Ever wonder how people travel to exotic destinations for months at a time. What’s their big secret? It is totally possible to take a month or five or a year off to travel. But, what about (fill in any excuse here)? Yes, there are potentially hundreds of reasons to postpone travel, but you’re bound to make it happen if you’ve got wanderlust in your heart. Cheers to combatting the big four—money, job, kids and retirement. Get a jump start on the path to travel freedom. Here’s the scoop on the not-so-secret secrets.
But, what about money?
Save a little. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be a lot. Instead of going to the bar or out to eat four times a week, go out one or two times a week. That $40 mani/pedi? Skip it. That’s a couple nights at a clean hotel in Southeast Asia. Nobody cares what your nails look like anyway.
Don’t renew your lease if you rent your apartment or house. Instead, load all your stuff in a storage unit, so you don’t have to pay rent while traveling. If you’re stuck in a lease or own your home, sublet or rent it out while you’re away. There are many reputable online rental services like airbnb.com and vrbo.com.
Travel on a budget. Instead of flying, take a $9 bus across country borders. Skip the 5-star hotel and opt for a basic private room and bathroom at a guest house for $20/night with breakfast included. You can also rent a room on the cheap from a local in any city on couchsurfing.com.
Go somewhere where the U.S. Dollar is worth more, like Southeast Asia or South America. Do what you can to eliminate or cut down on bills. Often times monthly expenses can be much less while traveling than they are when you’re at home. These expenses consist of accommodation, transportation, food and drinks and spending money.
But, what about my job?
Quit. It takes guts, but do it. It’s just that simple. There are other jobs out there that would be happy to employ you when you return. Or, if you love your job, talk to your boss about remote work or possibly take a sabbatical and return to your job after your travels. If you fancy a particular place on your travels, there may be opportunities to find work there.
But, what about my kid(s)?
Quite a few parents travel long-term with their kids. It’s not uncommon to see two parents toting their three small children around the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or to meet a 6 year old being homeschooled by her parents on a boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam while they all enjoy their 9-month holiday. No joke! It’s not a rare sight to see families of five with strollers and giant backpacks in tow. Of course, traveling with kids presents obstacles, but it’s not impossible.
But, I’ll travel when I retire.
What a grand idea. Unfortunately, any one of us could get hit by a bus today. What in the world are you waiting for? Now is the time to do it! Take several mini-retirements before the final, big one. Mountain hikes, long bus rides, rainforest treks, cramped sea-cave kayak excursions, elephant rides and scuba dives with sharks. Can you imagine doing these things when you’re in your 60s and 70s? It can happen and many people travel in their retirement years, but these things don’t get easier with age.
So—what are you waiting for? Get all of your ducks in a row and then get going!