In this step by step guide , I'm going to outline how to quit your job and travel the world in 10 easy steps.
That's it, I quit!
If you are thinking of leaving you job to go and travel around the world, you are not alone. In recent years more and more people are calling time on climbing up the career ladder, are sick of doing the same job and want change.
Some people want to leave the old career behind and travel the world to clear out the heads and reimagine what they want to do. Other like digital nomads want a hybrid lifestyle where the work life balance is more weighed in their favor.
Whatever reason you have to pack up normal life, and quit a steady job to travel, this article will cover the main issues you should think of before you make that big decision. It also includes some useful travel tips.
Step 1 : Why do you want to travel?
This is an important first question to ask yourself. There are many reasons why people take time out from their lives to go travelling, but it's good to be clear about the reasoning behind your decision before you start applying for jobs, finding accommodation or getting too excited.
It's important to be clear about the purpose of your trip so you can make sure it aligns with all future decisions you will make during the process of quitting and travelling.
Motives for travel vary from person to person but some popular ones are:
- To take a year out to find yourself and have new life experiences
- To explore the world and different cultures outside your comfort zone
- A way to improve your job prospects or try something new
- To work abroad for a year (spending time as a volunteer, internships, teaching etc.)
- To earn money while traveling (digital nomad or picking up jobs in other countries)
- You just want to live for yourself and travel more
People travel for all sorts of reasons but it's always good to make sure that reason makes sense for you.
Step 2: What is your budget?
After you have thought long and hard about why you want to travel now it's time to think about the cash.
Planning a trip around the world can be done on many budgets but working out how much money you will need is a key step towards planning a successful trip. It's important that your trip works within your weekly/monthly income otherwise you will find it hard to afford or last long.
Other factors which should be taken into account are your other monthly living costs (rent, bills, transport etc.) and how much you plan on spending during your trip (food, bars, sightseeing tours etc.)
Related: How to plan a travel budget
In order to work out a good budget, you should consider how long you can afford to be away for and what sort of daily average you want to spend. This will give a good indication on the cost of your trip.
The budgeting process is very personal and something that differs from person to person but it's important not to forget other living expenses which will keep adding up while you are travelling.
Read this guide here: How to afford to travel the world
Step 3: Where to you want to travel?
For some people, this is the most important part of trip planning. Others seem to make up their minds where they are going only a few weeks before!
For first timers who want to go away for a few months or even years though, knowing where, and when, to travel helps to put structure to the whole trip. It also means you know exactly when to hand in your notice to your job!
Many people, when planning their trip around the world, like to plan in stages or know exactly where they want to go before they even choose the first destination. This can be good as it means you have a plan and a clear idea of what to do next.
At the very least have a rough plan before you quit your job to travel!
Step 4: Make sure you have enough money saved up before quitting your job
We've already talked about thinking towards a budget for your trip. If you already have the money saved, great! If not, it's time to start putting some money aside each week.
Even if you are working while traveling, you'll need to have enough money saved up before quitting your job. It's also a good idea (if possible) to find a new source of income while traveling so you don't have to keep saving up money at the same time.
The more you can save up before quitting your job to travel, the better. Also think about how long it will take you to get used to traveling – you tend to spend more at the start of a trip until self discipline kicks in!
It might sound counter-intuitive to anyone considering quitting their job to travel, but you might want to get an additional side job to save up more money before you go. If this side hustle involves work online, who knows, you might be able to continue as you travel and become a full time digital nomad!
Step 5: Cut back on expenses
One of the easiest ways to build up your travel bank, is to cut back in areas of your life where you're spending more than you need to. If you're in the process of planning a round-the-world trip, and really want to make sure you can afford it, here are some areas where money might be leaking away:
Credit card and bank fees : It's easy to get swept up by special offers when using your credit or debit cards. But try this instead– stick to a single card and use it until you're paying off the balance, then switch. If you carry a credit card balance, consider switching to a low-interest or fee-free card – there are many available!
Phone bill: Do you really need those extra minutes? Or those international calls? If you're not using up all your minutes every month, call your provider and see if they can give you a better deal.
TV: Believe it or not, most people don't need pay TV services to enjoy great shows and movies . If you like the idea of Netflix, consider getting rid of cable!
Car insurance: Shop around online for car insurance quotes – the savings could be significant! Better yet, sell the car and use a bicycle!
Step 6: Set a departure date
Now that you know what sort of budget you need, and can estimate how much time it's going to take you to save, set a date for when you will quit your job to travel. It could be a few weeks, it could be a year – whatever suits you and your plans.
Keep to this date, and do everything you can to prepare for it. From this moment forward, leaving on that big trip of a lifetime is all that matters!
Related: International Travel Packing List
Step 7: To tell your boss or not – that is the question!
Everybody plays this differently. If you want to return to your corporate job after traveling, you might want to give your boss as much notice as possible, especially if they are the understanding sort.
However, if you don't need to go back to that job, you might just want to keep your whole trip quiet and let them know just a few weeks before you leave by giving the minimum notice period.
Whether or not to tell them will depend on a number of factors, but if there's the slightest chance you might want to return to work for your current employer in your old job do the thing that feels right.
Step 8: Get rid of all non-essential items and arrange for storage
While you're going through the steps above, you've also got a good opportunity to look at the things you own. Think hard about what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. How will you get rid of things? Do you have a garage sale, do it yourself or pay to send it to a thrift store?
Consider storing other items at your parents' house or find a cheap storage unit. If you choose a storage unit, be aware that you'll be having an extra cost to budget for as you travel. You'll also need to finish some legal issues such as finalizing bill etc.
Step 9: Book a plane ticket (You've got a passport, right?)
Hopefully by now, you know where you want to travel, when, you've got a passport, and you know all about the visa and entry requirements for the first country you want to go to after you have quit job to travel.
By now, it all seems a lot more realistic! Once you're ready to book a plane ticket, look for the best flight deals you can find. You can visit travel websites like Kayak or Skyscanner and look for the cheapest option in and out of your chosen airport
From my own travels, I suggest that you also book your accommodation for the first week of your journey. This give you a solid foundation to build from.
Step 10: Quit job to travel!
You've got your plane tickets, you've booked your storage, and your apartment is sublet. Now all you have to do is quit that job! If you haven't already done it, this could be a very nerve-wracking time – but once that's out of the way, the hardest part is over.
Remember, people do this sort of thing every day –you can do it, too. The world is your oyster, the possibilities are endless!
How to save money before quitting your job
If you've already got the money saved for your next trip, that's great. If not, it's going to make sense that you put a plan in action for saving money before you hand in your notice at work!
Here's a few money saving tips and ideas to help you on your way so you can save money before you leave and have plenty of funds for exciting adventures:
· Cut down on unnecessary spending. You should never stop enjoying life, but sometimes we can get caught up in spending more than what's sensible. Do you really need that daily latte, takeaways for dinner every night and the new iPhone every time Apple brings out a new one?
·Sell stuff. Have a garage sale, sell on Craigslist or eBay, get creative!
· Get a second job. If you've got the time and are good at managing your time, working another job while travelling is an excellent way to earn money for your travels.
Make money online. There are plenty of opportunities to make good money on the internet, but you'll need to be prepared for some hard work and patience. It can take time!
Ideas for Jobs to Work as you Travel
If you don't need to work at all, you'll have a ton of time to do what you want. However, if you're going to have work while traveling, think about the following:
a) Teaching English as a foreign language
This is one of the most popular jobs for backpackers and very easy to find work in. Many schools require teachers to have native-level fluency in the language they are teaching. You can expect to earn between $20-25 an hour in Thailand and around $2000 a month if you work part time(around 15 hours per week).
b) Working in bars/cafes/restaurants
You might not have the best nights sleep after a hard day at the restaurant, but working as a waiter or waitress is another great way to support your backpacking adventure.
Working in bars and cafes instantly provides you with socializing opportunities and many places offer staff/customer drinks every night.
c) Working on a farm or on a conservation project
This isn't always the easiest thing to find, but if you want to spend some time working on a farm or conservation project while backpacking then it is definitely possible. Many farms and conservation projects require volunteers, but you can also check websites like Workaway and HelpX for longer-term work opportunities.
d) Working in the tourist industry
If you want to get paid to be a tour guide (or do any other tourist-related tasks) then there are plenty of paid backpacker jobs in the tourism industry. This is one of the best ways to see a new place if you don't have much money.
e) Teaching yoga or giving massages
If you've practiced yoga or given massages before, why not teach it while backpacking? Many yoga classes will accept teachers without qualifications and paying for a course is generally not required. You can expect to make around $10-12 per hour if working in Thailand or 20% of the class fee if you work elsewhere.
f) Picking up freelance jobs online
You can find some well paying jobs online that may utilize your existing skills, so why not check out oDesk, Elance or Freelancer? There are plenty of jobs around that you can work on if you're good at writing, graphic design, blog editing and other internet-based tasks. This is a good way to fund your world travel adventures!
Quit job to travel FAQ
So, you're thinking of quitting your job to travel? That's a huge decision, but it can be done! We've outlined how in this article. If you're not sure whether long-term travel is for you, check out our FAQ section below. And if you still have questions about getting your one way ticket to a new life after reading all of this, feel free to leave a comment and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thinking about calling it quits on your 9-5 and hitting the road? Not sure how to make it happen or even where to go? Here's some frequently asked questions people ask when they've had enough of the full time job and want to try long term travel.
How much money do I need to quit my job and travel?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on your specific situation. However, if you allow $2000 per month, you can have a nice time in most places around the world. And if you spend less than that, you can just travel for longer instead!
Can you take a year off work to travel?
Many people dream of taking a year off work to travel, but not everyone has the opportunity. If you're lucky enough to have the option, it's definitely possible and it's also the perfect length of time if you want to combine a gap year with some professional development skills.
How do you tell your boss you're quitting to travel?
The best way to tell your boss you're quitting to travel is to be honest and straightforward. Explain your reasons for wanting to leave and be respectful of their time and feelings. You may want to ask if they have any recommendations for a time when you can hand in your notice or if they need any help with the transition.
How do I leave everything and travel?
There are a few things you need to do before quitting your job to travel. Firstly, make sure you have enough money saved up so that you can afford to travel for an extended period of time. You'll also need to make sure you have a valid passport and visa (if required) and that your health travel insurance is up-to-date.
So there you have it, 10 easy steps to help you quit your job so that you can travel the world. I hope this blog post has helped give some direction on how to break free from the 9-5 and travel on a long term trip.
Will it really be as easy as it sounds? There's only one way to find out…
Good luck on your future travels!
Not ready to leave work and travel? How about planning a workation instead!