Many people have asked how we are making this trip happen financially. Others, I’m sure, wonder and don’t feel comfortable asking. Well, we will reveal all in this post.
We estimate our nine months of travel, including airfare, will cost us approximately $25,000 (we also know that most people go over budget on a trip like this so we do have a little flex in there just in case). That may sound like quite a bit and it does take awhile to save that much, but if you think about two people living on $25,000 for nine months, it’s really not bad. It’s certainly much less than we would live on in a year of our “normal” life in the States. Of course, we also had to consider the costs on the front end and back end of the trip. We have saved enough so we can return and live simply for several months, in the event neither of us are able to secure employment immediately. Budgeted in as well had to be the cost of the things we needed before we even leave the country–immunizations, travelers insurance, home warranty, good hiking boots, odor resistant t-shirts, etc.
So, how were we able to save this much money and devote it entirely to travel? No car payments for the past four years of marriage, minimal debt (home and school loans only), a trim budget, and good saving habits all help. We have been saving for travel for the past four years so it’s not like we just dreamed this up over night–those tax refund checks, Christmas money from the grandparents, and pop can collecting add up over time (just kidding about the pop cans). There were also a few nice bonuses that came this year. The Oregon kicker check and the federal stimulus check. They both helped to contribute to the total in savings.
Of course, none of this would have been possible if our house hadn’t been rented out and if we didn’t have family and friends reading our mail, taking care of our house, housing our cars, storing our crap, trimming our roses, and mowing our lawn. It really is a miracle all of these puzzle pieces came together in combination with our diligent saving helping us move ahead with our dream of traveling for an extended period of time.