Travel on a budget (A break from van life)

A change is as good as a rest.” Winston Churchill.

I have been living in vans for a few years and it is one way to save money, I drove around Europe before Breit and spent time in a few countries which only wetted my appetite for more exotic adventures, always returning to the UK and van life due to financial constrains but guarenteed I would get fed up with the chores and monotony of daily life in a van and working hard just to save money for travel.

But isn't van life one big holiday? In the begin it does feel like a caravan holiday but the novelty wears off in a few weeks when you realise it is hard work preparing for driving, planning for water collection and parking somewhere safe and flat.

In her blog  How vacations can affect your stress level By Elizabeth Scott, PhD, She highlights the importance of vacations and the health benefits for a longer  happier life, I try to take this a step further and turn it into a philosophy by not living in bricks and mortar. (This is the biggest expense most adults face) As well as trying to get some new experiences in.

Not having won the lottery yet or a trust fund to exploit means my pockets are very shallow and dreams are very big, the only way to manifest these dreams are to sell my beloved home on wheels and buy a plane ticket to somewhere hot.

The thing I learnt is being hot and working in Asia is that at somepoint you miss a good cup of tea and a roast dinner, (Joking a side)  many expats live in Asia for many years happily and that suits them they are able to acclimatize to the culture.

whereas I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of infrastructure, discrimination and the increased risk of injury the longer we stayed in this developing country and yes the people are kind and hospitable but the coruption is seismic and their pride is fierce to the point of refusing western knowledge, change is very slow for this reason.

Back to the west and Brexit is a contentious issue for many and the lasting  effects will be felt for years to come,(not the UK’s finest hour in my personal opinion) though  it has given rise to a new type of traveller the ‘Revolver traveller’’, (I do not know who coin the phrase) Which is someone that stays in a country for a few months and then moves to the next, this may well be our next course of action. 

There is an appeal to this style of travel especially in Europe as we can explore one or two countries for three months  then go to Turkey, Albania or any country out side Europe for as long as our visas allow and then we can come back to Europe again for the safety and familiarity of western culture.

There are multiple ways to travel on a budget here are just a few:

Free camping

I have experience with Work away, Couch surfing, free camping and of course teaching English both in schools and online but I suggest you do your own research (Feel free to contact me with questions). Here is a great article about WWoofing By freelance writer Sophie McGovern; How to travel and work around the world with WWoof

Currently I am looking into House sitting, where you mostly look after someones house and pets for the duration of their holiday its kinda like if Tinder had a baby with airBnB, in that both parties set up profiles and read each others reviews, send messages back and forth then confirm. No money is exchanged and you can do this many times a year for a one year payment to the platform which incorporates insurance, 24 hour phone access to a vet and support from the platform, and yes their people that do this full time with a contingency for lost days.

It is expected you will stay in most of the day with the pets so its not for you if you want to go sight seeing, the company operates in 120 countries so there is always somewhere new to visit after your home owners return (Stay posted for our review).

If you have experience with any of the above travel hacks or have some stories to share we would love to hear from you.