Here’s How to Plan Financially For a Year of Work and Travel Abroad

Wouldn’t it be great to take a year off to travel?

Whether it means working remotely, travelling, or both, getting to indulge your sense of wanderlust and see the world is pretty much every young professional’s dream. However, pulling it off financially is another story.

Plane tickets, accommodations, and visas don’t pay for themselves, after all.

But just because it might be challenging, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes some planning, and a little financial savvy.

National Bank helped us connect with Curtis Smith, Founder of Free & Easy Traveller, to give us some advice on how to live the nomad life without going broke.

With these tips, you might even return with more money in the bank than before you left.

work and travel abroad

1. Avoid taking on major expenses or commitments while you’re at home

Keeping your monthly expenses at a minimum will give you the mobility to move to other places, and to not be too burdened financially. For example, now is not the time to buy that downtown condo you’ve been eying – keep yourself nimble so you can embark on your new adventure much sooner.

work and travel abroad

2. Save up before you travel to help subsidize your income

Taking a year to travel or work abroad may end up costing you more than what you earn during that time but think of it as an investment like education. Travelling for an extended period of time teaches you about other cultures and yourself in a way that not many other activities can. Work is generally what you do to allow yourself to pursue your dreams so if you can build up a bit of savings before you leave, you can be a lot more flexible to pursue whichever path is most desirable on your adventure.

work and travel abroad

3. Choose a destination where your money will go a long way

Western Europe, Australia, and the United States are all pretty expensive destinations so budgeting can be a challenge. In comparison, travelling in places like Central America, Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe can be just as enjoyable, but you can experience so much more because your money will go a lot further. For example, doing a homestay in Guatemala, learning Spanish, and visiting the surrounding lakes and volcanoes can all be done for around $30/day with meals included.

work and travel abroad

4. Be open to new business possibilities abroad

Being surrounded by a new and exciting environment is the perfect time to explore new projects and pursuits. Being able to really appreciate the here and now is one of the biggest benefits of taking a year long trip away. Not only is this time an investment in yourself and your future, it’s also a great opportunity to experiment with being your own boss. So maybe dust off that DSLR camera that’s been gathering dust in your closet and work on your photography skills – it could be your new side-business.

National Bank is inspired by the freedom to decide: Your own styles, actions, and paths. We believe in better alternatives to the norms. This could be your finances, dwellings, careers, travels, any and all undertakings. National Bank’s purpose is to help you power ideas that can change your life and change the world. Check out tips & tricks the alt way here.