How to Travel the World Full-Time (Without Going Broke) & Other Useful Tips for Travel

by Gigi Griffis

After over six years on the road and two blog posts every week, I’ve got a pretty substantial pile of tips, tricks, and how-tos for traveling the world (full-time or short-term). And because sometimes that content gets buried, I thought today I’d collect some of the most useful posts and pull them together for you in one spot.

If you’ve ever had questions about making money while traveling, budgeting for nomadic life, taking your dog abroad, etc., here are 12 of my most popular, useful how-to posts from the last six-ish years:

How Much My Digital Nomad Lifestyle Costs: Real Budgets From 6+ Years on the Road

“The first thing you should know is that my lifestyle of full-time travel is something that I do on the same budget (or less) than I lived on in the US. This is the key to making long-term travel a reality. Wherever you are in the world, having a financially sustainable life is about spending less than you make.

The second thing you should know is that there are people who travel the world full-time on less than I budget.

In part, this is because I don’t pick places because they’re cheap; I pick them because they’re beautiful or because my friends are there or because I’m just curious…”

forest in Brasov

How I Make Money While Traveling the World Full-Time: Behind the Scenes with a Location Independent Writer

“You know all those “I quit my job to travel!” stories?

Mine isn’t actually one of them.

I quit my job long before the idea of full-time travel occurred to me. I quit because I was exhausted, burned out, depressed, and quite literally making myself sick.

You see, I was the sole copywriter, content strategist, social media strategist, and content/CMS support person at a small ad agency. I loved the work. I loved working with other creative people. I loved the rush of the ad business. But I had way too much on my plate…”

Can You Make a Full-Time Living as a Part-Time Copywriter?

“How can you make a living as a part-time freelance writer?

The answer, friends, starts with doing the math.

First, you need to know: how much do you need to live? What are your monthly expenses? What do they need to be? What is the baseline number you need to hit in order to keep yourself covered? And what’s the number you need to hit to meet your savings goal?..”

dessert in Brasov, Romania

How Long Can I Stay in Europe as an American? (The Skinny on the Schengen Zone)

“So, you’re getting ready to head to Europe for a long period of time. You’ve got your checklist of must-see towns, your well-packed backpack, and your sense of humor (always required for travel).

But then you get to the border.

And the French say oh, la la, ma’am, no, you cannot stay in France for six months without a special visa.

Because, of course, for better or worse, there are rules.

About how long you can stay in a country and for what purposes (study, tourism, business, etc.)…”

How Much Do Digital Nomads Spend Per Month?

“Welcome back to my digital nomad series, in which I ask 4 – 8 location independent professionals to answer a question about the digital nomad lifestyle. The point? We all do it a little differently. There’s no right answer. Our unconventional lifestyles are distinctly our own.

And if you’re starting a location independent lifestyle of your own, you get to do it how you want to. Because, I repeat: there’s no “right” way. And anyone who tells you different is selling something.

Today, I’ve asked six location independents to answer another common question: how much do digital nomads spend per month?..”

Chad and Luna in France

How Do Travel Bloggers Make Money?

“So, here’s one of the most common questions any travel blogger, digital nomad, or otherwise unconventionally employed person gets:

How do you make your living?

It’s a good question. After all, there’s a lot of bad information and bad assumptions out there—articles promising that you can get rich quick from travel blogging, even without any writing skills, or articles that encourage you to quit your job and figure it out as you go…a course of action that’s probably a terrible idea unless you have a lot of money in the bank.

So, here’s the truth: I personally do not know a single person who makes their full-time living from their travel blog…”

No, Europe is Not Dangerous. Yes, You Should Visit.

“Let’s talk about fears and facts, shall we?

In the last couple years, I’ve seen an extreme uptick in fear of travel. Over and over again, I’ve seen USers asking if Europe is safe anymore. Formerly supportive family members express concerns. American government officials are claiming that Europe is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

And, you guys, this makes me really frustrated…”


71 Ways to Make Money While Traveling

“So here’s a question I see over and over again in online digital nomad groups:

How can I make money while traveling the world?

How can I build a career that lets me work from home or, better yet, work from anywhere? Can I find a job where travel is part of the deal? What skills do I need? What jobs are available? Where do I even start?

The answers, at the end of the day, vary greatly. They’ll depend on how much you want to travel. What skills you have. How long you want to stay in one place. And how much you feel you need to earn to make a sustainable living while traveling…”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About My Digital Nomad Life

“When you’re living a wildly unconventional lifestyle (like, you know, traveling the world full-time for five years with your dog and your freelance business), people have a lot of questions. Which is why last year I did a massive roundup post with all the questions I normally get about my lifestyle, my business, and my travel habits.

Since it’s been a year, I thought it seemed like time to update that massive Q&A, updating old questions and tackling new ones along the way.

It’s long, so feel free to use the navigation below to jump to sections that interest you or just skim the lengthy post to find what you’re looking for.

And keep in mind that these are my personal experiences and probably don’t reflect anybody else’s. Digital nomads are as diverse as any other group of people. Some travel in luxury. Some stay in hostels. Some make a mid-level income, others scrape by, still others have trust funds. We’re a very diverse group…”

Gigi and Chad in France

How Do You Choose Where to Travel Next? (Where We Went in 2017 & How We Chose Each Place)

“One of the most common questions I get about my full-time travel lifestyle is this:

How do you choose where to go next?

In other words, when the whole world is spread out before you, where do you go? What do you consider? How do you plan?

The answer is a tough one. Sometimes its about work and projects. Sometimes about natural beauty. Sometimes I’m seeking peace and solitude. Sometimes I need to be near friends. The answer shifts every month, every year.

But this year I thought I’d do a little exercise.

Instead of giving a general answer, I’m going to give an answer for every destination. To tell you how we chose it, what was on our minds, why it was on our radar.

And then to also tell you if it lived up to its reputation, if it charmed us, how it went…”

Ask Me Anything: How Do I Take My Dog to Europe?

“Let’s start by talking about paperwork.

First, it’s important to note that the requirements for taking a dog to Europe vary depending on where you’re coming from. Taking a dog from South Africa to Italy is a very different thing than taking a dog from the US or Canada.

For the purposes of this answer, I’ll assume you’re asking about the requirements for going from the US to Europe. But if you’re coming from somewhere else, know that you’ll need to do a little more research. Countries with a high rabies risk require a different set of paperwork and may require quarantine…”

Grenoble, France

9 Amazing, Not-Too-Crowded European Towns & Villages to Visit in Summertime

“I’m guessing at least a few of you are daydreaming about and perhaps starting to plan your summer adventures.

In case you are, I thought I’d put together a little inspiration – in the form of nine of my favorite spots in Europe to go in summertime. These are all less-crowded than their more popular counterparts (though you’ll still probably find a healthy tourism flow in each of them during the high summer season). They also tend to be hot but not scaldingly so. And I just love them – for their architecture, culture, food, and feel…”

Any questions you haven’t seen answered here on the blog? Drop them in the comments. I’m looking for new questions to answer!

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Kyra Rodriguez October 18, 2018 - 9:30 pm

I envy all the travel bloggers! You guys are my inspiration. I wish I have a courage to quit my stressful job, and be a travel blogger too! Keep on posting travel blogs like this! Thanks for sharing :)

gigigriffis October 26, 2018 - 1:23 am

Quick clarification: I am *not* a full-time travel blogger. I make most of my money as a copywriter and content strategist for brands. I actually would discourage the idea of quitting a job to become a travel blogger – it takes most people many years to develop a following and make any real money from a blog and I only know a couple people who make a living off their blogs. If you decide you want to travel full-time, I’d encourage you to look at tech or creative careers where you can do your job remotely. Good luck if you ever decide to take the leap!


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