No matter how much you like your job, chances are you’ve spent some time daydreaming about what it would be like to walk into your boss’s office, quit on the spot, and then put all your energy into traveling and enjoying the world. But actually doing it may not be as crazy as it sounds! If the wanderlust is getting stronger than ever, then maybe you should think about how you can make this daydream happen. Let’s look at some of the first steps you can take toward becoming a professional globetrotter.
Be realistic about your finances.
Unfortunately, the nonstarter for many of us is that the money will run out eventually—and you really don’t want that to happen while you’re stranded halfway across the world. If you’re thinking about making your travel goals happen, make sure you have a strong savings game and a very specific budget for your new Bohemian lifestyle. And it’s never too early to start your financial prep—start cutting back on things now to help you build your travel savings account. Only set out when you have enough for your adventures plus a hefty cushion for emergencies and easing your way back into real life once your travel adventures are over.
Start hoarding vacation days.
If you’re serious about quitting your job sometime in the near future, start saving up your vacation days. Most companies will pay you for unused vacation time when you leave your job. And if you have vacation time that accrues throughout the year (instead of being available all at once), plan your big resignation date for a point when you’ll have maximum time accrued. The key here is to think long-term. When you’re exploring job options, if travel is ideally in your future you should negotiate vacation time/accrual into your contract. Even if you can’t get a salary bump, an extra week of vacation could be just as valuable for your future jet-setting.
Find ways to make extra cash on everyday activities.
There are a lot of loyalty programs, credit card incentive programs, and other everyday tools that give consumers money or points back when they use a card or service. If you have access to these programs (like Ebates), take advantage of them. You should also consider getting (or using) cards with strong rewards or cash-back programs for money spent on travel or hospitality. Travel sites like Hotels.com or Expedia.com also tend to have rewards programs, awarding points that can be redeemed for more travel.
Live like a local.
Staying in four-star hotels around the globe sounds fantastic, but for most people it’s not terribly realistic. If you want to maximize your travel budget, look into local options for “couchsurfing” or Airbnb-type programs. However—and I can’t emphasize this enough—always do your research to make sure you’re using reputable services that have policies in place to ensure your own safety and security.
If you plan financially, and think realistically about your means, a globetrotting existence can be the ultimate alternative to the workday grind. Once you start putting in the work of planning and researching your new life, you may find that it’s far more attainable than you ever thought possible!
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