On the road you don’t pay taxes, bills, redecoration or household cleaning products. Really, you can save a lot of money staying footloose.
Long term travelers are always asked how they can afford to stay on the road all the time. Most people spend half a year or so saving up for their big trip, then apply a stringent daily budget until their funds run out and it’s time to return home and look for a job. From this perspective to travel all the time seems an impossible prospect.
Thing is, it’s actually way cheaper to stay on the road.
– When you live someplace you have to pay rent and bills.
When you travel you can sleep outside, stay with friends or pay a few bucks a night in a simple guesthouse in the Third World.
– When you have a home you have to fill it with furniture and other consumer items that you don’t really need but which compensate for having to work in a job you hate.
When you travel you can only own what you can carry.
– When you live in a fixed place socialising often involves going out to bars, clubs and restaurants where the bill at the end of the evening is the equivalent of a day’s wage.
Travelers can just hang out in nature, chat with the locals by a tea stand and as every day is so varied there’s little need to go looking for entertainment.
– Most people reading this live in a country where the cost of living is pretty high and they need to work at least 3-4 days a week to make ends meet.
Travelers can live in places like Peru, Egypt or India on $10 a day if they want to and stuff like new clothes, medicine or a meal out cost next to nothing.
– Living and working somewhere these days may well involve the cost of keeping a vehicle on the road, paying cell phone bills and buying the kind of clothes needed for a professional image.
Travelers catch local buses and trains, spend a little on internet cafes and only have to worry about a few changes of clothes.
Sure, there are things like flights and visas which cost money but that’s peanuts next to the money spent on tedious stuff like furniture, bills, pet food, cutlery, kitchenware, decoration, cleaning products, repairs, commuting, taxes, children and the therapy needed to keep you sane afterwards.
So how can a traveler stay on the road all the time? Keeping costs down is fine but some money needs to keep rolling in…
For travelers who can write, draw, take photos, design, do computer code, translate, consult or any other skill that doesn’t require them to be in a fixed place, their work can be taken on the road. Check out the telecommuting traveler guide for more.
Otherwise the deal is to work as hard as you can somewhere that pays well and then spend the cash someplace where it goes a long way. Or just to find some casual work that keeps your head above water along the way. Check out 101 ways to work abroad for some options.
Maybe we are just playing at Peter Pan but it sure beats the 9 to 5.