A common question about how we travelled for a year is ‘how do you afford that?’
How does someone afford to go away for 6 months, or a year? In a nomadic trip, there are important costs: accommodation and transportation. The more you move around, the more you spend on short term accommodation (more expensive than monthly or week long rentals), and transportation.
During our year off, we had a tight budget of $50 000 for the two of us. We were always monitoring and adjusting what we spent. In Episode 16, Daria Salamon tells about how her family of 4 travelled for a year with a similar budget: 150$/day, which comes out to roughly $55 000. Her 8 year old Oskar worked hard to keep the family on budget!
Accommodation can and will make a HUGE difference to your budget, and to the enjoyment of your trip. The key is identifying what you want out of where you stay; by prioritizing one aspect, your perception of quality accommodations will change, because you are defining what “quality” means!
So, ask yourself the following three questions to prioritize your accommodations. Prefer an audio file? Check out Episode 12 here.
Me-Time: Am I here to relax?
Will you need a peaceful break from sightseeing or from the ‘nomadic life’? Do you have goals of unplugging, or rather, goals to re-plug and do some trip planning? I was surprised that eventually, Both me and my partner Brad needed a psychological break from backpacking, and that -as it turns out- is normal.
- For Me-Time, Spend more on private accommodations since you may spend a good chunk of time in your room, not making decisions.
- In my opinion, it’s not “Me-Time” if I can’t be in control of my own food. Get that private or shared kitchen, en suite bathroom, or a nice view. Look for spots outside of major cities for better rates.
We-time: Am I here to meet people?
If you’re anything like me, highlights travelling may be meeting people. I even get a little cranky from not meeting people. So, We-Time has less to do with spending time with your travel mates, and more to do with meeting new people: locals and travellers alike.
- We-Time: Start with neighbourhood selection first by finding an event or venue you would be excited to attend at the beginning of your time there. This could be as simple as a concert!
- From there, check out really intentional groups like on meetup.com, where people of similar interest areas get together, or couchsurfing, which focusses on gatherings for the travel minded. Book a tour with showaround, where a local will literally ‘show you around’.
- Once you’ve found an ideal neighbourhood, use the map functions to search accommodation that’s kind of social as well. Consider a private room at an airbnb house (to potentially meet the hosts), or check out a very intentional hosting site like Bedycasa
See-Time: Am I Sightseeing?
Prioritize location over comfort and spend less by getting a shared space: this doesn’t have to mean a shared dorm room; it could be a shared bathroom but private bed in a hostel, or a private room in an Airbnb, shared facilities.
- The room won’t matter as much so long as your things are safe and you can get a good sleep!
- I also love a great location because it allows me to pop into my place mid-day for a quick nap, a snack, or to grab the sunscreen.
So, there you have it: your how to find quality accommodation with intention and re-focus your trip. Prioritize Me-Time; We-Time or See Time in order to plan a trip that maximizes your budget- and ENERGY!
Pick a focus and let the rest flow from there!