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Broke but Willing: how to travel without savings

March 25, 2018

In the very attractive, slightly airy-fairy sometimes-idealistic world of travel, it often feels like you need a huge amount of money to make it happen. There’s an element of truth to this, but as always in life there are conditions; it’s the case if you spend too freely while you’re on the trip, if you stay in expensive places, if you don’t get a job…

I’ve never been very well off, but I’ve always believed that in terms of money, you can simply get a job and make your dreams a reality. So naturally, this was my first approach when I wanted to move to Spain. I scoured job boards and refreshed their pages, longing for an opportunity that wouldn’t require me to know the language, but simply enable me to GO. Travel.

In my story, I ended up securing a job after being rejected from a job with the same company. I asked if there might be anything else I was suited for, and it ended up that there was. And so the advice ensues: rule number one.

1. Think outside of the box (typical job boards)

Use your personal network to seek opportunities. Connections in that country, a friend of a friend perhaps; you can use your good old Facebook as a starting place. Secondly (and this can work alongside looking for opportunities, find the people who work in the companies on LinkedIn. Even if there’s not a job going but you feel you’re a good fit, why not enquire? If an opportunity does arise and you’ve established a connection, you’ll likely be top of mind.

2. Don’t give up at the first nos (there will be many)

So you’ve sent our your emails, you’ve searched every job board, and among the radio silence you also get some rejections. Start here, email them and thank you for getting back to you, ask them to bear you in mind for future opportunities or any others they may have going that might be more suited.

3. The good old fashioned job boards

Of course this is a good starting point, a way to see what’s out there in the job market of the place you are visiting. Of course which website you search depends on the country you are searching in, but on an international level I swear by LinkedIn and Escape the City.

4. Skills for stays

There are websites that help to find opportunities to use your skills for accommodation and food. I think are great starting points if you have some savings and want to make it stretch, because of course, it is easier to find a job once in country. Workaway, Worldpackers and HelpStay are good examples of these. Alternatively, hostels often offer this type of exchange, so try enquiring directly with hostels if you can’t see any live posts suitable for you.

5. Remote working

There are many websites where you can offer a service or skill. UpWork and Fiverr are good places to start. If you’re struggling to get your first opportunity, try offering your services for low prices to get some good reviews under your belt. In addition, if you have a good relationship with your job this could be something that you negotiate with them while you’re away.

6. Teaching English as a foreign language

This is a great one as there is usually a respectable demand for these in most places (that aren’t English speaking of course). If you’re from the UK you can get into the British Council scheme without a TEFL/TSOL qualification, but otherwise, you will have to invest in the qualification. Worth doing in my opinion as it can truly open up the world to you in terms of teaching opportunities.

Now I’ve shared my secrets. What’s your go to website for finding work abroad? I’m curious…

For the full list of useful websites for finding work abroad or remote work, head to the Wading Wade Useful Websites Directory.

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