Author Topic: What do Mustachians think of long-term travel? 9 months for $20k/ 2 people  (Read 6029 times)

LulutoJapan

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It's a lifelong dream but an expensive one, my husband and I will travel around Asia and Europe. It's a lot of money but I wonder, do you have to decide between saving/investing over something you want to experience? How do you all see this? Could the experience be an investment or is that just bs?


JoJo

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Is that a budget for 1 or both?  If that's for 2 of you it's only $37 a day excluding transportation to those places (maybe you're using FF miles?)

That's doable in SE asia.  Don't forget about visa fees in Asia.  They add up (especially China & Vietnam).  Very little room for any splurging.

Even with the drop in the euro that's not much, especially western unless you're couchsurfing.  A hostel bed is usually $25+ in western Europe.

limeandpepper

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It's a lifelong dream but an expensive one, my husband and I will travel around Asia and Europe. It's a lot of money but I wonder, do you have to decide between saving/investing over something you want to experience? How do you all see this? Could the experience be an investment or is that just bs?

Experiences are not investments, or at least I certainly don't see it as such. I mean, if you're going to stretch the definition that way, then almost anything can be considered to be an investment in something. Just see experiences as experiences. You do it because you want to do it and you can afford it, and the cost is worth the joy or fulfillment it brings to you. You do it because you can do it now and there isn't a guarantee that you can do it later.

If you can travel for 9 months at $20k for 2 people (The way you phrased it, it looks like the $20k is for both of you, not per person?), that's actually less than many people spend staying home, which is not bad at all. Of course, there is also the cost of not earning money for the duration of the trip (unless you're planning on working while travelling) and the issue of finding another job upon your return. But as I said - you have to weigh up the pros and cons, and figure out the answer for yourself.

dess1313

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It's a lifelong dream but an expensive one, my husband and I will travel around Asia and Europe. It's a lot of money but I wonder, do you have to decide between saving/investing over something you want to experience? How do you all see this? Could the experience be an investment or is that just bs?

Saved up before hand?  9 months at 20k is actually a pretty fantastic cost
If its your dream, and you've both been responsible otherwise, go for it.  there are some things that you just want to see or need to do.  Not sure what your job is, but if you can get that much time off, fantastic.  Just make sure you have some emergency fund to cover additional expenses both there and at home, and some really good travel insurance.

dreams_and_discoveries

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As a fellow lover of travel, it sounds like a great idea - it will be an experience you will never forgot. On the financial side, as other have said, the number looks very low for two people, especially if you plan do to Europe. I reckon you could do SE Asia on that money, but once you add in flights and more Western countries, the budget will be blown.

As for it being an investment, I'd look at the opportunity cost, and make sure you are comfortable with this. Happy to take longer to buy a house etc? Comfortable with a career plateau? Fine adding another 9 months to your retirement?  If you are happy with all these tradeoffs, and making a concious choice then I'd recommend the travelling.

hodor

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Travel is a big part of my life, I have spent around 2 years of the last 10 overseas + domestic holidays on top of that.

I don't see it as an investment, rather something that I (and my now partner) enjoy.

The two aren't mutually exclusive, you can travel and invest, as long as you have sufficient income. I have a rule that I place at least an equal amount into investments that I spend on travel.

Not the fastest way to FIRE, the balance is acceptable for us however.

LulutoJapan

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.
We're both debt free, though I'm a bit behind on retirement, have no plans on buying a house and we're both youngish (well he moreso than I, 26 and 31 respectively) and leaving the military life in Japan so it is the perfect timing.

Now I'm worried about the trip budget as many have mentioned $20K won't suffice for 2 people. (It doesn't include transport though). We were going to do 4 months in Thailand, India, Nepal and then 5 months in Greece, Bosnia & Herz, Croatia, Italy and France  (doing the GR and perhaps a lot of camping) Is this just not feasible for two people? We were thinking $50/day Asia and $100 day/Europe. (again, not including transport)

pbkmaine

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Go for it! Go on over to the Journals written by arebelspy and spoonman and find helpful hints on how they are doing this.

arebelspy

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.
We're both debt free, though I'm a bit behind on retirement, have no plans on buying a house and we're both youngish (well he moreso than I, 26 and 31 respectively) and leaving the military life in Japan so it is the perfect timing.

Now I'm worried about the trip budget as many have mentioned $20K won't suffice for 2 people. (It doesn't include transport though). We were going to do 4 months in Thailand, India, Nepal and then 5 months in Greece, Bosnia & Herz, Croatia, Italy and France  (doing the GR and perhaps a lot of camping) Is this just not feasible for two people? We were thinking $50/day Asia and $100 day/Europe. (again, not including transport)

Assuming you're renting apartments via AirBnB, not staying in five star hotels, and assuming you're still planning to cook at home most of the time, not eat out every day (i.e. this will be your "life" for 9 months, not a 9-month vacation), that should be more than enough.

Could the experience be an investment or is that just bs?

It's BS.

But it could be enjoyable, and worth it.

It's spending money (and costing you making money during that timeframe).  There's no reasonable definition within reality where it's an "investment."  But not everything we do is to make money. We also need to live.

Acknowledging what it is though, and its drawbacks, are the only way to approach the problem rationally though.  Not via BS.  :)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 07:58:52 AM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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limeandpepper

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.
We're both debt free, though I'm a bit behind on retirement, have no plans on buying a house and we're both youngish (well he moreso than I, 26 and 31 respectively) and leaving the military life in Japan so it is the perfect timing.

Now I'm worried about the trip budget as many have mentioned $20K won't suffice for 2 people. (It doesn't include transport though). We were going to do 4 months in Thailand, India, Nepal and then 5 months in Greece, Bosnia & Herz, Croatia, Italy and France  (doing the GR and perhaps a lot of camping) Is this just not feasible for two people? We were thinking $50/day Asia and $100 day/Europe. (again, not including transport)

So to clarify, is the $20k figure just for on-the-ground costs like accommodation, food, activities, local transport? I.e. not including international flights, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations? That sounds enough to me. If it includes the other stuff, it could still be enough, just that you'd have to be more frugal and resourceful.

I can only speak for Asia (my partner and I have spent a month in Nepal as well as a month in Thailand; and my partner also spent a month in India with a sibling). All the three countries you are planning to go to can be very cheap, if you're not very particular about things and have simple needs. If you'd like to know a bit more you can have a look at page 3 of my journal for info about my Nepal trip, and page 9 - 10 about my Thailand trip (though we only explored North Thailand that time). I have travel posts in my blog (in my signature) as well. Feel free to ask any questions. My partner and I spent a straight 4.5 months in Asia and had an awesome time. In Thailand we ended up spending about USD$40 per day for the both of us (not including return flights to Thailand, travel insurance, vaccinations, and didn't need a visa), and that's moving around a fair bit. If we had just stayed in one spot we could have gotten a discount on accommodation and scooter hire, and spent even less. Nepal is also super affordable, but the costs can go up if you do things like a trek or a safari (paying for the overall thing, plus individually tipping the guides, porters, drivers, etc.).

Nords

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.
We're both debt free, though I'm a bit behind on retirement, have no plans on buying a house and we're both youngish (well he moreso than I, 26 and 31 respectively) and leaving the military life in Japan so it is the perfect timing.

Now I'm worried about the trip budget as many have mentioned $20K won't suffice for 2 people. (It doesn't include transport though). We were going to do 4 months in Thailand, India, Nepal and then 5 months in Greece, Bosnia & Herz, Croatia, Italy and France  (doing the GR and perhaps a lot of camping) Is this just not feasible for two people? We were thinking $50/day Asia and $100 day/Europe. (again, not including transport)
I think you can make it happen.  The "worst case" would be running out of money at six months, right?

You absolutely can live on that budget in Thailand, India, and Nepal.  I have friends who've done it in Europe, even in France.  Read GoCurryCracker.com and RetireEarlyLifestyle.com for the expatriate tips and other resources.  I know an American family living in Granada on a long-term visa (because they're working remotely for an American corporation and spending their money in Spain) who are enjoying the travel and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Let me know if you have questions about the military transition.  For example you might be interested in someday drilling in the Reserve or Guard, just not yet.  It would also be smart to process a VA disability claim in conjunction with leaving the military, but of course you're not going to show up in the U.S. for any of the VA's medical exams.  You might also have a number of other transition benefits that you could still tap overseas, although I think you'll find cheaper options on the foreign country's local economy.

clarkfan1979

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I have never been to Europe and here are my tips. When you get to Europe, take the train (do not fly). Rent 9 different houses in 9 different countries, each for one month on airbnb.com. Cook at home when it makes sense and 20K should work.

expatartist

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When you get to Europe, take the train (do not fly). Rent 9 different houses in 9 different countries, each for one month on airbnb.com. Cook at home when it makes sense and 20K should work.

In Europe, flying can be cheaper than taking the train, more so during low season (Oct-April). Depends on how much luggage you have, and how far in advance you book. Worth looking into budget airlines there.

OP, the only way travel can be an investment is if you make it related in some tangible way to your careers. Both of you. This is difficult to manage for most. Unless you have a lot of previous travel experience or are ridiculously career-driven, I'd say enjoy the experience and keep an eye out for career-related opportunities - volunteer stints, networking opportunities, etc.

Enjoy your trip!

kiwichick

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.
We're both debt free, though I'm a bit behind on retirement, have no plans on buying a house and we're both youngish (well he moreso than I, 26 and 31 respectively) and leaving the military life in Japan so it is the perfect timing.

Now I'm worried about the trip budget as many have mentioned $20K won't suffice for 2 people. (It doesn't include transport though). We were going to do 4 months in Thailand, India, Nepal and then 5 months in Greece, Bosnia & Herz, Croatia, Italy and France  (doing the GR and perhaps a lot of camping) Is this just not feasible for two people? We were thinking $50/day Asia and $100 day/Europe. (again, not including transport)

Your daily budgets are about what I usually spend for one person, not two and that's staying mostly in hostels, eating cheap takeaways or supermarket food, and taking public transport (but admittedly moving around quite quickly). That would bring your total trip budget up to $42K if it was per person + airfare. But with that being said, there are lots of ways to travel on the cheap if you're happy to rough it. You could go couch-surfing for free accommodation, or look for cheap AirBnB rentals. In Europe, the cheapest way to travel is by bus - check out Megabus for really cheap fares. And look at self-catering to keep food costs down. Travel is definitely worth the expense, as long as you have a sensible plan for your return.

arebelspy

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I tend to disagree with most of the above post. Flights are cheaper than busses, typically, and what you spend is very much in line with what we spend as two people (and, I think, spoonman, another MMMer who's in Europe right now).  No roughing it required. We rent out nice apartments. Much more luxurious than hotels, tbh.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 11:50:08 PM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

limeandpepper

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It also depends on how you're doing it. If you get accommodation for 1 month and stay put in one place, it will typically work out cheaper than actively going from place to place every few days. Because not only do transport costs add up, but you are more likely to get a good deal on accommodation if you stay longer - there are often special prices for monthly stays (and some places might give you a discount for weekly stays as well). Having said that, from my own experience in the Asian countries that you mention, it still shouldn't cost you too much to be on the move as long as you work out a practical and efficient itinerary.

kiwichick

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I tend to disagree with most of the above post. Flights are cheaper than busses, typically, and what you spend is very much in line with what we spend as two people (and, I think, spoonman, another MMMer who's in Europe right now).  No roughing it required. We rent out nice apartments. Much more luxurious than hotels, tbh.

I didn't mean buses for long trips - mostly for cities within a few hours where the alternative is usually a train rather than a flight. I agree - flights in Europe can be incredibly good value.