your knowledge to help other travelers learn about the area? If you have a special skill set such as travel photography or rock climbing, becoming certified and offering lessons can be a great way to visit places like Yellowstone National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, or Havasu Falls where those skill sets are in demand.

TEFL TEACHER

Companies like Bridge TEFL and i-to-i offer certifications in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, a working position in high demand, especially in Asia. You can be hired full-time as an English teacher with a regular salary, and can even negotiate for your ticket and living situation to be financed by your institution — essentially getting paid to live in a foreign country.

These are just a few ways to travel and still make money. For more ideas on how others have realized their dreams of traveling the world while making a living, check out a couple of guides from our friend, Wandering Earl.

Tips To Travel the World for a Living

The million dollar question: “How do you make a living traveling the world?” It seems like a foreign idea to most people — like an unattainable dream. Dozens of travel bloggers have written about this subject, but I hope to bring a different perspective because we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world (well, a beach town near the city); we have rent to pay, monthly utility bills, and no plans to sell everything to become permanent nomads.

I did have plans to leave everything behind in my twenties, but as I’ve grown older and planted roots in our beloved beach town, that desire has diminished. I see the value in balance and have found this lifestyle currently makes me happy. Things may change in the future, but for now, I’m learning to be location independent and work for myself, but with a home base.

So how do I make enough money to be my own boss and get paid to travel the world? It’s a combination of things and often a juggling act that comes with some anxiety about where my next dollar will come from.

So far this year, I’ve brought in more income than I did in the previous year. That doesn’t mean I get to keep all of that money. There are expenses involved with running a successful blog, which include CPA fees, hiring freelancers, equipment insurance, Travel Insurance (we use World Nomads), new equipment, web hosting, and, of course, taxes. Not to mention the $320 per month I now get to pay for medical insurance.

Still, it’s more than I made working for someone else and I’m able to work from anywhere in the world, doing what I love!

HOW TO PREPARE FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Getting started on your path to self-employment can be daunting. I spent years studying everything I could get my hands on. I’ve had to work extremely hard and sacrifice other things in my life in order to get to where I am today. There are a few courses that really helped me take the leap and trust in my own ability to leave my traditional job. I recommend these online courses to anybody who is considering working for themselves: Designed to Sell and Build Your Own Empire in 1 Year.

Working for yourself usually means your income will come from many different sources. Here are a few of mine.

THIS IS HOW I GET PAID TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

PHOTO SALES

Most people are not going to get rich from selling their photos, but it’s a welcome surprise when someone likes your images enough to purchase a canvas or print. I’m forever behind on adding current photos to our fine art portfolio, so it’s always a work in progress.

PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES

We don’t actively seek out photography jobs, but we have been hired by a few hotels and San Diego restaurants to provide photographs for their marketing materials. Also, if a destination likes a particular photo or set of photos, they will occasionally offer to purchase them. In the past, we’ve photographed new construction homes and remodels for contractors, but our current photography portfolio includes mostly hotels, restaurants and travel destinations.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTING

I work with several online and local companies as a social media consultant. This isn’t always related to travel, so I’m able to learn about how different industries use social media. These projects range from short two-week gigs to several months.

BLOG ADVERTISING

We write sponsored posts and place the occasional banner ad on our blog. This income varies greatly from month to month because we are extremely picky about who we work with.

FREELANCE WRITING

I’ve written for a few sites over the years. This portion of my income has grown tremendously in the past couple of months as editors and website owners find our website through Google search. If freelance writing is your dream, you’ll want to read Become a Freelance Writer: Get Published and Get Paid.

REAL ESTATE & STOCK INVESTMENTS

I invest in real estate with family and have been involved in flipping one or two houses every year. I bought my first house at the age of 21 and have learned a great deal about real estate and stock investing from my father. Since I was a little girl, he’s always worked for himself and made smart investment decisions. This has also taught me that you win some and you lose some, but don’t ever invest more than you can handle losing.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH BRANDS

There have been a few brands over the years who have reached out to us to become brand ambassadors. These are usually long-term partnerships with companies who offer products or services which we already use or that we feel our readers would benefit from hearing about.

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS

We’re often invited to participate in paid social media campaigns. These are usually tourism boards, brands, or hotels who are looking for top bloggers and social influencers to help promote their destination.

THINKING ABOUT STARTING A TRAVEL BLOG?

As you can see, living the life of a professional travel blogger can be overwhelming at times. You need to learn how to juggle a million things, stay on top of writing posts, share often on social media and be able to produce several different income streams.

When I’m not traveling, I’m usually tethered to my laptop, trying hard to fight the urge to spend all day at the beach (which is only a five-minute walk from our house). Multiple deadlines in one week can get overwhelming and it often feels like I’m never caught up on work.

In addition to creating content, we are always making sure our site is running smoothly and we’re currently in the process of switching our site from Textpattern to WordPress. Thankfully, WordPress has themes like StudioPress to make the switch a little less painful. We’ve been through our fair share of hosting companies and have found Blue Host to be the most affordable hosting for bloggers.

If you are interested in starting a travel blog and you are not sure where to start, I bought the Travel Blog Success course about six months after we launched the blog and I can’t recommend it enough. The value I’ve gotten out of this course continues today, four years later, with the forum and Facebook group where I’m able to share ideas with other professional travel bloggers on how to make money in this ever-changing industry. For a more in-depth look at travel blogging, read: how to start a successful travel blog.

While I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world, becoming self-employed was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. We both worked eighty plus hours per week for at least two years after launching our blog. Even when I started seeing an income after one year, I kept my part-time job because the money is never steady. Some months I make $500 and some months I make over $10,000. I was a basket case the first few months of full-time travel blogging, so I’ve had to train myself to trust that things will work out when those slow months inevitably occur.

Self-employment is definitely not for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of jobs that can be done remotely these days. Here are the ten best jobs for people who love to travel.