You Must Be Loaded!
So HOW? How can we afford to do this? (aka “You must be loaded!”) The truth is, no…we are not independently wealthy. Not even close. And this is not a “luxury” year long vacation. So how, then?
Well, there are a number of contributing factors. I’ll share our TOP 10 here.
1. We live frugally & have made sacrifices along the way. No cable, no new cars, etc.
2. When we leave, we will have no mortgage or rent to worry about. Only storage costs.
3. We worked hard at becoming debt-free. No more interest payments. Best feeling ever!
4. We will continue to work while on the road. We have two US-based assistants, one who will help take care of the ‘business details” and the other, a fellow travel agent, who will field any travel-related emergencies, if we are unavailable. We’re thankful to both of them.
5. When we eat out or “play”, we often use Restaurant.com or Groupon certificates, or take advantage of “Children Eat Free” or “Happy Hour 1/2 Off” specials. We often share meals and will continue to do so, while also looking for specials while on the road.
6. We hope to find moderately-priced accommodations via negotiating for an “extended stay”, whenever possible. This also gives us the advantage of really getting to know the people, the place, & the culture.
7. We will be traveling to many destinations where the cost of living is extremely low. For example, in Southeast Asia, hotels can be as little as $10-$20 a night, and a great ‘feast” can cost $1.50 per person. With six traveling, four with voracious appetites, that’s an incredible savings. (I won’t tell you who the ‘four’ are).
8. We’re avidly reading “Round the World” travel blogs of other adventurous families. For example, http://www.travel-junkies.com has been a great source of ideas and provided accurate, up-to-date analyses on real-life costs of living! Make sure to visit them.
9. This next one doesn’t apply to everyone, just my travel agent buddies. When in the travel business, our suppliers are truly gracious and make it quite affordable for a TA to visit their properties, do site inspections, & even stay at reduced costs. It’s an advantage to both sides as the suppliers get exposure & we get to know them & their properties much more intimately, often feeling more confident about placing our own clients there. This will help our budget significantly, so thanks in advance to ALL of our great suppliers/hosts.
10. Our last great secret? Nothing. If it’s a true desire, don’t automatically dismiss it as impossible. Instead, explore the possibilities. You never know!