full-time travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10253/all en-US Living in an RV Full-Time: What You Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4158957020_2c963e7287_z.jpg" alt="RV" title="RV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking about living the life of a nomad? Want to brave the open road in an RV? There&rsquo;s a lot to love about throwing caution to the wind and exploring the world on wheels, but it&rsquo;s not without its own set of complications. Before you put your house up for sale and pawn off all your worldly possessions for a mobile existence, take this guide to living in an RV into consideration. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel&nbsp;Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a>)</p> <h2>1. An RV May Not Be Cheaper Than Traditional Housing</h2> <p>Think the only costs you&rsquo;ll incur living in an RV is the monthly loan payment and gas? Think again.</p> <p>While RV living can be less expensive than a home mortgage and the regular maintenance costs that are associated with home ownership overall, there are <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-costs.shtml" target="_blank">plenty of other costs to consider</a>. In addition to the loan payment (unless you have the cash to buy it outright) and fuel (gas ain&rsquo;t cheap these days, y&rsquo;all), you&rsquo;ll need to pay for insurance, site rentals if you plan to stay in an RV park (which can run $300 to $500 a month), propane and electricity (which are available at RV rental sites for an additional fee), and maintenance. Considering these costs, you&rsquo;ll still be paying about the same per month as you would living in a small apartment.</p> <h2>2. The RV Will Require Much More Gas Than a Car</h2> <p>Many factors play into the amount of fuel consumed by an RV &mdash; the weight of the vehicle, engine size, fuel, driving habits &mdash; but <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-fuel.shtml" target="_blank">even the most frugally minded RVers can expect to pay a pretty penny</a> keeping the RV running. Smaller RVs get about 10-15 mpg while larger RVs come in at about 6-13 mpg. Most regular RVs hold between 40 and 85 gallons of gas (depending its class), which translates to between $148.12 and $314.75 per tank, based on the current average regular unleaded gas price of $3.70.</p> <h2>3. RV Insurance Is Not Regular Auto Insurance</h2> <p>Because you&rsquo;ll being using your RV as a mobile home, <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-insurance.shtml" target="_blank">insurance considerations are different than those associated with a regular vehicle</a>. A specialized policy may require you to cover things like total loss replacement, replacement cost of personal belongings, full-timer liability, campsite liability, emergency expenses, medium-duty tow trucks, all of which will rack up that insurance bill quickly.</p> <h2>4. Can You Live Without Wi-Fi and Phone Service?</h2> <p>While many modern RV parks and campsites have Internet access on-site, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-or-cheap-internet-access">Wi-Fi may not be an option</a>. And if you&rsquo;re in a remote area, you can probably forget about cell phone service, too. You&rsquo;ll be able to get online from time to time, but it may be days or even weeks between access availability. So you have to ask yourself, can you live a life without being connected 24/7? Something to ponder before embarking.</p> <h2>5. Where Does the Mail Carrier Deliver Your Mail?</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not staying in one place for more than a couple weeks, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">how will you get your mail</a>? You can give your personal contacts the address of the park in which you&rsquo;re staying if you plan to stay in a park, but it&rsquo;s not feasible to expect your bills and other important mail to arrive at each of your destinations. Thus you&rsquo;ll have to cancel most of your mail and set up online bill pay so you don&rsquo;t get behind on payments because you didn&rsquo;t receive them. Out of sight, out of mind is an easy way to forget about your obligations, but it&rsquo;ll catch up with you in a bad way eventually.</p> <h2>6. You Have to Drain the Sewage Yourself</h2> <p>One of the great things about RV traveling is that the vehicle is self-contained. You can make meals in it, you can sleep comfortably in it, and you can do your 1s and 2s in it without having to pull into a rest stop or fast-food joint. Your 1s and 2s have to go somewhere though, and that somewhere is in a septic tank attached to the underside of the vehicle that will need to be emptied &mdash; and that can get messy. If you&rsquo;ve got a weak stomach, definitely think hard about this necessary evil.</p> <h2>7. Can You Manage All the Other Stuff, Too?</h2> <p>RV living isn&rsquo;t just driving from one location to the next, parking, and propping your feet up in nomadic bliss.&nbsp;<a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-misc.shtml" target="_blank">There are lots of little things to remember</a>, such as checking the battery water level monthly, lowering one corner of your awning to permit easier draining when there&rsquo;s precipitation, and stocking up on rectangle storage boxes so you make efficient use of limited space.&nbsp;Once you arrive at the <a href="http://changingears.com/rv-checklist-setup-motor-home.shtml?sec-checklist" target="_blank">RV park, there's lots more to do</a>, starting at the front office (requesting park maps, asking about discounts, and inquiring about Internet service), and then locating your RV space and setting up, which includes deploying decks and other heavy external features of the RV, connecting electricity, turning on water pumps, and raising roof-mounted accessories, among a host of other duties.</p> <h2>8. You&rsquo;ll Need to Earn Money</h2> <p>Unless you&rsquo;re embarking on your RV existence with a bank account full of money, you&rsquo;ll need to work along the way, so you can ensure that there&rsquo;s a consistent cash flow in case of emergencies, which, in an RV, can be quite costly. If you have the luxury of working remotely in your normal life, that&rsquo;s still an option while living in an RV, but chances are you&rsquo;ll need at least somewhat consistent Internet access. Otherwise you&rsquo;ll have to find new ways to make money &mdash; helping out at the RV park, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">finding odd jobs on Craigslist</a>, and other one-off projects &mdash; to bring in dough on the regular.</p> <p><em>RV living isn't for everyone &mdash; as you can see, there&rsquo;s a lot to it. Are you considering, or have you made, the transition from Average Joe to Road Warrior? Tell us about your experience in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know" class="sharethis-link" title="Living in an RV Full-Time: What You Need to Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle full-time travel nomad recreational vehicle Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:48:39 +0000 Mikey Rox 970378 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dirty_details.jpg" alt="Traveler in Thailand" title="Traveler in Thailand" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does a full-time travel lifestyle sound like a dream job?</p> <p>Well, it is. (Kind of.) I've been doing it for almost six years, and I can't imagine what my life would be like had I not made the life-changing decision to sell everything I owned and discover what the world held in store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 Per Year or Less</a>)</p> <p>But I've also had my fair share of <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/06/a-bad-day-in-the-life-of-a-professional-hobo/">bad days</a>. Bad weeks. Bad countries. Etcetera.</p> <p>No lifestyle is perfect. And the full-time travel lifestyle has some dirty details that can get in the way if you're not properly prepared for them. Here are a few pesky details you'll need to manage if you want to travel full-time.</p> <p>(Wise Bread's pick for best travel rewards credit card is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=954356">Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card - 40,000 mile signup bonus, 2x miles on every purchase, and more. Click here for details.</a>)</p> <h2>1. Expat Insurance</h2> <p>Once you've been traveling full-time for a certain time period (usually over six months or one year) you don't qualify for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">standard travel insurance</a>. In this case, you need to get expat insurance, which provides medical coverage anywhere in the world (or certain geographic regions, depending on your terms). Coverage can range from emergency only to full medical plans; generally you get what you pay for. Here's a&nbsp; <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/03/expat-insurance-travel-insurance-for-full-time-and-long-term-travelers/">primer on expat insurance</a>, including a glossary of terms and tips to keep your premiums low.</p> <h2>2. Mailing Address</h2> <p>Receiving mail (and having a &ldquo;permanent&rdquo; mailing address for filling in various forms) is a stumbling block for all full-time travelers. Solutions include having somebody in your home town who receives your mail and alerts you to anything you need to know about, or paying a monthly fee for a mailing service (which basically does the same thing). Here's an article detailing some <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/essential-services-for-the-road-nora-dunn">essential services for the road</a>, including virtual mailbox services.</p> <h2>3. Staying in Touch</h2> <p>You need more than mail to be in touch, and thankfully it's getting easier with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">location independent careers</a> becoming more common. Having an unlocked cell phone into which you insert local pay-as-you-go SIM cards gives you a local telephone number, and applications like Skype and Google Voice allow you to make inexpensive long distance calls using your internet connection (and free computer-to-computer calls).</p> <p>One frustration with staying in touch on the road and managing a location-independent career is the constant search for WiFi. Although it's quite prevalent, there are still places where it's simply unavailable or cost-prohibitive.</p> <h2>4. Work-Life Balance</h2> <p>The second challenge with the constant search for WiFi is that once you have it, sometimes it's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">hard to disconnect</a>. Many of us have come to rely on it for business, pleasure, and communication. So sometimes it's a challenge to actually unplug and enjoy the full-time traveling lifestyle for what it is. There is a (often precarious) work-life balance to manage on the road and constantly be aware of.</p> <h2>5. Getting Rid of Your Stuff</h2> <p>What do you do with all your stuff while you travel full-time? This depends on the stuff you have, your intended travel plans, and your personal preferences. Paying for storage space can be cost-prohibitive, and depending on the stuff you keep, you might have a friend or family member with enough space in their garage to store it for you. (I myself have five boxes of &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; tucked away in a friend's garage.)</p> <p>If you're getting rid of all your stuff, you might want to check out these articles to get you started with some ideas:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap (Book Review &amp; Tips)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></li> </ul> <h2>6. To Sell or To Rent</h2> <p>If you own your home, you'll have to decide if you're selling it or renting it out in your absence. If the market values have dropped, then selling it might not be preferable (or possible), but renting your place out could be stressful in terms of tenant management if you don't have a point-person to deal with tenancy issues (like repairs, rent collection, finding tenants, and keeping an eye on the place). Using a property management company can alleviate much of this leg-work, but it will also erode your profits.</p> <p>It's a tough decision, dependent on your home, its current value, how much equity you have in the home, and your penchant for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home">being an absentee landlord</a>.</p> <h2>7. Managing Money</h2> <p>I have an entire series on my site dedicated to <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/financial-travel-tips/">Financial Travel Tips</a> since managing your money on the road can be tricky business. Issues include accessing money, getting paid online, effectively using credit cards and debit cards (and dealing with issues like theft, fraud, and complications &mdash; which can add some serious speed bumps to the process if you're abroad; I've had to deal with this three times in the past two months), minimizing currency conversion charges, and carrying cash safely, to name a few. (Check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Travel &amp; Money series</a> for some money management tips and tricks.)</p> <h2>8. Loan Payments</h2> <p>It's best to embark on a full-time travel lifestyle without any debts, but sometimes a lingering student loan (for example) might seem manageable enough to spread your wings anyway. As a precaution, it is good to have 6-12 months' loan payments stashed away in a high-interest account in the event that your ongoing income can't cover the payment for whatever reason. If you also have an emergency fund as a buffer, then you can reduce your loan payment stash.</p> <h2>9. Packing Light</h2> <p>I learned early on that the weight of your luggage is proportionate to the degree of misery you'll feel while traveling. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to pack everything up each time you move, and the more agonizing the act of traveling becomes. I also find that the more stuff I have, the more I'm concerned about the inevitable travel risks, such as having my luggage stolen, damaged, or lost. Lightening your load really does make the journey easier.</p> <p>However...</p> <p>Lightening your load also means you're probably compromising on a few items that you'd really like to have but simply can't justify. Once you've had a little time on the road you can learn to adjust or compensate, but sometimes it's simply a drag. A solution? When I stay somewhere for at least a few months I tend to accumulate these extra things that make my life easier &mdash; 2<sup>nd</sup> hand if possible &mdash; getting rid of them again before I leave.</p> <h2>10. Getting What You &ldquo;Need&rdquo; Abroad</h2> <p>Although most people are thrilled and surprised to discover they can get almost everything they need on the road (like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-shaving-with-these-razor-tricks">razor blades</a> and specific toiletries), you probably have a favorite product that isn't widely available. Under the premise of packing light it would be bad form to stock up (too much) on those items, and I've been surprised to discover some rare items (or in some cases, better replacements) lurking in distant and unexpected corners of the world. The trick is not to become too attached to a specific product in case you can't find a replacement.</p> <h2>11. Taxes</h2> <p>Your income tax situation will depend on how and where you're making money. You'll likely have to cart around some paperwork (like tax-deductible receipts) and keep it organized as you go. Filing your taxes from abroad can be an adventure as well. I keep detailed spreadsheets of expenses and income, and I email them to my accountant back home, while my &ldquo;designated representative&rdquo; who receives mail on my behalf sends my accountant any official income slips I've received. It's helpful to have a relationship with an accountant before you set off on a full-time travel lifestyle.</p> <h2>12. Refilling Prescriptions/Visiting Doctors</h2> <p>Unless you're making regular trips back home, you're subject to the whims of local doctors for medical needs and prescriptions. In some countries prescription medications are available over-the-counter or upon informal consultations with pharmacists (always ask a pharmacist for help before bothering with a doctor &mdash; you'd be amazed at how helpful they can be). Otherwise you have to decide if the doctor's visit is worth paying for with cash or claiming on your insurance policy (see the above point on expat insurance).</p> <h2>13. Vaccinations</h2> <p>Some people get pricked up for every conceivable disease before leaving home. This can be incredibly expensive, however, and sometimes unnecessary, especially if you don't end up visiting those countries rife with a disease you were vaccinated for. Not to mention there are risks to vaccinations; I have a friend who spent six months paralyzed from the waist down due to a complication with a vaccination she received prior to visiting Africa.</p> <p>Travel medical clinics are quite common around the world, and often less expensive (and no less sanitary) than your home clinic. I would suggest getting only the vaccinations you need, when you need them.</p> <h2>14. Withdrawal</h2> <p>Sometimes, you just plain miss your family and friends back home or your chosen family and new friends you've made along the way. Staying in communication via email and phone is viable, but sometimes it's no replacement for a hug from somebody you love. That's okay too; just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight">book a flight</a> home for a visit!</p> <p><em>What are some of the dirty details of full-time travel that you have either had to contend with, or are worried about?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time" class="sharethis-link" title=" 14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle Travel full-time travel health insurance international travel overseas living Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Nora Dunn 954356 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_0355.jpg" alt="The scenery of full-time travel" title="The scenery of full-time travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the last five years, I've been traveling the world full-time, and for less money than I've ever spent (and I'd wager less money than most people would spend) to live in one place.</p> <p>My worldly possessions fit into one bag (just larger than carry-on size) and a backpack containing my laptop and computer gear. This small entourage (weighing less than 45 pounds in total) comes with me as I wander around the world, sometimes quickly, but mostly slowly. (See also: <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=16694761&fot=1100&foc=1" title="40,000 miles signup bonus with US Airways" target="_blank" ref="nofollow">40,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus with US Airways</a>)</p> <p>In 2011 alone, I traversed 13 countries and over 45,360 miles. Sounds pretty expensive, huh?</p> <p>What if I told you it wasn't? What if I told you that both 2010 (a similarly busy year of travel) and 2011 cost me just over $17,000 (including some major non-travel related purchases)? Would you believe me?</p> <p>Believe it. (Here's proof, with a full breakdown of where I went and how much it cost: <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/01/my-cost-of-full-time-travel-in-2011/">My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2011</a>).</p> <h2>How to Keep Your Travel Costs Low</h2> <p>Of course, I could travel for way more than $17,000/year. The sky is the limit for what you can spend on the road, from food and accommodation to flights, destinations, and tours. I could also travel for less than this, if I made different spending choices.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are a few of my secrets.</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Accommodations</h3> <p>In the entire year of 2011, I paid $173 for accommodation. And that expenditure was a function of a discounted stay at the Hilton in Stockholm as a luxurious &ldquo;splash out.&rdquo; The rest of the time, I had free accommodation in various forms, including...</p> <p><strong>Work-Trade/Volunteer</strong></p> <p>There are lots of creative opportunities to work in trade for your accommodation (and sometimes food) and enjoy a more immersive travel experience. Many of the sites that introduce you to these opportunities involve a monthly or yearly subscription, but in my experience it's well worth it. Here are some resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.caretaker.org">The Caretaker Gazette</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.helpx.net">Help Exchange</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wwoof.org">WWOOF</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.growfood.org/">Grow Food</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.worldhelplink.com/">World Help Link</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.payaway.co.uk/">PayAway</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Hospitality Exchange</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Got a few nights to kill at a given destination? Try a hospitality exchange, where locals who would like to host a traveler can put you up in a spare room or even on their couch. Good manners predicate you move on after a few days, and although it's a free stay, expect to provide a gift for your host and help out wherever you can. But there's also no better way to see how the locals live than to actually <i>live</i> with a local.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.couchsurfing.org/">Couchsurfing</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.hospitalityclub.org/">Hospitality Club</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.globalfreeloaders.com/">Global Freeloaders</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.servas.org/">Servas</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.staydu.com/">Staydu</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>House/Pet-Sitting</strong></p> <p>After five years on the road, I've come to crave my personal space, as well as time to work on my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">location-independent career</a> as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer">travel writer</a>. So when other people hit the road to do some traveling of their own, I come into their homes and take care of the property, pets, gardens, and any other chores that require attention in their absence. I tend to the home fires for periods of time ranging from weeks to months, and I'll soon be enjoying my second three-month stint of house-sitting and dog-minding on the Caribbean island of <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/01/three-months-in-grenada/">Grenada</a>, where I have my own beautiful free beach-front villa and use of two cars.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.housecarers.com/">House Carers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.caretaker.org">The Caretaker Gazette</a> (I've listed this twice because The Caretaker Gazette specializes in both volunteer and house-sitting opportunities).</li> <li><a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">Trusted Housesitters</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.mindmyhouse.com/">Mind My House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.housesitworld.com/">Housesit World</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.aussiehousesitters.com.au/">Aussie House Sitters</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.housesittersamerica.com/">House Sitters America</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Crew on Sailboats</strong></p> <p>My most recent foray into free accommodation has come in the form of volunteering on sailboats. Every boat is different in what it requires, from capable sailors or people with boat-specific technical skills to simply being an extra set of hands to share chores and provide good company. I started out with absolutely no sailing experience, and I have met all sorts of people in the cruising community and been aboard three boats in the last month alone. This is a whole lifestyle and way of travel unto itself.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.findacrew.net">Find a Crew</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/cruising/skipper_results.lasso">Latitude 38</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.desperatesailors.com/">Desperate Sailors</a></li> </ul> <p>Another way to get free accommodation includes home exchanges; check out more information on <a href="http://community.careonecredit.com/b/life_balance/archive/2010/08/05/take-a-free-family-vacation-with-a-home-exchange.aspx">home exchange resources and etiquette</a>.</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Flights</h3> <p>When I have to fly (which I try to do as rarely as possible), my long-haul flights are in business class, and cost less than the price of an economy ticket. I do this through the creative use of frequent flyer miles. I started out (years before I became a full-time traveler) simply as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">passive collector with my credit card</a> before delving into the world of creative frequent flyer mile accumulation through various promotions (here's the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">first big promotion</a> I took advantage of in 2009).</p> <p>Now I'm hooked, and always on the hunt for a frequent flyer deal, often accumulating thousands of miles each month without actually flying, which is easy thanks to my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> membership.</p> <!--<p>(One of the best offers right now is the Capital One Venture Rewards card with its 20,000 mile sign-up bonus (equivalent to $200 worth of travel) and double-points on everyday purchases. <strong><a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=9303902&fot=1100&foc=1" ref="nofollow">Click here for more details.</a></strong>)</p>--> <p>Sometimes it actually works out better to pay cash for a flight, especially if it's a domestic flight. If this is the case, here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy">resources and tips to ensure you get the lowest price</a>, even after you pay for your ticket.</p> <h3>Travel Slowly</h3> <p>The slower you travel, the less money you'll spend on transportation, interim accommodation (for example, between when you land in a new place and begin a house-sitting or volunteer gig), and even set-up expenses like buying groceries/staples or wear-and-tear on personal effects like luggage.</p> <p>And the slower you travel, the more immersive your experience will be, and the more likely you will be to develop relationships with locals (who may not want to invest the time and effort getting to know somebody who is simply passing through) who can in turn deepen your travel experience and help you learn what life is like around the world.</p> <h2>Your Travel, Your Style</h2> <p>There's more to full-time travel than these three techniques to keep your costs low. I made purchases that weren't totally necessary, and I could have further reduced my expenses if I'd gone without. I also could have spent more money on any number of occasions. But for the most part I've found a groove and a personal style for my own full-time travels; one that leaves me wanting for nothing and spending how I wish on what's important to me. And all for less than I spend to live in one place.</p> <p>I also have a career as a writer and <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com">travel blogger</a> that lends itself well to my travels, creating a lifestyle that is a career, and vice versa.</p> <p>Budgeting for travel is very different for everybody, as can be evidenced by this informal spending study: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation">Taco Tuesday: The Inner Mechanics of Budgeting on Vacation</a>.</p> <p><em>How much do you think you would spend on full-time travel? Would you give it a shot? </em></p> <p>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</p> <div align="center"> <p><script src="http://www.stumbleupon.com/hostedbadge.php?s=5"></script></p> </div> <p>More great travel advice from Wise Bread (Editor's Picks):</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Travel Resources that can Save You Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels">5 Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Lifestyle Travel budget travel cheap vacations full-time travel volunteering Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:00:13 +0000 Nora Dunn 893392 at http://www.wisebread.com The Cost of Full-Time Travel http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-full-time-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-cost-of-full-time-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cost%20of%20full%20time%20travel%20pic.JPG" alt="traveling" title="traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;How much does it cost to travel full-time as a Professional Hobo?&rdquo; I am asked this question regularly by readers of my <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com" target="_blank">personal website</a>. And while I maintain that the cost of full-time travel is dependent on oh-so-many factors that are unique to every individual, I have just finished my year-end accounting for 2008 and am willing to share my own finances with the world.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">2008 was a year for me spent entirely on the road. I opened the New Year on a <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2007/11/where-we-live/" target="_blank">remote corner</a> of the Big Island of Hawaii, then <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/01/driving-around-hawaii/" target="_blank">traveled around</a> for a week and moved to the <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/01/kona-where-we-live/" target="_blank">other side of the island</a> for four months. In April and May I spent six weeks traveling through <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/05/muay-thai-boxing-and-why-ill-never-drink-again/" target="_blank"><st1:country-region><st1:place>Thailand</st1:place></st1:country-region></a>, <st1:country-region><st1:place>Malaysia</st1:place></st1:country-region>, and <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/06/singapore-in-a-day/" target="_blank"><st1:country-region><st1:place>Singapore</st1:place></st1:country-region></a>, arriving in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region> in June. My first six weeks in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region> were spent in transit, first in <st1:city><st1:place>Cairns</st1:place></st1:city> for a few days, then enjoying a <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/category/world-nomads-ambassador-trip/" target="_blank">long drive</a> from <st1:city><st1:place>Brisbane</st1:place></st1:city> to <st1:city><st1:place>Melbourne</st1:place></st1:city> via the outback. At the end of July I settled down in the <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/category/life-at-kingbilli/" target="_blank">rural countryside</a> north of <st1:city><st1:place>Melbourne</st1:place></st1:city>, and that is where I remained for the rest of the year.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Despite Wise Bread reader comments about <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state> being <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation" target="_blank">extraordinarily expensive</a>, I must still emphasize that <strong>travel &ndash; and the costs thereof &ndash; are very unique to the individual</strong>. Before embarking on a life of full-time travel, I enjoyed my week or two a year of vacations like most people. Being from <st1:country-region><st1:place>Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>, the stress was usually on going somewhere warm for a week during winter to sit on a beach and defrost, the cheapest option of which entailed a charter flight to an all-inclusive <st1:place>Caribbean</st1:place> resort. The week generally cost $1,000-$2,000 per person, all inclusive.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>At the height of my career as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner" target="_blank">financial planner</a>, I enjoyed more lavish trips, including a three-week bonanza in South Africa that set me back almost $10,000.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So I am well aware that the cost of vacationing is not cheap at the best of times, and can be downright exorbitant if we are not careful.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>But the cost of traveling full-time is somewhat different.</strong> You are not searching for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-save-money-on-vacation" target="_blank">souvenirs</a>, paying to see all the attractions (at least not as much as you may as with a traditional vacation), or constantly eating out at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation" target="_blank">restaurants</a> for lack of having kitchen facilities.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As a full-time traveler, <strong>I also save money by not having a home and set of </strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need" target="_blank"><strong>regular expenses</strong></a><strong> to maintain</strong>. I usually <strong>work in trade for my accommodation</strong> (occasionally with some additional perks thrown in there like internet or household supplies), and since I always have a kitchen, <strong>I prepare </strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/soy-milk-tofu-and-veggie-burgers-for-pennies-anyone" target="_blank"><strong>inexpensive</strong></a><strong> and </strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/scrumptious-sprouting-for-your-meals" target="_blank"><strong>healthy</strong></a><strong> foods at &ldquo;home&rdquo;</strong>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The flip side to full-time travel, and where the expenses add up, are in transportation costs (airfare being the biggest culprit), accommodation costs between work-trade arrangements, and general sightseeing excursions that I treat myself to while traveling through.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>So how much does it cost to travel full-time?</strong> Aah aah &ndash; patience; not quite yet. First, I will explain the sorts of expenses I incurred so you have a frame of reference. Here is a laundry list of the things I purchased over the last year, as well as regular expenses I incurred:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance" target="_blank">Travel Insurance</a></li> <li>Flights</li> <li>Accommodation for accumulatively three months (sightseeing and travel between work-trade arrangements; mostly took the form of hostels and camping)</li> <li>Visa applications</li> <li>Medical emergencies</li> <li>Cell phone purchase</li> <li>Cell phone expenses, plus long distance cards</li> <li>New laptop purchase</li> <li>New software</li> <li>Internet charges (while on the road)</li> <li>Car purchase (in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region>)</li> <li>Miscellaneous car expenses (registration, etc)</li> <li>Fuel costs</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free" target="_blank">Car rental</a> (in <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state>)</li> <li>Health &amp; Wellness (some chiropractic treatments, vitamins, etc)</li> <li>Business Association Memberships</li> <li>Website hosting and maintenance</li> <li>Professional camera purchase</li> <li><a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/category/burma-cyclone-relief/" target="_blank">Charitable donations</a></li> <li>And of course, food! (including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation" target="_blank">meals out</a> as well as groceries)</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As you can see, 2008 for me was not without a set of expenses that were unanticipated (like buying a new computer and cell phone, and paying for medical expenses not covered by travel insurance). On top of it all, I bought a car (crucial to get around in rural <st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region>), and of course, the cost of airfare made the biggest imprint on my pocketbook.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>So how much does it cost to travel full-time?</strong> For myself and my boyfriend, we managed to get through 2008 for under $20,000. <em>That is for two people</em>. Split that in half, and it cost me $10,000 to live on the road for one year. Practically though, many expenses borne by both of us would have been necessary if just one person were traveling (like the car purchase, fuel, electronics, and phone charges), so although it is all well and good to split our $20,000 year in half to come up with a per/person number, it is unrealistic. I would wager that had it just been me on the road, I would still have spent about $14,000.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">And even though I spent the majority of 2008 in relatively expensive global places like <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state> and <st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region>, by being creative and realistic, I still managed to eke out a living on the road with an income that technically would see me below the poverty line in <st1:place>North America</st1:place>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Has the perceived cost of full-time travel been holding you back from jumping off the edge of becoming a <a href="http://www.vagabondish.com/practical-guide-long-term-travel-part-6-cost-living/" target="_blank">Vagabond</a> like me? If so, the rug has just been swept out from under you. With some saving, some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap" target="_blank">excruciating letting go</a>, and some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hobo-living-made-easy" target="_blank">creative living arrangements</a>, you too can realize a dream of spending life on the road&hellip;if you want to.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-full-time-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="The Cost of Full-Time Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks Lifestyle Art and Leisure cost of travel full-time travel professional hobo travel budget vagabonding Mon, 05 Jan 2009 06:18:43 +0000 Nora Dunn 2702 at http://www.wisebread.com