Since 2010, I’ve published my cost of full-time travel; an uncensored breakdown of all my expenses for the year, demonstrating that full-time travel often costs less than living in one place. (At the end of this article you’ll find links to cost breakdowns for previous years).
What I Did in 2014
Here’s a quick summary of what 2014 held for me:
(See Also: 7 Countries and 34,000 miles: This Was 2014)
- Two weeks in Panama
- Three weeks in south Florida
- A two-week personal retreat in mid-Florida
- Five weeks in north Florida
- A quick trip to Toronto Canada, enroute to:
- Three months in Peru
- Seven weeks in and around Toronto, Canada (with a quick trip to the Florida Keys in there)
- Two weeks in the south of Spain
- A week in Pesaro Italy
- A few days back in Canada enroute to:
- Four more months in Peru
Price Tag for 2014: $28,179
All amounts have been converted to US Dollars for ease of comparison.
After finishing up a house-sitting gig in Panama, I flew to Miami to stay with a friend for the rest of the month. My accommodation expense (much higher than normal, at a whopping $950) was a pre-payment for the personal retreat in Gulfport I treated myself to in February.
Food & Drink: $492
After a couple of weeks of personal time in Gulfport Florida, I flew up to Santa Rosa Beach (Florida) to stay with a dear friend of mine. Accommodation was free, so I spent a bit extra stocking up on some personal items.
Food & Drink: $280
USA, Canada, Peru
I stayed with my friend in Santa Rosa Beach through mid March, at which time I flew quickly up to Canada to catch a mystery shopping flight down to Peru.
The inflated business expenses include over $100 in withdrawal fees (before I upgraded my bank account to include unlimited foreign withdrawals), and medical expenses included some prescriptions as well as treatments for a frozen shoulder. The tour/activity expenditure included some Peruvian treks including a five-day excursion ending in Machu Picchu.
Food & Drink: $339
I enjoyed discovering the delights of Peru in April.
Food & Drink: $188
May was another blissful month in Peru, with more healing, hikes, and cultural exploration.
Food & Drink: $114
Around mid-June, I flew back up to Canada to spend most of the summer with family and friends in and around Toronto.
Business/banking expenses included an annual credit card fee and accountant’s fee for filing my taxes. Accommodation was free since I was staying with friends, and tour/activity expenditures took the form of one last Peruvian trek.
Food & Drink: $336
After a quick sponsored trip to the Florida Keys in early July, I spent most of the rest of the month with my Mum at a cottage in Muskoka, Ontario.
The transportation expense was to rent a car for our cottage time, and again, I had no accommodation expenses.
Food & Drink: $293
Canada, Spain, Gibraltar, Italy, Peru
August was a big month, with a trip to Spain to visit some friends (and a side excursion to Gibraltar), then over to Italy to visit another friend. I returned to Canada at the end of the month before hopping on a plane back to Peru.
All that continent-hopping explains the transportation expenditure, and eating out in Europe isn’t cheap, hence the food & drink costs. The good news was that again, accommodation was free, so I spent some extra cash on gifts for my generous hosts.
Food & Drink: $647
I used September to settle into my new home in the Sacred Valley of Peru, where I would spend the rest of the year.
The insurance expense is my annual premium for international health insurance, and tours/activities included more hikes, Spanish lessons, plant medicine workshops, and more.
Food & Drink: $146
I did surprisingly little in October given the amount of money I spent. Transportation was a futile exercise in purchasing frequent flyer miles with US Airways for an anticipated trip that they wouldn’t let me book, and business/banking expenses included internet, annual dues for web hosting, associations, and my newsletter platform.
Food & Drink: $149
If you subtract my US Airways fiasco expense from October, you come up with about what I spent in November, which seems to be my general cost of living in Peru (including business expenses), and leaves me wanting for nothing.
Even so I had hefty business expenditures this month, including an advance ticket to the World Domination Summit in July.
Food & Drink: $108
Because my purse was stolen in December, I had to shell out some extra cash to buy a new smartphone/camera combo, which I’ve listed as a business expense. Also, I spent a bit of money on the holidays (both in gifts and personal expenses) but other than that, December was a fairly quiet month.
Food & Drink: $200
2014 was an interesting year for me, and a continued evolution of my full-time travel journey. $28,000 is much lower than my ridiculous high of $44,000 spent in 2013, which included $20,000 in unexpected expenses like recovering from a near-fatal accident, my $10,000 passport saga, supporting my (ex)partner, and more.
But $28,000 is also more than the $17,000 I spent to travel full-time in 2010 and 2011 (and curiously, it’s almost exactly what I spent in 2012).
This is in part due to the fact that I didn’t focus as much on free accommodation strategies as I typically have in the past. With my online career doing quite well, I’m at the point where I value free time and less responsibilities, rather than trading my time and energy for free accommodation as with volunteering or house-sitting. The good news on this front is that accommodation expenses in Peru are minimal and affordable.
And as you’ll see in my upcoming post outlining my income for 2014, my expenses for the year were more than sustainable – in fact I was able to save money.
This – as I’ve said before – is the art of financially sustainable full-time travel; it doesn’t have to be synonymous with tight budgets and forsaking comfort. It’s about spending within your means, and on the things that are important to you.
For previous annual reviews of my cost of full-time travel, check these posts out: