How to save money when traveling: Try slow traveling

Birds Sunbathing!

My wife, myself, and our Pomeranian dog have been traveling to various destinations in the US since our early retirement in August of 2020.  We did extensive research on the best option to stay long term (month at a time).  At the end, we settled on Airbnb sublet over other travel booking websites due to their cost and   better rental choices.  

Using Airbnb sublet, we stayed at Ocean City, Maryland and Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  We feel we got a fair deal at both locations.  Ocean City cost $865 while Atlantic Beach cost $1000 per month.  ***Please check out this post ‘Slow travel during the pandemic...’ here.

Please see below for our top tips on how to save money when traveling.

Tip:

  • We’re currently doing slow traveling.  This means we’re booking one month at a time or more to stay at one location.  What this allows through Airbnb sublet, is that it reduces the cost of renting vs booking few days or a week at a time.  Whereas a short term booking may cost $75 per night (incidentally this was the cost of our Atlantic Beach rental), by booking long term, we got it for $1000 for the whole month.  Slow travel also allows us to settle down after a day or so, as we know we’re not going anywhere for the next 3-4 weeks.  It’s a comfort thing for us.
  • When traveling, we’re doing our own cooking for the most part, rather than buying food from restaurants.  We usually shop at a nearest Walmart or a discount supermarket chains like Aldi or Lidl.  We buy groceries for a week (for meal planning purposes), which was how we used to shop for groceries when we lived in our home prior to our early retirement.  By living like we normally do, instead of living like we’re on a vacation, it saves us money on food.  *For those of you that do not yet know, we currently do NOT live in a permanent location.  After selling our home, we’ve been living like nomads.  ***See this post to read about us selling our home during the pandemic  here.

  • By staying a month, we’re able see and do things we normally wouldn’t be able to when on a typical vacation.  A week vacation always seemed rushed to us.  It would take two days to travel to / from the destination.  We would have, in reality, 5 days to sightsee.  Sightseeing used to be cramming 2-3 things per day!  You can see how that can get pretty tiring...Now we can revisit the same place multiple times or venture out to see other little nooks & crannies at a destination.  More importantly, we can take our time just enjoying whatever it is we’re doing at that time.  At the beach, we can take our time to enjoy the sunrise/sunset without being rushed.  We can wait out the sun before it rises in the morning over the horizon, then enjoy as long as we want to.  We’re taking full advantage of having time on our hands!
  • In the past, we would book hotels for the most part, and cooking would not have been possible.  Thanks to Airbnb sublet, we now have full kitchens in our rentals. On days when we don’t want to cook, we’re doing take out rather than dining in, at restaurants.  This has become the norm since the pandemic, but it’s something we’ve been doing for few years prior to our retirement.  By doing take out, we’re saving money on tips and on drinks.  On top of that, we can enjoy the food from the comfort of our ‘home’.  
  • Embrace nature!  Since we got our Pomeranian, we learned to enjoy nature.  Dogs will make you take walks whether you like it or not.  By taking him to parks and nature trails, we learned we can have fun without spending much money.  We used to love going for walks in state parks in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Our dog loves to explore new places.  I can tell he’s truly happy when he’s exploring, kind of like me!  Like daddy, like son!  Even after our retirement, we are sticking to this plan.  In both Ocean City and Atlantic Beach, we were enjoying places that are completely free:    Beach, Boardwalk, nature trails, and Fort Macon State Park are all free to enjoy.  
***Key to early retirement is to enjoy doing things that do not cost money.  These are:  reading a book borrowed from a library, going for walks/hikes, enjoying parks, nature trails, beaches, exercising, enjoying time together with your family, playing with your pet, reading on the internet, watching YouTube, watching the sunrise/sunset, etc.

In conclusion, here are key takeaways:

*When on vacation, live like you normally do, as if you’re NOT on vacation.  By doing this, you can keep to your budget and not blow through your budget. 

*Do your own cooking by looking for a place that has a full kitchen and do take out, whenever possible.

*Book long term if possible for best savings.  

*Enjoy nature.


Thank you all for reading!

Jake
Wandering Money Pig 


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Please check out our YouTube channel ‘Wandering Money Pig’ showcasing our travels and our Pomeranian dog! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kl9f4W9sfNG5h1l-x6nHw


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