Deciding to fund world travel, sacrificing lots of what typical non-full-time travel families would have, wasn’t a hard decision for John and I.
Having commitments that held us in one place and with only four weeks holidays per annum just didn’t ring any of our bells. We wanted to full-time travel while still contributing to society, while still working, providing for our children and while still creating the best education and personal experiences possible.
Travelling full time for us does not mean we don’t stop and work, that we don’t have a returning base or that we simply wander every day with a fabulous passive income that allows the freedom of continual travel. While that may be a dream, it’s not our reality, but we still make it happen.
In 2016 we worked for 5.5 months of the year while travelling for the remainder. We spent six months in Fiji, two months in South East Asia and four months in Australia.
How We Fund World Travel
1. We work hard
Loads of full-time travel families stop for periods of time and work hard to fill up the coffers saving the moola to fund the next leg of their full-time travel journey. John is a qualified Electrical Contractor, and I own Leezett Photography, a very successful Wedding Photography business in Fiji. Travelling full time doesn’t mean you have to have unlimited cash plus live out of a suitcase 100% of the year.
If you want to travel full time, work out a way to create income along the way. There are endless ways to generate revenue while living on the road. Put your heads together and get creative. Can you sell items at markets? Can you stop and get any available work where needed? Can you create an income online through blogging, selling items or through virtual jobs? Can you learn a new talent such as mobile massage or travel dog sitter that can generate an income while on the road with other travellers?
2. We don’t need big salaries to travel
Surprisingly, it would cost us more to live the stereotypical family dream, than for us to travel. With no mortgage, car repayments or high utility bills, we have found its much cheaper to travel, than live life in suburbia with two incomes.
We have our bus for when we travel Australia. Our bus is fully off the grid with a solar set up enabling us to have electricity and live a pretty normal life with our fridge, washing machine and our newly added coffee machine but without the monthly bills. If we free camp, menu plan and travel slowly, our weekly travel costs are less than the average adult weekly income for Australia.
We also rent a small humble home in Fiji, for just 800 FJD per month (400 USD) electricity and water are often under $100 FJD for three months. Fiji provides us with affordable living and a base while we work, plus we still experience travel while working. By living like a local, you learn to travel like one also.
We have learnt to menu plan and eat healthily on a budget. Many families spend an enormous amount of money on food and entertainment weekly that is not necessary. We menu plan around the weekly specials and keep alcohol to a minimum. We try hard not to have leftovers, but if we do, we use them. There are times when we stray from these rules but it’s usually short-lived, and by moving on we get back into our routine that keeps these expenses at a minimum.
3. We make sacrifices
Not all families will sacrifice a family home to travel, but we do. We don’t have a mortgage or the latest cars. Our vehicles are reliable but not the prettiest on the block. It’s a sacrifice we make to travel. We don’t buy high fashion, but we dress well. We don’t eat out, but we eat well. We each have three pairs of footwear to cover all bases.
We have learnt to live with less to experience more.
4. We plan our travels to suit our budget
We carefully plan our full-time travel adventures. We want as much as we can for our money, and that means seeking out places that offer value.
Living in a bus travelling Australia means we can travel our loop of Oz slowly, comfortably and within the time frame and budget we can afford.
We love backpacking South East Asia because for just $60 USD per day we can live quite comfortably, or for $20 USD per day we can sit and stretch the budget further.
Our plans to visit Europe in the future means we now sit, plan and work out the trip and budget to make everything work in favour for us.
5. We watch for good deals
We are like hawks when it comes to finding flights and great travel deals. We have learnt to watch, learn and know when a deal is a good deal. But it’s just as important to be ready and act when a flight becomes on sale.
Don’t be impulsive, but don’t miss a great deal.
6. We have become great DIY’ers
DIYing is the new us, and in all honesty, not all aspects of entering the DIY journey has been easy.
Home Education – Educating my child is something I have decided to do partly throughout the year while we travel. I don’t want my child to get behind for her age level during our travelling years. I know that travel opens her mind and gives her experiences many adults will never have. I know travel educates her in many ways that a classroom can’t achieve. But I also believe in balance, and for us, that means I want her to have a homeschooling program while we are living on the road. This trip I learnt to sit and engage in Reading Eggs, Maths Seeds, teach her basic cooking and do lots of arts and crafts. I am nowhere near excellent at this yet, but we are well on our way. It’s taken me time and discipline to learn how to become her teacher. If I cannot homeschool, we cannot travel.
Vehicle Repairs & Maintenance – John has spent hours googling and working out how to repair our bus engine and maintain our other vehicles. We have saved thousands of dollars during two engine rebuilds by doing as much as we could ourselves. You can read all about our first rebuild here. The most recent rebuild cost us a mere $1000, and our bus engine is now like new.
By being DIYers, we save money during our travels which enable us to travel further. Anything we need we try to DIY first. It’s been a great learning experience.
So how do we fund our full-time travels? The answer is simply, lots of things.
By actively taking several steps in the right direction, you can also achieve full-time travel, getting out on the open road and doing it for a lot less than one would expect.
Are you full-time travellers? How do you achieve your full-time travel life? Leave us your comments and tips.