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Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

As a new executive (in the USA) who is more interested in FIRE than career / ego building, I'd like to find a way to experience international locations instead of just seeing the inside of meeting rooms at many locations that I travel to for business. But, how can I FIRE and afford to do all that flying?

I'm thinking about looking for an expat assignment maybe in the UK where people seem permitted to take vacations and where access to a lot of interesting travel across Europe is cheaply accessable. Anybody know how to find expat jobs or any better ideas on how to do this? I'm thinking about spending maybe 3 years on expat before FIRE as a way to do this affordably. Maybe consulting is a better way to go and make an extra 2 weeks paid hotel as part of the package? These will be my winding down years before full-FIRE, which is my transition plan.
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

If you are travelling internationally now and only see the inside of meeting rooms, then I'm sorry to write: it's your own fault. You need to start NOW and add an extra couple of days of vacation to the front or back end of your trips.

In my experience, folks who travel internationally make quite a decent salary, so affording these extra days should be no problem. I have 3 direct reports who travel well. Two of them spent last week in Australia and New Zealand. The other was in Japan the entire week before. I'm sure the work was tough, but the extra days they took help keep them sane.

In other words, why not practice being FIRE'd while you are still working? That's also a transition plan.
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slarty
But, how can I FIRE and afford to do all that flying?
Is your plan to go to Italy, back to the US, then to Germany, back to the US? B/c if so - that is expensive. But going from Italy, to Germany, to Swizerland is very cheaply done via the train system or a low cost carrier like RyanAir, EasyJet, etc. You can fly from Scotland to Ireland for less than $1 the expensive ticket is $50. Your larger costs are going to be room and board with that route, which you'd have on an ex-pat assignment anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slarty
I'm thinking about looking for an expat assignment maybe in the UK where people seem permitted to take vacations and where access to a lot of interesting travel across Europe is cheaply accessable. Anybody know how to find expat jobs or any better ideas on how to do this? I'm thinking about spending maybe 3 years on expat before FIRE as a way to do this affordably. Maybe consulting is a better way to go and make an extra 2 weeks paid hotel as part of the package?
What's your industry? Does your company have offices overseas? A transfer within your organization would be the easiest way to an ex-pat assignment. Otherwise you better have some truly marketable skills to get to the UK or be on the shortage professions list. I'm borrowing this from somewhere else, but it's well stated, "More people want to live and work in the UK than the country can support; that's a political statement that you and I may or may not agree with, but it's government policy and is a commonly shared and accepted view by those people already there. Therefore, if you're a native and citizen of the USA you can't simply book a flight to the UK, enter the country, walk into a job, and live happily ever after." With the EU, an employer in the UK must prove that there is no one in the entire EU that has the skills to do the job and that's why they're hiring you.

The UK does have 5 weeks of vacation but life overseas for the working ex-pat is not a gravy train. Putting someone on an ex-pat package is very expensive for the employer and they expect to get their money's worth in sweat equity.

You could check out www.workingintheuk.gov.uk, www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk, www.monster.co.uk for more info.
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

I found that international travel while working was stressful and rushed. Even when I would add an extra week, it just barely scratched the surface.

The advantage of being retired is TIME. You only need ONE round-trip flight to Europe, and then you can spend months exploring at a leisurely pace, find inexpensive lodging, buy an all-inclusive train ticket.

Long-term lodging can be a bargain, giving you time to relax and explore.

Audrey

P.S. Rack up those frequent flyer miles while you can!
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

Extra days in my current job are not an option. It's 24/7 mega corp pressure cooker. I'm running a global biotech operation right now, but I could do global operations for almost any industry if I wanted. My current company doesn't like to give expat assignments because they don't want to pay for it. They want everything from their employees and they don't want to invest in anything into employees that they don't absolutely have to. Of course, this is mostly typical these days.

I'd like to be able to enjoy these trips with my DW and have the time for long term lodging, which I agree is the way to go. It seems like a monthly rental in Europe is a good way to go and I love the train deals you get.

Maybe the best bet is for the DW and I to both go the consulting route and try to find gigs where we're both needed. We have very similar jobs and we could do consulting in process engineering, quality, or operations. I'm just not sure if we'll find gigs that will take both of us at the same location.
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

I think without an EEC passport you will find it difficult to get a job. Even as a consultant you would need to legally have the right to work in the UK.

My husband also travels for his work, he is in Europe at the moment, and even though the length of his trip will be 3 weeks, there is very little opportunity for him to do anything outside his work. He is spending the weekends working as that is the only way he is going to get the job done while he is there. He works for a megacorp who constantly appears in the Top 20 best companies to work for. He thinks international travel for work is way overrated. Our thoughts are travel is something we will do on our own time and dime as that way we get to see what we want when we want.

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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slarty
My current company doesn't like to give expat assignments because they don't want to pay for it.
And that is becoming the norm. The Megacorp I retired from has almost completely eliminated expat assignments instead using local hires, taking advantage of modern telecommuting technology and sending folks over for a month or so with very specific tasks and goals.

I share your desire for international travel on someone else's tab, but have found it's tough to get. Keep us posted on how you do.
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

Thinking about the problem from a different angle for a moment... In my travels I find that accomodation, food and plane tickets, in that order, are the most expensive elements for a typical 3 week vacation. Something I've been thinking about, although I haven't tried yet, is www.homeexchange.com. I asked my co-workers if any of them had tried it and 2 said they had. Both loved the experience and are planning to do another exchange.

-LiveWell
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse
I think without an EEC passport you will find it difficult to get a job. Even as a consultant you would need to legally have the right to work in the UK.

My husband also travels for his work, he is in Europe at the moment, and even though the length of his trip will be 3 weeks, there is very little opportunity for him to do anything outside his work. He is spending the weekends working as that is the only way he is going to get the job done while he is there. He works for a megacorp who constantly appears in the Top 20 best companies to work for. He thinks international travel for work is way overrated. Our thoughts are travel is something we will do on our own time and dime as that way we get to see what we want when we want.
I think that people who say they can not travel when overseas are not trying... yes, my time in the UK was 14 months one time and 2 months the second... but I traveled someplace most weekends when the weather was good...

My brother, however, has spent time in various European countries and Australia and New Zealand for work up to two months... he always takes a week or two off after the assignment to travel... he loves it... and he even tries to get the clients to ask him over, but his boss hates to send him if he can get away with not sending him....

But, his is single as am I... and I think that might be more of the benefit to us... if I was married, I would want to get back to my wife instead of spending some extra time visiting a foreign country by myself.... (at least I THINK I would... listening to some married people... maybe not )
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel
Old 02-24-2007, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Plan for Affordable Extensive International Travel

DH and I have been fortunate in the past to take advantage of some international travel he did. I joined him on 2 trips to Thailand and 2 trips to Brazil. I'll admit it was boring for the time I was stuck in my hotel room while he worked, but we always planned weekend trips away or tagged on an extra 4 days or so at the end of the trip for travel. We made these trips happen, and we now have some pretty amazing memories! We also were able to use his frequent flyer miles for several of my flights, and in one instance his company agreed to pay for me to fly over and join him if he agreed to stay on the job another 5 weeks. A sweet deal.

I forget how I ran on to this site, but perhaps it would prove helpful in finding contract assignments?? Haven't explored it in detail myself yet.

http://www.ceweekly.com/

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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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