So, you want to travel the world long term but have no idea how to pay for it? Of course, the answer is to save for it, just as we did, but lets delve a little deeper here. We have spoken about how we saved to become permanent travelers but there are plenty of other ways to save for your travel fund.
One way, for example, will help you save around $20,000 in a year. That’s enough for 1 year of solo travel. Have I got your attention now?
If you are a regular reader on this site, you will know Michael and I housesit about 50% of the time (the other 50% is spent in hotels) which helps us keep our travel costs down so we can keep on traveling. However, housesitting is also a great way to save money before your trip. Let me explain…
Lets say you rent your current home (we will talk about a mortgaged home later). In the United States the average cost of rent is $1100 per month. Some of you will pay less and some of you more. If you are one of our Australian followers you can double that figure. Of course, there are utilities on top of your rent so you are out of pocket around $1500 per month.
What if you didn’t have to pay rent for 12 months? You could save all that money and use that as your travel fund. So where would you live? In someone else’s home of course! If you do not know how housesitting works, we have spoken about it here. The gist of it is – You look after someone’s home, and usually pets, free of charge while they are on vacation. While vacation housesitting is the most popular, there are many long term sits to be found also, which is perfect for what we are talking about here.
When you housesit, there is usually no costs involved – no rent, no utilities – except the fee to join the housesitting website (which varies depending on the site but its around $50 a year). All that money you are not spending on rent and electric can be put away in your ‘travel fund’. By not paying rent you can save around $20,000 a year, much more if you live in Australia. And this is before you save money in many other areas!
What about those of you who have a mortgage but do not want to sell your house. A great solutions here is to rent your house out to cover the mortgage costs, then you housesit, so no money is coming out of your pocket but you get to keep your house. We have friend who are doing this now and its working out great!
House sitting is a sure fire way to save the cash you need to fund your trip. It might be less than perfect, you may need to move every 3 months if you get short term sits, but hey, how much do you want your dream of long term travel to come true?? If a little bit of sacrifice is all it takes isn’t it worth it?
Another way we saved for our journey was to sell off most of our belongings. We sold the car, the furniture and even had a couple of yard sales to get rid of all the crap we had collected over the years. We ended up with a nice chunk of money for our savings from this process. And lets face it, you won’t need all that ‘space filler’ when you are on the road. For those of you who plan on going for a year, perhaps you will keep some items so you do not need to start from scratch when you return home. For those of you like us, who have no intention of returning home for a while, what good will all those items do back home? It would be much better, and easier, to get rid of it and use the money to fund your new life.
I get really tired of people saying ‘its not possible or “you are so lucky to live this life”. Luck has nothing to do with Michael and I living our dream life. We worked hard, we saved harder and we made a lot of sacrifices along the way. Was it worth it? Hell yes! We would do it all over again. We didn’t have anything handed to us on a silver platter. We have worked hard our entire adult lives and this is the pay off.
You need to ask yourself how much you want to travel. Anyone can have anything they want with a little planning and determination. We are not the exception to the rule. We are not extraordinary in any way. We are ordinary people who got bored of their ordinary life and made a conscious decision to change it. We saved, we planned, we researched and we made it happen. Its that simple.
There are so many ways to save for long term travel. Some people even work as they travel to support themselves. Either way, there is no excuse for you to not live your dream life.
Would you housesit to save for your Travel Fund?