A lot of people wonder how a family of four, living off one income, can afford to leave everything behind and embark on an adventure around the world. I used to be one of those people, I thought that there would be no way we could make this happen. We have bills, I am still paying off student loans and it’s not like we have stacks of cash hidden under our mattress. But after about the twentieth time crunching numbers, I realized that with a lot of hard work and a lifestyle change, we would be able to make it happen.

Stopped Going Out To Eat

Rowan, looking for cheap produce at the Farmer’s Market.

This was by far the biggest challenge when it came to saving. Andy and I both love going out to eat. I think most people feel the same but we really really love it! We were going out to eat about 4 or 5 times per week. On average, we would spend $30-$40 per outing. That’s a whole lot of money flying out of our wallets every month.  

We knew this was the first thing that needed to change. While we weren’t able to cut it out completely, we dwindled it down to once every week, sometimes once every other week and in the first month, we were able to save $400! 

So we then started cooking all of our meals at home. We made a menu every week and tried our hardest to keep our grocery bill to only $50. I will eventually explain how we are able to do that but the explanation deserves its own lengthy blog post. For now, I will say that it takes a lot of planning!

Cut Out Unnecessary Bills

With all the options to stream movies and TV online, do we really need cable anymore? No. Do we really need to spend hundreds of dollars on a  cellphone plan with a popular network when there are plenty of cheaper alternatives? No. Could we cut out our overpriced gym membership and workout at home? Yes

We spend so much money on things we don’t need and once we gave up those luxuries we noticed our savings started to stack up.  

We Sold Our House BUT…

Many people assume that we are using the money from the sale of our house to fund our travels when in fact, we are not touching a cent of it. All of that money has gone straight into a savings account so that when if we return home, we won’t have to live on the streets.

That being said, selling the house has been the biggest factor in being able to hit our savings goals. We were not only able to get rid of our biggest bill, our mortgage payment, but we no longer had to pay electricity and water, no more ridiculously high New York property taxes and we didn’t have to spend money here and there making random repairs.

So technically we were homeless but luckily I have amazing parents, who also happen to go away for the summer,  and they allowed us to move into their home until we head out. Without their generosity, we probably wouldn’t have reached our ambitious goals. Thanks Mama Kath and Papa John!

Work Hard To Play Hard

Lastly, this trip would definitely not be possible if it weren’t for Andy. He worked the hardest he has ever worked in his entire life the months leading up to our trip. He has picked up extra shifts, worked 30+ days in a row and set ridiculously high goals that he continuously surpasses. His dedication truly amazes me.

My Advice To You

If traveling full time is something you are interested in doing and you don’t know where to start, I would advise that you first sit down and crunch numbers. Figure out roughly how much money you will need to live, how much flights will cost, what your bills are going to be back home, etc. and then determine how much you will need to save. 

After you have a number in mind, change up your lifestyle, cut anything out of your spending that you possibly can. Even if you think you can’t live without it, chances are you can and you won’t even miss those things after awhile.

If you can possibly stay with family and friends a couple months leading up to your trip, do it! Not only will you be saving a lot of money but you will be spending quality time with loved ones who you won’t see for a long time! Just be careful not to take advantage of anyone. Pitch in whenever you can, whether that be buying groceries, mowing the lawn or cleaning the house. You don’t want to be that annoying house guest. 

And last but certainly not least, work your butt off. Yes, the months leading up to our trip have been brutal but it will all be worth it when we can splurge a little to feed the elephants or spend a little more to rent a bungalow overlooking the ocean. 

Final Thoughts

We have heard of a lot of families leaving their corporate six figure income careers to travel the world but we are proof that you do not need to be in that sort of position to make a trip like ours happen. If you follow the advice mentioned above, you too could be temple hopping in Thailand, relaxing on the beaches of Bali and eating your weight in Pho in Vietnam!

About Author

We are your typical American family who decided life is too short to live in one place.

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    1. It can be hard! We were nervous because our previous trips were only a couple weeks and by day 10, we were ready to head home. Our mentality has been much different on this trip which I think has helped us to not get homesick!

  1. Have been enjoying your adventures. Thank you. I would love to take my family and travel. Can you share a monthly budget that has worked for you guys traveling? And can you share any info on your dealings with (or without ) health insurance and children in your travels?

    Thank you

    St. Louis mo. uSA

    1. Hi Phil! Thank you for following along on our adventure! The budget is definitely something we are planning to share, that is the question we most often get asked! As far as health insurance goes, we purchased travel insurance for the length of our trip, which would cover pretty much anything we would need (hospital visits, immunizations, medications, etc.). Luckily, we haven’t had anything major happen, one little trip to the hospital in Chiang Mai, but health care is so affordable in those countries that we probably won’t even bother going through with filing a claim!

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