I’m a big fan of “part-time”. Why do one thing all the time when you can do several things part of the time?

If you’re currently working a full-time job that only lets you travel a couple of weeks a year, you may have fantasized about dropping it all, selling your stuff, and travelling the world indefinitely with whatever you can carry with you. Reading travel blogs, it may seem like this is what most travel bloggers are doing, while magically making ends meet.

However, this may not be practical for you. Or perhaps you don’t want to travel ALL the time. There is something to be said for having a place you can call home. Perhaps all you need is a month or two (or three), or a way to spend the winter in a place where you can breathe outdoors without little puffs of vapour coming out of your mouth. You may want to become a part-time nomad!

This is the way I’ve been approaching travel for the last seven years, and you can too. There are ways to keep your work, your home, and your possessions and still travel more.

You could travel three months a year and still keep your home life

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking in the right direction.

Get more job flexibility

A growing number of employers are letting their employees work from home (at least some of the time) and even from abroad. If your job can be done remotely, see if you can start working from home one or two days a week, and progressively increase the amount of time you spend out of the office. If you can prove to your boss that you can work efficiently even though you are not physically in the office, you could be able to convince him/her that you can work from a remote location for a number of weeks or months. Having to work in New Zealand certainly beats having to do the same in Toronto, especially if it’s January!

Paihia, New Zealand

Paihia, in northern New Zealand

If this is not feasible for you, perhaps you could work contracts instead of a permanent job, freeing out some time to travel in between the contracts. For example, if you worked nine months a year and could put aside $6000 or so, you could travel three months a year and still keep your home life. (If you don’t have a calculator handy, that means saving $666.66/month – how cool a number is that?) If you can keep working from abroad, at least part of the time, you won’t need to save nearly as much.

If you think that $6000 for three months of travel is a ridiculously low figure, you’ve been going on too many organized tours! I regularly travel on $2000 a month or less, and talk about ways to do this in this blog (so go grab a cup of coffee and stay a while). My Saving Money section in particular is filled with articles that aim at letting you keep more of your hard-earned money. Don’t forget that the longer you travel, the more your daily expenses drop.

Of course adding flexibility to your job may require finding a new job altogether. Flexjobs is a subscription website that scours the internet to find legitimate (non-scammy) jobs with some level of flexibility (flexible time, part-time, contract, freelance, remote) and lists them into fifty different categories, within a searchable database. Most of the jobs are in the USA, although some are located in Canada, and some can be done anywhere by people of any nationality. (I just wish they had more of the latter.) They have a money back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with their service. Here is their list of the 100 best US-based companies for flexible jobs.

Home office

If you can work from home, you may be able to work from anywhere in the world!

If you’re looking for freelance work, you may also want to check out sites like Upwork, the job board on ProBlogger, LinkedIn groups, and so on. And make sure to ask all your friends and acquaintances for tips and referrals.

Below are a few ideas on how to make extra income with what you already have.

Rent your home

Once you’ve broken out of the tyranny of the 9-to-5 cubicle job and can travel for several weeks or months at a time, you have to think about stretching your income and cutting down on your expenses.

One way to do this is to rent your home while you’re away. This would allow you to cover your home expenses such as rent, mortgage, and utilities.

Start by asking your friends if they know of anyone trustworthy who needs a place to stay for a little while. Or use sites like AirBnB, Roomorama, VRBO (if you have a luxury property) and other similar ones.

AirBnB, the one I’m familiar with, charges a 3% fee to hosts (so you keep 97% of the rent you decide to charge). However, because these sites cater mostly to short term renters, you will need a friend or relative to welcome the guests, give/pick up the keys, and arrange for cleaning. An advantage of these services is that both hosts and guests can leave reviews, keeping everyone on their best behaviour. However, remember to check your city laws first, and the rules of your building (if you live in a multi-unit property). If you’re a renter, you should ask your landlord if he’ll allow you to “sub-let”.

You don’t need to quit your job and sell all your stuff to travel the world!

If you own your home and will be gone for six months or more, it may be worth getting a property manager to find you a tenant and take care of things during your absence.

Having said all that, I have yet to find the courage to do this with my own place! However, I have met many travellers who report having only good experiences renting their home, so I may take the plunge this winter.

Living room/dining room

Any takers?

Get rid of the clutter for a little extra cash

As you’ve already seen, you don’t need to quit your job and sell all your stuff to travel the world. However, reducing the clutter and getting rid of the possessions you’re not using will help you on two fronts.

First, it will make it easier to rent your place by decreasing the amount of stuff you have to pack away and store. Second, you may be able to sell some of those items for a little extra travel cash on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji (or by putting up ads in your building or neighbourhood). Conversely, when you need a piece of furniture, a vehicle, or a tool, you could look into buying it second-hand instead of new.

Old rollerblades

Anybody interested in my old rollerblades? They’re very comfy!

A trend that’s on the rise is to rent to someone the “stuff” that you don’t use all the time. Think tools, kitchen appliances, sports equipment, your parking space, even your attic space. Alternatively, you can rent items instead of buying them if you only need them occasionally, for example camera lenses, or a car. One web site that lets individuals post things for rent is rentything.com.

Being able to live and work from anywhere in an increasingly accessible dream, but it sure is nice to go back home once in a while!

(This article was first published in my March 2015 newsletter.)

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