FAQ 2: Cash Money
I’ll just cut to the chase. This is probably the most frequently UNASKED question most people want to ask us but don’t. We’ve had a few brave souls go there but not many. So, we’ll explain our thinking below.
Q. How much does a year of world travel cost? How are you affording this?
A. The short answer is we have a very rough idea about the total cost of RTW travel and our own personal budget, but there are still a lot of unknowns.
Here’s the long, convoluted version. You’ve been warned.
Although the decision to take this trip took under 5 minutes, we did however spend the next 2 days doing some deep analysis of our finances and safety concerns (another post, another day). We have been saving to buy a house for the last 6 years so we have a medium chunk of money saved there. Tim turned his SEO consulting spigot on and plans to earn some income in the next 5 months before we leave, as well as take on some freelance work while we’re on the road. We also immediately downsized our house to save money on rent. We do not have any credit card debt and just recently paid off my student loans (a slow and steady 16 years later)! The only debt we have is the monthly payment of our Toyota Highlander which we will be selling before we leave. Basically, the only bill we will have to pay while we are abroad is for our storage unit. I warned you, it’s a financial mish mash.
Another avenue of thinking we took was, how much does it cost for us to live for a year in our current situation? Just making rough estimates, we ball parked that if we have that much money saved now, we can most likely live abroad for the same price tag and hopefully less. Some countries will be more expensive than the U.S. like Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden, etc. and some will be cheaper like Thailand and Vietnam, where we plan to spend a lot of time. We did some preliminary research of what other RTW families spent on their year abroad and fortunately they are very forthcoming with this information. THANK YOU! I hope they know what a big help it is to other families like us trying to make this happen.
This Ontario family traveled with 2 kids from 2014-2015 with an itinerary and travel style very similar to ours for $120,000 while this family of 4 from San Francisco traveled for 10 months for under $50,000. So as you can see, there is definitely a range. Some families set their budget by country/region and others set a budget per day. Another website that has definitely gotten our financial juices flowing is BootsnAll. They pose some great questions to make you get real about how you expect to travel, eat, sleep, etc. Another thing that people assume is that long and short-term travel have similar costs, when in reality this is not the case. Transportation is also a big factor but we’re finding that airfare might be more reasonable than we once considered. As of right now, we plan to use AirTreks, a travel agency that specializes in RTW travel to help us make sense of of it all. Here’s a rough airfare quote of a potential route to our “pillar” countries that we’re considering:
I think now is a good time to also point out that although we plan to travel comfortably and safely with the kiddos, we will not be traveling in the lap of luxury and staying in 5 star hotels and yachting around Greece. We plan to stay long enough in some places that we can get a little AirBnB with a kitchenette to make our own food, set up a home base, and explore the surrounding cities/attractions at a slower pace. I’m sure there will be some splurges, possibly like the thermal glass igloos in Finland but they will hopefully be balanced out by experiences like WWOOFing (put our kids to work)!