How To Plan Your Nomadic Life

FIRECracker
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FIRECracker

FIRECracker is Canada's youngest retiree. She used to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, but instead of drowning in debt, she rejected home ownership. What resulted was a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed her and her husband to retire at 31 and travel the world. Their story has been featured on CBC, the Huffington Post, CNBC, BNN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. To date, it is the most shared story in CBC history and their viral video on CBC's On the Money has garnered 4.5 Million views.
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“How do you plan your nomadic lifestyle? When do you book flights and accommodations? What about Visas?”

Whenever we tell people we live nomadically, people tend to assume we move around all the time, that we are CONSTANTLY on the go. How could we possibly have time to see everything, work on passion projects, and still enjoy ourselves? Wouldn’t all our time be spent on travel planning?

I get it. Some people find travelling pretty hectic, and if you read this post from the MadFIentist, he actually mentions that he tried the travelling lifestyle after quitting his job recently, and it wasn’t for him.

With all the flights, accommodations, activities, Visa requirements, navigating the local scene—from food to language to customs, it can all seem overwhelming, but fear not, my young grasshoppers, here are some tips and tricks we use to keep ourselves sane and happy while traveling.

Slow it down. Waaaay down.

Photo By Matthew Field @ Wikimedia

Back when we were working, every vacation was a sprint. I would make detailed hour-by-hour vacation schedules (yes, I was one of THOSE psychopaths) dictating all the places we had to hit in order to get the maximum value out of our short, overpriced vacations. I had to make every second and every dollar (and there were LOTS of them) count. On our trip to London, this backfired when some of our excursions got cancelled due to bad weather, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown reshuffling the schedule, trying to refill the slots, while not missing any crucial attractions. Wanderer was NOT impressed.

Now, instead of staying only a day or two in a place, and moving around all the time, we typically stay for a few weeks up to a month.

I have to say, I enjoy SLOW travel way more than FAST travel. It’s much better to stop and smell the Boquete coffee, savour the Mexican ceviche, and really get to know what it’s like to live in a place rather than moving around every few days. We generally look up the top 10 things to do in a place, and try to see only one or 2 things per day. If we don’t end up seeing them all before moving to the next place, that’s perfectly fine. In the evenings, we mostly chill out at our AirBnb and do some coding, write a blog post, or answer comments/e-mails. This makes travel SO much more enjoyable because you’re not trying to cram in as many activities as possible, and you give yourself time to organize and figure out how to get to the next place.

 

Book Flights At least  6 Weeks Out

Since flights are the most expense part of the trip, we like to book flights at least 6 weeks in advance. For long haul flights, we try to travel hack and use frequent flyer miles as often as possible. For short haul flights and flights where we can’t use miles, we use have a whole smorgasboard of tricks and tips to save money on flights, but since this is a whole topic in of itself, we’ll be writing in detail about this in a separate, upcoming post.

 

Book Accommodations A Month In Advance

I tend to book Airbnbs at least a month in advance and I look for ones that have a “100% Refund” clause or a “Flexible” Cancellation policy. With the 100% refund clause, you get all of your money back, including the Airbnb fee (which is generally around 6-12%). The “Flexible” Cancellation option gives you your money back minus the Airbnb fee.

The reason why I like choosing this option is because it lets me book as early as possible (to get the best picks, as volume usually goes down when you get closer to the date in popular cities), but if anything unexpected comes up (like if we end up changing our itinerary to meet up with friends or if a local recommended a better place to visit), we can easily cancel and rebook a place in a different city without losing any money.

One of my favourite things about Airbnb (other than the fact that they helped us save over $18K/year by providing us with the ability to cook and do laundry) is their impeccable customer service.

There were several incidences where a host listed an amenity (like hot tub) and then charged extra for it. Airbnb simply reimbursed me the charges without question. Another time, a host had to cancel a REALLY good deal in Amsterdam ($53/night for an entire apartment!) due to a health issue, and Airbnb let me re-book a new place for $90/night and re-imbursed me the difference. All because the host cancelled 3 weeks before my arrival date and there were no more comparable deals by then.

Generally, I like to book accommodations at least a month in advance using the “100% Refund” option and then make changes if our itinerary changes.

There have been incidences where I’ve booked an Airbnb two weeks in advance, but I find that you get a limited selection if you do that, and the prices are not optimal.

Readers have asked whether we’ve ever just showed up at a place without accommodations and looked for one on the spot. And the answer is NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO! That’s how you get screwed with shitty places and high prices…unless you’re a backpacker and are okay with just sleeping in a dorm (we’re closer to flash-packers, so this wouldn’t work for us). To get the best value for your money, it’s better to book at least one month in advance and in the worst case, 2 weeks in advance. Keep in mind that this is a general rule of thumb, but in really popular places like Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or Zurich, you may need to book even earlier than a month in advance. But for more off the beaten path places like Oaxaca, Merida, or Nha Trang, you’re probably okay to book less than a month in advance.

Also, keep in mind that there are weekly and monthly discounts on Airbnb where you can save up to 60%! This varies depending on the host, but we’ve found cases where a 7-day stay can be LESS expensive than a 6 day stay. So keep your eyes peeled for these deals.

Divide and Conquer

If you have a bunch of countries in mind, you might get a bit overwhelmed in terms of trip planning, figuring out where to go, which flight to book, where to stay, etc.

This is when I like to use my favourite saying “The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” (If you’re a preachy “holier-than-thou” vegetarian/vegan who’s offended by this phrase, please know that for every comment you make complaining about this fact, I will eat one elephant in your honour. “sharpens knives* *puts on elephant-eating bib”)

First, figure out the flights. This is the most restrictive and costly part of the trip. Use travel hacking to fly for free as often as possible. For flights that you can’t use miles for, book as early as possible to figure out the more cost-effective route.

If you’re going to Europe, you’ll want to consider other options to get around, once you’ve arrived via a major hub (generally the cheapest, most optimal flight to get there). For example, Megabus, and National Express in the UK and FlixBus in Europe can take you as far as 500-600km for as little as 5 Euros. And look for budget airlines like Ryanair, and Easyjet to find cheap flights to get to destinations that can’t be reached by bus.

We like to use google.com/flights to find the most optimal flights (the calendar option is especially good for figuring out price dips during the month) and GoEuro.com to find cheap bus or train travel routes throughout Europe.

Next, work backwards to figure out how many days to stay in each place and book your accommodations.

We like to use Airbnb in Europe, Central America, and South America because having a kitchen and laundry saves you big bucks for travel (if you’d like a to get a $40 USD off for your first Airbnb booking, click here)

In Asia, we like to use agoda.com or booking.com (click here to get $20 USD off your first stay) to find hotels. Since eating out is ridiculously cheap in Asia, not having a kitchen isn’t a big deal.

Once you’ve figured out the main pieces (flights and accommodations), then you can figure out the nitty-gritty details once you’re on the ground, like attractions and food.

Once you use the divide and conquer method, travelling will get a LOT easier.

Give Yourself Time to Acclimatize

When you first arrive in a place you’ve never been before, your first meal will likely suck, be overpriced, and not at all be something the locals would flock to. As much as I pride myself on maximizing the ever-loving crap out of everything, I know to cut myself some slack on my first day. This is because when you first arrive at a place, you’re tired, you’re jetlagged, you may not speak the language, and you haven’t figured out where the locals go yet. So you haphazardly grab a meal close to your Airbnb, just to satiate your ravenous stomach which is now growling so loud people are starting to stare.

This is okay. Accept it. We know that our first meal or grocery trip will be crappy because haven’t yet figured out what a Chedraui (Mexico), Hawker Stall (Singapore), or Bukit Bintang (Malaysia) is yet.

Which is why our spending is generally high on the first day, but quickly levels off after that. Because by the 2nd or third day, we’ve quickly figured out where the local “Mercado Principal” is, marked down the best 40 peso buffet place, or found the food heaven that is the Singapore Old Airport Food Hawker Stall.

Wherever you are, realize that your first meal/grocery trip is likely going to suck, cut yourself some slack and know that the longer you stay, the better you will be at finding the best local deals. Trust me. This happens to us. Every. Single. Time. It’s just part of the process.

 

Check Visa Requirements

One of my favourite things about being Canadian is our passport. Because the Canadian passport is a golden passport, we’ve gotten Visa-free entries to every country we’ve travelled to, with the exception of Cambodia and Vietnam.

For Cambodia, we had to apply for an e-visa beforehand. It cost like $35 USD each, we had to print out a document to show to the immigration people, at which point they stamped us in.

Vietnam was weird. We didn’t need to get a visa from an embassy, but we needed to pre-apply for a visa at an online travel agency which issued us an authorization letter from the government. We then presented that printed out letter to the immigration desk at Ho Chi Minh and got issued a visa on the spot. This is called a VOA, or visa-on-arrival.

Americans, Europeans, Australians, and Canadians automatically get a 30-day Visa-free entry to Thailand if you fly in and a 15-day visa if you enter via train. After staying for a month, we wanted to extend our time, so we simply went to the Visa office in Chiang Mai (about a 30 min drive outside the city) and paid to get our Visa extended.

Before travelling, check what the Visa requirements for the country you are going to given your passport. Generally Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and Americans have golden passports that make it easy to enter many countries without Visas but check with your State Department on the most up-to-date requirement.

Cover Your Ass with Travel Insurance

Before you travel, MAKE SURE YOU GET TRAVEL INSURANCE! You can go without insurance for things that won’t bankrupt you, like trip cancellation or trip interruption, but for medical (especially if you’re going to the States), you NEED to get insurance. Otherwise you could be out hundreds of thousands, even MILLIONS of dollars if you get seriously hurt and need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.

We buy worldwide insurance from WorldNomads that includes trip cancellation and interruption, which saved us thousands of dollars when Wanderer’s grandmother passed away suddenly last year and he had to fly back. Click here to read my post about travel insurance and to get a quote (full disclosure: this is an affiliate link, so we will get a small commission if you purchase travel insurance).

So there you have it. Travelling doesn’t have to be stressful if you put a system in place. For us, during the past 2 years that we’ve been travelling, we’ve never missed a flight, never run into a major problem with accommodations, and the only thing that’s gone wrong is having to fly back home because of a family emergency. But because we were covered by travel insurance, we didn’t have to worry.

Phew! How do you summarize 2 years of travelling into one article? The short answer is you can’t, so this article feels a bit like scraping the surface of multiple topics that could easily fill multiple articles. So if you want more details about any particular thing, let us know in the comments and we will tailor our next few articles to what you guys/gals want to know!



Airbnb helped us save over $18K/year! Thinking about travelling? Get $40 USD off your next Airbnb booking here.


Also, read about why you need Travel Insurance. Get a quote now! (full disclosure: if you buy travel insurance from World Nomads, I will get a small percentage as a commission)





52 thoughts on “How To Plan Your Nomadic Life”

  1. Just one question, what do you do when you’re back in Canada?

    The being on the road part I can figure out. For me, that’s the easy part. It’s the ‘home base’ part that I’m struggling with. I need 153 days of residency for OHIP not to lapse. Plus I need an address for government business (OHIP renewal, driver’s license renewal, passport renewal etc). I’m estranged from my family so staying with them, or even using their address for mail, is not an option.

    So I’m curious as to how you’ve arranged that part of your life. Do you still maintain a residency in Ontario, or do you rent each time you return and just have a PO Box for mail, or what? Thanks in advance.

    1. We’ve stayed with family/friends and also rented out places on Airbnb.

      As for the 153 days for OHIP, for the past 2 years, we’ve been able to use two 1-year vacation absences. Going forward, the plan is to buy nomad insurance. This is again another article and too long to explain in a comment, so I’ll be writing about it in detail in a future article.

      In your case, you have two options:

      1) For a fixed address, use a travelling mailbox. They cost around $25/month, and you can pay to have them scan important documents for $1 each and send them to you. Gocurrycracker.com talked about this on his blog and how his family uses it: http://www.gocurrycracker.com/snail-mail-paper-checks-21st-century/

      2) As for maintaining residency, you can either sublet a place for 5 months of the year, and then travel for 7 to maintain the OHIP requirements OR you could buy expat insurance (this is the option we’ll be using) and have your OHIP re-instated 90 days after you return to Canada.

        1. As I understand it (I’m a non-resident and have done a lot of reading about this), CRA will consider you a resident unless you establish tax residency in another country. So if you’re doing permanent travel, you would still technically be a resident of Canada. Although one without provincial health care coverage, because no province is going to consider you a resident after you exceed whatever exceptions there are for longer term travel (like the OHIP ones FIREcracker mentioned).

          I suppose you’d end up paying federal taxes but not provincial, maybe? If I were in this situation I’d get some professional advice on that.

          1. For sure – definitely professional consultation required, just curious as to general experience.

            My assumption was that we’ll still be considered as residing in Canada, as I doubt we’ll reside anywhere else for > 6 months. My main concern is the tax treatment of things like TFSA and RESP accounts, which are not generally covered by our various tax treaties.

            1. As a general, country-nonspecific rule, I’d go with the assumption that if you establish residency somewhere else, your non-RRSP accounts are going to be taxed under whatever local rules they have for taxable investment accounts.

              Which will be more of an issue some places than others. Some countries have a tax on principal, not just investment gains. (I wouldn’t establish residency there!)

              I have lots of post-FIRE travel plans, but they don’t presently involve tax residency somewhere else. To attain that status most places, I’d have to find a full-time job with an employer who’d sponsor me, and I want a break from that! (Although there are a few countries like Ecuador that do retiree visas, or investment visas that require an amount of money reasonable enough that I would actually consider going that route, so that’s a possibility I guess.)

      1. Thinking forward to my own FI future, I’m very interested in the logistics of a nomadic, or a semi-nomadic, life.

        My questions to Firecracker and Wanderer: what did you do with the contents of your rental in Toronto when you gave it up? Do you rent storage space in Canada, or have storage cost externalities (i.e. friends or family are holding for you)? It seems mundane, but where do you keep winter clothes when traveling somewhere hot? Do you really no longer own any furniture or a mattress? Does embracing a nomadic life necessarily go hand-in-hand with embracing a minimalist life?

        My general question to the community: is sub-letting (I mean legally and within the bonds of a Canadian residential rental tenancy agreement) really a thing? Do landlords actually exist that would allow this (in a major city in Canada)?

        1. We basically sold pretty much everything we owned after we retired. The only things left are 4 boxes (containing a winter jacket or two, some books, a few bowls/kitchen stuff) that we left in Wanderer’s mom’s basement. In terms of winter clothing, we’ve structured our travel so that we don’t need to bring anything since we deliberately pick warm places and chase the sun. Whenever we need to go back to Canada, we simply stay with friends/family or rent short-term sublets via Airbnb or Kijiji. When you’re no longer tied to a job, finding a sublet is easy because you’re not forced to pick a specific city. It definitely helps to embrace the minimalist lifestyle when you’re nomadic, and you don’t need to own any furniture because all the places we’ve rented out are fully furnished.

  2. Exactly– your points about giving your self the headspace and budget to acclimate are spot on. We just returned earlier this year from a rtw travel sabbatical with our tween and slower travel was key for us as well. World Nomads was great to work with though our experience with Airbnb customer service was not great. Enjoy the journies!!

    1. Hooray for slow travel! Sorry to hear about your experience with Airbnb. Personally, I’ve always had amazing customer service from them throughout the 2 years we’ve been travelling. Maybe you can escalate to the next level? I’ve had one incident where a lower level rep wasn’t able to solve the problem, but when I escalated to a manager, they solved it pretty quickly.

  3. On Air BnB, I recently discovered you can get a large discount for booking 28 days or more. We recently got a 60% discount for booking 4 weeks vs 27 days, and that extra day saved us £1,000.

    Percentages do vary, so worth looking around various listings.

    1. I actually forgot to mention that! Thanks for reminding me.

      Yes, we take full advantage of the weekly and monthly discounts…another reason why I love Airbnb and slow travelling! Thanks for mentioning it!

    1. I hope you do, Zoe! I had no idea how much money travelling the world would save us, compared to staying in Toronto, but once we got started, it became very obvious.

  4. And…bookmarked for future use.

    Slow travel is part of our FI plans, though it might be more along the lines of three months abroad while the kiddos are on summer break, or maybe a year abroad if we decide to finally put my teaching credential to use and home school the youngins while we all see a different part of the world.

    For longer stays, I definitely think AirBNB is the way to go. But for the way we travel now, I have come around to the beauty of the hotel, with its magical, always clean room. 🙂

    1. Nice! Definitely a good idea to put those teaching credentials to use. I would also highly recommend you join the FB World Schoolers group so your kiddos can meet other travelling families and make new friends!

      We tend to use hotels in South East Asia because food is so good, healthy, and cheap, it makes no sense for us to cook. So I know what you mean by the magic of daily cleaning and fresh towels. Though, in our case, Airbnb just feels so much more like home to us. I think it’s because we like meeting locals and it’s much harder to do that in hotels. But yeah, for shorter stays, hotels are probably more suitable for you.

  5. Now that you are with Wanderer 100% of the time. How do you avoid killing him when moments are not optimal? Nicely put, how do you give each other space when space may be just a hotel room? You can only hang out for so long at the nice coffee shop.

    1. i agree . . its too much being with your spouse constantly .. Airbnb is like this .. which is why traveling has to have a social aspect for me .. . which is why i love SE Asia as my fave travel destination ..

      1. SE Asia rocks! I miss the Thai massages, and the food, and the elephants, and the Vietnamese Pho, and the nice beaches….*sigh*…need to go back soon.

    2. I have NO IDEA why people keep asking me this!

      *shrugs* I dunno. Maybe don’t marry people you can’t stand to spend time with? Spending a lot of time with Wanderer isn’t new to me. We’ve always spent a lot of time together, even back when we were in university (as lab partners). So working on projects together isn’t new to us. Maybe I’m just lucky that I married my best friend 🙂 Or maybe we’re united in our hatred towards the status quo. Or maybe it’s because of all the space cakes we eat. Who knows?

  6. what i don’t like about Airbnb in Europe is not meeting people .. next time we are planning on renting a car and camping .. no bookings just see where we end up .. no schedule .. except to return the car .. i notice that the more flashpacker i became , the more lonely it became .. . which is also true as you go up the financial scale at home .. driving a car is lonely , a bus is more social .. etc

    1. Sometimes I bring a judogi and visit the local judo clubs when I travel. It works quite well for getting to meet some locals. But it works better if you’ve been doing judo for 30 years; it would work much less well for beginners.

      I think that strategy works well for some activities and less well for others. I bet, for instance, that salsa dancing would work well, from what I hear about it.

      1. Activities are where it’s at 🙂 We met a lot of people on tours, scuba dives, cooking classes, etc. We’ve even met people just waiting in line at the Canadian embassy in Thailand or getting a haircut. People tend to reach out to people with something in common with them or with similar interests. So clubs (like your Judo club) is a great way to meet like-minded people.

    2. What we do in this case is try to book places on Airbnb where you share common areas rather than always getting “entire suites”. You naturally end up talking to people as you are cooking or watching TV together. Another thing we found useful for meeting people is going on tours–met a lot of expats when we went Scuba diving and taking some tours in Mexico. I’m not a huge fan of tours, but every now and then I’ll pick a low key one to meet travellers. We also met people in a cooking class in Thailand.

      Also, you can go to conferences/retreats like Chautauqua and Fincon. One of the surprising things that came out of Chautauqua is how many long term friendships we developed even after it was over. There are attendees from all over the world and we are having reunions all over the place.

      1. SE asia is no problem for meeting people ,
        but Europe is if you rent the entire place .. so i will be keener to rent with a common space next time .. thanks

  7. We still haven’t tried Air BNB yet, but I haven’t been on a real vacation in about 4 years (traveled a lot, but did it for “work”). We need to really try it. Of course, we first have to figure out a vacation destination. However, I do admit that I like having a home base. I don’t know if I could do the nomadic travel like you all. But I do love reading about it.

    1. Thanks for reading my crazy ramblings, Jason! I always appreciate your thoughtful comments 🙂

      As for home basing it, a lot of travellers agree and it does make sense for many people. You gotta do you right?

      As for figure out a vacation destination, I like to check Nomadlist (https://nomadlist.com/) or get recommendations from friends, fellow bloggers, other travellers we meet along the way. Nomadlist is useful in that it lets me filter by weather, safety, cost, walkability etc. This is the site that I found Merida, Mexico from. Prior to that, I had never even heard of the city.

    2. I’m with you Jason, I love reading about travel, gives me ideas of where and what to do, but I love my home and some years I travel 3 months of year and others 1 month. I love travelling but I always love coming home. I think once you are able to do non work related travel you will naturally figure out what works for you. But that’s what is great about FIRE you can explore these options.

  8. Great round up of permatravel tips. It’s still a lot of work in my opinion but then again we were planning a whole summer of travel and had to accommodate the whims of 3 children 🙂

    We booked Airbnbs WAAAY ahead of time, as in 6 months ahead of time and had the pick of the litter. Most were flexible cancellation deals but we actually stuck with all of the places we booked and shockingly, none of the 14 places cancelled on us (we’ve been cancelled on 2x before and Airbnb sent a 10% off coupon without us even asking).

    Visas are something we struggle with and having to deal with applying for them times five people would be a pain. So we look for places that allow you free entry or to simply pay a fee at the airport/border crossing. Russia is one of those places we’re avoiding for now due to ridonculous visa requirements (and the whole “Putin is batshit insane” thingy). Oh well, their loss of our rubles. No spasiba to that.

    1. No one optimizes like you, Justin. You are an optimization fiend! If you’re planning a big trip like that for a family of 5, it definitely makes sense to be organized and plan as early as possible (6 months in advance, wow!).

      I’m interested in Russia too, but yeah, the Visa requirements and Putin is definitely a turn-off. Visas can a be pain in the ass! (That’s one of the reasons why I avoid China like the plague…even though I have family there)

      1. Re: the 6 months out, I think we have to book further out because we have a narrower range of Airbnbs available that can accommodate 5 of us and are whole house rentals whereas you guys can kind of make do with whatever (within reason lol). Makes it a little more challenging to book and plan but we’re only doing it for ~2 months per year and are constrained in terms of dates we can travel (June-Aug due to school).

        1. So you’re going to book even earlier than 6 month? Whoa. Well, I guess you could potentially do it even 1 year in advance, as long as it has the “100% refund” cancellation policy. So no need to worry even if plans change closer to the date.

          1. Oh no, I meant we book a lot further out than you do because we have to be pickier with search criteria. So we do several months, maybe 6. A year out, I’d be afraid of getting cancelled on, or that most places wouldn’t have their calendars showing availability yet (so supply might be less 1 year out vs 6 months out!).

  9. When you can go anywhere, how do you decide WHERE to go? We are fully remote but struggle with committing to a destination. How do you choose?!

    1. Excellent question! Jason asked the same thing.

      We do one of 2 things:

      1) Check NomadList (https://nomadlist.com/). This is a super useful site I use to filter out cities based on weather, cost, walkability, safety, etc. This is where I found Merida, Mexico, a place I never even heard of. And now I know it’s a wonderful, safe place with lots of expats and great weather.

      2) Ask locals, friends, other travellers for recommendations. One of the biggest advantages of travelling is how many new people you end up meeting. This gives you an endless resource to tap into when it comes to deciding your next destination. In fact, we are in Galapagos right now because of a recommendation from a traveller we met in Mexico. We love it as much as she thought we would!

      Oh and we also try to optimize based on weather and cost. For example, we picked cities in Vietnam based on whether it was dry season there since we didn’t want to be caught in a monsoon. We also tend to go to Europe during spring and summer and then escape to Latin American or South East Asia in the winter. And if you can pick shoulder season to travel to popular city you also save a ton of money on accommodations and flights as well.

  10. “Every vacation was a sprint…” That is how I feel every time I plan a vacation, I want to make sure we don’t miss anything and get value for the money. I am trying to get better at taking it slower so I don’t get all stressed out if plan changes, it is a vacation after all. I can’t wait to be able to go month at a time like the two of you and really enjoy the places we visit. Thanks for sharing

    1. I’m with you there, Caroline. When I was planning vacations back when I was working, I was trying to squeeze value into every second. Now, it’s much easier since we have more time to work with. The trick to vacation planning is to prioritize. You can add in all the thing you don’t want to miss, but in order of how badly you want to see them, that way if a few drop off because you ran out of time, you still feel like you got good value while not stressing out trying to see everything.

  11. world nomads do not cover people that are over 66 years of age. Do you know of any company that will insure people who are over 66 and are traveling? 1. to Europe and 2. to the US?

    1. I have also read on the internet that you need to have OHIP (in Ontario) coverage as well, for their policy to be valid.

      Example from a travel forum:

      I’ve used World Nomads in the past, but they no longer covered residents from Quebec the last time I checked. Also, I doubt they’ll cover you unless you have valid provincial insurance. Depending on your province you may lose coverage after you’ve been out of the country for six months. Definitely check this first because having provincial coverage is essential for almost all Canadian travel insurers!

      I’ve been searching the World Nomad website, but I can’t find any information on it. I assume it would be in the policy details. Firecracker would you mind checking the fine print on your policy to see if OHIP coverage is required? I know it was true for my TravelCuts insurance that I purchased last time I lived abroad. I burned up my OHIP vacation absences on that one.

      1. That’s correct, Veronica. In order to use travel insurance you have to have insurance coverage in your home country. So World Nomads will not work for you in that case. However, that being said, what would work for you is “Expat Health Insurance”. We’re looking into a couple of companies like Cigna (one of the biggest that offer Expat insurance), International Insurance, and William Russell. Will write a post about it after we find out more.

    2. I’m guessing that you are Canadian and not American? Because as of Sept 2014, World Nomads accepts US residents under the age of 70, but Canadian residents under the age of 60.

      I’ve heard that “Atlas Travel Insurance” doesn’t have an age restriction. Haven’t used them ourselves, obviously, but these guys seem to like it: https://gringosabroad.com/travel-insurance-expats/

  12. We could FIRE now but we plan to spend an extra 2 years padding the travel budget. At least the house is going on sale soon.

    One thing I’d like to hear from nomads is managing the lifestyle with a dog. About 6 months before we discovered FIRE, we adopted Khaleesi, our Vizsla. She is now an irreplaceable part of the team and we hope to bring her with us all over America and Europe.

    1. That’s a really good question. I’m not sure about how to manage the nomadic lifestyle with a pet. I’m guessing you’d just be staying in places longer and maybe driving around (once you get to Europe) instead of flying so you can take them with you. And you could filter Airbnb rentals for ones that allow pets.

  13. Great tips FireCracker! We’re following a bunch of these during our trip to Japan.

    While I’m no travel hacking genius, we were able to save a bunch of money on flights…which is great when you’re traveling with a family.

  14. When you book your next month or so, how do you do so? Specifically, if you book by the internet, how do you guarantee that your bookings are secured?

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