How to travel and work as a freelancer around the world

Delighting in your work is one of the best gifts we can hope for. So how do you do it? If you want to work as a freelancer while enjoying ongoing travel, a little extra discipline with your finances will allow you the flexibility to continue doing something you love while earning money, while, as for your craft, developing your sensitivity as a traveler will bring your work to the next level. Let’s talk about a few financial tips before we discuss the essence of your work.

Travel to places in their off-seasons

January is the off-season for many countries, so flights, hotels, and other accommodations will be less expensive. Remember to book travel and lodging arrangements in advance to shave off the extra hundreds of your total cost. A good example is Spain. Good times to travel to this country are spring- March to May, and fall- September to October. Prices will be more reasonable during these seasons when comparing them to summer prices. Another thing to keep in mind is that when the large amounts of tourists come into town, this is the same time that the locals are taking off on their own vacations, thereby leaving you with a less than authentic experience of daily life. Along with that, many businesses are temporarily closed to give their employees this vacation time. These are things to research and consider with each country you wish to travel to.

Photo: Getty Images

Use credit card offers to your advantage

Many credit cards offer cash back on specific categories of purchases so that you are getting reimbursed partially for spending money. A good card to consider is Discover, which offers a large five percent back on different categories that rotate quarterly throughout the year. Just research your particular cards and use each one for specific purchases when that category is in season. To redeem your cash back you can set up your account to automatically be reimbursed for specific time periods such as every one to three months or every time you reach a certain balance. Just be sure that you are on time with your payments so that you can keep enjoying this privilege of saving money, as well as keep a strong credit score that will work to your advantage in many ways. Including a lower APR which means paying less interest on your outstanding balance per month. Also, keep in mind that you should exchange your money to foreign currency before you leave the United States for each country you plan to go to, directly at your bank or credit union, as they are able to offer better rates, and they will charge you less fees. A freelancer is a bit of a dreamy nomad, but one that still benefits from having a plan. Remember, the more you save money on everything you do, the more you will get to do.

Photo: Getty Images

The work itself

Whether you are freelancing in photography, graphic design, or writing, to name just a few, there is no doubt that traveling improves the creativity behind your work. The world outside your own borders is the best classroom. You will learn from the people you encounter in the variety of cultures you travel through. When interacting with natives, show an appreciation and a respect for their culture. Demonstrate that you are interested in them, and are grateful for the opportunity to share a moment of their time. People will sense that you are trying to learn how their society functions and what makes their land special, and they will respond to your genuineness. In your down time from traveling and sightseeing, prepare a list of things you need to know and experience first-hand to make your freelance work stand out as excellent. Would knowing what a common dinner looks like in this part of the world contribute to your work? How about the methods of the people during daily activities that differ from your own country, such as transportation, working, and spending leisure time?

Photo: Getty Images

Decide these pieces of information before your day’s travels and work so that you may directly target the answers. As a freelancer, you may already be familiar with the discipline of keeping a notebook with you to keep track of ideas for future projects, as well as notes from experiences. Aim to take notes that focus on a variety of the senses, such as a particular color that the sunset is reflecting off a well-known building, listening to the overall sound of the city and being able to describe it in a few words, and how the natives cope with and adapt to their weather. Your work will need to offer and contribute something new to the field, so take time to do some research on what has already been done and ask yourself: What is missing? What needs to be clarified, enhanced, or expounded upon? Next set out to discover these treasures! Setting yourself up for success in your traveling budget and in your field of work will take discipline, effort, and structure, your three best friends in any worthwhile endeavor!