|Ready to Answer Questions about being Senior Nomads|
- How much does it cost you every month? Do you have a budget?
- How can you stay in Europe for more than 180 days at a time?
- What do you do for Medical Insurance both in Europe and back home?
- How do you pay your bills and keep up with mail back home while you are gone?
- How do you pack for such a long trip? What did you bring besides your pillows?
- How do you get from place to place?
- What apps or websites do you use to for travel planning?
- How far out in front do you book your travel and apartments on Airbnb?
- What do you do about cell phones - especially calling friends and family.
- How do you avoid foreign currency transaction fees and ATM fees?
I'm going to start with "The Budget Question". Cost seems to be the biggest hurdle for those who want to try long-term travel as a way to rethink retirement. In future posts, I'll answer more of the questions in between Debbie's travel stories and my occasional "football" post.
|Our Daily Journal for tracking our adventures and expenses|
|Door to our first Airbnb apartment in Amsterdam|
|One of the many luxury buses we rode in Lithuania|
|Waiting for the city bus on the Island of Rhodes|
|Ice cream must be in one of the food groups|
|Debbie shopping in Stockholm outdoor market for fresh mushrooms|
|Debbie enjoying a recent lunch in Greece because who wants to cook an octopus at home?|
|Couldn't miss the Louvre! Cultural experiences of any kind are a bargain.|
|Debbie taking a cooking class in Marrakesh, Morocco|
Daily Living - This category covers everything not included above. Most are not really significant by themselves but they add up day after day. Just staying comfortable on the road seems to constantly require top-ups of things a person needs: socks, soap, makeup, toothpaste, shampoo, band-aids, laundry detergent and/or laundromats if your house does not have a washing machine, e-books for the Kindle, apps, the occasional English newspaper, snacks, cookies (that's a category all by itself), haircuts, manicures, flowers and candles for the apartment, cooking ingredients (must have spices and olive oil) and every now and again a jigsaw puzzle - which we leave behind for our host.
|Saving money - our host in Dublin's barbershop gave me a free haircut|
Hopefully these categories will help you start your own budget. Six months before we left Seattle, I created budget that projected monthly spending with low, medium and high columns. Three months later I revised it. Upwards of course. Now looking back after 20 months on the road we're probably running 10% over projections but Debbie and I are in agreement. It has been 100% worth it.
|Most apartments have a washer, but still have to buy laundry detergent some times|
I suspect that when you sit down and start crafting your own budget you too will find a sweet spot. I think you can reinvent your retirement and be fiscally responsible at the same time. You may need to make adjustments along the way, and not do everything on your wish list but that's half the fun.
|My favorite entertainment expense - football matches. Here I am in Athens with our host Vaselli.|
Thank you for joining us and we wish you safe travels where ever you go. Next time: How we've stayed in Europe for more than 180 days at a time.