This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series by Justin Mussler of The Great Family Escape on how to finance and budget a vagabond family lifestyle. Justin and his family are preparing for their life-long adventure now and are considering every budget method possible to make their travel dreams realities.
That’s the big question right?
How do you find the money to make that dream of spending a year in Thailand or raising your kids in the south of France a reality?
Well, let’s see if we can help shed some light on the subject and get some families out vagabonding.
I know. I need to tell you something you DON’T know.
But saving is the #1 way people manage to fund long-term travel. You just have to make travel the priority. We are funding out initial adventures solely through our savings. We have saved like mad for 5 years, made a ton of sacrifices, and now are set to travel for at least 2 years! Of course, we plan on being able to make some money along the way, but if not, we have our savings to fall back on.
If a travel lifestyle is at the top of your families list of priorities – DON’T WAIT! Start saving now. Today! Make some changes in your life and get going. The sooner you start the sooner you will be off globetrotting.
Once we started thinking travel, we immediately made as many cuts to our budget as possible.
- We went down to one car and I started riding my bike to work.
- We refinanced our home.
- We ditched the cable TV.
- We cut back on vacations.
- We turned off the heat.
- We ate less.
- We spent a lot of time at the FREE neighbourhood park.
We did what it took to save the money.
It’s no different really than saving for anything else. If traveling the world with your family is your goal, you’ll be able to sacrifice for it. Set monthly goals. Work Together. And remember that if you stick to it you will be traveling in no time.
Here are some additional articles that show some other helpful ways in which traveling families managed to save big and get traveling.
Selling Your Assets – AND YOUR JUNK!
Maybe that house, or car, or boat you were once so attached to has lost it’s sentimental value and it’s time to move on. GREAT! The road is calling! And it has never been easier to sell all that crap you own.
Most families sell the bulk of their possessions before they start traveling. The less you have to travel with the better and why pay for storage, mortgages or insurance while you are gone. Just get rid of it and more than likely it will end up funding your trip. If you do decide to store your gear make sure you read our article to save you money and your sanity.
Think about it.
- Your House.
- Your Car.
- Your Bike.
- Your Dishes.
- Your Clothes.
- Those DVDs you never watch.
- Those old books.
- That stuff your grandma gave you that you never wanted anyway.
You can sell anything on craigslist.com or ebay.com or even at a yard sale. If you want to finance that big trip, get selling.
A great website to check out if you want to see how far selling your possessions can get you is Man vs. Debt (manvsdebt.com). Adam and Courtney Baker now make a living, traveling and blogging, and it all started with a yard sale.
I have put some other helpful links below as well. Check them out. If these guys can do it, why can’t you.
Become a Digital Nomad
20 years ago world travel was tough. You had to be far more resourceful, flexible and patient. You had to plan ahead! But now, since WIFI is everywhere, the Location Independent Lifestyle has kind of taken over and it is what allows many travellers to live wherever they want. You don’t need the savings and you don’t need to spend your Saturday selling kids books for nickels and dimes. If you have the right skills, you can turn your skills and career into one that is location independent. There is an article here by Corbett Barr that list 64 ways to make money from anywhere in the world. Opportunities for digital nomads are everywhere if you are creative.
Assess your skills and set your self up online so you can make money while you travel. You can sit on a beach in Belize and watch you career take off. Many, many people do it. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of guts and perseverance, but it is very possible. And in the end it is probably the best way to fund long-term travel.
I myself am not location independent. I still have a 9-5 job like the bulk of the world, but I also know that travel produces opportunity and I do plan on being location independent at some point in our travels.
For now, follow these families. They have managed to just be creative and use their skills to live a nomadic lifestyle and work digitally anywhere.
Get a Job
I don’t get why when people start traveling they forget that they can still work.
There are crazy amounts of jobs all over the world. Most provide free lodging for families, decent pay, and amazing experiences. Sure, sometimes you need a visa, but not always. Work is work. You can get a job under the table for a day if you like. I have worked on fishing ships here in America just for fun and a few bucks and I didn’t need any paperwork. A handshake was all I needed to get me out on the ocean pulling up lobsters.
Teaching English for a native speaker is another fantastic opportunity for travellers. My wife and I spent a year in China working at a private school and we had free room, food, travel expenses and a good paycheck. We taught 5 classes a week and did a lot of PR stuff, but it was awesome. The kids we taught just wanted to share and swap stories on cultural differences. It was great. And you can arrange jobs from a week to a year. Check out Dave’s ESL Cafe for more info and jobs on teaching English abroad.
Beyond teaching English, there are many organisations you can look into to find some work. Sites like Workaway.com, WWOOF, Go Abroad Jobs, and Transistion Abroad can all help you find a job when you need one. They may not pay much(if anything), but, as will talk about in Part 2 of this series, getting free room and board is as good as cash in hand!
So what is stopping you?
Making the decision to change your lifestyle to include extensive travel need not be an overly complicated or time consuming one. Yes, there are factors that you’ll need to take into consideration in the future, but for now if you seriously want to travel the world with your family, start sacrificing some of your luxuries and squirrel that money away and watch it grow over time. Just simply bringing your lunch from home each day will save you a bunch of money that can go towards your travel fund.
Today’s the day to start it all. Make the mental shift to start making the decisions today that will lead you in the right direction. Once you make the decision to travel, we’ll be right there with you helping you along the way.