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Do you Have to be Rich to Travel the World?

Several years ago, a not very rich family set out to travel the world. Today, they’re still travelling. It’s been an incredible ride, we’ve loved it and we’ve had many adventures. The financial aspect, well, it’s complex. We had a lump sum when we left home and over the years we’ve learned to make money online. This was how we started, back in 2012. We had no idea then that our lives were changing forever and that we would find a way.

You Do Not Have To Be Rich To Travel The World

Do you have to be rich to travel the world

This is our story, a bit of background about us and how we started getting the cash together, if you’re looking for tips on saving money try this post, ideas for changing your life and becoming free from the rat race, try this one. This post is old but it sets the scene.

This is what I wrote back in 2012, one of my first posts as I learnt to be a blogger.

There will be serious financial jiggery pokery needed for us to finance this venture. All four of us live on 1 salary at the moment, a chef’s salary. Chefs aren’t paid well.

So how do we expect to travel the world for years at a stretch on almost zero income?

We Got Ourselves A Decent Lump Of Cash

rich to travel the world
London, 2003, where we started the financial ball rolling with our first house renovation.

We spent a few years in London redeveloping two small properties to sell on. It was hard work, I was pregnant, twice, we lived through a British winter with no heating, hot water or kitchen . I lived off microwaved ready meals and salad and washed with a bucket and a kettle. We both have special memories of this time, the Christmas we spent barbecuing turkey over charcoal in the frosty white garden stands out as one of our most romantic.

We ate it in our bedroom because that was the only room where the floor was down. James, at that time, was a fairly junior chef in a central London hotel, working terribly long hours. He would come home in the middle of the night and start stripping walls. I remember him whooping for joy as the old paper came off, layers and layers of it, over one hundred years worth, taking most of the plaster with it, because he was doing this for us, his family.

So we did it, we were happy doing it and it was immensely satisfying when our first flat sold at the asking price on it’s first day on the market.

We had already announced to the world that we were moving to Australia, so it came as a shock to everyone when we started looking around for another disaster of a property to renovate. This was shortly before son no 2 was born.

“You can’t move house just for 6 months!”

“Yes we can!”

We did. And we sold after 6 months, just catching the top of the market before the whole thing crashed. Again, not luck, planning.  We were warned the crash was coming in one of those serendipitous meetings that can change your life

So that gave us a nice little nest egg to put on the mortgage and give us a decent standard of living on a fairly low income, necessary for me to quit work and be home with the boys in our new life in Australia.

The upshot being, our mortgage repayments are fairly small.

Do You Have To Be Rich To Travel The World
The first flat we renovated and where both children were born, revisiting six years later.

So What Can A Not Rich Family Do To Save Money To Travel The World?

How to finance this trip?

This is the Chef’s department, it’s amazing what he can do with numbers in his head.

The house will be rented. Rental income will more than cover costs and will give us a small income.There is also the option of renting our home and moving to a small flat (or tent) soon, before we actually leave. That would give us the rental income and our outgoings on utility bills would be considerably less.

We have been saving. A lot. I have been put on a weekly budget. I have ( almost) given up wine, a major sacrifice. Wine and I have been very good friends for a long time.

I have stopped filling our house with decorative stuff we don’t need, just because a shopping spree makes me feel better.

I am using up all the stuff we have already, that goes for every scrap of food in the pantry, clothes long buried in the back of the wardrobe and toiletries we’d forgotten that we had. It’s amazing what you find when you start clearing out cupboards. I haven’t bought any clothes for myself in almost a year now, I never thought I’d say that.

Many things surplus to need have been sold and we still have more to sell.

I do a bit of facepainting in the market, maybe I should get more proactive with that.

I’m starting to make a little money with this blog, not much, enough to pay for my lovely new backpack. Somebody offered to pay me for help with writing their homeschool curriculum the other day. Maybe this is something I can explore. I could possibly make some sort of science based study guides, science is my subject and a lot of homeschooling Mums find it a challenge.

We May Make Money As We Travel

If you are under 30 working and earning as you travel is pretty easy. Over 30s ( that’s us) have a tougher time, we can’t get working holiday visas.

Other than the blogs, (there are now three of them), the Chef may be able to work for a while in the UK to top up the bank account, this will work for us as we have family that we can stay with for free, if we were having to pay for accommodation, it just wouldn’t be financially viable.  Registering with a temping agency pays better than a normal contract for chefs and many other industries.

So, there are ways and means. We did this before, 10 years ago for our first year long trip, we can do it again. At the end of the day, long term slow travel is cheaper than living at home.

Every dollar in the bank brings us closer to following our dream of travelling the world long term. It’s a very big incentive. We’ve booked our flights, we know we are leaving, we know we will have enough to travel for at least one year, probably two. Stick around, sign up to follow the blog and see how we get on!

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Monday 30th of March 2020

We will go 8 persons and we are take a money but you not give a money


Monday 20th of May 2013

One question though, why did you sell your bed so long before leaving?


Monday 20th of May 2013

Fair play Al! Just been reading through all your posts, you properly deserve such an awesome adventure, I'm soooo jealous!

Travel with Bender (Erin)

Thursday 21st of March 2013

YOU CAN DO IT! So excited for you and what a great read to see the start of your dream.

Annie Andre

Monday 18th of March 2013

Amazing, amazing. I had no idea you two renovated some flats in the UK. You worked hard for your dream to travel and made it or are making it happen with the kids in tow.