I1.18.19  Cool Your Heels with Lillian Cauldwell interviewed Chris Herrmann, ” The Youthful Art of Mid Life Travel”

How Baby Boomers Can Travel the World for Less Than it Costs to Stay Home


Ask people why they don’t travel and many will say they can’t afford it. But international travel expert Chris Herrmann begs to differ. In fact, he makes the seemingly outrageous claim that it is cheaper to travel the world than to stay home! 

“I was preparing to leave on a twelve month overseas travel adventure, when a friend exclaimed, ‘Wow, that must be costing you a fortune’”, he said. In fact, it cost him less than if he was living at home.

After his backpacking adventure through 23 countries around the world, he says the secret is about approaching your travel differently and smarter. 

An around the world ticket for under $300 might sound too good to be true. But that’s all Herrmann paid for flying with top class airlines. This one secret is to use frequent flyer points. If you don’t have enough points, sign up for a couple credit cards that offer sign up bonus points. Within three months you can be ready to go.

Travelling for several months or longer allows you to offset your normal living costs for travel. Your home is a valuable funding source for your trip. What you normally pay for rent, or could collect in rent, as well as savings from utility expenses such as gas and electricity, can now go towards your travel budget. This effectively gives you free accommodation while you’re away. The liberating feeling of not being tied to a place is rewarding. It’s also an excellent opportunity to declutter. If you want to travel for a longer period, say up to twelve months, you could consider selling your furniture to save storage costs and shifting hassles, then store what’s left. Look at it like the start of a new and exciting chapter in your life. 

Why waste car expenses like depreciation, registration, insurance and other payments when selling it, those savings can go to your travel. 

Choosing destinations such as Latin America, Spain or South East Asia, for example, are not only cost effective but offer a fantastic cultural experience. These countries offer excellent budget level accommodation including hotels, guest houses, hostels and Airbnb. You wont be alone. You would be surprised how many westerners are traveling, living short term or longer term in these destinations.

Many hostels today are very professionally run businesses. If the idea of a shared dormitory is a bit overwhelming, there is generally a choice of private rooms. The benefit of hostels are they provide a good social hub and travel network. 

Staying in one location longer offers several benefits. You can negotiate cheaper accommodation through a homestay or Airbnb. Living like a local rather than a tourist, increases social and new friendship opportunities as well as offering a far greater cultural immersive experience.

Useful apps to source accommodation such as booking.com, Airbnb, hostelworld and homestay allow you to conveniently select accommodation based on user ratings, price, etc.

Earning extra income will offset your travel living costs. Earning an income while travelling provides an excellent balance and sense of purpose mixed in with the excitement of living in a new destination. You may find you can trade your expertise for an income while travelling. Check out upwork.com. There’s a whole global market that may be just looking for your skills. Other opportunities are teaching English. There’s a huge demand. Find out about obtaining qualifications through tefl.com. 

There’s also another popular way where you can experience living overseas that will cost you next to nothing. Workaway.info and wwoof.net are services that list organisations who will exchange your time for lodgings. These offer an excellent opportunity to connect with local people. Opportunities are all around the world. As with most of these services, you need to check the reviews and do your homework. Realistically you could pre plan a series of these experiences for an around the world experience for very little cost. The big advantage is the opportunity to connect with local people. That’s what travel is all about.

Chris Herrmann is the author of The Youthful Art of Midlife Travel, a speaker and travel coach. Learn more at youthfulmidlifetravel.com

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