Tag Archives: Money

I’m sitting here with a box full of books beside me. Not any books though – our own book! It’s an amazing thing, being able to hold it in your hands after all this time of talking about it, planning and working with it.
You could without exaggeration call it a 5 year plan – we started brainstorming around it in 2005 :) More exactly on Viktoria’s 17th birthday when we were sitting in the café at Thursday Plantation, the Tea Tree Oil place south of Byron Bay, Australia. I remember it well, we had been traveling around the world for some months and were discussing, again, all these questions people always ask us when we’re away. Like;

How do you get the money to travel?

How do you have the time?

What about the children’s school and

How could you travel when you have a job?

We’d all heard them more than once :) and realized that what people really want to know with all these questions, is how they could do it too. How they could leave their jobs for a while, let the kids take a break from school, find the means to go on a 6 month trip and maybe create a more independent lifestyle in general.
Anyway, that day, at the café, someone (jokingly) came up with this idea that we should write a book with our answers and then we could just give it to people. We first just laughed at the idea but then started thinking that it actually didn’t seem like such a bad thing. And now see where it has led us, that discussion around the lunch table!

Our first attempt was our ebook, which already has been out for a while, you can find it HERE. But now we also have a “REAL” one, a paper book! It contains lots of information on how to make a reality of that long dream trip for any family – how you could travel – and also our ideas about why we think that you should. We really think that traveling around as a family is GOOD for you and want to do our best to help you get out there and see for yourselves.
Here are some different links, depending on where in the world you’re living, or traveling :) and where you can check out the book and buy it.

USA – www.amazon.com & www.barnesandnoble.com/
Canada – www.amazon.ca
UK – www.amazon.co.uk
Germany – www.amazon.de
France – www.amazon.fr
Japan – www.amazon.co.jp
Sweden – www.bokus.com& www.adlibris.com

So check it out! Order it for yourselves and for your friends so they can go too or give it away as a Christmas present!

Happy Trip!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover“
Mark Twain

We got this question a while back. We do get many questions and we love them so do keep them coming. Send them to Info@extendedworldtravel.com or post them in the comments below. It sure helps us to know what’s on your mind and in what way we might be able to assist you.

Anyway, the whole question was:

“I was just curious as to how possible and realistic it would be to travel for 10 years or more with little initial savings, no education past high school, and no other source of income?”

The answer to that is very simple: it is absolutely possible! But, and this is important to remember, it all depends on any specific desires you may have regarding your travels and what you want them to be like.
It’s a very common misconception that long term traveling has to be expensive. Maybe it’s because a lot of people see it as an extended one week holiday in high season, when you stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, hang out in bars every night and spend money on tourist attractions. Multiply that by 52 and you will of course get an astronomical figure for a one year journey. And if this is the way you want to travel you will need lots of money in the bank or a big steady income. For most long term travelers , this is not the way they do it though, usually because that are not their circumstances.

A lot of people who want to travel long term don’t have the money for an extravagant journey. So they have to plan accordingly and find solutions that match their situation and their desires. Even without any money saved up it is still possible to go on a long journey.

The truth is, traveling long term can often be much cheaper than staying at home! We have met many and talked to many travelers who confirm this. For instance, when you’re on the road, you don’t have all the fixed costs that come with keeping a home and staying in one place. No rent, no home insurance, no car (if you are not traveling by car that is), no electric bills, no expenses for commuting , no day care costs…

All you got is basically the expenses for food, lodging and transportation. And there are also many things you can do to keep even these at a minimum. It just takes some creativity and a willingness to find solutions.

One idea is network travel which we have written about earlier here. If you choose this way you can basically eat and sleep for free. That would mean that the only expense that remains is the actual transport. Furthermore, you can always choose to ride a bike or walk. Maybe it won’t take you around the world, although that is possible too, but will definitely keep the expenses close to zero :-) .

And this is possible to do for a year or longer. To have plenty of time absolutely makes it easier to be able to travel inexpensively. We have some friends who did just that. They used WWOOF for their network travel, and spent 5 years traveling around Europe (and this is not the cheapest part of the world). They just kept going and even became parents along the way, and then continued to be “WWOOFers” with their child.

Of course this may not be everyone’s choice. But neither are first class tickets and 5 star hotels. You just have to find whatever suites you and your circumstances.

And yes, just to be clear: Education has nothing to do with this being possible or not…

Don’t forget to write your own question in the comments :-)

When we were planning our first extended journey we basically had no money to travel at all, actually quite the opposite. We had overwhelming debts as our business was down the drain and couldn’t even keep our home. Still, it was in this desperate situation that the idea of going on a longer journey first did strike us. We had heard of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and the possibility to work on farms a number of hours per day in exchange for food and lodging. And we could even do it as a family…

Not having money to travel can feel like being stuck. But there is always a way out!

Not having money to travel can feel like being stuck. But there is always a way out!

It didn’t turn out that way in the end though and we didn’t go WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland at that time as was our initial plan. But we did go on a longer journey. Life took some unexpected turns and we took off in an old (very old) campervan on a 5 month journey through Europe instead.

Looking back now, I realize that it was actually when we were experiencing the lack of money that our desire to go on an extended journey with the family was first brought to life. Prior to that situation, we had hardly ever thought about it. We were just so preoccupied with living our everyday life with all it included, like taking care of family and home, work and school and then just running out of energy at the end of the day.

Interestingly enough though is that the lack of money, which is the most common reason why long term travel is out of the question for most people, was actually the reason we left on our first longer journey.

How can that be you may wonder? Well, when we considered the possibility of WWOOF-ing in New Zeeland, we realized that once we’d arrive there, we would almost be able to “live for free”. We have some friends who did just that, WWOOF-ed around Europe for five years with literally now money (they even became parents along the way:grin:). This possibility just wasn’t available if we’d stay at home.

This is something that is so hard for most people to understand; you don’t actually need a lot of money to travel long term! It can be a lot cheaper than staying at home. Traveling short term though can often be very expensive.

And this is not something that just we are saying. It has been confirmed to us by other long term travelers over and over again. Here is a great article that describes how you don’t need money to travel to go on a long journey. Another example is this man which we’ve mentioned before and who twittered himself to the other side of the world.

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She left the USA 2004 to volunteer for the peace corps in Bulgaria. This was just the start of a long journey that later took her and her husband, to South Korea, where they now teach English. She has a blog www.notanothertourist.blogspot.com where you can read all about their long journey. We asked some questions about her traveling life and her experiences of being a traveler.

Seoul Trip

In the N Seoul Tower

Q: Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and your travel history?
Not Another Tourist: I should preface that I am not the most adventurous girl in the world. I have always been interested in traveling, but I have some (okay, many) strikes against me. I am a super picky eater, I get motion sickness easily, I really hate to fly and the physical act of traveling for a long time. I’d never even peed outside until I got locked out of a house when I was 27 years old. I will shriek until you have removed the giant spider hanging above my bed. But I have always wanted to shed that persona. So I took to traveling in smaller steps. In university I jumped at a chance to use my Spanish skills and to help out on a service project in Guatemala for a week and then chose a study abroad summer internship in Greece. After graduating with a degree in Sociology and following my passion for working with kids, I moved to the opposite side of the country for two years to work in youth development-centered non-profits as an AmeriCorps Volunteer. Following that, I took a bigger step to become a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Bulgaria, where I coincidentally met and married another Volunteer. We decided we loved the simple ex-pat life so much that we got certified to teach English. Although the thought of living in Asia seemed intimidating (spicy kimchi and seafood is just about my worst nightmare), we took jobs in South Korea and have been here for over two years (and I really enjoy it-sans kimchi and fish- for the record). Although I have spent a fair amount of time living abroad, I haven’t been able to travel to all of the places I would like… yet.

Q: What do you want to share/express with your blog?

Not Another Tourist: My blog is basically my reflections on what it’s like to live, work and travel wherever I am at the moment.

Q: Why do you travel?

Not Another Tourist: I was that child who was obsessed with learning about other cultures and languages. However, I couldn’t afford to be an exchange student, and didn’t get out of the country until university. I always wanted to know how other cultures looked at life and how it compared to my own. Growing up I thought American culture was so boring (probably because I was used to it) and I always felt that seeing and learning about the way other people lived would be really exciting.

Q: What do you think are the biggest advantages with being a traveler? Has traveling influenced your life in any major way?

Not Another Tourist: One of the greatest things about traveling is that you get to become like a child again. You are totally helpless in a new place and have to observe and learn as you go. You have the unique opportunity to wrap your head around new ways to do everything from using the bathroom to getting along in a group. So the biggest advantage of being a traveler is opening your mind to a whole new way of thinking and living. When you start to see the parameters and roles that are defined for people in other cultures, you begin to see similar or opposite parameters defined in your own culture. You begin to realize there is no “us” versus “them” and that everyone has a different way of doing things.

In essence, the further you go away from home, the closer you get to finding out who you are. I often joke with my friends that the frustration of cultural misunderstandings are part of the fun. When I can’t understand or don’t like how things are done overseas, it’s a cultural misunderstanding and it’s easy to let it go, but when I can’t understand or don’t like how things are done in America, I lose my patience with people’s inability to intelligently function.

Q: When we travel around as a family, the absolute most common question we get from people is about money and how we can afford to travel and live the life we do. So if we ask you the same question, what would be your answer?

Not Another Tourist: Money was my biggest freak out, too. After four years of being a professional volunteer, I had no savings. When we decided to move to Korea for work, my husband (also penniless) and I had to budget enough to pay for a TESOL certification course, a plane ticket and a safety net of about $5000 before leaving the country (just in case things fell through and we’d have to return home before our first paycheck).

Everyone has their own standard of living, so you have to budget for what you really think you will spend according to your needs. For example, if you are planning a round-the-world trip are you going to travel and stay in hostel dorms every night if you are couple or do you want to stay in a double room, or have even nicer accommodations? If you want to live overseas, are you willing to live like the locals and live cheaply or will you require a lot of western and/or imported amenities which will eat away your savings and paycheck? You may also have to factor in extra costs like medical insurance or how you will pay off your car insurance or student loans, etc. I would strongly advise paying off any outstanding debt before leaving unless you know you will have a steady income while overseas to keep up with payments.

With that said, living a fairly normal, extroverted life teaching English in Korea is quite profitable for people who can manage a budget.

Q: What do you experience people are most interested in learning from you as a traveler?

Not Another Tourist: I think most people are interested in hearing the differences between how things are in one place versus another. I think they really are interested to learn that not everything is done the same way as they are used to and I think they also like to find out that old negative stereotypes aren’t always what they seem.

Q: We like to talk about the “But’s” – obstacles that show up when people are considering to travel extensively. What we mean by But’s is the little voice inside your head that starts telling you that you don’t have enough money or time, you can’t leave your job, the kids have to stay at home and go to school, that it could be dangerous or something else. Is this something you are familiar with for your own part and if so, how did/do you overcome your own But’s?

Not Another Tourist: I didn’t come from a family with a ton of money and I wasn’t in the right field to have a high paying job, so I spent a lot of time in college trying to figure out how I could make that into a reality without relying on my parents for money or compromising my interests and passions career-wise. I was willing to step outside of my comfort zone and make some sacrifices to get where I am. I think most people think they are stuck because they are comfortable and they make up excuses because they are afraid of the unknown.

We were lucky because we didn’t have too large of a student loan to repay (only $25,000), we didn’t have a mortgage, we didn’t have children and we weren’t tied down in any other way. We shopped at thrift stores, took advantage of low priced meals at happy hours and passed on the big party nights out. We had to work desk jobs for a year to save up to get overseas again. What makes us different is that for us, it’s not really too much of a sacrifice, because we achieved the end result and we are happy where we are.

We are also not heartless, running away from home or wandering aimlessly. We miss out on the holidays, birthdays, weddings, first crawls and special moments with our friends and family. But these days, technology makes it so much easier to stay in touch either via social networking sites, blogs, email, free video-chat, etc. I, along with many other friends who live overseas, continue our education in a variety of ways, either enrolling in local schools or through online programs.

For us, the prospect of a lifetime sitting at a desk crunching numbers and stressing about deadlines was never going to cut it. No amount of luxury outside of the work week would be worth it. Having the latest cell phone and designer bag to carry it in isn’t what makes me enjoy life. Walking down the street smelling wood smoke and bargaining for a good price on fresh apples is way more appealing to me. In other words, living a low-maintenance lifestyle enabled us to get here faster, which helps you get used to life overseas anyhow, because the majority of what you can get back home is not available in most countries. You learn to enjoy the simple things and smaller feats you’d never think about back home.

Q: Do you have any advice to people who want to, but are still only dreaming about going out into the world for a longer journey?

Not Another Tourist: In order to make your dream into a reality, you simply have to put it into motion, even if it is just setting up a weekly or monthly budget, sticking to it. Tracking your progress provides tangible motivation. Money was a big thing for me, mainly because I didn’t have any. I joined the Peace Corps because it was one of the few ways to live and work overseas and not have to pay for all of the travel or medical expenses. Similarly there is a lot of opportunity to teach English overseas and the pay scales go up according to certification and experience.

Once I’d figured out that I wanted to start teaching English abroad, I sat around for a few months daydreaming and saying, “maybe in about a year we will have saved enough money” until one day I met a temp at my office who’d quit a high paying job to go live in Spain for a few months. She said it was the best decision of her life and when she told me how little her start-up costs were in doing it, I wanted to figure out exactly how much it would cost to get what we wanted. So I researched by looking online forums, connecting with friends already teaching abroad and then mapped it out. I discovered we could achieve what we wanted much sooner than we’d initially thought. I handed in my 30 day notice the following Monday.

My co-workers thought I was nuts because I hadn’t actually signed a contract for my next position at that point. But I wasn’t worried about it because I knew that I had a realistic plan and I was only on the first step and that was the only way to get to the second step and so on. And just as we had planned, we were certified and teaching in Korea six months later. There were many people along the way who said, “Wow, I WISH I could do what you are doing…” My reply was always simply, “If you truly wanted to be doing what I am doing, you would be doing it right now, too.”

Q: What is happening at the moment and where are you?

Not Another Tourist: At the moment, we are in our third year of teaching English in South Korea. Originally we had planned to stay two years in Korea to eliminate student debt (which we successfully did within the first six months) and continue on teaching English in various countries until we found one we couldn’t bear to leave or found another calling. However, the recent economic downturn and discovery of our true callings (still in education, just not entirely ESL based) changed our minds. We now have plans to continue teaching here for a while and a new financial goal to save up to pay for both of us to attend graduate school in the US and cover all of our living expenses and then some. In the meantime, we are using our free time to study and cultivate ourselves for our future fields as well as having an enjoyable time living and teaching in Korea.

Thank you so much for answering our questions and we hope to hear from you again in the future, from somewhere in the world!

Travel insurance is not the most inspiring thing, at least not to me. It won’t get me anywhere, I will probably, or should I say, hopefully, not use it and it will cost me a lot. Still it’s definitely not something I want to go without.
We have always been well protected when we have gone on any kind of journey. And we’re very happy for the fact that we’ve never had to bother any insurance company with anything when we’ve been away (I’m sure they are too:lol:). There is this one exception though, a long time ago when our family consisted of only me and Maria and Viktoria was only soon to be. Maria and I had for the last couple of years been flying down to the Alps for a week or two to do some skiing. This year though we decided to drive and at the same time take the opportunity to visit some friends on the way. But only a few days after arriving at the ski resort Maria had some complications with her pregnancy. Maybe because of too much activity (the fact that she was 5 month pregnant didn’t hold her back from skiing both downhill and cross country and go swimming – on the same day, hmm) or the altitude, and was hospitalized for a week before being flown back home to Sweden. Everything was taken care of and arranged and also of course paid for by the insurance which was a great relief. I just don’t want to think about how much it would have cost us if we hadn’t been protected!

Sweden has, and I am rather grateful for that, a publicly paid health care system. It has for us personally permitted a lot of freedom. We haven’t been forced to hold a steady job or to pay a lot of money out of our own pockets in order to get the benefits of healthcare. And since Sweden is a member of the EU we can travel throughout Europe and still receive health care protection. On top of that, there is usually a 45 day travel insurance included in your home insurance policy. This obviously covers most travel insurance needs for most Swedes. When we’re going on an extended journey and outside of the EU we can buy an extension of the travel insurance we already have.

I am well aware of the fact that the health care system can look very different in other countries. Therefore it is very difficult to give any general directions for what is best to do and I have no intention of even trying.

All I want is to make it clear that you include the cost of travel insurance in your travel budget. You don’t want to find yourself in a place a long way from home needing medical assistances and not having the funds for it. Whether or not you should seek medical advice should not be a financial decision. It’s much better then to include the cost for travel insurance upfront and if you don’t need it then the better.

For a calculation of how much your travel insurance may cost you this little tool from World Nomands Insurance is a great way to start. World Nomads is the recommended choice for travel insurance both by Lonely Planet and Rough Guides and who are we to recommend anything else:roll:?

Travel Safely!

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This is a question people often ask us and it would be great if we could just be able to easily give them a price estimation. But the amount of money it will cost to travel is unfortunately and luckily depending on a multitude of choices and decisions. Unfortunately we say because we can’t offer you a quick answer and luckily because it gives every one of us the possibility to travel around the world even though we may not have the money to start with.

What does it cost?

What does it cost?

There are, as we have already shown in previous blog posts and on this website, different ways of traveling which doesn’t have to cost any money, or at least not very much. Sometimes it is even possible to get paid to travel! Still, this is not for everyone and therefore we will make an attempt to describe how you can find out what kind of money you will need. What’s the point of finding out how much someone else needs? You’ll want to know what the costs will be for you….

To do this we have to take the whole question apart and look at the different pieces. On the How to travel page we did this by highlighting the different parts that make up what we call the Travel Stew:

• What to do while traveling
• Ways to travel
• Travel and accommodation

Relaxing on the beach can be great the first couple of days/weeks after having left a busy life, but what about the rest of your long term trip?

Relaxing on the beach can be great the first couple of days/weeks after having left a busy life, but what about the rest of your long term trip?

So before doing anything else, the best would be if you could describe your dream journey. Having a clear vision for your self will be a tremendous help to estimating the amount of money you’ll need.

The image of a dream journey is for many people a holiday with lazy time on the beach. And that is maybe OK if you only got a week or so at your disposal. But, and this is not just our opinion but the experience of a lot of travelers, it tends to get a bit boring if you are on an extended journey.

Anyway, before moving any further into the cost of traveling, you need to be clear on what you are looking for to buy. The same goes for traveling as for any other purchase. Buying something from the top of the line and expecting to pay a bargain price is not particularly common. You will either have to put up more money or lower your demands. But if you are willing to do that you can always find something suitable.

A couple of important aspects to take into consideration are how and when you want to pay. What we mean by this is that not everything has to be paid for with cash.

Sometime you can pay with your work, like for instance if you offer your time and labor in exchange for food and lodging by being a WWOOFer.

An alternative way to raise money if you are time rich but money poor is for instance to take a slow bus ride instead of a fast flight. You will get to the same destination but usually not at the same time.

And then you also have to take into consideration if you are willing to make some money during the journey or if you want to have it all in the bank before taking off?

So this money to travel issue is a major topic and we need to break it up into several posts. If you do have anything to add or specific questions don’t hesitate to let us know.

Please stay tuned for our follow up on the different aspects, and in the mean time do take the opportunity to look at what you want out of YOUR extended journey. Knowing that will take you a long way…

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Creating money to travel can be done in many different ways.

beachlaptopYou can sell something you are ready to give up which will then give you the opportunity to do something else or new with your life. Or, you can take on some extra work or find someone who rents your home. Or your main focus may be on saving money by lowering your costs for some time while having your travel dream as a motivating carrot.

The ways to increase your travel budget are many and depends on your personality and personal circumstances. Have a look at www.extendedworldtravel.com/travel-and-money

Creating money to go traveling is one thing. Creating money for an independent lifestyle, where you can go traveling whenever and however long time you want to is something else.

There are several profitable and relatively easy ways to set up a business which gives you an income to rely on while you are on the road (or at home for that matter). Something we ourselves as well as lots of other people who are interested in independent living have discovered is Affiliate Marketing.

This is actually an ancient way of doing business, “nothing new under the sun” as they say. The basic idea with Affiliate Marketing is to get paid a commission if someone buys a product or service on your recommendation.

The new and exciting thing is that now it can all be done over the Internet. It can be automated and it can offer a very high percentage in commission. You can help promote all kind of products, from people from all over the world, to other people all over the world 24/7.

And you don’t even have to be in the “office” to make money. To do this, you don’t have to be a computer genius, some basic computer skills is totally enough.

This can be really fun, as well as extremely profitable. It’s perfect for working from anywhere in the world as it is all automated so you don’t have to sit in front of the computer all the time. You actually earn money while you sleep, or lay on the beach. Or why not use your “free” time to do volunteering and help other people somewhere in the world.

There are two very good books which are voted “best in their field” where you can learn everything imaginable about affiliate marketing and starting your internet business.

One is written by two guys: www.WhoLovesMoney.com

The other one by a woman: www.TheSuperAffiliateHandbook.com

Take your pick! We believe they both can be of excellent help to start your independent online business.

FYI: Yes, these two books are affiliate products! If you by chance find this interesting, you click on the links and decide to go ahead with pursuing this kind of lifestyle and way of making a living by buying one of these products, we will eventually get paid.

Important to remember though is that this does not affect the product or the price in any way for the buyer. It is just the author’s way of expressing their gratitude to us for our help to tell people about their product. For this help they are willing to share their revenue with us which is of course very nice of them.

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