How Travelling Saves You Money

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“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. –anonymous

Huayna Picchu mountain, Peru

“But travelling is so expensive, I can’t afford to travel all the time.”

“I don’t know what I would do with myself if I travelled to one place and stayed there for a whole month!”

These are just some of the complaints I got from people I met while attending the Travel Summit.

Having been out of the workforce for nearly 8 years now, it’s easy to forget what it was like to cherish those precious 3-4 weeks of vacation, then spend all year saving up for that lavish trip of a lifetime to get away from all the stress.

As it turns out, there are some big differences between vacation and travel that most people don’t understand. So, in this post, I’m going to try to clarify them and, as a result, hopefully help you understand why vacations are expensive but travelling isn’t.

Experience

Experience wise, vacations are an escape. It’s a way to unwind from the stress of a job. This is why vacations tend be at a resort or hotel, in one location, with unlimited drinks, food, and staff who wait on you, so you don’t need to worry or think. It’s about comfort and decompression. Vacations tend to be short and last a few weeks at most.

Travel, on the other hand, is a lifestyle. To quote my friend, Alan, “You’ve built a life that you don’t want to escape from” so instead of de-stressing, you’re discovering different cultures and expanding your mind. You travel to live life, not run away from it, and as a result you eat, drink, take public transportation, and otherwise just live like a local. Travel tends to last months if you’re semi-nomadic or years if you’re fully nomadic.

Now, I know that these are tendencies. Of course, they are retirees who also go to resorts and travellers who try to use it as an escape or as a way to “find themselves” (spoiler alert: your problems will continue to follow you no matter where you go).  But the ones who travel as a lifestyle do it because they love it.

I also find it interesting that people who take vacations seem to be afraid of free time. They say things like “how will I ever cope with not doing anything for a whole month?!”

This confused me at first, but then I realized maybe they’re just traumatized by work. I get where they are coming from because I was in the same situation before. But I now know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just being happy, doing nothing, and enjoying life for a month. Life is meant to be lived, not fast-forwarded. After all, no one ever said on their deathbed “I wish I’d worked more”.

Cost

When we first quit our jobs to travel the world, I didn’t understand why travel would save us money because the only type of “travel” I’d experienced were lavish vacations I splashed out on to decompress from work.

Given that vacation packages cost $1000-$5000 per person per week, not including flights, naturally, I took that number and extrapolated it across the year, thinking it would cost us $104,000 – $520,000/year!

Of course, “travelling” seemed expensive! I paid at least $1000/person for round trip flights + $1000/person for the vacation package, and on top of that I was also paying my rent back home since I left it empty while I was gone.

I had no idea travel and vacation were completely different things.

Those who travel (digital nomads, retirees, people on sabbatical) have much more time and flexibility, so they can spread their costs over a long period of time. When you have the option to fly on a Monday or Wednesday, the cost is significantly lower than when you need to squeeze out time from work to catch a plane on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday with everyone else.

You also have the option of balancing out expensive places like Switzerland with inexpensive places like Thailand, so the average cost is a quarter of what you’d spend on a vacation package.

Here’s an example of how much I used to spend on vacation, versus being fully nomadic, versus being semi-nomadic:

Vacation (3 weeks)

ItemCost
Week 1: 7 day All inclusive resort in Cuba$1000/person
Week 2: 7 day Caribbean cruise$800/person 1-week Caribbean cruise + $150 each for tip + $150 each for booze = $1100/person
Week 3: 7 day all-inclusive Mediterranean Cruise$1100/person for a 1-week all-inclusive Mediterranean Cruise + $150 each for tip + $150 each for booze = $1400/person
Flights: (high season, weekend departure only)$800 round trip/person + $800 round trip/person + $1600 round trip/person = $3200/person
Total Vacation package daily cost per person, including flights$1100 + $1400 + $3200 = $6700/person for 3 weeks = $318/person/day
Rent being paid back home + wifi$1500/month/couple + $53/month/couple = $1553/month/couple = $777/month/person = $26/person/day
Total vacation cost$318 + $26 = $344/person/day

Here’s an example of a hotel I used to stay in on vacation:

4.5 star hotel Riu Palace Aruba all inclusive: $370/person/night (photo credit: Christian Córdova @Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Nomadic (1 year)

ItemCost
Thailand (3 months)$1150/person/month
Portugal (3 months)$1500/month/person
Toronto (1 month)$1700/month/person
USA (1 month)$2000/month/person
UK (1 month)$2250/month/person
Sweden + Spain (1 month)$2500/month/person
Malaysia (2 months)$1200/person/month
Average cost of living per person per month (rent, food, entertainment, transportation included)($1150*2 + $1500 *3 + $1700 + $2000 +$2250 + $2500 + $1200*2)/12 = $1346/person/month = $45/person/day
Add expat health insurance of $100/person/month, and cheap flights bought with points and during off-peak season and weekdays costing $500/person/year$5/person/day
Total cost of living$50/person/day (there is no double rent because you have no home base)

Here’s an apartment-style hotel I booked on Agoda.com (and no, that’s not a typo. The cost is literally $15.60 CAD/day or $11.47 USD/day, less than most couples spend on daily coffee in North America. And it comes with a rooftop pool!):

Apartment-style hotel with pool, 5 mins walk from the beach: $15.60 CAD/night (photo credit: Lagom hotel on Agoda)
Kitchen and dining room. (photo credit: Lagom hotel on Agoda)
Rooftop pool. (Photo credit: Lagom hotel on Agoda)

Semi-Nomadic (5 months) :

ItemCost
Rent back home: $1500/couple/month + $53 Wi-Fi = $26/person/day
Home Exchange fee$204/year
Additional accommodation costsfree (using Home Exchange where you can swap homes non-simultaneously using Guest Points)
Food, entertainment, transportation for 5 months$900/month/person (less expensive than what you spend at home when you’re in South East Asia, Mexico, Eastern Europe, or the Balkans)
Travel insurance$57/month/person
Flights$1000/person bought with points and during off-peak season (slightly more expensive than fully nomadic because of the return flight back to your home-base)
Total cost of living$26 + ($204 +$1000)/5/30 + ($57+$900)/30 = $66/person/day

Here’s a Home Exchange we stayed in in Croatia:

2 bedroom apartment in Zagreb exchanged with points

As you can see, vacationing costs 5-7 times more than travelling!

Minimalism

Travel teaches you to value experiences over things. Vacations do not.

Once I started travelling, I became more minimalistic because there’s only so much you can carry on your back for a whole year. I also realized I didn’t need most of things I owned because I didn’t even remember what I packed away in my parents’ basement before I left. In fact, after I came back, it was easy to donate most of it since if I hadn’t use it in the past 8 years, I wasn’t going to ever need it.

I now treasure my memories from my adventures and time spent travelling with friends far more than any “stuff” that I only get a temporary high from. My memories continue bringing me happiness years after the experience is over.

Now, before you freak out about me telling you to donate all your stuff, know that there’s nothing wrong with owning things. I get that some people miss having more than a week of clothes and their sentimental items. What I realized is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Once you become FI or can make your work location independent, you can choose the semi-nomadic lifestyle (like snowbirds) and travel for 50% of the year, which lets you enjoy endless summer, novel experiences, while still owning things the things that you love.  

The key to living this lifestyle is Home Exchange (full disclosure: this is an affiliate link so I will get a small commission if you choose to complete your profile), which let’s you travel while avoiding double paying for accommodations. Plus, it’s nice to have trustworthy people take care of your place while you’re gone and helps you make friends all over the world. Just make sure you read your local rental or HOA laws to make sure you’re not violating any rules.  Here’s a post I wrote about how to get started.

And if you don’t have a rental or own a home to exchange, don’t worry, you are saving even more money by being fully nomadic.

There’s nothing wrong with going on vacation, but “travelling is expensive” is not the same as “vacations are expensive”. Vacations and travel are completely different.

What do you think? Is travel different from vacations? Which do you prefer?


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60 thoughts on “How Travelling Saves You Money”

  1. Yes to this and especially Home Exchange. We have been doing this for about eight years now and it’s amazing. In fact I head out in few weeks to Australia where I have five weeks of ‘free” accommodation in Melbourne using points earned exchanging. In looking at airbnbs there over Christmas we have saved between 5-10,000 US. Also used credit card points for two of my kids’ tickets plus getting a rental car for 17 days using points ($4500 saved). So many ways that this life can be lower cost.

    1. Well done! Yes, Home Exchange + points = nearly free travel 🙂 I’ve also found some really great home exchanges in Australia. Enjoy!

    1. How did you decide where your home base was going to be? Was it a where ever family is? Or a favourite place you travelled to?

  2. Try to do that with 2 kids in school age plus having to take care of your aging parents!!! Millennials aren’t all blessed like M-R couple is!

  3. I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail about 8 months after I fired. I was thinking it would be cheap, but it cost about 10k usd each for my wife and I. There are many ways to hike this trail as some people do it for under 5k, but this was a once in a lifetime adventure and I didn’t want to hold back. Looking for the next thing. I’ll check out this exchange website! Great article. I have traveled/backpacked a lot over the years, but looking forward to some slow travel!

    1. Yes, slow travel is my favourite type of travel. Enjoy home exchange! Hope you meet some awesome friends along the way like I did 🙂

  4. “Apartment-style hotel with pool, 5 mins walk from the beach: $15.60 CAD/night”

    It’s rather pointless to state that you can get super cheap lodging — we all know that already.

    The most expensive part of travel is the airfare. (For room/board, you have more options with hotels, Airbnd, etc.) The airfare to get to the Lagom hotel (in Vietnam) you mentioned above is ~$2000/person/round trip. Never mind that it’s a 30-hour trip just to get there for someone residing in the U.S.

    As other examples, here are results from a casual search for a potential trip in February 2023 (per person/round trip, leaving from the U.S.), with a flexible schedule:

    Honolulu, $1400
    London, $760
    Hong Kong, $1700
    Vancouver, $780

    Ouch.

    There’s always the argument that you can use points to pay for a portion of it. But in reality, for an average Joe operating with a regular spending budget, you can only sign up for so many cards and rack up so many points per year!

    1. Highly recommend you go to the Travel Summit or read blogs about how to use points to travel (like Prince of Travel). It will improve your knowledge of points accumulation.

      As a Canadian, you can fly to Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, HongKong for 75,000 Aeroplan points + 100 tax /person in taxes for business class and 53K points + 100 tax/person in economy. Just one or two CIBC and/or TD Aeroplan sign up bonuses at 50,000 points each will get you that with additional points to spare. Once you get to Asia, it’s a cheap Vietjet $60 flight to get around from the hubs. You have to be strategic about when you book (not peak season) and know where the hubs are. And that’s just Aeroplan. There are other points programs you can use too. In fact, I just booked 2 flights to Taipei from North American for 50K Aeroplan/person that I got with only 1 credit card sign up. You have to be smart and strategic about the timing.

      Americans have it even better with bigger sign up bonuses from Chase and Amex.

      But hey, if being curious and learning instead of judging is not your thing. Even better. More points for us! 🙂 Please stay home and don’t travel. I don’t want you to clutter up my travel destinations.

      1. Points can only take you so far, for the average consumer.

        I have 110,000 points in my Chase account, but still not nearly enough for that Hong Kong air fare.

        Some of the so-called “good deals” you can find on air travel often don’t mentioned that they have 3, 4, or more stops. No one wants to be on the road for 40 hours to get to a destination.

  5. Sounds so doable.
    What is the make of your backpack? I want to get it for Christmas and give it as Christmas gifts and start travelling differently.
    Thank you for sharing your figures and wonderful experiences.

  6. In the last 10 years of traveling abroad…

    we discovered that 95% of travelers are running away from something in common…
    they are running away from the fierce and endless “Financial Competition” of their home countries.

    Traveling to the poorer nations will give an instant relief of financial stress, a temporary bandage.

    And as sure as the sun rises the next day…
    financial related issues catches up with them…
    and worst of all…
    they have aged in a foreign land, a foreign culture and boxed-in with minimal option to turn their lives around!

    Everything you that you have learned on this website, most of them can be executed at home turf.

    Travel aboard only when you have financial closure at home and have an open mind for new experiences.

    Any more money to be made or saved from optimizations should be looked at as icing on the cake!

    1. That’s why I said “your problems will follow you”. We don’t travel to escape. We travel to learn and see our friends 🙂

  7. Timing is relevant in regards to costs. I assume the Bucharest and home exchange occured during the height of the covid lockdowns when prices were at their lowest. If incorrect, I have no issues with owning my incorrect assumption. If I’m actually right about the timing of those accommodation bookings, then it’s long irrelevant. Actually, stating costs from the past is always irrelevant.

    Booking month long accommodations (with a kitchen) though is good as you get a nice discount for a 28-31 day minimum booking. I think that’s more the learning here. When you’re short on time and rushed, you’ll pay a heftier price. When you can do things slower and can fiddle with dates and locations, as well as not being served on hand over foot, you can drive your costs down.

    1. Home Exchange have nothing to do with prices. It’s a sharing economy where money doesn’t change hands so pricing is irrelevant. Also, it’s Croatia, not Bucharest 🙂

      Your second point about doing things slower is the point I’m trying to make. So yes, that’s right.

  8. Traveling saves money only if you are coming from an expensive place to another place that’s cheaper AND you are still young.

    If you come from a place that’s cheaper to another place that’s expensive, then traveling would be costly.

    And when you finally get old and cannot move around as agile as you are while still young, you will be in need of a place to settle down long term, i.e. a home.

    Traveling from an expensive place to another place that’s cheaper merely postpones the financial commitment to a permanent home. This certainly gives you the illusion that traveling is saving you money. In fact, it merely delays your need for a permanent residence, which will eventually come.

    I believe a better life quality should be a matter of upgrading our cost of living to a much higher level with higher luxury, etc and not to downgrade to a cheaper place(s) in order to save money.

    1. Have you ever lived outside your own country? If not, then the idea of expensive = better would be something you’re lead to believe. In fact, inexpensive (eg Portugal, Balkans, Spain) doesn’t mean less luxury. It could simply mean there are less jobs so cost of living can’t go up since it’s not crowded with people looking for economic opportunities. Irrelevant once you are retired or work remotely and no need to be confined to a major metropolitan city for work. In that sense, you can take advance of the great weather, inexpensive rent, luxurious amenities, and fewer crowds for a fraction of the price you’d pay to live in expensive countries with lots of jobs.

      But hey, if you want to work longer to pay for expensive housing, you do you, boo! It’s actually better for us to have less people cluttering up our travel spots 🙂

      1. What I mean by luxury does not strictly mean it must be expensive and expensive only. Luxury means the quality of living is much higher and much better, and that usually translate to higher price or expensive. Luxury in my definition is when you pay for something at higher price but in return you are getting much higher value (relatively) than before. And such luxury can’t possibly be available in a place where the cost of living is low simply because there is not enough economic opportunity for everyone to prosper in, thus turning away numerous enterprising and talented people. The same enterprising and talented people that could have improved your quality of living better, but ended up not.

        If traveling is cheap ($50 – $66 per person per day), then wait till you realize settling down in your retired time in such places (i.e. not traveling) is even cheaper. My cost of living is less than $10 per day as a “settled down” guy. I am retired but I am not old. Is my life quality good at $10 per day? The answer is just average. This is why I disagree with your viewpoint about being cheap, because if I have the opportunity to make much more money and have the opportunity to upgrade my cost of living to say, $50/day, I would go for it. And if I have even better opportunity to make even more money and upgrade my cost of living to say, $1000++/day, I say hallelujah.

        You need to understand that “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” If you overpay for things, yes that’s expensive, but you may not be having better life quality if the value that you overpay for stays the same. The idea is not about traveling to cheaper places to save money or pay less. The idea is to be able to spot good value/good deal wherever you are, i.e. paying low price to get high value, or paying higher price to get even higher value.

        Businesses make far more profit margin on lower priced items/services and less so on much higher priced items/services. So if you aim to go cheap, then you will end up overpaying for the businesses’ profit margins. As for me, for the same item/service, I aim to pay less for the businesses’ profit margins so that I can get more value for myself.

        Of course this does not mean buying expensive watches like Rolex and Omega is a good idea that somehow will improve anyone’s life quality. No, they are not. They are wildly expensive items, not luxury items. Remember “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” At wildly high price and extremely low secondary market (liquidity) and obsolete functionality (you don’t need a watch to tell the time, you can do so with smartphone), buying “luxury” watches is only for the stupid and dumb that happen to be rich. As they say, a fool and his money will soon part ways.

  9. This is so true. We’ll have closed on a year of travel in Mexico next month. All in costs will be a hair under 24k. That includes 6 internal flights, 2 international and heaps of excursions and a broken foot! Just our rent and utilities were 24k in our old life. It’s scary doing something new but it shouldn’t stop you. And if you have all the worries previous commenters have you can build that in. We have a soft landing fund. Just in case we didn’t like traveling full time. A bit of peace of mind but fortunately we love it! Heading to Europe for another year of adventures in January.

    1. Amazing! So glad you are enjoying your travels, Li!

      “It’s scary doing something new but it shouldn’t stop you.” –> this is exactly what holds most people back.

      I’m torn between telling people about this lifestyle that would help them save money while getting better quality of life, but also selfishly wanting to not tell them so my favourite travel destinations don’t get cluttered up and the points systems don’t get devalued with too many people. So, the fact that enough people are poo-pooing the idea makes me happy 🙂 That means our points and travel destinations are safe. Fear can be helpful sometimes.

  10. My wife and I still live in our first and only house and your lifestyle is very different than ours. But I find it fascinating to follow your story and think it is very cool that there are so many different ways to live happy yet affordable lives. That’s the first time I’ve seen any one deconstruct what vacations and traveling are in a way that shows they are completely different things. You are a wise one.

    1. Thanks, Steveark! You are spot on with this comment “there are so many different ways to live happy yet affordable lives.”

  11. Somehow I don’t think I can exchange my home in the middle of winter (when the temperature is -15 to -30) for a home someplace warm. Has anyone had any success doing this?

  12. And then there are regular people still working at a 9-17 BUT they live in Europe and have 6 weeks or more of days off per year (and a different bucket for sick days). And they they can relax at home after work since the work culture is not so toxic in Europe, or they don’t really like vacationing doing nothing (like me :P)…

    So when they leave for a 3-weeks trip – unluckily in high season since that’s when most companies let you take 2 or 3 weeks off at a time – they go for experiences, new cultures, cheap hostels and b&bs. No need for a fancy hotel even if you “just” travel for a few weeks a year.

    Yes, we still have to pay for flights, and we sometimes splurge for an expensive experience (in January we are going to see gorillas in Uganda, 700 USD per person for the day permit…). But I’m quite sure it’s not going to be 350 USD per person per day.

    1. “BUT they live in Europe and have 6 weeks or more of days off per year”

      Ahh, lucky Europeans. Yeah, I agree, they definitely value work life balance way more than in North America.

  13. Very interesting and valuable info.
    Again, I find it so odd that some people will comment that you can’t do this with 2 kids, etc etc. Do the authors have 2 kids?
    They are just explaining what they are doing.
    If a person has 3 ex-wives, with 5 kids he is paying child-support, then he is going to be living in van down by the river.

  14. Also a point to consider, if a person has a professional travel-blog which creates income, they are able to deduct a large amount of their travel expenses as business expenses.

    1. Well, half of it would still be considered personal and you can deduct 50% of expenses as business expenses. It’s not as simple as I can just write off all living expenses. But it could help in some cases.

  15. I always love reading your blog as it is such an interesting viewpoint. My choices are so different, but my life suits me and I’ll be FIRE in 6 years here at my home of 22 years. I am much too much of a home body for your lifestyle so it’s taking me a bit longer, but it is fun to read about your adventures. Isn’t it all about building YOUR best life? Best wishes and many happy returns!

    1. Hey, if it makes you happy, Lorie, then you are exactly where you need to be 🙂 My point isn’t everyone should follow this lifestyle, it’s simply to present different ways to live (rather than just the status quo) so people can choose.

      Everyone do whatever aligns with their values and makes them happy! Just as long as it’s intentional and not “because society tells me to” or “everyone else is doing it”, then you’re living your best, chosen life!

  16. Trump will be back!!! Finally a good news!!! Communism and socialism killed more people than the holocaust and WWI and WWII together!

  17. I know housesitting used to be a great way to stay places for free, but not sure if many people do that anymore.

    Another way to save money, camping! Whether at a campground or having a vehicle with fold flat seats, you can spent $0- $30 on lodging and save the rest for transportation, food and experiences. Most campgrounds have bathrooms, and portable showers have never been so refined.

  18. I think that travelling and vacation can be whatever you want them to be. I’m mostly a sedentary person, complete with a house, backyard, and three cars in the household on a mediocre income. I enjoy mowing the lawn, doing the brakes and winter tires on the cars, and sometimes going a week without leaving my own property.

    I do, however, have the benefit of working for an airline so I can fly standby. I’ve done two weeks in Peru and Bolivia – also hiked Huayna Picchu (was beautiful). Two weeks in Thailand, also Australia, among others – not including places that work has taken me. Been to Switzerland a few times, including the summer I spent there as a bike tour guide and working in construction. Aside from that last one my trips have been short “getaway” trips of two weeks or less. Even so, I did youth hostels, minimal planning, and took only a backpack with me, usually travelling solo. The spouse and I did the all-inclusive Cancun thing once, and while it was nice and I definitely see the appeal for people who have stressful daily lives, it was far from my favourite vacation. Barbados was technically also “all-inclusive,” but a different vibe in that you weren’t sequestered off from the local population. Wonderful place. I enjoyed flying off to various cities for long weekends just to see what it was like even if it was a bit superficial – New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami, Dublin, Amsterdam, etc.

    Although it’s definitely much easier to find an authentic local experience if you spend a good bit of time in a place, you can still do quite a bit of exploring in a week or two if you’re so inclined. Putting yourself into situations where you interact with locals and other travellers is a big plus, for me.

    One thing that I’ve decided about travel is that as much as I enjoy it at times, it’s not the be all, and end all of existence for me. In a lot of ways things are very different from one place to another, but in others it’s kind of all the same. Despite being able to get on a plane for nearly free, I went for nearly four years without doing it (work travel excepted). There’s a lifetime of stuff that can be seen, done, and learned within a few hundred kilometers from home, too. Getting on an airliner is strictly optional.

    1. “I do, however, have the benefit of working for an airline so I can fly standby.”

      Nice! That is an amazing benefit. No need to bother with points hacking.

      Yup, I agree that travelling is not for everyone. If you’re happy with your life then I’m happy for you! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I saw that. I had the exact same thought as you “damn it’s good to be FI and not have to work at twitter’. Even if you work at the best company, you have no control over who can take it over.

      Congrats on FIRE-ing!

  19. Generally, when you are vacationing, the cost is much higher because the time spent is way much shorter and you have very little leeway and room for budgeting, thus you most likely end up overpaying for things, i.e overpaying for flights, cruises, hotels, etc.

    But when you travel and stay in a place for much longer, i.e. few months, you get much more leeway and room to spread out the spending on things with better deals, thus the cheaper average cost.

    However, you may not realize that while traveling is cheaper than vacationing, settling down is even much cheaper than traveling. If you switch from previously being a vacationer to presently a traveler, then yes the cost is cheaper than before. But if you switch from presently a settler (or someone that has settled down) to a traveler in the future, then the cost will be more expensive.

    And if the increase in expenses as a result of transitioning from being a settler to a traveler does not commensurate with much higher increase in the quality of living, then this is overpaying and not a good deal.

    That’s why whether traveling is truly cheap or expensive depends on whose perspective.

    Luxury is not about having internet to surf, food to eat, car to travel, or room to stay. Instead it is about upgrading our life to a higher standard. If you are now eating from a local food stall in Malaysia for example (i.e. eating rice + chop suey) everyday, then an upgrade is to start eating Italian food, western cuisines like fish and chips, etc, everyday for example. And if you are already eating fish and chips, then further upgrade is to start eating fine dining everyday. Of course all these should not come with financial difficulty. Now that’s luxury. And such luxury does not come at cheaper price.

    If I am a settler and I want to travel to increase my worldly exposure, then the added cost of moving out should be justified by the extra worldly exposure I stand to gain. There is nothing wrong with this. The main point is regardless of whether your spending is cheaper or more expensive, the value that you get in return should commensurate with your spending.

    Ideally, the value must increase much more relative to the higher price you pay, and decrease much less relative to the lower price you pay, regardless of where you are or where you are planning to go.

    1. “If you are now eating from a local food stall in Malaysia for example (i.e. eating rice + chop suey) everyday, then an upgrade is to start eating Italian food, western cuisines like fish and chips, etc, everyday for example”…

      This shows that people’s idea of luxury is all relative. Local Malaysian food is not a downgrade to western cuisines to me, I’d personally consider it a huge upgrade and delicious than majority of western food, including Italian and especially “fish and chips”.

      “The main point is regardless of whether your spending is cheaper or more expensive, the value that you get in return should commensurate with your spending”

      If you consider “fish and chips” better than Malaysian food stalls, yes stay at home. Because your personal value system and idea of luxury is wildly different from travelers like millennial-revolution.

      1. It appears you only pick on things you don’t fully understand to disagree about.

        What is luxurious is relative to each others, of course. But the main thing is luxury is about upgrading to a better quality of living, not downgrade in order to stay cheap.

        I do not know the background of the readers and so I use rice + chop suey, fish and chips, fine dining merely as an EXAMPLE to explain my points. My example is NOT intended to be absolutes the way you see it.

        Rice + choy suey is considered an upgrade to you maybe because you very seldom eat them. Imagine if you almost always eat them for your every meal every day for the rest of your life. Very soon, you will get bored with it and you will not see it as an upgrade. Whether rice + chop suey is luxury or otherwise or whether fish and chip is luxury or otherwise is NOT the real main point.

        The MAIN POINT is about upgrade vs downgrade AND how should those transition involves more value you get from the price you pay for the transition.

        And an upgrade is about enriching life quality to a better/higher level, never mind if it is relative to anyone. Life is not about absolutes. If downgrading your life quality to a rotten condition is considered an upgrade because it feels better for you, sure it’s an upgrade too. But never downgrade just because you want it to be cheaper.

        Cheap has nothing to do with better. For that, you want to look for good deals, not cheap deals.

    2. “If you are now eating from a local food stall in Malaysia for example (i.e. eating rice + chop suey) everyday, then an upgrade is to start eating Italian food, western cuisines like fish and chips, etc, everyday for example”…

      This shows that people’s idea of luxury is all relative. Local Malaysian food is not a downgrade to western cuisines to me, I’d personally consider it a huge upgrade and more delicious than majority of western food, including Italian and especially “fish and chips”.

      “The main point is regardless of whether your spending is cheaper or more expensive, the value that you get in return should commensurate with your spending”

      If you consider “fish and chips” better than Malaysian food stalls, yes stay at home. Because your personal value system and idea of luxury is wildly different from travelers like millennial-revolution.

    3. “If you are now eating from a local food stall in Malaysia for example (i.e. eating rice + chop suey

      Wow. This tells me a lot about you, Maverick. It’s clear that you’ve never eaten any authentic Malaysian food in your life.

      Chop Suey is Cantonese and even then it’s more like westernized bastardized “Chinese” food.

      Malaysian food is Nasi lemak, Mee goreng mamak, Curry crab etc.

      So, my point stands. You’ve never lived outside your own country and have no idea what you’re talking about.

      1. FIRECracker, your statement shows the extreme ignorance of yourself despite your travels.

        In Malaysia, there is a wide range of food choices. One can have Malay foods, Chinese foods, Indian foods, Korean foods, Italian foods, Thai foods, western foods, etc.

        I use the term “chop suey” because that’s what westerners are familiar with Chinese foods. In Malaysia, they call it “chap fan” where you pick your own food dishes along with a plate of rice. This is not luxury but cheap living. Westernized Chinese like you have no idea what’s luxury and what’s not. If being cheap is luxury, then I feel sorry for you.

        Nasi lemak is a Malay food. Mee goreng mamak is an Indian Muslim food. I bet you don’t know that. You just lump everything as Malaysian. Even though generally they are, but Malaysia has vast ranges of different ethnicity and culture.

        I am not interested to reveal where I am from, but your statement shows your extreme ignorance despite being so widely traveled.

        And you woefully ignore all my main points and instead disagree on petty ones. That reflects very much on your level of thinking.

        And if traveling at $50/day is cheap, then I suppose settling down at $10/day with endless supply of chop suey and countless other cuisines from around the world all in one place must be considered “expensive” to you.

        You seriously should math shit up yourself.

  20. Kids stop…

    Both of you are arguing the same point, Financial Optimization” to the max.

    FIRE achieve through just the “Financial Optimization” tool is painful and the ROI will plateau out very quickly.

    The fact that FireCracker and her mate started the useful blog and writing the books to document their journey with the intention of helping others achieve FI is laudable.

    The first step toward FIRE is “Financial Optimization”, but the LEAP far and far beyond FIRE is choose a passion and bring it into reality for the benefits of world!

    The capability to choose your passion is the true fruit of labor FI brings to the table.
    At least everyone needs to take a chill pill and enjoy the life you have personally built for yourself.

    Good luck to everyone!

  21. Nice content you have given and it’s a luxurious so you need a heavy amount to buy it but what to do if you not have enough amount to pay for it? Hey! Not to worry, here we are going to provide all the resolution of your financial problems.

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