When I used to hear of families traveling the globe, I’d drool and hate them. They obviously won the lottery, were rolling in the dough, or were heavily involved in drugs/prostitution/something immoral to be able to afford this lifestyle. I considered all of those options, and when none of them panned out so well (least of all the prostitution idea- which I thought could be fun!); we changed our lifestyle, and guess what… We became one of them.
I asked 14 nomadic families to answer in a few short sentences just this one, very direct, question: How Do You Afford Your Family World Travel Lifestyle? And their remarkably simple answers leave me inspired (again), and honored to be in their ranks. Jessica, Nancy, Monica, Mary, Amy, Amy, Jesse James, Theodora, Alisa, Keryn, Lainie, Jennifer, Justin, and Gabi’s responses all resonant the same financial truth: If you will it, it will become.
Discover how these 14 very normal, middle class, everyday people are living out their family world travel dreams.
1)Stay out of debt. Debt is a dream anchor! We love Dave Ramsey for his principles on responsible money management, but love him even more for the philosophy to “live like no other, so you can live like no other.” So many people are in debt that they can’t achieve their dreams.
2) We are self-employed, giving us the freedom to direct our income and the ability to earn money independent of our location.
3) We make “death bed” purchases-the idea that we strive to spend our money on things we can carry with us all through life.
We afford to travel the world by making it a priority. On two teacher’s salaries, we aren’t exactly raking in the dough, but we make it work by living a low-key lifestyle that’s below our means. No high-falutin’ excesses for us! Oh yeah- and there’s a whole lotta creative thinking going on as well.
“We afford travel by realizing that it isn’t a vacation. When we travel and live as a local it is usually cheaper than the life we live at home. Trade the fancy hotels and expensive dinners for vacation rentals and busses. It is amazing how far your money will go around the world.”
“We afford traveling by making it a priority and never losing sight of that dream. It didn’t happen overnight but working towards it by positioning ourselves to work remotely, as well as letting go of material possessions has helped to propel us to where we are now….Living our dreams!”
Their Budget Travel Tips page offers an assortment of great advice for those trying to save on the road.
We are selling our house, paying off our debts, and using what is left over to fund our travels. Once we have been traveling for a while we hope to find the inspiration and direction to help us make an income on the road.
“We afford full-time slow travel by being self-employed as independent sales reps for retail gift products, and we are always keeping our eyes open for new opportunities. Where there is internet–there is work. And thankfully, internet is throughout most of the world!”
“We afford travel by looking at every purchase in terms of plane tickets. If it can get me to a far off place that purchase better be really important or a true life necessity. We also look at the little things we spend money on- coffee at home vs. the coffee shop, eating out vs. making more meals at home, movie rentals vs. going to the movies, cable tv vs. netflix, etc. They all add up. We cut down as much as possible and put every little bit of savings into our next trip. Living within our means is the key. ”
“We afford our travels simply by trusting the world. Once your perception shifts to an actual knowing that you will always have what you need, indeed you do. We live with less, live like visiting locals, volunteer, take on freelance projects and work both online and off where ever we can. Opening up to everything creates a flow of opportunities. How can we not afford to travel?”
“Investing in memories and experiences instead of stuff and things makes it easy to prioritize travel and fund it. If life is about people and moments then it’s natural to pour the money you’d have poured into a house payment into plane tickets. We reconfigured our careers and restructured our family life to make living our dreams the center of life.”
“We cut all our debt and expenses and we’re currently saving enough for 2-3 years of very slow travel. During that time we hope to start a non-profit and fiddle with some other entrepreneurial ideas. The key is forming your own definition of travel and creating a budget that supports that definition. Actually, how do we afford homes, cars, and TVs? The answer is pretty much the same for world travel, but world travel just calls for a bit more creativity.”
(duh. Of course, I’d include me in this awesome article!)
We started saving four years before we left, and learned to live off of half to a third of our income. It was not easy, but it was amazing what happened! Within two years, we saved the $50,000 we thought we needed to start our adventures with. So, we paid off our house mortgage and student loans, and within 2 years saved that amount again! It took tons of discipline to reach our goals. And now, as we meander the globe; we can’t imagine not making those sacrifices to live this dream!
We’ve written two well-read, inspirational e-books about how to make you Family World Travel Dreams come true:Saving For The Dream and The Shortest Road . In addition, our blog’s most highly read article remains 10 Nomadic Families, 6 Continents: How They Afford It.
So, now you have it friends. Fourteen normal, every-day families who have decided to live their one and only shot at life differently. All fourteen of us have decided that we don’t want to look back one day and realize that our kids have grown up, while we were busy in the rat race. All fourteen of our families have made [sometimes drastic] changes and have exerted remarkable discipline to make our dreams come true.
I strongly recommend you visit all fourteen sites to explore the worlds of families traveling the world, and be further inspired by how you too, can afford it.