During the one year that the Goyette family vagabonded around the globe, we took 47 flights, slept in 87 different accommodations, engaged in stellar, blow-your-mind experiences, and returned to the United States with absolutely ZERO debt.
“How is that possible?” you ask.
It’s possible because we are the type of family that only spends money we actually possess.
“Well, then you must have been staying in low-end hostels and found cheap airline tickets smooshed in the back of the plane near the toilet,” you say.
My response to that is, “First-class baby, (almost) all the way!”
We lived like royalty while we were traveling. In most cases, we had a much better quality of life than back in the States. We stayed in deluxe hotels at beachfront properties and the classiest Airbnbs in downtown cities. We had the luxury of flying business or first class for the majority of our flights. We dined on the finest cuisine and indulged in gourmet food from every culture. We did once-in-a-lifetime activities like exploring the Pyramids in Egypt, bathing elephants in Thailand, feasting on an epicurean picnic at the base of the Torres del Paine mountains in Patagonia, and jaunting off on a helicopter to go blue-whale-watching in Sri Lanka. We would never have been able to afford these incredible experiences abroad if we were living at home in the United States.
Moreover, we did it all on a budget of $60 per day for food and $60 per day for accommodations. Unbelievable, right? Our daily travel budget was so much cheaper than our daily living expenditures back in Austin.
When you establish your daily spending budget for your adventure, it does not mean you need to spend that exact amount every day. Leaving a little wiggle room will allow you to save some money one day so you can splurge on another day. For example, we stayed in a cheaper apartment for a week in Santiago so we could enjoy more extravagant accommodations when we were in Patagonia.
Another way to offset your daily cost of living is to get free breakfast and evening Hors d’oeuvres at hotels (due to having elite status). This provides an opportunity to shift your daily spending dollars to save up for special experiences. Remember, if you meet your total monthly budget, it does not matter how you got there, so get creative.