Let’s face it, anything can happen while you’re traveling. That can be part of the appeal to go in the first place. Sometimes some pretty awful stuff can happen. Luggage stolen, getting hurt, or a combination of multiple issues. Sometimes you just need somewhere to get back on your feet.
I’ve traveled for most of my life, and I’ve always made sure I had some sort of safety net regardless of what situation I was in. A home base to go back to. Just in case. I didn’t always need it, but when I did I was relieved it was there. My home base wasn’t always luxurious by any means, sometimes it would mean staying at my parents for a while. When I was in college I would usually keep the majority of my stuff in storage at my dad’s house. Everything I owned could fit into a single suitcase, and that suitcase was like my little jet pack. Once it was packed I was ready to blast off on another adventure. So at one point, when I wanted to drop everything and move to California for a while, I could—and I did.
On my last minute trip to California where I lived for 5 months, the only thing I planned for was making sure I had a home base to come back to. As I’m a spontaneous person, having a budget and watching my money can be tough at times. Always making sure I had enough money to get me back to my safe place was my first priority. Whether that be by bus or plane, I’d have a little fund just in case I needed to get home suddenly.
Luckily, my husband is extremely good with money so it balances out my spontaneity. (Let me know in the comments below if you have someone like him in your life!) We’ve been able to save and pay off tons of debt so that we were able to buy a house to be a more permanent home base for us. With debts mostly gone, traveling can be more of a priority. Thailand is definitely going to be a pretty expensive trip for us, so having a home base to work out of while saving up is a huge help. If you haven’t read my article outlining my plans for our Thailand trip, you can check it out here.
Not everyone is going to want a big house or to sleep at their parents. Maybe you’re already in a house, and you’re trying to find a way to downsize so you can dedicate more money into your travel fund. There are so many other options to be able to travel and still have a home base to go back to.
Life in a Tiny Home
One of my favorite home base ideas are tiny homes. Some are small enough that they’re portable on a trailer, so if you want to travel around a country for a while you can keep your home base with you. During the day you can go explore, but you have the peace of mind knowing you have a place to go that’s familiar.
If you have a house already, instead of selling it, consider renting it out. If possible, park your tiny home in the backyard or on a bigger driveway if you have one. The tenants would pay for the mortgage costs and you’d basically be living for free. That means all that extra money you’d spend on rent is now going into travel savings—cha-ching!
I personally love the idea of having the tiny home on a trailer to make it portable. If I ever wanted to pack up and travel cross country, I could. Being able to just pay for the gas and figure out where to park at night, definitely gives you a lot of freedom of where you can go and what you can do. Check with your municipality to see what you’re allowed to do in your area, but the number of options for these homes are anything but tiny.
Life on the Road
My second favorite portable home option is definitely a van. You can ask Zach just how many videos I watched about people renovating their own vans and traveling around in them. It’s perfect for someone who wants to travel around somewhere like Europe or a larger country like the US.
The trick to making the perfect van is to utilize all of your space efficiently. Have a full size bed, but make sure there is ample storage underneath. Comfortable working spaces are important, but make sure it is multi purpose or can be hidden away. The first step is finding the perfect layout for your life. Look into getting a sprinter van, or something similar with enough room to stand up in. If you have any trouble thinking of ideas, there are so many videos and references online it might drive you crazy.
Cost wise, this can be very affordable depending on the base price of the vehicle and whether or not you are going to DIY the project or hire contractors to do the work. It can cost anywhere from a few thousand to the tens of thousands. If you’re about to do the work yourself this is an extremely affordable option. Parking for the night isn’t an issue since the van is so small, so this option gives lots of freedom of where you can go with it. Happy van-ovating!
Life at Sea
Last but not least, my third favorite home base option is a house boat. There are tons of options with the houseboat, and you can even work on the go with satellite internet. I love the idea of sailing to a new country every few weeks or months. You can park the boat at any dock and spend your days exploring. Bored of one city? Just sail to your next destination.
So a houseboat is a little too small for your liking, but you like the idea of being at sea? Cruise ship living is probably for you. There are lots of people who are living on cruise ships full time. It’s not as expensive as you may think. It’s a great option for all ages, especially anyone who is retired and considering expensive housing options. When staying for extended periods of time, it can cost as little as $50-75 a night. In most cases it would be much cheaper than paying for a mortgage on a home. Depending on the city you live in, it could even be cheaper than rent on an apartment.
So what’s your favorite home base option? Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, let’s blast off on another adventure together!