Traveling can actually save you money. As always it depends on your situation. The following are just some ideas to get you started thinking how you can save while traveling:
Day Care and Kid’s Activities
Child care can be very expensive and eat up a good portion of your salary. This article claims that the average US family spends just under $200 per week for child care. With that average $800 per month you can buy a lot in many countries with lower cost of living.
A few things to keep in mind: if you want your child to return to the same child care provider you’ll need to speak with them early. They will likely charge a fee for holding the spot for your child.
You can also save a lot if your child is enrolled in other expensive activities. The flip side is, that if you are not paying for those classes your child won’t progress and the ballet, martial arts or chess skills will suffer. For us this was well worth it, traveling is so enriching that made more than up for missing these extracurricular activities. We figured that at 3 1/2 years old there was nothing he could do that he couldn’t pick up at 4. Granted, we never had the ambition to turn him into a concert pianist (or any type of pianist for that matter) or chess prodigy and so missing 6 months of activities was no big deal.
Family Trips and Vacations
While traveling you’ll save money on trips you’d otherwise would take. If you spent a week of summer vacations at Aunt Martha’s place each year that won’t amount to much. However, if you spent long weekends at Disney Land and rent cabins at Lake Tahoe for skiing, or fly to Hawai’i not taking these trips can save you a lot of money.
You won’t need a cleaning lady, gardener, pool boy, mom’s helper, etc. during your time away. You might end up getting one or the other of the above help where you travel but in most places that will be cheaper than at home.
Activities, Clubs, Events, Night’s Out
Not just your child’s activities cost a lot of money but yours might, too. We talked to our gym before we left and agreed to freeze our membership. Even if they don’t waive the fees, you should be able to get them to reduce the fee significantly. Same with your Yoga classes or golf club membership. Make a list of these things and decide which ones you can let go and which ones you want to freeze. Then negotiate the best possible rate.
Less expensive dinners, less money spent on movie theaters, on tickets for zoos, museums or amusement parks plus all those things we did not buy while we were traveling – or at least did not buy at US prices – and that added up. I encourage you to think about these savings opportunities when drawing up your budget. Life during your sabbatical does not have to be expensive.