These trips take time and money. To fully immerse ourselves in a life of travel, we committed ourselves years ago to a strict spending diet. We plow as much as we can into our savings, so that we can retire and jump into almost full-time travel at a relatively young age.
You can't buy more time, so we aim to free up as much as we could at as young an age as possible so we can do what we love and get to see friends and family more often.
A sample of our cost-cutting and investment strategies.
- Dropped cable TV (Hulu and Netflix is more than we can keep up with anyways)
- Eat out rarely and typically are able to select spots where we can take advantage of a coupon or Restaurant.com offer (We also share one soda when eating out)
- Always carry-on luggage only
- Rarely go to the movies, concerts or sporting events
- Live close to work and downsize to one car (the reduction in gas costs by being able to walk to work perhaps saved us more money than anything)
- Put the max into our 401(k)s at work and also save as much as we can elsewhere (IRAs, savings, CDs)
- Bought two investment homes in a stable market in Texas, and when we weren't able to sell our primary residence in Colorado, rented that out, too
- Refinanced those properties into 15-year mortgages when rates hit historic lows
The little things also add up when you think about them with your ultimate goals in mind. (Take the extra soaps, shampoo and conditioners from your hotel room, a few extra napkins when you eat out, etc.)
Sounds a little crazy, and it has been difficult at times to sacrifice the "now" for the "later."
However, I still have to find a way to sell off by massive, now seemingly regrettable, sports card collection.
We aim to travel frugally, as well. This will include trips with some couch-surfing, house-sitting, car-camping, etc.
While we haven't stopped working yet, we both have jobs that afford us many chances to enjoy adventures together, and right now, things are a blast. I have my freelance writing and travel blog to maintain, and Colleen also works in travel in the cruise industry.
Someday, we will decide to hit the road in a life of full-time travel, and when that time comes, we'll be ready because of the savings plan we have enforced.
Until then, we are still able to Travel Happy and Travel Often!
Thanks for reading,