How do Families Afford to Travel the World?

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This is the question that comes up constantly. How do we afford it? How do all the other families afford it? There are thousands of families out travelling with their kids, for a 1-year family gap year, for an extended period of a few months, or like us, long-term.

We’ve been travelling over 6 years now with a full nomadic or digital nomad type lifestyle. Our first year was more normal, we funded it on savings. Everyone wants to know how it’s done, how to be able to find the money to travel around the world as a family.

I’ll give you the short answer here. There is far more in-depth information on this website and on all the other family travel blogs, all of the points below are factors in how we fund our travels.

How do families afford to travel the world
Tikal, Guatemala, a few years ago now. We wanted it so we made it affordable through priority shifts and saving on non essentials.

How Do Families Afford to Travel the World?

Change Priorities

You love travel? You want to travel more? Then travel needs to become your priority.

Don’t spend on less important things, spend all of your spare cash on the travel you love. Skip the flat screen TV, skip the new shoes, skip the bigger house, travel is your thing now, save for it and spend freely on it without guilt or regret.

Learn abundance and spend on what you love.

Travel, Don’t Go on Holiday

Travel is cheaper than holidays and the two aren’t the same thing.

Holidaymakers spend on souvenirs, visit spas, take expensive tours, eat fancy meals and splurge on hotels while cramming loads of expensive things into a short period.

We travellers do that sometimes, but we’re not travelling to relax or pamper, we’re there to see, experience, learn and do. The price ticket is way smaller.

Travel Slower

The more slowly you travel, the less your daily spend becomes and the more affordable your travel lifestyle is.

Spreading the high price ticket items over a longer period is the aim here. Enjoy just being and experiencing and live your normal family life in each and every destination.

There is a balance here though, if you travel slow you see less per time unit.

I’d estimate (very roughly) that your overall expenses to see the same set of places will be higher if you are a slow traveller than if you are a fast traveller.

But sure, a month in one place will cost you less than a month travelling around seeing everything you want to see. We’ve done it every which way. We did 6 months in Vietnam once, sure it was cheap, but we only saw one small area of Vietnam. At that time my husband was training for an Ironman event, it suited his training.

Get Rid of Your Home Bills

Most of us on the road aren’t paying a mortgage, utility bills, a car loan, council tax etc. We’ve taken steps to get rid of those expenses. Some even sell their homes, others, like us, rent them out.

Those big bills are what make you think you don’t have enough money. There are many ways to get rid of them or to drastically reduce them.

Finding Great Deals

Be it a bargain repositioning cruise, a flight sale or a discount for a long-term stay, we do everything in our power to find the best prices.

Because, as worldschooling families, we’re not bound by school holiday or travelling in season, it’s remarkably easy to do that.

There are a million tips and tricks on this website. If you need more, join our free Facebook support group by subscribing.

Create a New Income Stream

You need a side hustle, something that brings in the cash wherever you are in the world. There are plenty of ways to do this and you’re looking at mine.

Others sell courses, coach, teach, manage social media, work as VAs, there are many, many ways to earn a location independent income.

Blogging is my choice, if you’re interested in creating a blog, start here. But I’ll tell you right now that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to create a good income this way. I did it, few stick with it long enough.

Some of the families out there travelling are true digital nomads in that they have real online, location independent jobs that pay well.

Others are ultra-budget travellers and stretch their money to stretch their travel.

Spend Less

We all need less stuff than we own or buy.

Be it clothes, books, kitchen utensils, gadgets, food in the store cupboard, fancy coffees, most things, we have too many.

A want isn’t a need and a need is often created for you by a clever marketer. Think about what you really need and only buy those things.

Sell Stuff

We raised thousands by selling most of our possessions, you can do the same. I haven’t missed even 1 thing in the 6 years since we left home to travel.

How do families afford to travel around the world

For Pinterest, just hover and the red button will appear.

How Much Did it ActuallyCost to Travel Round the World for 1 Year?

We give you a full cost breakdown on one year of family travel, with 2 kids if you click through on the link.

So that is my short answer to the question, how we and all the other travelling families, afford to travel. I was asked again today, so felt I should answer once and for all. Do you see now? Or is it still looking impossible?

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

15 thoughts on “How do Families Afford to Travel the World?”

  1. Traveling the world is such a dream and being able to do indulge in different cultures is truly grounding. Having affordable travel then for sure is essential. This post just sparks that love for travel

  2. Hello!
    We are considering traveling part time with our 2 kids, 8 and 10. How have your children dealt with making friends and learning to develop relationships with peers? This is probably our biggest concern with looking at longer term travel. Thanks for the great article!

    • Hi Sarah, If you search ” socialisation” you’ll find a full post on that. But the short answer is, it’s a non issue. We always kept busy. When you’re hiking up Everest or touring India by train it’s just the last thing on your mind. Nobody, ever, I don’t think, thought, gosh, I wish there were some same-age kids here for me to start building relationships with. It’s just not part of the lifestyle, in the same way that we adults were never looking to make friendships as we travelled. We were never in one place long enough. Sometimes we stuck around a few months and then friendships started to build. We were in London 10 months, that was long enough for us all to build life-long friendships with one particular family. We did a family Zoom quiz with them last night. Another time, we were in Chiang Mai for weeks and months, another time Hoi An, and then we did build friendships and connections. Some will endure. With families the whole family has to get along and we’ve been lucky, we’ve found that 3 times. But otherwise it’s just not a thing. It isn’t an issue, we don’t even think about it. We’re too busy doing us. The kids now have loads of other kids they talk to online, most they’ve met through gaming and online forums. There is one family in our “home” town that we connect with socially. We see them every few weeks or months. That’s plenty for us. This is only ” home” for now, we know that very soon we will be gone so putting down deep roots and social connections would only hold us back. Does that make sense? You meet and interact with people every day, loads of them. From shop keepers, to touts to the guy next to you on the bus. There’s usually somebody to chat to. We also tended to stay in places with communal areas, restaurants and bars. I hate being cooped up in a room, I like to see the world go by. So we’d just sit and watch and just be there. If you need kids, go to playgrounds, there’s usually loads. But there will never be friendships because you’ll be gone in a day or two. It’s the Buddhist way if you think about it.

  3. Wow thanks for this. We just launched our blog as we decided to start traveling in 2021 (for atleast 12 months). We are a family of 5,. Me and my wife and 3 kids (they are 4,2 and 1). We currently live in South Africa and we will take this country on as our first journey. Your blog is very inspiring as we have a lot to learn and to find out. We are amateurs. But we will do this and make a success of this. Here we go.

  4. I am thinking about going with my family too, but there’s a few pratical issues I can’t seem to find any information.
    1, Bank account. How do I get around most banks wanting a home address to even allow me to continue with my current account? I am renting currently and will have to give it up, when the travelling commenecs. So I will no longer then have a fixed address.
    2, Insurance. Travel, health and personal insurance, pretty much the issues as with the bankaccount when there’s no fixed address. Is it all possible and if so, where do I find providers of such insurances?

    Thank you all travelling families for great advice and inspiration 🙂

    • We’ve never worried about bank accounts, I think we switched them to various friends and family’s addresses. We also opened an account in Romania when we were based there, have them from the UK and Australia, we have lots. I still have my original credit cards from the UK from when I was 21 too, we’ve moved about heaps. We don’t have paper statements or anything. We did have a situation once where we had to get a new Credit Card while we were in Vietnam, it was delivered to the Au address and a friend brought it out to us as he was travelling anyway, or we’ve had to go back to the UK to pick up new Barclaycards. Insurance – World Nomads. Have a look here

  5. I know you would NEVER do it cause you’re posh and fussy – but I still say if you’re trying to save money get Couchsurfing/ housesitting. It has cost us a lot less to travel the world for ten months than it would have cost to stay at home 🙂 love the post xxx

  6. Great info! I didn’t know about repositioning cruises, but I’m going to start researching them ASAP.

  7. Love it. Our tips on our blog post about how we afford to travel are very similar. People are inspired to travel but do need to rearrange priorities in order to do so. If you want to travel full time, the sacrifices are worth it. Fabulous post and thank you for continuing to inspire us in our travels 🙂

  8. People never understood how I could afford to travel when I lived so frugally. I would try to explain that it was because of my frugal living that I could afford it, as well as travelling in a very frugal manner, as well!


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