Luxury Nomad or Budget Nomad? Where’s The Money?

Updated: February 2, 2023
by TJ Salvatore

The idea of a “nomad” has been around for centuries, but modern-day nomads are defined by their love of travel and exploration. They explore the world constantly - and they do it in style. If you were to sell your house and start traveling the world indefinitely, luxury or budget nomading, which would you choose? Of course, it would depend on your personal preferences and financial situation. I will share some tips on how to make the most of your travels, no matter which route you take.

Luxury Nomad or Budget Nomad?

What is Luxury Nomadism Like?

Luxury nomadism, or high-end or upscale nomadism, is where you travel lavishly and enjoy the finer things in life while you're on the road. You keep looking for the best of the best wherever you go. You aim to stay in top-notch accommodation, eat at the best restaurants, and do all the activities you want without having to think twice about the cost.

If you're a luxury nomad, you're used to the finer things in life. You may have a primary residence, but your home is wherever you lay your head at night. You're comfortable spending money on experiences and enjoy staying in high-end hotels and resorts.

Of course, luxury nomadism isn't just for those with deep pockets. You don’t necessarily have to be a millionaire, but so long as you earn good money through a location-independent business model, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle while travelling on a modest budget. It's all about making smart choices and knowing where to splurge and where to save.

How About Budget Nomadism?

Whereas if you're a budget nomad, you know how to stretch your dollar further than most. You may couch surf or stay in hostels when you travel, but that doesn't mean you don't enjoy the occasional splurge. Budget nomads are experts at finding deals on flights, hotels, food, and activities.

It's easy to overspend when you're constantly surrounded by new experiences and delectable temptations. So the key to mastering the art of living modestly on the road is planning well ahead. Arriving in a new country in the middle of the night and finding no affordable accommodations is the last thing you want.

Otherwise, you could say a budget nomad can find excitement easier than a luxury nomad. Because when you have everything you want, your travel experience will no longer be as fulfilling even if you receive the highest quality services.

Would You Become a Nomad Anyway?

A nomadic lifestyle may sound romantic and appealing, but it also involves its own unique set of challenges. Let’s take a look at the realities of being a nomad once again; here are the pros and cons of being a nomad.

Pros of Being a Nomad

Pros of Being a Nomad
  • It allows you to live a more authentic and immersive experience in the places you visit. You're not confined to tourist traps or areas that are popular with tourists - instead, you can explore all the nooks and crannies that make a place special.
  • It kind of forces you to be more resourceful and independent. You can't rely on conveniences like restaurants or public transportation, so you learn to cook for yourself and navigate your surroundings without much help. This can be a great way to build confidence and self-reliance.
  • Being a nomad gives you a sense of freedom that's unparalleled. You can go where you want, when you want, without having to answer to anyone else. If you get tired of one place, you can simply pack up and move on – there's no need to worry about leases or job security. It's an incredibly liberating lifestyle.

Cons of Being a Nomad

  • It can be difficult to find reliable internet and cell phone service in some areas. This can make it tough to stay connected with family and friends back home or to keep up with work obligations if you telecommute.
  • Since you're constantly on the move, it can be easy to forget important things like paying bills on time or renewing your driver's license.
  • There's always the possibility that your travels could take you to unsafe areas where you could be put in danger.

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How to Become a Nomad

If you're really thinking about becoming a nomad, here are the basic steps you can take to prepare yourself.

1. Be prepared for a change of lifestyle: 

Becoming a nomad means embracing a very different lifestyle from the one you're used to. Be prepared for long periods of travel, living out of a suitcase, and making new friends in strange places.

2. Be financially prepared: 

Nomadic life can be expensive, so make sure you have enough savings to cover your costs. Think about how you'll fund your travels, whether it's through working online, freelance gigs, or other sources of income.

3. Be ready for adventure:

A big part of the appeal of being a nomad is the sense of adventure that comes with it. If you're not the type who enjoys exploring new places and trying new things, then this lifestyle may not be for you.

4. Be open-minded: 

One of the best things about being a nomad is the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. To make the most of this experience, it's important to keep an open mind and be respectful of other cultures and beliefs.

5. Be organized: 

Although it may seem like a carefree lifestyle, being a successful nomad requires organization and planning. Keep track of your finances, book your accommodation in advance, and make sure you have a plan for where you're going and what you're going to do.

How to Become a Budget Nomad

Budgeting is critical for anyone who wants to travel long-term, whether you’re a digital nomad or not. If you don’t know how to live frugally on the road, your travel dreams will quickly turn into a financial nightmare.

Here are a few tips on how to become a budget nomad:

1. Embrace minimalism

One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to embrace minimalism. This means only bringing along the essentials and getting rid of anything that you can live without. Not only will this save you money on airfare, but it will also make it easier to move around and find accommodations.

2. Find free or cheap accommodation

There are many ways to find free or cheap accommodation when you’re a budget nomad. One option is couch-surfing, which allows you to stay with locals for free (or for a very small fee). Another option is to camp in nature or use Airbnb wisely – look for places with good reviews and reasonable prices.

3. Cook your own meals

Eating out all the time can quickly drain your bank account, so it’s important to cook your own meals whenever possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up all dining experiences – just be smart about when and where you eat out. For example, street food is often much cheaper than sit-down restaurants and can be as delicious.

4. Travel slowly

Spending a few months in one place instead of constantly moving around can save you a lot of money. Not only will this allow you to take advantage of longer-term accommodation discounts, but it will also give you the time to really immerse yourself in the culture and explore all the hidden gems that your destination has to offer.

5. Research transportation options

It’s important to research different transportation options before you set out on your journey. This includes looking for discounted or free public transportation, finding carpooling rideshares, or learning how to hitchhike safely. All of these methods can drastically reduce the cost of getting from point A to B while traveling.

How About Becoming a Luxury Nomad?

You don’t have to be a millionaire to become a luxury nomad. It all depends on how luxurious you want your life to be, and if you can make sure you are making enough income to pay for things you want to do, luxury nomadism is achievable by you. The lifestyle you want is for example;

  • Access to nicer accommodations - When you’re paying top dollar for your accommodations, you can expect better quality than what you’d find at a budget hotel or hostel. This could mean anything from a five-star hotel room to a villa rental with all the amenities.
  • Better food and drink options - When your travel budget is bigger, you can afford to eat and drink better. This could mean dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoying gourmet local cuisine, or splurging on fine wine and champagne.
  • More activities and excursions - With a bigger travel budget, you can also afford to do more things and go on more excursions. This might include tickets to shows and events, luxe tours and activities, or spa treatments and golf outings.

Save Money To Become a Luxury Nomad?

Nomads are people who travel around for an indefinite period of time.

Luxury Nomad

You can save money to have a long, luxurious vacation. But you know from the beginning that you’ll run out of your money at some point and go back to work again. So this is not ideal. If you want to save money for a luxury getaway, you can cut back on expenses such as;

  • Stop eating out and try cooking more meals at home. 
  • Cancel your gym membership and start working out outdoors.

Then, choose affordable destinations where you can get top-notch hotel accommodations for a reasonable price.

Become a Nomadic Affiliate Marketer

Traveling and affiliate marketing are two activities that can be combined for a unique entrepreneurial experience. Affiliate marketing involves promoting products of other companies in exchange for commissions, which makes it perfect for travelers who want to make money on the go.

With plenty of opportunities to promote products related to travel such as hotels, airlines, car rentals, vacation packages and more, affiliate marketers can take advantage of their travels by advertising these services while they explore different places around the world. 

As long as you have an internet connection and some free time while traveling, you can start earning money through affiliate marketing.

How You Can Start Travel Niches In Affiliate Marketing

Like any other affiliate niche, commission rates of travel niche vary. You can receive somewhere between 5% - 30% of each sale you make. The most optimistic scenario is for example;

  • You recommend a luxury hotel priced at $1,000 at night. 3 people decide to stay for 10 nights each. You receive a 30% commission, which means you will receive $9,000 (3 x $1,000 x 10 nights x 30%.)

But in reality, it doesn’t work out like that. To start with, it’s very difficult to sell luxury items to wealthy people without experiencing them by yourself. 

The best way is to start promoting budget travel items and affordable options for their trips, such as;

  • Cheap flights
  • Backpacking-related goods
  • Budget-friendly accommodation
  • Travel books
  • Travel photography courses/webinars

Webinar courses are good for affiliates because they usually offer a high rate of commission, ranging from 25% - 50%.

When you start earning enough affiliate income, you are ready to quit your main business or the job you have and become a nomad. As long as you can afford to stay in luxury hotels, you can start publishing positive reviews and earn good commissions. This will keep you going as a luxury digital nomad successfully.

Luxury Nomad or Budget Nomad? Wrapping Up

Luxury nomads may not have a permanent home, but they make sure to live in luxury while they're on the road. Budget nomads, on the other hand, are more interested in experiencing new cultures and adventure than they are in comfort. They're often willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfort for the sake of saving money or having a more authentic experience.

So which type of nomad would you be? Wherever you go in the world, you should make the most of what you really want to do. There are so many amazing things to see and do, and it would be a shame to miss out on something simply because you didn't have the time or opportunity. 

So, if there's something you've always wanted to do, make sure you go for it! Life is too short to waste time doing things you don't enjoy or that don't fulfill you. Follow your heart and make the most of every moment.

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About the author 

TJ Salvatore

A freelancer. A nomad. LGBTQ and animal rights activist. Love meeting new people, exploring new styles of living, new technologies and gadgets, new ways of making money.

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