Packing up all your belongings, ditching the mortgage and the car payments, buying the one-way ticket and embracing full-time travel is the ultimate dream.
But if you’re just getting started on your nomadic journey it can feel overwhelming and scary.
Not only are you leaving your friends, family and comfortable home behind there are a lot of unknowns and extra expenses.
I’ve been a roaming digital nomad for most of the last 8 years. In It all started in February 2010 when I sold nearly everything I owned and hit the road.
It was a one way trip to the Philippines with no real plan of where we were going. I was travelling with a friend and all we knew was that we had our clothes and laptops.
It’s safe to say that in those years, I’ve learned a lot of travel hacks and tricks.
Save Money on Accommodation
One of the most valuable travel hacks that I can share with you focuses on accommodation. Your cost of living on the road will be heavily weighted by how much you spend on accommodations.
When I first started travelling, Airbnb wasn’t as big as it is now. Monthly rentals through Airbnb were great once the site really took off. But in the beginning there weren’t take many homes to choose from.
I stayed in hotels and negotiated better rates by staying for 2-4 weeks at a time.
The first few years I bounced around a lot. On average I was spending about 2-3 weeks in a place before heading to another location. I wanted to explore and see everything I could.
As time went on, however, I realized it that sort of travel just wasn’t sustainable. Constantly packing my bags and transiting every few weeks was exhausting after about six months.
It was also less productive for work. On the days you travel between locations you don’t always get any work done. Each travel day was a write-off.
Introducing “Slow Travel”
About 4 years ago I realized that for me, it was much better to be a ‘Slow’ traveller. I started renting homes for 2-3 months at a time. Pick a place and stay there for a while.
It was great because I could really get to know a place. Explore it. Make friends and long lasting relationships.
I was so much more productive with work when I could get into a daily routine.
Plus, renting an apartment for 3 months was much more affordable. Some of my apartments in Asia were only a few hundred dollars per month since I didn’t have to pay nightly or weekly rates.
Housesitting Changed the Game
In early 2016 was the first time I heard out about Housesitting.
Up until now, I had been limiting my travels to Asia and Mexico. The costs just didn’t make sense for long term travel in Europe.
I love living in Asia, but after so many years I really wanted to explore new places. Places that would require a higher cost of living.
Housesitting is a free exchange between a homeowner and a housesitter.
When someone that owns pets wants to travel, they need someone to take care of their home and pets while they’re away.
It’s a win-win for both parties.
They get free home and pet care. I get a free place to stay.
Now I was free to explore so many more places without impacting my bank account. Actually, I started to save more money.
Housesitting is perfect for Digital Nomads
I wish I had known about housesitting when I first started my nomadic travels.
The cost savings alone are huge.
For example… It is possible to find a house rental in Bali or Thailand for around $300+ per month.
But, what could you do with an extra $300-500 per month?
You could do more fun activities, explore new places, save money or reinvest it into your business.
The benefits go beyond just the money savings. Here are just a few of the other benefits:
- Better Work Environment – Continually living in hostels and hotels isn’t the most productive work environment, especially if you’re just getting started as a nomad. There is a lack of privacy and there is usually something going on that is distracting. You need to be focused and hustling on your new business.
- Live Like a Local in Real Homes – Hotels and Airbnb rentals are great to fill in little gaps but it’s not the same as a living in a real home. While housesitting, you’ll be living in a household that is fully furnished even down to the spices in the rack. It makes the place warmer and inviting.
- Live with Pets – I get a lot of satisfaction when caring for pets and having them in my life. I grew up with pets and missed it. If you live a nomadic lifestyle, always being on the road, doesn’t allow you to have pets of your own. Housesitting allows you to have a temporary pet family around the world.
Get Out There and Travel
If you’re just getting started on your digital nomad adventure don’t let the cost of hotels get in your way.
Whether you like the idea of housesitting or would prefer to rent an apartment… just go for it.
Travelling is great for the soul.
Allen Trottier, Reliable Housesitters