How can you afford to retire and travel, this was the provocative question we were asked by many before we left! After all, we are not talking about a 2, 3 or even 4 week vacation here, we plan to be travelling indefinitely.
When we made the decision to travel full time, we decided to rent out our home and use that monthly income to cover our expenses or at least the bulk of it. With a limited income and limited savings we have found a few ways to make it stretch.
One of the ways we stretch our funds is to limit the amount of restaurant and fast food eating whenever possible! It is both healthier and easier on the purse strings! We aim either to stay in apartments with kitchen facilities or to have at least a fridge in our hotel room. This means we can self cater most of our meals and keep some cold wine and beer handy.
We do enjoy eating out and trying new foods, when we do eat out we try the local dishes. Try asking a local for where they like to eat, rather than a good place to eat. You stand less chance of ending up at the nearest restaurant with tourist-inflated prices.
The great thing about slow travel, long term rentals and doing house sits is that you have complete cooking facilities and local contact’s as well, which means you get a heads up on where to shop and where to eat out when you do choose to!
The local supermarkets are always fascinating, in Italy we enjoyed fresh tasty tomatoes for €1 a kilo. The cheese selection was somewhat overwhelming, as was the cured meats, hams, add in the bewildering array of pasta, and you have a gourmet heaven. Even with a good bottle of wine to accompany dinner we seldom spent more than $20 a day on food.
We minimized travel costs in Europe by leasing a car this service is available to North Americans and is a much more economic than a rental, plus you get much more flexibility.
We use local transport where possible and are always on the lookout for ways to reduce flight costs. There are many travel articles written on this subject and it is worth researching.
Do take advantage of Air Miles or a rewards card program, as your ongoing daily expenditures can eventually add up to free or discounted travel. Also be as flexible as possible in your travel plans, consider other dates and other routes.
If you like to Cruise be sure to check for repositioning cruises, we recently booked Miami to Panama for far less than any flight we could find.
With planning and flexibility, you too can make your dreams a reality.