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Travel as a lifestyle
Old 09-03-2017, 10:02 AM   #1
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Travel as a lifestyle

We are in our first year of ER and have done a fair bit of travel, being away from home for roughly 4 months or about a third of our time. We've enjoyed it so much that we're considering putting our things in storage, renting out our primary residence, and traveling for a few years. We'd still want to spend some time at home but could rent a short-term place when we need it.

Has anyone else done this? Any thoughts/advice to share on this lifestyle? We are in our late 50's now and both in good health so if we are ever going to do this, soon seems like a good time.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:34 AM   #3
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Sometime in the last year or so there was an article in International Travel News (https://www.intltravelnews.com) by someone who had taken a year-long cruise around the world, IIRC the cost was about $100K.

In it he mentioned that there were several passengers who paid to live on the ship full-time!

Sorry, I looked on the site but couldn't find the article. But there's your extreme option: Live full time on a cruise ship.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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When we retired, we took seven months to get our home ready for sale in order to downsize.

We decided to take the opportunity to travel. So we downsized to an 8X8X16 container. That went into storage.

We spent the next seven months traveling. Europe, Africa, US, Costa Rica, US and then home. We did cruises, safaris, rental cars, condos. I would have been happy to travel longer, but DW wanted to get home. It is certainly not all 5 star though sometimes it is if we see value. We look for last minute travel offers that we can take advantage of.

At home, re rented a furnished 2br. apt. in the downtown area for three months. It was a nice change since we previously lived in suburbia. We enjoyed the change of lifestyle. Later, we rented a condo, and have recently purchased a home.

We travel twice a year on average. Sept/Oct and Jan/Feb/March. Wife wants to limit it to 6-8 weeks so at a time (8 in winter) sp this is what we are now doing. We both have bucket lists. In the winter (cold where we live) we go to those place on our list that are warm. Plus the odd week or two in between. Last Dec we picked up an AI to Mexico for a week. Booked and departed three days later for a very nice week.

This works for us. It has been five years now. We find that because of downsizing and because of increased travel experiences we are placing much more emphasis on experiences than we are on 'things'. This winter it is primarily Thailand and Philippines. Now working a plan for next fall. We typically buy a one way or an open jaw flight and plan out travels 3 or 4 days in advance. Of course, we have a general idea of where we want to go however we do not have a set schedule. We spend time in places we like. Often some surprises.

This is not for everyone but we are OK with it. The other major changes in retirement travel is how we pack and out diet. We only do carry on. Traveling changed our diet. We no longer eat processed/prepared foods. Less meat, less breads. More poulty, lots more fresh fruit/vegatables, more curry, etc. and I cannot remember when we last had anything fried. We feel so much better for it plus our medical stats have improved.

We still have unopened boxes from our downsize five years ago. They will probably remain unopened unless DW decides to either sell the china or use it at some point for day to day. We started in our late 50's and we are in good health. Plan to keep doing this for a while. We may eventually buy or rent somewhere warm for months at a time but for the moment we do not want to commit.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scuba View Post
We are in our first year of ER and have done a fair bit of travel, being away from home for roughly 4 months or about a third of our time. We've enjoyed it so much that we're considering putting our things in storage, renting out our primary residence, and traveling for a few years. We'd still want to spend some time at home but could rent a short-term place when we need it.

Has anyone else done this? Any thoughts/advice to share on this lifestyle? We are in our late 50's now and both in good health so if we are ever going to do this, soon seems like a good time.
There is a book called "Home Sweet Everywhere", by Lynn Martin, who did exactly that. It has some very good ideas in it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:27 AM   #6
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I like to do one domestic trip and one foreign trip each year. But, as a lifestyle some family issues don't let that happen. This year is a down year due to family health issues. I hope to get back on the road or plane later this year for a while.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:32 AM   #7
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I would say try it. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

When we first went for an extended period we rented a condo in Costa Rica for a month. Flew our son down to join us over his Jan holidays. The month in one place really helped. Travel can be difficult and tiresome so it was great to have a good sized condo to chill out it and do day trips as we felt like.

This winter, when we travel, we will spend a week at a time in some places, perhaps more if we like it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:35 AM   #8
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I'll be 75 years old this month, and I've never even crossed the road.......thought I might try it today..but it's raining.

A musical interlude, (I'm fond of these because they're so much more expressive than I'll ever be, and can be interpreted to suit the listener's perspective), from one of my favorite singer/songwriters:

"An evil kind of sorrow
Makes me wait until tomorrow
For what I really want today
The sadness in the picture
Makes it look much richer
Than what I wanted it to say

Believe it if you like
You might as well be trying
As doing nothing here at all
Sleeping in the night
You might as well be trying
As doing nothing here at all
...........

I know exactly where I'm going
I know exactly where I've been
"


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Old 09-03-2017, 11:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba View Post
We are in our first year of ER and have done a fair bit of travel, being away from home for roughly 4 months or about a third of our time. We've enjoyed it so much that we're considering putting our things in storage, renting out our primary residence, and traveling for a few years. We'd still want to spend some time at home but could rent a short-term place when we need it.

Has anyone else done this? Any thoughts/advice to share on this lifestyle? We are in our late 50's now and both in good health so if we are ever going to do this, soon seems like a good time.
We're about 5 to 10 years behind you. I'm looking to retire in 5 years but the missus isn't until maybe another 10 years. We're looking to travel 6 months a year broken up on 1.5 month segments though we've also talked about some extended travels. Not sure if we'd rent out our primary residence.
I'd love to read about your learnings on this topic and glean off your experiences!
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:04 PM   #10
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We spent the next seven months traveling. Europe, Africa, US, Costa Rica, US and then home. We did cruises, safaris, rental cars, condos. I would have been happy to travel longer, but DW wanted to get home. It is certainly not all 5 star though sometimes it is if we see value. We look for last minute travel offers that we can take advantage of.

<snip>

We travel twice a year on average. Sept/Oct and Jan/Feb/March. Wife wants to limit it to 6-8 weeks so at a time (8 in winter) sp this is what we are now doing. We both have bucket lists. In the winter (cold where we live) we go to those place on our list that are warm. Plus the odd week or two in between. Last Dec we picked up an AI to Mexico for a week. Booked and departed three days later for a very nice week.

This works for us. It has been five years now. We find that because of downsizing and because of increased travel experiences we are placing much more emphasis on experiences than we are on 'things'. This winter it is primarily Thailand and Philippines. Now working a plan for next fall. We typically buy a one way or an open jaw flight and plan out travels 3 or 4 days in advance. Of course, we have a general idea of where we want to go however we do not have a set schedule. We spend time in places we like. Often some surprises.
What do you do for accommodations on the road? How much to budget for accommodations for extended retirement travel has us a bit stumped. We'd like to think we have more flexibility to find cheaper accommodations (due to longer stays and staying further out from the core) but are currently just building a budget based on our current travel costs staying at budget hotels/pensions. We typically don't do b&b's and shared hostel accommodations.

We're also thinking of breaking out our travels in 1.5 month chunks because we love certain times of the year at home in Vancouver. While a 1+ month apartment rental with monthly rental rates is likely most economically advantageous, I'm not sure if we'd want to stay in one location more than 2 weeks unless it can easily serve as a home base for a lot daytrips or short overnight side trips.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:21 PM   #11
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I've been doing about 4-5 international trips a year since I FIRE'd.

When I worked it was 3-4 such trips, though usually no more than 2 weeks at a time.

I've gone on longer trips since retiring but really don't want to live more than a couple of weeks at a time out of my suitcases.

My travel budget is much higher than when I was working so I generally stay in nicer places, spend more for each trip.

I've considered extended stays in one place, like 2 months. But I'd want to be near an airport to take short flights to nearby destinations. But then that would be paying rent as well as accommodations elsewhere.

Once stayed 3 weeks in a Paris apt. and didn't go anywhere else. Enjoyed the experience but it was a lot of money on rent that could have been used for other things.

Currently in Austria now after a Spain trip in July. Had a little over a month between the two trips, just enough time for me to get over the jet lag and time zone difference from the previous trip.

Once every couple of months might be the right tempo.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:31 PM   #12
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Certainly considering traveling more. current considerations are pets, business and home.

Biggest worry is loneliness and boredom on the trip. What do you do all day?
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scuba View Post
We are in our first year of ER and have done a fair bit of travel, being away from home for roughly 4 months or about a third of our time. We've enjoyed it so much that we're considering putting our things in storage, renting out our primary residence, and traveling for a few years. We'd still want to spend some time at home but could rent a short-term place when we need it.

Has anyone else done this? Any thoughts/advice to share on this lifestyle? We are in our late 50's now and both in good health so if we are ever going to do this, soon seems like a good time.
This is something I am considering doing in a couple of years when I can no longer manage my home and acreage. When that time comes, I'll sell it and move into a rental condo I own. I'll probably spend a good chunk of time- six months or more a year-doing exactly what you are thinking about.

I say go for it! If after a year, you don't like the life style, you can move back home.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #14
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Biggest worry is loneliness and boredom on the trip. What do you do all day?
Experience new cultures/lifestyles, (by osmosis if nothing else), talk to people, other travelers included, and learn about places to see and the history behind them........perhaps even grab a park bench from time to time and watch everyday locals go about their business.........that kinda thing.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:04 PM   #15
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I am jealous of you chronic travelers. We have been incessant travelers but now have permanent custody of our precious 6 year old granddaughter that is in the 1st grade.

We are now of real retirement age, but have been traveling heavily for 47 years. We have been to just about every city and country on our wish list. For now, we will have to travel after May 25 and during school holidays. Looks like Brynley may end up being a very well traveled little girl. We don't mind slowing down our travel to spend our lives with her. I am just so glad for every single trip we have been blessed to have gone.on.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:01 PM   #16
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I'd say go for it.
We know a couple (we run into them each year in FL) who "do not have a home". They just go on this loop dictated by the seasons: New England, Florida, Arizona, California, Montana and then repeat each year.

Personally during my work years I spent 200 days a year on the road with international travel. Loved every minute of it! Saw things most people don't even know exists and got paid for what most people do for vacation.

Go out and see some things; time is short!
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:53 PM   #17
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Permatravel isn't for me but I do enjoy the occasional months-long trip to somewhere nice (and somewhere cooler than North Carolina in the summer ). This year it was Europe for 9 weeks, in the past Canada or central Mexico worked well for 3-7 weeks during summer. We have kids in school Sept-May so are somewhat constrained on the window for long term traveling. Our kids have been to roughly 16 countries so I guess we're kind of world travelers now.

I have two two sets of friends who retired in their 30's and who travel permanently and maintain no home base at all. Not even a storage unit! Both couples blog about it. One used to post here at ER forums (Jeremy and Winnie who blog at Go Curry Cracker). The other couple retired more recently after living and working in Toronto (Millennial Revolution but don't let the Millennial part scare you away ).
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:06 PM   #18
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If it would make you happy and your ER plans incorporate it I would say JUST DO IT !
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:43 PM   #19
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A couple I know put all their stuff in storage and rented out their home. They went to Europe for a year. They liked it so much that they came back for 4 months and traveled in US and now they are back in Europe. WE take about 2 trips a year for 10-14 days and that suits me. We have pets, family, good friends etc that are important so I would not want to be gone longer. MY DH would like to travel in our RV for a year but after doing it for a month anything longer then a few weeks is a no go)
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:16 PM   #20
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How much you spend depends on the where and when you go. And where you choose to stay. We prefer a smaller family run hotel, in a good area, with ensuite and with breakfast included. We spent 3 winters in SE Asia and we are going back again this year after a one year absence. We expect to spend, on average $50-70 per night. Same for Greek Islands. Clearly we anticipate that a hotel in Singapore will be much more expensive. ON the other hand, we have had some very nice hotels in Vietnam for 40-50, some even in the $35 range.

We typically only book a few days in advance. A large city may be the exception as we often find pre booking, pre paying three days specials the wasy to go with the big chains like Marriott and Accor.

We use tripadvisor and booking.com and others but we try to use them as reference only and to deal direct with the property. It is even better when you can go in person, see the room/suite and negotiate a cash price, a better room, or inclusives such as breakfast if it is not part of the standard room rate. This past Feb/March we did exactly that in Samara, Costa Rica. We obtained a much better rate than was listed on the web booking engines. The booking engines take a large chunk of commission, as much as 30 percent, from the hotels for this service.

We invariably budget on the higher side and always come in under budget. Another reason for taking trips limited to 60 days in the cost of out of country medical etc. We are covered for 60 days. Now that one of us is over 65 the rates are climbing even though we are in good health and have no existing issues. When we did the 5-7 month trip we were able to buy travel insurance with a 3K deductable. This decreased our premium by 25 percent. And our premium was lower than today because we were just under 60.
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