I have been researching a trip to europe for a few months now and I keep on hearing all these great stories of people going off the travel the world for months and years on end. I love the idea, but realistically where do people come up with the money to fund all the travels, especially ones across many european countries, for extended periods of time, and how do some people manage to just stay/live in one place for months on end? Please help me out, let me know the secrets!!!
hi Steps, you are right, I d like to know that secret as well.
Probably some take a gap year or year off after school, they save some money doing some occasional work with no expenses to pay at home with parents. A friend of mine did that too but he had to stay in "cheap" places most of the time, like Africa, Asia or South America.
I've met a number of these people here in Australia, who just come out for a couple of years via SE Asia on their way to South America. They work every now and then, sometimes for 3 or 4 months at a time, get a room in a shared house asap after arrival (plenty of ads around the universities) sometimes exchanging lessons in their language for English conversation. What they all, or at least most of them, have in common is that they travel light and stay light. So, whereas I would buy a book, they'll get something out from the local library. If at all. I find if they come from Europe, they are so, so into the sun. The sun, by and large is cheap. Sometimes they buy a second hand motor home as soon as they get here and live in that. What really surprises me is how many people in the 40-60 years old bracket there are travelling around in this fashion. I would have thought this life was a young backpacker type of life. Not at all.
It's a good question and I have to second the others thoughts on this. What happens a lot is of course serious saving and planning before any extended trip.
Personally, I think Europe is going to be very hard to travel around for a really extended period (around a year) without having some kind of income or job along the way - or a way of hugely cutting the accommodation costs! Compared to other countries/areas, travelling is just terribly expensive. Europe does tend to be a popular destination, but as far as I can tell it is mostly for periods of 3-4 months. Or, if it is for longer, it is because of a seasonal job (ski instructor in France, picking strawberries in Norway etc.) somewhere. I have also heard of a lot of people travelling to the job, and then just taking weeks here and there to travel to other parts/cities.
When it comes to Asia, Australia and South America for example, it is a totally different matter. Because you can live so cheaply, if you really cut out the things you don't 'need' (this will of course be different for everyone). It is amazing for example how long you can survive on a strictly NOODLES ONLY diet! And as accommodation is the biggest cost, any way you can bring that down is going to extend your possibilities. Australia's working holiday visa agreement (with 15 or so countries) really offers a great opportunity to travel and work casually throughout the entire country.
Lastly, I think in a lot of cases credit cards are hit pretty hard after coming home... whether their own or their parents etc.!
I am now looking for another American to help me in car rental and room and board for two weeks in UK. I am a single young man and still cannot afford it on my own. Is there a site fore us exclusively?
I don't know of a site that caters exclusively for that. You can always try a post in the Travel Companions forum here, that might help. Besides that, there are several sites that cater for travellers in Europe that might be of some help. You can find a good selection in the LINKS area or of course through Google.
I reckon it is going to be hard to find a place to stay for two weeks other than hostels though. It is just too short... you might be able to get a discount rate where you buy 7 nights, pay 6 or something. And of course the hostel notice boards still offer a great place to look for someone to share a car with!