Why Wait to Retire?

Because I don’t have the money right now, that’s why.

This is a typical response. Look, our culture has taught us that you don’t get to enjoy your life until retirement. How many times have you heard an old person say, “Two more years and I retire. I’ll finally get to travel the world…”

I don’t know about you but I think I would enjoy wandering a busy night market in Jakarta a lot more as a 25 year old, than as a 65 year old. Better knees, more energy, sharper mind, and hey, I have all my teeth. Saleh and I decided early in our relationship that we were going to see the world now!

In order to convince you that it’s possible, let me first debunk the common myth that you have to be rich in order to travel young. Most families can afford to travel – it just has to be a real priority. Here’s how we do it.

  1. First, we NEVER EVER borrow money to travel. Let’s be clear, travel is a luxury, not a necessity. You don’t want your vacation following you home in the form of a credit card payment.
  2. At the beginning of every month, we sit down over coffee and create a budget for the month. This budget includes how much will be spent on food, entertainment, gas and yes…how much goes into the travel fund. You will be surprised how much money you have when you decide where the money goes instead of simply spending until it runs out. You probably impulse $200 a month at Starbucks and Urth Caffe (which isn’t very good, btw). A year of putting away $200 buys you a NICE vacation!
  3. When deciding where to go, we let the budget determine the destination. We can’t fly a family of 4 from Los Angeles to Monaco for ten days on 2400 bucks. So we don’t go there. But we did do a bucket list road trip to Yellowstone for a week on about that much.
  4. It always feels good to know that you got a deal on your trip. I’ll do a separate post on how to get the best deals on hotels and airfare. You can give yourself a head start on the next trip by underpaying for the current one.
  5. We don’t let the kids scare us. I’m not going to lie, there were times on our trip to Yellowstone that I wanted to throw one of the kids (guess which one) out the window. But they are a part of the family and we’re traveling for us just as much as we are for them. There’s another blog post coming with tips on traveling with kids.

Go ahead and start. Don’t worry, there will always be somewhere you’ve never been. You can travel some now and then some more later. But make sure you enjoy some of the world while you’re young. Your family will be better because of it.

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