Why you should travel when you’re broke

When you’re broke, have looming debts, and always behind on your bills, it seems like travel should be the last thing on your mind. After all, how can you afford to do something luxurious when you can barely keep food on the table?
But that’s not necessarily true – think about it this way, if you’re doing well financial – have a stable job, have great relationships, and everything is in place – what incentive do you have to travel? Everything you have is at home. You have much to lose, and too much baggage to leave behind.
When you’ve got very little, you have very little to lose. You can pack up and travel somewhere, without anything holding you back. You can be free.
Travelling to a new place is almost a fresh start, every time you reach somewhere new, you’ll find new opportunities, meet new people, and get some fresh perspective. If it’s not working well? You can move again.
Don’t wait for what you’re after to come to you. Chase what you’re after, money, friendship, or new experiences.
You do not need to be rich to travel.
You just need to have enough money to hop on a plane.
Pick the right destinations, and there are plenty of opportunities for work overseas – if you’re not too picky – after all, this isn’t a career you are starting, just something to get you started.
It might sound like you’d be disadvantaged finding a job as a foreigner in another country, but there are many jobs that welcome foreigners:
1. Farm Worker
A very popular option in Australia and New Zealand, there is high demand for seasonal workers to help with farm work. You’ll meet many backpackers spending some of their time on farms, while exploring regional areas. Typically, they might be advertised on local classifieds but you’ll find the most luck speaking to people on the ground. It’s no easy work, requiring working outdoors, but if you’re able bodied, pretty much anyone is welcome.

2. English Teacher
One of the best ways to make money for travel is to teach English overseas. There is a lot of demand for native English teachers overseas. Korea is a great place to be to teach English, being a reasonably wealthy country with modernised cities, you’ll make a decent salary often with free accommodation. You don’t necessarily need teaching qualifications, although if you do, you it certainly helps when negotiating your pay and benefits.

3. Au pair
Being an Au pair is about a sincere desire to be part of a family and help with the kids. Au pairs typically live with a family that needs domestic help. You’ll usually receive a room to stay along with food and perhaps an allowance to help with your expenses. Again, this doesn’t necessarily require any particular qualifications, although first aid training or childcare training could certainly help.

4. Busking
If you’ve got some musical or performance talent, try busking. It’s not a steady income in any way; the weather, the number of people on the streets, the location, and my performance all influence the amount of coins. However, it is fun, if you enjoy playing your instrument and singing songs, then a change in venue isn’t necessarily going to make it less fun. You’ll need do a bit of research rules around busking at your destination, as there could be restrictions in some places.

There’s plenty of ways to make a bit of coin while travelling. I won’t lie: cobbling together a living moving from place to place and being new to a country won’t always be a walk in the park. But, travelling is the best time to try something a bit different. Have an open mind, and be willing to go that extra mile, and you might find that there are many roles out there where being a traveller can even put you at an advantage.

Just a final note: When you’re a visitor in a foreign country, make sure your visa lets you do these activities, as you don’t want to be caught in the wrong side of the law (and have your travels end early!). And also understand any tax obligations you might have!