Influencers detail how they afford to travel full time: ‘We made so many schoolboy errors’

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Molly and Matt run their YouTube channel, Dabble and Travel, and have amassed 164k subscribers since 2019. In just two years the pair can travel the world full time while breaking even or even making money.

In the video, the pair described their journey and how they get paid to travel the world.

The couple worked as a postman and a customer service assistant while living at home with parents for five or six years to save up the money to begin their travels in 2019.

They count themselves as “very lucky” as during the time they “didn’t have to pay very many expenses at all.”

Initially, they booked a three-month travelling trip, after which they intended to come home. However, they caught the travel bug and never returned.

The couple took a camera and made videos to post on YouTube for their family to watch. The couple didn’t anticipate the pastime becoming a full-time job.

At the end of their three-month trip, the couple had around 15,000 Youtube subscribers. They had just monetised their channel and were making a small amount of money, but not enough to cover the cost of their travelling.

They returned to the Philippines, still using their savings to cover the cost and a month later the couple had amassed around 40,000 to 50,000 subscribers.

At this point they were able to charge a fee for collaborations with hotels, featuring the hotel on their channel.

The couple travelled to India and Sri Lanka where they collaborated with food tour providers.

At this point, the pair was still breaking even with the money they were making just covering trips, occasionally using savings to top it up.

Most recently the couple embarked on a Balkans trip to Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia.

“It was somewhere we didn’t expect to go, but it blew us away,” Matt said.

At this stage, the couple had over 100,000 subscribers and managed to break even. They reached out to hotels to collaborate.

Additionally, as the destination is relatively cheap, the couple’s costs were easy to cover.

Reflecting on their travel journey and how they financed it, Matt said: “In that first three months, we definitely spent too much on hotels. Booking in advance, I would never recommend.”

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Last-minute deals on hotels are far cheaper than booking in advance, although availability is unreliable.

Their pair emphasises the importance of finding good deals on hotels.

“We made so many schoolboy errors with hotels before,” Matt said

Molly added: “We learned from our mistakes and did a lot of research.”

Matt went on: “Airbnb is a lifesaver for us. Stay in AirBnb’s and narrow down those hotel prices.”

Saving money on transport was key for the couple, who frequently take public buses to keep costs low.

For great budget destinations, the couple recommends South East Asia.

To those who use social media to document their journeys, or have some media skills, the couple suggests reaching out to hotels and travel excursion companies, even if you have only 100 subscribers, to arrange discounted or free stays or trips.

Matt said: “If you have amazing camera skills and you really hone in on those skills and show them those skills, there is something that can come back for you.

“I’m not so sure it’s about subscribers, I think it’s about your skills.”

Matt added: “We don’t want things for free and such. If we can travel and break-even, that makes us happy.”

Matt and Molly’s cheap travel rules

Don’t be silly on hotels

The couple advises looking for deals or simply staying in cheaper forms of accommodation.

Everyone knows about hostels, stay in hostels.

Save money on travel

Take public buses, the couple advise, rather than taxis.

Save on food

Eat local food and make use of the local supermarket, the couple said.

Matt said: “7-Elevens are a lifesaver. You can get cheap food and they even warm up your dinner in there.”

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