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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Travel The World For Less Than General Living Expenses

Is it possible to travel the world for less than the cost of general living expenses? Tim Ferris from The 4-Hour Work Week has proven this to be true. But can I do it? Can you do it? I certainly plan to find out.

Due to the success of my outsourcing endeavours and the jealously of my friends plans to travel around America for a month I have decided to go on a quest to spend one month overseas for no more than the cost of our normal living expenses.

Currently my sexy wife is on maternity leave. Baby is due on the 24th of February and Kel doesn’t go back to work until August. We are living off savings for her maternity leave so it is the perfect opportunity to test out my cheap but awesome holiday idea. Kel doesn’t have to apply for leave and we already have money allocated for monthly spending. What difference does it make if we spend it in Australia or overseas. If it costs us the same amount then why not travel?

If I was to go to a travel agent like flight centre I wouldn’t have a chance in the world of spending a month overseas in luxury and having the time of my life for just the cost of my monthly spending money.

But with my new found faith in outsourcing I can get someone else to do the research for me. The benefits are that I might only be able to bear 2 hours of searching online for holiday options but for $40 I can hire someone for a week to do research for me. Another benefit is that I come from the mindset that it needs to cost thousands and thousands of dollars for a one week holiday. Hiring someone from a different culture and economic environment means that it is likely that they will be able to find options that are just as good for a tiny fraction of the price.

So my budget will be around $2k for a 28 day trip, including airfares and accommodation. It’s a big task, but it will be fun to try (especially seeing as I don’t need to do the hard work). I am looking to start with places closer to home, it seems the biggest expense will be flights.

I am thinking New Calendonia or any of the French Islands, because I studied French in school and I would love to learn the language properly. If I cant do that then I will look at places like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea or Thailand.

Here is a little list of some of the things I am thinking of doing

That is my list at the moment. I can’t think of anything better than having an adventure with my wife and my bubbi.

Most people use their children as an excuse why not to travel. I want to do exactly the opposite. I want to use my children as a reason to travel. Last night I was talking to my cousin and she was saying one of the best times to travel with your kids is before they are 1.  Because they can’t walk yet so you can take them almost anywhere.

Kids definitely force you to be more creative with your holidays. But I have always wanted to travel with my wife and kids. When I got married early and we got pregnant early people asked “Don’t you want to travel” and my answer was “Of course I do, but I want to travel with my family”. This is my chance to do it.

Whether this is possible or not I don’t know. But finding out is only going to cost me $40 max, so why not. If it turns out it is not possible I haven’t lost much, but if I find out it is possible then the benefits to my life will be incredible.

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The Perks of Outsourcing

I went for a surf yesterday and never stopped working. I went to sleep last night and never stopped working. I watched a movie with my wife and never stopped working. All because I am outsourcing.

Sometimes I go through days where my mind is not really in the game, so instead I will do other fun things that fill my time. But when this happens I feel bad because I get no work done. But with outsourcing I can have these days and it is fine, because someone is still working on my behalf…for just $1/hour.

Here are some things I am thinking of outsourcing once my suburb profiles are done.

– Collecting data and creating ebooks or email responder lessons from rewriting that data (thanks for that idea Casey)
– Looking for positive cashflow properties
– I will draw up a template email so that my VA can make offers on properties on my behalf (then I only have to deal with the properties where my offer gets accepted…if it turns out I don’t like the property then I withdraw my offer at no cost)
– Uploading articles of mine to EzineArticles.com and other article databases
– Finding affiliate products for my email newsletter list
– Researching property stuff such as DA approval, subdividing, development etc…anything I need to know
– Bookeeping (Dont worry I don’t need to give them access to my bank account)
– Finding possible joint venture partners for property deals
– Finding real estate investors who have done what I want to do

There is so much fun with this. I think the main perk of having a VA is that I can give them things to do which I don’t have the headspace for.

For example, for ages I have wanted to create a course on making money with aweber, but don’t have the headspace for it. So now I can outsource it and I will probably outsource it with loads of products I want to create.

Another perk is that you can find more opportunities in less time. For example, if I hire someone to research properties for me they can simply sift through the chaff and email me properties that fit into my criteria. They can email agents and find out rents and other details before passing the information onto me. I might be able to look for property 5-10 hours per week without pulling my hair out and going insane. But now I can pay someone $10 and I can spend just 1 hour per week looking at the best properties. Or I can pay someone $40 per week and I can find loads of opportunities to do myself or to present to my investors. Way more than I ever could achieve myself.

If that works I may even take it to the next level and get my VA to make offers for me. Then I don’t have to email 100 agents, all I have to do is email the agents who are considering my offer. But I will do the previous one first and see how it goes.

For $20/week I have complete peace of mind because I am working hard even when I do nothing. If one property deal comes out of that $20/week then it completely pays for itself. Two property deals might make me $40/week and I can hire someone full time. I will start small (maybe 10 hours per week) and learn the ropes of having a VA and then work my way up. I can afford $10 per week. $10 buys me a tub of icecream, or it buys a teeny tiny bottle of fake tan for my wife, or 2 beers at the pub, or a meal at Maccas. $10 is cheap and what it buys me is worth so much more. It buys me time and peace of mind.

I encourage anyone to at least try using a VA. I found mine on www.oDesk.com. Before you start using a Virtual Assistant you won’t think you have anything to outsource, but once you start using one you find more things to outsource.

Think of it, how many opportunities could you take if it didn’t take up any of your time? The answer is near unlimited!

The more you outsource the more opportunities you have because they don’t have to run through you as a bottleneck. So the more you use a VA the more you will need one.

Why not try for fun. $10/week can buy you 10 hours of someones time. Have fun with it, get them to send emails for you or plan imaginary holidays to the Maldives. Give it a go.

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