Well he hasn’t quite officially kick-started it yet, but a very good friend of ours and a fellow lover of being on the road is about to jump right in and live out his life as a digital nomad – a traveller who can work remotely. He’s adamant it’s possible despite it being oversold as somewhat of a dream and I happen to agree with him based on some calculations I did and this is precisely the reason why leisure travel can actually work out much cheaper than what people make it out to be.
When in Rome…
I’m sure you know that the complete saying goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” a cliché which only serves to prove that sometimes there’s truth in a cliché. So what you need to do if you want to pay a lot less for any vacation or leisure trip, or any other trip for that matter is do as the locals do in terms of how they go about their daily lives.
For example, I know there are some travellers who just stay in five-star hotels as a matter of exclusivity, sparing no expense in how they are accommodated. All good and well, but in keeping with the spirit of going about your business like a local, if you were as clued up about the place as a local is then you can still find the equivalent of “five-star” accommodation at a much cheaper price than what your travel agency got for you. However, that is indeed where the tricky part comes in because you might need to befriend a trustworthy local in order for them to point you in the direction of the accommodation they’d use if they were merely a visitor to their city of residence, based on their local knowledge of the cost of living in the area.
Either way, transportation is another key area in which you can save yourself a tonne of cash if you only took the time to get around the way the locals do. I mean surely the cleaning lady whom you see outside the airport terminal bathrooms simply cannot be paying the amount you pay for an airport shuttle every single day of the week? So ask her and you’ll perhaps be privy to some information about where and how to maybe get a weekly bus pass if you’re planning to get around a bit while you’re on your trip, in which case you’ll probably never ever want to use something like a private airport shuttle service again!
The same applies with regards to the food. Unless meals are all-inclusive in the price you paid for your accommodation and assuming that works out reasonably in terms of the costs, eat where the locals eat as opposed to what is likely to be the very expensive meals served at hotels, fine dining restaurants and the likes.
What ultimately pushed my budding digital nomad friend to officially kick-start this nomadic life of extended travel is that if one proceeds to live like the locals do at the destination they’re travelling to, it costs about the same as what life costs back home would cost, which makes sense because you wouldn’t be staying at something like a five-star, luxury holiday resort in your home town, for example, would you?