Roughly 3 years ago, Preston and I started toying with the idea that we could take off for a few months with the kids and travel the world all while working on our online businesses. But at that point, it was unrealistic as we had a newborn, plus 3 other kids, and our online businesses were still in the infancy stage.
Fast forward 3 years later and here we are travelling the world, living like digital nomads…with 4 kids in tow. In January 2017, we decided that this would be the year. We put a plan together and felt that September would be a good time to take off into the unknown. So we planned and researched and budgeted. We rented out our home in Ottawa, Canada, packed up 4 suitcases and headed to Bali, Indonesia with one-way tickets.
So how can we afford the luxury of travel all while raising 4 kids? Pretty simple actually and we want to help you and show you just how we did it. Firstly, both Preston and I generate 100% of our income online. We have a digital marketing agency and we also run an ecom store and make money with our blog as well. But those are just some of the many ways that you can earn money online. One of the most popular ways is to teach English as a second language…this is huge especially in Asia and Southeast Asia. You can also vlog, blog, do affiliate marketing, become a virtual assistant, teach English online, become an online coach. The possibilities are endless in this day and age and all you really need is a laptop and wifi.
We’ve primarily chosen to travel to countries where cost of living are lower than Canada, so this includes a lot of countries in Asia and Southeast Asia. When we say cost of living we mean food, groceries and transportation, etc…our monthly rent is sometimes more than our mortgage payment at home, but that is offset by not having to pay for things such as utilities, car payments, and other everyday living expenses. We’re also going to spend a month in Dubai and a few weeks in Europe this summer…these places are more expensive but we can do this because we are flexible on flights and we wait for the right accommodations to come up in our price range.
We use Skyscanner quite a bit to research and book our flights. We also love Kiwi.com. Both of these search engines allow you to search anywhere and this is the secret to saving on airfare. As long as you are flexible on when and where you travel and willing to sometimes take the longer way to get to your destination, you can save thousands on flights. Just make sure you are not overstaying your visa as some countries have very strict penalties and hefty fines.
For instance, we are currently in Sri Lanka so I’ve been researching flights from Sri Lanka to anywhere with a small date range (as we only have 30-day visas). I found cheap one-way flights to Cairo, Egypt, Kochi, India, and Istanbul, Turkey. There were much cheaper options back to Southeast Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, but we’ve already spent several months there and we are currently making our way back West. I eventually found a one-way flight to Dubai for $266 CND per person. That is perfect for us and within our travel budget. Before booking, I had to make sure I also found accommodations for us. As you know, Dubai is expensive and hotels don’t work for us as there are 6 of us and we like the luxury of a home-like place so we can cook and move around as we please. Using Airbnb, I was lucky enough to score an apartment with 3 beds, a full kitchen (including an oven) for $1600 CDN for 28 nights!! So grand total for Dubai, not including expenses such as food, activities, sightseeing and transportation are $3196 CND. Not bad for a month-long in one of the most expensive places in the world. Once we are there, we will do some grocery shopping and eat out once a day (in the evening). We are budget eaters and prefer to try local cuisine which can be quite affordable and delicious. We will budget for a day at Legoland as Damian turns 10 on April 28th and we will celebrate his birthday there.
So if you are looking to travel the world and do so on a budget, even with a large family, it is totally possible. Just be flexible with travel dates and destinations, use sites like Skyscanner and Kiwi and Kayak to compare airfare, use Airbnb to book accommodations and try to book for 28 nights or more; you can normally score a significant discount for 28-night stays or longer (I’m talking 15 to 70% off!).
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