The thought of making money by doing something you love is probably going to get you a few jeers and sneers down the pub. They will think your head is in the clouds when the reality of it is; their heads are in the sand.
Most people aren’t cut out for it. They’re comfy in their little lives – and rightfully so – but for those of us that want more; the sky is the limit.
Working towards building a scalable business from your blog and travelling the world may seem like nothing more than a pipe dream but it doesn’t have to be. The Travel Blog Success online course is here to help and it’s worth every single penny.
There are no less than twenty-seven lessons in six jam-packed modules. Expect hints, tips and tricks from some of the best in the business, not to mention a friendly Welcome section and 11 additional articles.
You can log in to your own dashboard and track your progress as you go along. Stop, take notes, put things into practice and come back to it later.
That’s not all.
There are Webinars & Q&A sections, perks and job opportunity boards for the aspiring digital nomad, lifetime access so there’s no pressure to complete the course – do it at your own pace – and a 30-day money-back guarantee. As if all of this wasn’t enough to convince you!
Many members consider the secret TBS Community group on Facebook to be invaluable. I most definitely agree.
Take what you’ve learnt on the Travel Blog Success online course and ask others for advice on how best to implement these teachings. Maximise your results through experiential learning.
Share your success with people from all over the world who are in the same boat.
Ask any travel blogger online and you can almost guarantee that they will have either taken the course themselves or be looking into taking it.
Also, any travel blogger worth their weight in gold will have written their own review on it. You’d be hard pushed to find a negative write up but it’s always useful to get different perspectives.
If you’re looking for other reviews then check out the site itself for a 4.8 out of 5 overall score from 12 verified course participants.
Word of mouth alone is something that you can trust on this one.
The Travel Blog Success online course is not formally accredited but that really doesn’t matter. Having helped over 1,500 travellers since 2010, it’s clear to see that it’s a quality learning resource for those who are serious about making money from their blogs.
A leap of faith may be required. However, I can assure you, accreditation will be the last thing on your mind once you see the course content.
There are of course other considerations for new bloggers. One of them being cost.
I have to admit, it took me a couple of days to put my hand in my pocket after seeing the £280 price tag. I probably went through all the thoughts that you are having – “Can I afford it right now?”, “Is it worth it?”, “Is it a scam?” – and so on.
But, I cannot stress enough; this course – providing you put the work in and follow the lessons provided – will be one of the most important and influential purchases you will make for your blogging business.
And if you want the answers to the questions above – “Yes, you can!”, “YES! It really is!”, “No. It certainly is not!”
In all honesty, it looks like a hell of a lot of reading when you first log in. Like I said though, it’s extremely well constructed. Each module gets the point across in no time, leaving you itching to get started.
There are a number of exercises, resource links and additional information provided to help you implement your new ideas, all with the backup from the TBS Community on Facebook.
You really have nothing to lose and, potentially, everything to gain from putting in an hour or so of reading each day.
There’s really not much more to say.
If you are serious about turning your blog into a well-oiled, money-making business then I implore you to do what I, and many, many others, have done – buy this course and get yourself on the right track.
Disclaimer As a part of the TBS Community, travel bloggers are also enrolled into the TBS affiliate scheme. Smash Monotony affiliate links are included in this post, however, this post was not requested by Travel Blog Success. All views and opinions expressed in this article are my own.
You’re sitting at your desk on Monday morning. It’s pissing down outside and all you want to do is go home again. It’s 8:59am and you’re already wishing it was Friday. You grab your phone in defiance and start scrolling through Instagram. Selfie after selfie after food shot after selfie – and then – you stop dead.
A Bangkok street food stall has caught your eye. Mesmerised by the array of colours, you’re transported from your dull, dreary office, to the streets of Thailand. You can almost smell the Khao gang and hear the hum of passers-by. Your mouth starts to water. You crave an escape.
But, the cruel reality of it is; your escape is going to cost you money. To get that money is going to take some time. Saving money for your dream trip can be pretty tough but, I promise you, it’s a massively rewarding task.
I wanted to share with you all how I plan to save £10,000 for travel. Yeah, it may sound like a lot of money to some; not enough to others, but it’s all relative to what YOU want to do, where you want to go and how long you want to be gone for.
I’ve put some of these points into action already and plan to do the rest as I go along. I hope that, with these tips and a little bit of hard work and focus on your part, I’ll inspire you to do the same.
Here’s how I plan to save £10,000 for travel.
Review My Monthly Outgoings
I’ve noted down all of my monthly outgoings in a list from biggest at the top to smallest at the bottom. I’ve then totalled them all up.
Then, I worked out the difference between my monthly take-home salary (after tax and national insurance) and my outgoings. Looking pretty bleak, right? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
This seems like a really simple, straightforward task but it’s actually a bit of an eye-opener. You’ll probably find that you’re spending more than you realise each month on regular payments, subscriptions, and the like, but you’ll also see that total amount as a figure that needs to be reduced if you’re to be able to get some money behind you for your travels.
The moment I knew exactly what I was spending each month I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was starting to take control – not only of my finances – but of my dream; to travel the world.
This leads us nicely on to the next task on how I plan to save £10,000 for travel.
Cut Back On Unnecessary Costs
After I’d let my monthly outgoings sink in – had a stiff drink – and composed myself, it was time to get brutal.
Do I really need that £100-per-month Virgin TV subscription when Netflix is so much better – and cheaper? What about my car insurance – maybe changing providers would reduce that? Do I even use my gym membership? Actually, yeah, the gym helps to keep me sane, I need that.
Ok, so maybe you do still need most of the things on your list but the whole idea here is to evaluate every single outgoing and take some action to minimise it in some way. The changes you make could result in a saving of £100-per-month or £10-per-month. Regardless, it’s a positive step towards freeing up the funds for your plane ticket.
Get in touch with each company or provider, one-by-one, and see what they can do to help you cut the costs. If they’re adamant that there’s nothing they can do with regard to your monthly payment then don’t be afraid to ask for some freebies or offers. It’s their job to keep you sweet and it’s better to come away with more for your money than nothing at all.
I managed to shave off a total of £271-per-month by following this method and cutting back on things I simply could not justify paying so much for. Magic.
Keep reading for more on how I plan to save £10,000 for travel!
Seek Out A Decent Savings Account
I had gone through my outgoings with a fine tooth comb and reduced them to a necessary monthly minimum. Now, I needed somewhere to stick these newly-liberated pound notes.
These days, it’s rare that you’ll find an interest-free savings account with a decent enough rate. I spent hours researching various banks to find the best one only to realise that the Santander 123 Current Account offered a higher interest-free rate than anything else on the market for my needs.
Wait, what? A current account!?
Yeah, you use it as you would normally – set up a few direct debits and fund the account with at least £500-per-month – and you get:
• Monthly cashback on household bills • Monthly interest of 3% AER variable on balances up to £20,000 (minimum of £3,000 required) • Exclusive special offers and preferential rates on partner products
Not only that but they can switch your bank accounts for you with their Current Account Switch Guarantee. This was absolutely painless and was complete within about a week.
There is a monthly fee of £5 with this account, which comes out of your balance automatically, but this is nothing compared to the all the above. A very small price to pay given the perks on offer. Just don’t forget to factor that £5 cost back into your monthly outgoings!
Now, if you’re the kind of person who gets tempted to spend your hard-earned savings early on, I’d suggest the following:
• Save up as much as you can in your existing current account – as close to £3,000 as possible – before switching • Then, apply to Santander for the 123 Current Account and get them to switch everything across • You’ll immediately have the minimum required balance of £3,000 for the 3% interest (variable) when your new account opens – just keep funding it!
That way, one you’ve switched, you will instantly see the benefits of the full 3% (variable) from the end of the first calendar month. This will make you want to just keep adding to it. As long as you keep your total balance above £3,000, you will continue to see this level of return.
It’s a positive cycle of savings and rewards.
Don’t forget though, you should still be using it like a normal current account with at least two active direct debits and with regular funds coming in.
I’ve had this account for a while now and I’m so happy with it that I haven’t even bothered looking for an upgrade. Sometimes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” can be your best bet and, in my eyes, Santander have got it right.
Set A (Realistic) Monthly Savings Goal
This all depends on your personal circumstances and total savings goal but, whatever they may be, it can seem a lot less daunting if you break it down into smaller goals – or milestones.
For example, my total savings goal is £10,000. When I look at that figure, it fries my brain. It’s a lot of money to someone like me. The only way I can achieve that amount is if I set myself smaller milestones and build upon each one.
Here’s how I plan to save £10,000 for travel, broken down into manageable milestones:
Personally, I think it’s always hardest when you’re first starting to save money. You’ve got to start somewhere though, right? If you take the final total out of your head and just concentrate on each milestone individually then you’ll find the process a lot easier.
So, having already reviewed my outgoings, cut back on the things I don’t need, and found a place to save my money, I’ve now got a good foundation to start putting some away from my monthly salary.
I’m an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of saver. I like to put away as much as I can each month and watch my money grow as fast as possible so that’s what I’ll continue to do. I’ve managed to get my monthly outgoings down to under half of what I take home and will be banking the rest. This means that, as long as I can stay disciplined and motivated – come on, we’re talking travel here, of course I’ll stay motivated – then I should be able to save around £800-1000 per month.
I understand that this may not be possible for some people but I would most definitely recommend trying your best to put as much as you can away – even if it’s just for the first month. This bold, positive action will set the bar for your saving habits and, as long as you can stay motivated, you will reach your first travel savings milestone in no time.
Consider A Credit Card With Travel Perks
I’ve spent a good year or so paying off small personal loans. Nothing major; just focusing on becoming completely debt-free – ready for my adventures. At first, applying for more credit seemed a little counterproductive. This is, however, something that I’m looking into at the moment.
You see, when chosen correctly, credit cards with travel perks can actually SAVE you money in the long run.
By transferring your monthly spending to your new credit card, you can accumulate air miles pretty quickly for use on part of your trip. Some savvy travellers have racked up so many miles that its even paid for round-trip tickets that would have otherwise cost an arm and a leg!
Not only that; there are usually a number of other special offers involved with having such a card. You can expect discounts off of hotels, transfers, experiences, and much more.
They can be, but don’t forget; they’re still credit cards and most will have annual fees. You need to ensure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for in the first place and that the balance is paid each month. The idea here is obviously not to get you in to debt but to help you achieve your travel dreams that little bit easier.
What do you look for in a travel credit card?
• Decent sign-up bonus – look for a minimum of around 30,000 sign-up points • Low minimum spend – spend-to-points ratio should be achievable • Easy to earn additional points – brands and shops that you use fairly regularly and that are easy to spend with
Travel credit cards can really help when it comes to having that extra edge due to the speed in which you can build your points as well as what’s on offer. Having said that, it really depends on your own personal needs. If you think you’d be better off without the extra considerations of owning a credit card then maybe they’re not for you.
However, when used effectively, they can become a pretty powerful weapon in your travel kit.
I’ll let you all know which one I went for and why in a new post soon.
Make A Money Jar Or Swear Box
Ok, so this may raise a few eyebrows but give it a go. What have you got to lose besides your street cred?
You’ll be surprised at how quickly small change can turn into pound notes. For the expressive among us, it’s going to be tough, as each swear word will now cost you £1. Just think of how proud your parents will be though, if nothing else.
Besides this, a simple money jar will stop you from buying that daily £2.50 coffee on the way to work. Five of those a week is £10. Four of those a month could mean 3-4 days of travel on a budget in Southeast Asia.
I know what I’d rather be doing. And I love coffee!
Get A Second Job
There’s always bar work, cleaning, and admin work about if you feel you can’t save enough on one salary. However, these options don’t always add up from a tax perspective. You could end up working your fingers to the bone in two jobs – maybe even three – and not really having much more to show for it.
Now, I’ve never been shy of hard graft – especially when it’s a case of saving money for my dream travel adventures – but there’s a lot to be said for work-life balance. Why work yourself into an early grave? No point saving this cash if you’re not going to be around to spend it. Yeah, work hard to achieve your dreams but have fun doing it.
Alternative option; start your own sole-trader business or do some freelancing on the side. I’ll cover this in a new post very soon so keep checking back.
Sell Your Old Gear
Here’s another chance to be merciless with your unwanted belongings.
Take a look around your room. Check your wardrobe; cupboards; draws; even the shed for those things that are simply gathering dust. The items that you once said, “Oh, I’ll keep that. Never know when I might need it” – yeah, those things (you’re smiling because you know it’s true) – and sell them online!
Sure, Ebay is always a good shout but we all know that they charge you fairly hefty fees for selling things on their site. The idea here is to MAKE money, not spend it.
I’m talking Shpock, Gumtree or the Facebook Selling Pages for your local area. They’re all completely free to list and sell your old gear, so get to it! Money Saving Expert has some solid tips on how to get going.
Just think of all the free space there’s going to be in your backpack once you’ve sold all your old clothes…
Over To You
There’s so much more you can do but this is just an example of the steps I’m taking and how I plan to save £10,000 for travel.
It may be tough at first but the rewards are going to be incredible. Your experiences will far outweigh the time it takes to bank that cash, regardless of what your own personal target may be.
Remember; memories are priceless.
What are you doing to help you save for your dream trip? Drop me a comment below and let me know.
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) remains one of the most popular and reliable ways for expats and travellers to help fund their adventures abroad.
Whether it’s a gap year in Southeast Asia, a 3-month trip around South America, or a long-term relocation – wherever you may be in the world – TEFL is a rewarding, and sometimes pretty lucrative, way to integrate yourself into the local culture while giving back to the community.
Study to teach English as a foreign language at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home, working it around your current lifestyle.
LoveTEFL even go as far as to say that English teachers can expect to, “Earn up to £3000 a month teaching English in dream destinations worldwide”.
I’m sure there are a few of you who have also taken this course with LoveTEFL, or something similar with another provider, so feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comments section and share, share, share!
When sifting through the swathes of TEFL course providers online, it quickly became apparent that LoveTEFL were the ones for me.
Currently sitting pretty at number four on the front page of organic search listings for “TEFL Courses” on Google*, I immediately felt a sense of trust and clicked through to find out more.
Their website is really easy to navigate with a load of information on the types of courses that they offer, the benefits of holding a TEFL qualification, and a number of positive reviews – both student and independent – as well as the all-important accreditation – of which I will talk about a bit later on in my LoveTEFL 120 Hour Online Course Review.
LoveTEFL are a preferred supplier for STA Travel who have partnered up on what looks like a solid affiliate deal. I had originally spotted the courses through the STA website but wanted to run my own search to see where they showed up. As mentioned, front page, behind only the paid adverts, tefl.co.uk and tefl.org.
However, if you count STA’s paid ad right at the very top of the page, which leads through to details on booking the course (indirectly through LoveTEFL) then they’ve pretty much got that in the bag.
Not only that but they have an awesome social presence on all the usual suspects; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and YouTube, and never fail to give you a kick up the wanderlust every now and again with their travel photos, quotes and funny memes.
It’s fair to say that I had already bought into the brand before having even purchased the course. That speaks volumes, I think.
*Local Google search results may vary
With 4.5/5 stars on Tefl Course Review and 4.8/5 on Reviews.co.uk, there’s plenty more to back up the initial impression; LoveTEFL are the ones to go with.
I could go on forever about all the positive things that have been said about LoveTEFL but have a read on both sites when you can to get it from the horses mouth; the people that have taken the course and are now teaching in said dreamy destinations.
One thing that you should always look for when seeking out a course and looking to better yourself independently is accreditation.
Well, imagine working your cojones off, putting in all the hours you can, only to find out that your new qualification isn’t accepted by anyone.
Accredited outfits – such as LoveTEFL – give you the confidence that your hard work really will pay off in the field. Officially recognised standards will have been met by you, and by the course provider, and your shiny new certificate will actually mean something.
Another crucial benefit, quite frankly, is that you can be sure that you will not have been conned into a false achievement.
LoveTEFL is accredited by the Open Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).
As can be expected, LoveTEFL have continued to up their game in the respect of course variations since I took their 120-hour course. There are now 120, 140, 300 and 320-hour courses, with specialist versions now on offer, plus, a ton of TEFL resources onsite.
Having taken the 120-hour online course myself, I feel that the £149 price tag is extremely good value given how well prepared the course material is and how much support is available throughout.
As with anything that’s worth working hard for, it takes time to complete – 120 hours, to be precise!
I was initially a little overwhelmed by the amount of reading that I had to get through but soon accepted the fact that I had to learn about the foundations of teaching English to other people, let alone teaching English as a foreign language. After all, what seems like the easiest thing in the world to a native speaker, may be completely alien to a local student.
Each module was packed with informative and relevant content. There were knowledge reviews at the end of each one which kept me on my toes and confirmed my understanding. If ever there was a time when I didn’t quite get what was required of me then 1-to-1 tutor support was no more than an email or phone call away, which proved to be invaluable.
Most of the time, I’d find that I was making things more complicated for myself but a brief explanation from my tutor would always clear things up with, almost, instant feedback on ideas and coursework submissions.
Not only did I learn about how to apply my lesson plan and communicate effectively to a new class, in a foreign country, but I also learnt new things about myself. I was taught about how I, personally, prefer to learn new things and, in turn, what my individual teaching style may be. This was a real eye-opener and helped me to understand how I can offer more to my new students – when the time comes – to get the best out of them.
It has already proven to be a rewarding experience without having even stepped foot in a classroom.
Following all the reading and knowledge reviews, at the end of the course, you’re required to submit three things:
• Multiple choice exam • Written essay • Lesson plan and supporting documents
I chose to structure my lesson plan around teaching a group of young learners at Beginner stage and I wanted to try and make my lesson fun and educational but delivered at a steady pace so as not to lose the attention of my students.
The lesson itself was to introduce the names of various body parts in English in an entertaining way.
Once checked and double-checked, it was time for submission.
Pass Mark And Results
It took less than a week to get the results back from my tutor and I was extremely chuffed to hear that I had passed! The mark on my final exam was 82%. Not bad at all.
Attached to my congratulatory email was my personal feedback; an extremely clear and concise, two-page document showing how my tutor had reviewed my submission.
It was easy to see all the positives – and any potential negatives – in my lesson plan with explanations and further support if required. It further cemented what I had learnt myself and my understanding of how to teach others English as a foreign language in a classroom environment.
My certificate arrived in the post the following week.
LoveTEFL Are The Ones
Overall, I am extremely happy with LoveTEFL and couldn’t thank my tutor enough for the support during my course.
The course material was comprehensive and, for just £149, the opportunity to teach English as a foreign language – another way to fund my travels in the near future – is priceless in comparison.