Long-term traveling is a lifestyle that is more feasible than one may think.
Today we live in a society where it’s quite common to live outside our means, acquire debt, live paycheck to paycheck and not be financially stable.
Alex and I aren’t rich monetarily. We don’t have some ghost of a backer funding our travel. We’re not sponsored. But we somehow manage to travel at least 8 months out of every calendar year. How do we do it? It’s simple. We are simple people who live simple lives and prioritize so that we can roll around in our 16 year old van drifting with the wind living a life we believe in.
If you’re serious about wanting to travel long-term, read on for all our money-saving tricks!!
- Stop buying drinks. And I mean anything that isn’t water. Included in this is alcohol, coffee, flavored waters, soda, juice, all of it! The above list doesn’t give you any added health benefits so you’re literally just liquifying money and flushing it right through yourself. Believe me, water is enough.
- Limit yourself to eating out once or twice/month for special occasions. The amount of money that you pay for a meal in a restaurant isn’t worth it. On average, the markup for all restaurants (from hole in the walls to your swankiest joint) is about 4x the price of raw food ingredients. Click here for proof.
- Set a grocery store budget and stick to it! Find the joy in throwing together ingredients to make healthy dinners on your own and relish in the joy that YOU COOKED IT! We cannot begin to express the success we feel by making our own fuel to keep our bodies running. Not to mention, we’ve saved quite a bit of money by learning to cook with just about anything!
- Are all rooms occupied in your home/apartment? If not, think about renting an extra room out to a college student or set up an airbnb rental for the extra room(s). Most folks think that airbnb is only for full homes but you can earn good money by listing a room for rent!
- Do you sing in the shower? Try cutting your water bill in half by taking half as long showers or by showering every other day. Trust us, it won’t kill you and you won’t smell any different.
- How much are paying for TV and Internet? The average price for Internet and television is $132/month. If you don’t believe us, click here for proof. Our radical advice is to throw that mind-numbing box out the window and read a book, play an instrument, talk to the other people in your house or some other activity. If you can’t live without the internet in your home, opt for ONLY internet, not television. If you must watch your TV shows, pay $8/month for Hulu or Netflix with your monthly internet subscription.
- How much is your cell phone bill? Remember when we all didn’t have cell phones? Remember just a few years ago when data plans were basically obsolete? Remember when we had to log on to a computer to check our email? Today, the average American’s cell phone bill is roughly $110/month according to Gazelle. I’d like to hear anyone’s argument that a block to check Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and update Instagram is worth $110/month! Alex and I share a cell phone that I got 7 years ago with no data plan. We use it to phone home and for emergencies only. Hey, we’re still kicking it and still apart of the modern world!
- Sell your junk! One man’s junk is another man’s treasure right?! I’ll make a gander with you and say that you don’t NEED every little thing in your living space. Heck, Alex and I live out of our van and we could still downsize. Selling your stuff can make some real cash, real quick. Less than 1 year ago, I sold most of my excess and made a few thousand dollars on eBay. If I can do it, so can you! Here’s a little inspiration to sell your excess stuff.
- What do you drive? Evaluate your gasoline lifestyle. How many cars do you have in relation to the amount of drivers in your household? Sell the extra car(s) if you have them. If you’re paying for a lease, stop that and buy a pre-owned reliable vehicle. If you’re making payments on a new car, do the math and see if you can pay cash for a pre-owned option. Unless you have the extra CASH to throw around (I’m not talking about taking out a loan), there is no reason why you should be rolling around in a new pimpin’ ride. There are plenty of reliable, pre-owned vehicle options out there that cost a fraction of what a new vehicle does. Plus, your insurance will be much cheaper in a pre-owned vehicle.
- Ohhhh the extras. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. If you’re saving to travel, there should be no extras. NADA! No mani/pedi dates, no new release movies in the theater, stop going to the hair salon for $100 cut&colors, etc. It’s the little extras here and there that we don’t think amount to much that really kick us in the butt! If you’re an impulse shopper, stay away from places that get you “in trouble”. It will be worth it, trust me.
- Make your own fun! Instead of going out or buying entertainment pull out a deck of cards, go for a hike/walk, read about something that interests you, the list goes on! Have fun doing what you love without shelling out the money for it!