Living with less: Our crazy budget for round the world travel with kids

Budgeting for a round the world trip with children

“Show me the money!”

“What?”

“Show me the money!”

“I don’t have any!”

“Ok- well, at least tell us about your super tight budget for your crazy round the world family trip?”

“Say please.”

“Please.”

Let’s do this. So, one of the first questions that people ask me when they hear we are taking our kids around the world is, “How can you afford to do that?” When I first saw some of the travel bloggers taking their kids on extended trips away I used to assume that they were all loaded. Not true, my friends. There are some bloggers like the beautiful Bucket List Family who do have considerable wealth, but even they are generally being relatively frugal and sensible with their cash and earning as they travel. Other people like the couple behind Travel With Bender have well-paying jobs that they can do from anywhere in the world (with good wifi). Others still rent out properties that they own back in their home country, both as an investment and to create income for their travels. One of the blogs that I’ve followed for longest, World Travel Family, make their money from a combination of the dad doing intense periods of time working as a chef, and the mum earning money from blogging and online coaching.

And us?  We are probably closest to World Travel Family when it comes to finances; they travelled the world for a year on just $100 AUS per day. We will be earning an income from online work: travel journalism, copywriting and social media management from me and online Personal Training programs and coaching from Patrick. My mum who is also coming along for the ride will be renting out her house back in the UK.

So, anyone want to guess what our budget is for our first year of travel? This is for three adults (myself, Patrick and my Mum) and our three kids. I’ll give you a nudge in the right direction; it’s less than the average UK family income.

Huh?

Yep, it’s not much. But the trick to long-term travelling with kids isn’t budgeting a huge amount. It’s spending less. We are more than happy to live cheaply and travel slowly when it means having quality time together, time to serve and time to pursue what we are passionate about. Living within our means is something that society seems to be moving away from, with credit for anything freely available and people becoming obsessed with creating a perfect image of themselves. This is not something we buy into and we have never accrued any debt, so we don’t have any monthly debt payments to worry about finding the cash for. With all that in mind, we have worked hard to create efficient income that we can earn wherever we are in the world and have come up with a figure that we are going to aim for, for spending on food, accommodation and as much transport as we need. That figure is…

£50 a day.

It is a small amount of money when we are used to living Western lifestyles; heck, in London we could easily spend more than that on one meal. But when you can have hot Pad Thai fresh from a street stall for less than £1, where accommodation can be as little as £5 for a double room and where you are put off buying things because you’ll have to carry it in your backpack, it will stretch much further. Check out World Travel Family’s blog on how they managed to stay under this budget and even threw in a couple of cruises and an American road trip, all whilst keeping the purse strings tight! We figure that if we splash out on one thing or in one place, we will move somewhere cheaper for a while to save cash for the next spot. A simple plan, really- who knows how it will work once we are on the road!

We would love to hear from families who travel with kids and would be interested to know how you plan a budget for your family. Do you decide at the beginning of the month how much to spend or do you go with the flow?

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<p>Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.</p>

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