Taking a rest by the river on our day-long jungle trek in the Cambodian highlands.
This is a summary of costs for 15 days traveling through Cambodia by bus and tuk-tuk with our family of 4 including all airfare, transportation, accommodations, excursions, food, groceries and everything down to a stick of gum.
Want to know how much you should pay for a trip to Angkor Wat and Bayon, how about an English tour guide? Then take a look at our chart below – be forewarned, things are not always grammatically correct, but I am sure you will be able to figure it out.
More Americans are choosing to take time off from work to relax or re-examine their priorities, so they can return to work energized. Some companies offer formal sabbatical programs, but how can the average person take time off to evaluate their direction, explore their passions, and make time for the things that are really important?
Whether you’re disillusioned with your career, yearning to follow a dream, doing pre-retirement planning, or taking time out after a layoff, now is the time to step back and reboot.
But I always here the same thing: “I could never afford that”
“You must be Rich!”
Our story is a simple one that probably mirrors that of many middle-class families in America.
In 1995 my wife and I both graduated high school and moved away from home to attend college, we acquired debt, graduated from college, found decent jobs, started paying off our debt, got married, rented a one bedroom apartment, wen’t back to graduate school, acquired more debt, bought a flat screen tv and surround sound speakers, purchased a small townhouse with an affordable mortgage, moved to a nicer (and much more expensive) California location, sold our townhouse, had our first child, acquired a bigger mortgage and more debt to accommodate our growing family, bought a family van and acquired more debt, and then boom…. Our house lost all it’s value overnight, our jobs were threatened, our 401K’s decimated and my life was 100% actualized. This brings us to the year 2008!
I had become a slave to my lifestyle, and what made it worse? I had done it all with good intentions.
We have middle-class jobs
I am a family practice physician assistant practicing in a small rural clinic since 2004. My wife is a Registered Nurse who has been working full-time until the birth of our daughter in 2007 when she reduced her hours down to 20 per week.
Timeline to Travel
In 2007, I read a book that inspired me to look at my life differently. In 2008, after the financial crisis, we moved out of our home and I started a blog that would eventually become a small (yet profitable) online business.
In 2004 we purchased our first home and sold it for a small profit, then in 2007 we purchased our second home and hit a wall.
This changed our lives and fortunately instead of running with the bulls we changed our direction and became smarter.
We made sacrifices like moving out of our home and renting it to college students for a year, becoming lean as a family and most importantly I studied every financial book I could get my hands on to understand what went wrong.
I lost sleep for months not to mention when the market crashed so did the hospital I worked for.
But, I stand here today as a testament to what financial education and some hard work and faith in the process can accomplish.
Making work serve your interests instead of the other way around
I mentioned I started a profitable blog in 2008. This has been essential to what is making this trip possible. Writing online at first was an outlet but learning to make money online has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
It is about creating services and providing the right information to people who need it and out of this grows something spectacular. In my case it was a business which as a health care provider was something I didn’t even know was possible.
My online business now provides roughly $3000 of monthly income. Sometimes more and sometimes less. This is the income that we will use as we travel.
As a family practice PA I can make about $75,000 take home cash annually and this is after maximizing out our retirement accounts.
My wife, working part time can bring in about 30K as well. Over the past 5 years we have been able to build a nest egg, and with the online income store up a bit of liquid cash. We soon realized that the costs of living here in California are ridiculous. With a small amount of income and $50,00 in liquid assets we are making this dream of RTW travel a reality.
We are 100% debt free on this trip.
We rent out our house to completely cover our mortgage and make a very small $150 of monthly profit.
We rented out our family wagon to cover the monthly payment.
We paid off our school loans completely: My wife was Air-force ROTC and I was a National Health Service Corps Scholar, because of this our loans have been paid off by the government.
We resisted new purchases in preparation for our trip. My old clunker has 250k miles and we ride bikes everywhere.
We Look For Passive and Investment income
When I first read Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad I thought he was full of crap. But years later after I started my online business and went back and read his book about Cashflow Quadrants it became clear to me.
I gained a clear understanding of what it was I was working for (Earned Income) and I was able to find a better path.
You MUST BECOME FINANCIALLY EDUCATED if you really want to travel around the world with your family.
We as Americans are EXTREMELY WEALTHY when compared to the rest of the world. Honestly, I believe that with a little planning and the right kind of investing a family with a plan to travel around the globe can swing it.
It is nice to have some type of dedicated and slightly predictable passive or portfolio income stream while you do it. So you should plan for this. One way is to start today to get your financial education.
Becoming Financially Educated
Once you understand what types of income you can generate and the options that are available you can make goals. You may decide that owning a home is not worth the liability. So you could sell it if you own or rent and look to purchase a property as an investment and earn revenue from this. Make home ownership an ASSET!
You could start a side business using a skill you have to generate some income and grow it into a profit generating passive income stream like I have. But this requires dedication and a whole lot of persistence.
I have used Relay Rides for the past year and a half renting out an old truck we purchased as a junker in 2004. We have made over $3000 on this car renting it out over the last year!
I started 6 other web properties and have been able to see these grow into their own revenue generating businesses as well.
Once you are financially educated you can free yourself from the confines of job = money. This is a process for sure.
For an in depth look at how we fun our adventure including a summary of monthly income from passive income streams you should visit our Around The World Family Travel income reports.
To allow for travel, we spend less money on things at home (new cars, clothes, stuff in general).
We have no debt, including credit card debt – in order to remain financially free to leave.
We rent out our home when we travel.
With no debt (except a mortgage) renting our house allows us to leave without sending a dime back home.
Most americans don’t live this way. Their huge debt load would make it awefully difficult to leave. Many of our friends tell us “Oh we’d love to do what you do, but we can’t” – money, debt, obligations, etc.
Most folks simply choose their boxes. Any of us do what is fundamentally most important to us!
Think of things as opportunity costs: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.
Retina MacBook Pro vs. a plane ticket
new camera vs. the pictures you could take with the one you own
Cut the coffee. Cancel cable. Find a roommate. Sell your car.
Build a network on Couchsurfing to save money in the future.
Banking and Money Handling Overseas For the Entire Family
Don’t give your savings to banks!
Global ATM Alliance
Charles Schwab (#1 bank you should go to)
HSBC (secondary bank)
Bank of America (worst case scenario)
If you’re living long-term somewhere, get a local bank card.
Avoid overseas fees on credit cards.
Capital One No Hassles Rewards Card (best one)
Chase Ink (business)
American Express Platinum
stick with Mastercard or Visa
always have a backup bank card and credit card
Seven ways to save money.
Don’t let them charge your purchases in local currency.
If they ask you, always choose US Dollars.
Never exchange money at airports.
Never use traveler’s checks.
Avoid random ATM’s and always use bank ATM’s.
Keep cash on hand for emergencies only. Look for exchanges in ethnic communities.
Use Currency (app) or xe.com for exchange rates.
Take multiple copies of your passport.
Go paperless with your billing.
Earth Class Mail will scan your mail.
Make sure you have the right vaccinations.
Call your credit card companies.
Give your parents all of your bank information.
Retirement Savings While Away
Place your 401K on Automation Mode
Get Free Rewards with Travel Rewards Cards and Make The Minimum Spends
Ways to fake spending for high spending requirements.
Pay your taxes (if you have to) with your travel credit card.
Amazon Payments: give $1000 a month without a fee. Then have your friend give it back to you. Using Amazon Payments. We have done this many times and it works like a charm. Not just for reaching your spending limits but also to earn rewards points. http://www.extrapackofpeanuts.com/how-to-use-amazon-payments/
Sign up for cards with a spending requirement of $1000 or less.
Use PayPal or Amazon Payments to pay rent.
Three Notes of Caution
Don’t spend money just for the points.
Start out slow and on’t go overboard if you are about to make a big purchase.
Have a specific goal.
How to Collect Extra Points
Shop with partners: all points programs have online shopping partners.