(Just so you know, there may be some affiliate links in this post, but we only recommend items that we believe in and think will benefit you on your travels.)
1. Tell us about yourself and sum up your travels for us.
Hi, we're Mitch and Sarah Loar! We’ve been married for 2 1/2 years and for the entirety of our marriage we’ve been hustling, designing, and building a lifestyle that allows us to travel full time.
We both discovered our passion for experiencing new ways of life around the globe before we were married. It started for Mitch when he lived in Chile and for Sarah when she lived in New York.
Our inspiration behind traveling is based on experimenting with our curiosities really. Our first goal was to create a life that gave us time to do things we love. Then it moved to exploring more places that we are curious about. Our next goal is to build up our resources and ways we can help others in the world.
The “other people” we are referring to aren’t just people with a severe case of wanderlust, but our future children! We dream of the day when we have a couple little travelers strapped to our backs or waddling along side us as we explore the many corners of the world!
We have only been at this vagabonding thing for 3 months and we will be kicking it in Europe until the end of 2017! We wanted to get a feel for it before we started expanding our family to make sure we aren't in too far over our heads! 😉
2. How have you funded your travels?
There are two reasons we are able to travel full time. One is the way we fund our travels and the other is how we afford our travels.
Our jobs: Sarah is working remotely for a tech company based in the US doing online tech support. Mitch runs his own business as a full-stack marketer and specializes in helping health care providers.
We can afford to travel full time because we don’t pay for two thirds of the costs that most travelers pay for. We look at travel being broken down to three categories; Flights, Accommodations, and Travel tidbits(everything else)
98% of our time in Europe, we don’t pay for accommodations. We didn’t have to pay for our flights to get out to Europe and we will only be paying for one of our tickets on our next flight back to the US. With these two things out of the way, travel becomes really affordable really quickly.
3. Tell us about your budget.
We bring in anywhere between $1400 - $1800 per month.
$800 of that is already spoken for with students loans, car payments, and other bills we're still paying.
That leaves us with $600 - $1000 per month to keep ourselves alive in Western Europe which breaks down to $20 - $35 per day. We eat cheaply most of the time (hello, ramen noodles) and splurge sometimes in order to make this budget work.
Now to touch on what you’re probably asking yourself, how do you not pay for flights or accommodations?!?
We strictly obey these two rules: We only go where we can get housesitting gigs, and we only fly cheap and use our flight points on the expensive flights.
We run all our expenses through two travel credit cards to rack up our points and make it possible to afford some of pricey overseas flights.
House sitting is when you watch someones house, plants, and almost always their pets while they take their vacation, in exchange for a free stay. So far we’ve landed 12 weeks of house sits in Europe - Here’s a peek into our Itinerary: 3 weeks in Southern France(currently here), 2.5 weeks in Spain, 2 weeks in London, 2.5 weeks in Portugal 2 weeks in Northern France - Pretty crazy right?!
4. What have you learned about money since hitting the road?
We’ve learned that European gelato is our budget buster and European bread is our budget saver.
Also, always plan for an emergency, unknown circumstance, or an extra somethin’-somethin’ for yourself.
What surprised us when we started our long-term journey is how quickly we entered the “vacation state of mind” i.e. - buy all the things as fast as you can because you won’t be here long. This screwed us in our first week because Mitch decided to spend almost our entire month's budget at every other pizza stand in New York, and we were only there for a week!
Simply put - we struggle when it comes to good food. We’ve since learned to spend our money on ramen, bread, and spaghetti from the jar so we can splurge a little on the Gelato stand down the street more often.
5. What's your top tip for someone trying to figure out how to make long-term travel financially possible?
This is a repeat of what we said early but it’s something we’ve come up with to help us stay focused: Know your FAT 🙂
Flights - We use our Chase Sapphire and Capital One Venture on everything possible in order to rack up flight points and use sparingly.
Accommodations - Housesitting or bust.
Traveling Tidbits - This is including everything else travel consists of but mainly comprises of food. 80% eat cheap, 20% treat yo’ self. (This also includes other activities of leisure and enjoyment.)
6. If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, are there any online resources you’d recommend?
We will be pre-launching a course that teaches our exact method of traveling in the coming weeks, but until then check these out:
Location Indie podcast and community - A community of nomads and long term travelers! The community opens a couple times a year so sign up for their email list and listen to the podcast to know when the next opening is.
The Wantreprenuer to Entrepreneur podcast, book, and UPM course - Mitch went to Brian Lofrumento’s Ultimate Profit Model retreat to help him get his business off the ground. It was one of the best investments we’ve ever made!
Trusted Housesitters - A place where you can find free accommodations in exchange for caring for someones pets and home. If you go through the link provided, we get 2 months free and you save $20!
7. What's some of your favorite travel gear that enables you to do what you do?
We travel minimal and light. Two backpacks and a Duffel bag - no check on luggage.
Tortuga Backpacks - They just came out with a backpack specifically for digital nomads but we have the Outbreaker bags both in 35L and 45L. Fits all our stuff great and its carry on size so we never have to check anything on.
Matador Packable Backpacks - It’s a backpack that packs down to the size of an apple and we use it for day to day use and pack it away for our travel days.
MacBook Pro 13" - nuff’ said
8. Where can people follow your travels?
We are known in the travel world as the Traveloars
https://www.facebook.com/traveloars - Facebook
https://www.instagram.com/traveloars/ - Instagram
Traveloars.com - Sign up to get notified of our site launch and get a little something’ somethin’ in return!