Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Cheap Holiday Update

It has become my goal to be able to go overseas for a month and live a life of luxury for no more than it would cost us to stay at home. If I can achieve this then it means we will never have to save for holidays because we can simply use holiday pay in order to fund the holiday.

I decided to outsource the planning of the holiday to a Virtual Assistant on oDesk.com for $1/hour. I figured, worst case scenario, if I find out it can’t be done it will cost me $40 to get someone to see if it can be done.

After having some simple research being done I don’t know if it will be possible. If we went away for 3 months it would definitely be possible, but for just one month I don’t think it will be. Mainly because of the expenses of flights. I need to work out a way to get cheap flights, without having frequent flyer points.

Owning a business is great when you can use a business credit card for costs because you can get points on every dollar you spend. Unfortunately we don’t really spend enough money each year on our own to validate getting a credit card with reward points. Though come to think of it, now that I am buying property and looking to do renovations I may look into getting a credit card with reward points. I can use the credit card to pay for renovations and then pay them off with my own money, all the while getting points on every dollar I spend. If we do a few properties then this could turn out to generate us quite a few points.

I am sure that there is a way I can find cheap flights. Maybe we could go on standby, or find some super exclusive deal, or try and buy tickets on the day and get a discount. I will do some of my own research to work this out.

Another thing that came back a lot more than I thought was accommodation. Obviously hotels are going to be ridiculously expensive. You can pay $150/night for accommodation and expect to live off the same amount of money you would at home. Even the rental accommodation my guy came back with was more than I pay for rent in Sydney. Now I find it hard to believe that rent in Papua New Guinea or other developing nations would cost more than rent in Sydney, unless of course they are marketed at tourists.

So I think the key is to think like a local. The next thing I do (after finding cheap airfares) will be to find cheap (but nice) accommodation. I want to find out how much the locals pay for rent, and I want to pay the same. Or I want to find a local who wants to rent out a room and rent it off them for a month. As if that wouldn’t be ridiculously cheap. Paying $400/week for accommodation on holidays may sound cheap, but it doesn’t fit in my budget.

Most people pay huge amounts of money on holidays because they think they have to. It is easy to book a hotel or even an apartment to stay in. It is a lot more difficult to find accommodation at a good standard for the same price the locals pay for it. So most people don’t bother.

It requires thinking outside of the box and being open to new ways of doing things. You may even need to be open to living with a local, but doesn’t that just add to the fun of the holiday. I want to experience a new culture and take advantage of the exchange rate and the value of my dollar to theirs. In order to do that you have to, in a way, live like a local.

I still want to do things like:

One thing you have to think about though is the added dangers of living like the locals. Health standards are lower, you need to avoid high crime areas, avoid kidnap friendly areas, try and not get food poisoning etc. So if it turns out there are cheap ways to do things I will definitely take these things into consideration.

I am thinking maybe we should just go for a week or two, and start learning how to travel. Going for a whole month might be too much for a first time. So maybe we could take a loss on the cost (hopefully a small one) and do a 2 week trip a couple of times this year. Each time learning more about travelling for cheap and being safe while travelling.

I will continue my research and continue to give you guys updates.

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