So as word is starting to get around about our plans, a question keeps popping up: How can you afford this? It’s funny, but this question usually comes before How much will it cost? I personally don’t mind either of these. I think it’s perfectly normal to wonder, and I plan on answering both in this blog.
But let me ask a question back first… How much did you spend on your last travel vacation?
This was one of the thoughts that kept nagging me before our decision. Nagging, because we spent a lot of money on a trip to Disney not long ago. Our family of 4 was at “Mickey’s House” for 10 days and we drove down. We got free food with the deal they were running. We stayed onsite in a moderate room, and had virtually no costs other than the room and the tickets (and a very small amount of the obligatory Mickey-kitsch). We spent over $3500 on our trip. You?
Now be careful before you answer, because the fact is that we actually spent quite a bit more. 10 days is 1/3 of a month. Our mortgage still had to be paid. Utility bills kept creeping along. Everything from cable TV to full car insurance had to be maintained while we were walking around the park. Did you add roughly 1/3 of these monthly expenses to your number? To really get a good comparison you would have to add them, because our 28-day furnished apartment in the heart of Paris will be $1764 with utilities included, and we will have virtually no bills back home. Now, I know there will be other costs than just the apartment, but considering all of the angles I still expect 30 days in Paris to cost little more than 10 at Disney. In fact, I expect them to cost less than our budget for 30 days at home – and don’t even get me started on the same comparison for a month in Vietnam! Time will tell, and so will I. Stay tuned. – A. Laff