Part 1: Preparing Finances For Full-Time Travel On The Road.
Three Part Series On How To Fund A Life Of Travel.
Welcome to part one of our three part series, where we explore how families (just like us) fund a life on the road.
We live a life full time on the road: two parents, three school aged kids, and a happy home on wheels. We understand that living from a van stirs up all kinds of questions, but there’s one that gets asked of us a hundred times more than any other.
The question we get asked almost daily is: “how do you fund your life?”.
While we may seem special and unique (naw, thanks), our travels around Australia have taught us we are anything but. We’ve come across countless other families living the dream just like us, and each one is funding their travel lifestyle in a different way.
There is not one cut and copy approach to making money while travelling that will fit all families, which is why we’re going to do our best to bring you all the answers. Over the coming few weeks we’ll be sharing stories of families preparing to travel, those who already are, our own experiences, plus all the juicy tips and obstacles that we unearth along the way.
So let’s kick start part one of our three part series, where we talk to families who are preparing to embark on extended travel, and explore just how they plan to fund a life on the road.
Remote work, flexible working arrangements, work from home – whatever you want to call it, one thing’s for sure: it’s on the rise!
There were many unpleasant outcomes that came from Covid – like those permanent screens that now divide us from the people who pack our groceries – but flexible working arrangements certainly wasn’t one of them. During the April to June period in 2020, 4.3 million working Australians were working from home – that’s nearly a third! The results were fewer overheads for employers, less congestion on the roads, and the big one, a better work/life balance.
Lots of businesses started to realise that this model of work made sense – and lots of workers welcomed their new found flexibility!
It’s no coincidence that job search platforms like Seek and Indeed now offer a location option called ‘Work From Home’. It’s a reflection of the changing times, and the increased opportunity that average working Australians can now tap into.
While the concept of families piling into their cars and hitting the road for extended travel trips is nothing new, it is now more accessible. Covid had many of us stuck in our homes, but relaxed restrictions in Australia mean the dream of working from the road is more achievable than it’s ever been!
Granted, these opportunities are more available to some industries over others, but that needn’t stop your dreams of hitting the road.
Getting paid to work from home, the beach, a caravan, coffee shop, carpark or even a shopping centre is now common practice, but trust us, this wasn’t always the case. When we were planning to embark on our travels we had to reinvent the wheel and get creative with our money-making pursuits.
To paint a better picture of just how you can prep for an extended trip with your nearest and dearest, we’ve decided to chat to four families who are in the process of planning the funds for their upcoming travels. You might be surprised by how they’re actually planning to pull this off.
Emma and Brad Savage are a husband and wife duo preparing to hit the road in July this year, with their fur babies Barkley and Duke. First stop is Arnhem Land, then in true nomad style they will go wherever the wind takes them.
The pair have previously travelled quite a bit, but Covid put that on pause for a while. They’re now excited to hit the road with no expectations, no plan and no end date.
It’s safe to say you’re now asking yourself: “How are they doing this?!”. We asked them the same question, and here is what they had to say.
The short answer is by AirBNBing their home and working Emma’s successful network marketing biz whilst on the road, which Emma says she “kind of fell into”.
“It definitely wasn’t something I was searching for, however I have always been open to opportunity and really wanted something more flexible and fun,” said Emma.
We asked Emma what her advice would be to anyone looking looking for a flexible work arrangement that allowed them to travel more, and her answer was straight to the point: “Just bloody do it!”. According to Emma “there are endless opportunities and more and more people who are redefining their work/life balance – so why not you?! Be proactive, and look to the people who have the lifestyle you want, not the ones you don’t.”.
The big draw card to running an online business is that so long as you have a laptop, phone and internet connection, you can pretty much work from anywhere.
Emma and Brad have been planning this trip for a year, and been very savvy with their assets during this time. They downsized a lot to cut their expenses, and this coupled with reduced bills on the road, their AirBNB income and Emma’s online biz, they’re excited to actually add to their savings whilst travelling, rather than the other way around.
Kate and Andy Lowry are parents to little Jack, and these parents certainly don’t do things by halves.
Kate is a hairdresser and Andy a builder, and for the last eight years they’ve worked their butts off, building and renovating properties… until lockdown happened and forced them to slow down. For two months they got to spend time together as a family with no other pressures, perhaps for the first time ever.
And they loved every second of it!
“Our entire set of dreams and goals, everything we had worked our arses off for, wasn’t relevant any more. We are very proud of what we had achieved, but it didn’t come without sacrifice” said Kate.
On top of this new found freedom came an autoimmune disease which left Kate quite sick. Kate said they made a decision then, that “once I felt better, we were going to grab life with both hands because you never know what is around the corner!”.
This pair didn’t want to spend the next few years sacrificing time together as a family and making memories, especially while their boy was so young. Kate spent a year healing herself naturally (and creating a business out of this too!) and now the Lowry’s have made a plan to see it all, to travel around Australia with no end date in sight! But the question is, how do they plan to fund these travels?
Remember how we said these two don’t do things by halves? Well, get ready to have your mind blown! This pair are proof that if there’s a will, there most certainly is a way.
During Kate’s mission to heal she came across some amazing products that helped her heal, and decided to turn this into a biz so she could help other people too. But this health biz side hustle is not the catalyst that launched this bold dream, although it is certainly an online avenue for making money that Kate can use to supplement their travel budget.
Nope, the bulk of the travel funds for this bold and adventurous family came from the decision to sell everything they owned – house included!
“Because we don’t do things by halves we decided to sell everything! Now we don’t even have an end date for our travels!” said Kate.
Say hello to Shae and Stix Strong. These two are testament to the fact that your current role needn’t dictate whether you can travel! Shae is a registered nurse and Stix is a roofer – both pretty hard jobs to pull off whilst on the road.
So how do these two plan to fund a minimum one year trip with their three daughters and parents? That’s exactly what we asked them, and they were happy to share…
Shae and Stix came up with the idea to hit the road with the family back in June 2020, and have been saving ever since.
They sold their old caravan, upgraded to a new one, made plans to rent out their home, and kept squirrelling away the dollars as their departure date neared.
This family are now mere weeks away from embarking on their dream of travelling all over Oz. With no real plan, they are excited to see what the next 12 months brings their way.
Shae said “we are now renting out our home which will cover the mortgage and some basic expenses. We have heard that a family needs approximately $1000 each week to travel, so we’ll watch that budget and work my online business as we go.”.
Shae has a background in nursing, NLP, hypnotherapy and a bunch of other very impressive holistic practices which she’s been able to channel into her successful online biz. Teaming with a friend in the field, Shae has built a platform of online courses and programs that she can continue to manage (and generate an income from) regardless of where she is in the world!
We’ve chatted to three different families approaching preparations for full-time travel in three different ways… but what happens once you’re actually on the road?
What does work whilst travelling actually look like? What are the challenges, tips, and tricks to successfully pulling off a life of travel?
We will bring you all these answers and more, in part two of this three part series. In part two we will talk to families who are currently funding full-time travel and ask them all the juicy details about how they are actually doing this. We will also share some insight into how we are living this dream too!
Until then, keep dreaming!
The Wallaces x