Whenever we tell people our plan for 2019 and beyond one of the first questions is “where will you live”. My stock answers are “a nice tent” or “well we were hoping to move in with you”. Luckily my friends get my sense of humor and my response gets a laugh rather than a look of horror. The honest answer is the location will change month to month and year to year but we have general plans and will try to stay flexible though, I must confess flexibility and spontaneity are not my strong suits. I am the guy who is reserving rooms a year in advance and booking flights 330 days out. Which if you didn’t know is the farthest out that most airlines will allow you to book.
On the housing issue, we are currently house sitting/renting for friends who are off traveling for a couple months. It works out well for both of us, we have a lovely home in West Seattle and they receive a little money to cover some of their expenses. After selling our house we have found no shortage of friends who offer to open up their homes or need someone to watch their house and pets while they take an extended trip. We have arranged a three month house sit starting in September when a friend heads off to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago trail. This will get us to the end of the year and the end of my employment when we start to travel in earnest.
House sitting for free accomodations
The house sitting option is something we hope to take advantage of in the future. There are several online house sitting arrangers like housesitter.com or trusted house sitters . Kelly signed up for one of the sites where you submit your house sitting resume, then people all over the world who need a house sitter or pet sitter post their request. You can respond to the request and if they like your resume they will sign you up. We have yet to actually respond so we don’t know how easy or competitive it is but many people travel the world as house sitters. Every morning Kelly gets a list of house sitting jobs and we are always tempted to take on “5 week house sit in London watching a cat” or “3 weeks in Australia” some day soon we will respond to an add and I will let you know how it goes.
In 2019 our primary housing plan is Airbnb. We have used Airbnb for years with overall positive results. The grand house in the opening picture is an actual Airbnb listing we stayed at in Boston with several other crew families attending the Head of Charles regatta. A bit out of our current budget. Some places are not as nice as they look in pictures. Like the place in Venice where I swear the pictures had to be taken a decade earlier when the apartment was in much better shape, or the place in Rome where they posted photos of the same double bed with two different bed covers leading us to think that there were two double beds in the apartment, not to mention the “two bedrooms” were in fact one room with with a three panel paper room divider separating the beds. While not what we expected, they were still nice apartments and gave us more than a standard budget hotel room.
Monthly rentals can be affordable.
Speaking of budget, our goal when traveling for short stays of a few days to a week is to find apartments for around $100 a night. This is easy in places like Prague and a bit more challenging in Paris but it is possible most anywhere in the world, though I am not sure what you will find in New York City or San Francisco in that price range. The real bargain way to travel is longer stays in each location. Many apartments have a 25% to 50% discount for month long stays. Like this one in the South of France with a 28% discount you can stay a month for $2500.
Or this one in Malaga Spain where a 55% monthly discount allows you to stay a month for $1600. And when your friends ask “where will you live” you can say, right here.