How we do it…

One of the biggest questions we get asked is: “How do you do it?” and “How can you afford to travel full-time?”
Here is the break down:
-Military pension
-Real estate investments
-Stock market
-By living simple (We collect experiences not things. We have stories to tell not stuff to show.)
-and last but not least, we find ways to save! Below are some of the ways we save money. Most of the ways we save is because Jon is a retired veteran but there are a few ways that can work for anyone.

EVERYDAY WAYS TO SAVE:

Homeaway/ AirBnB/ Flipkey Instead of always booking a hotel consider renting a home or apartment on either of these sites (or similar site). Hotels will run you $100+ a night but you can find homes to rent for weekly and monthly rates making them much cheaper than hotels. Plus you can live like a “local”.

Credit Card perks- We have several credit cards that give us money back or give us points to use for future travel. It is hard for us to understand why some people don’t take advantage of credit cards. Using credit cards vs cash and then paying your credit cards off every month can get you TONS of free travel and incentives.Yes you MUST pay off the cards each month for it to work in your favor. So don’t charge more than you can afford! We have saved thousands between free hotels, upgrades, flights, money back, and more.

Money Back Apps- It doesn’t save us a ton but it still helps the bottom line. My 3 favorite apps to get money back are Ibotta, Checkout 51, and shopkick. The first two I get money back on stuff I buy anyway at the grocery store (combined with coupons I have been able to get items for FREE) and with shopkick I get money back just for entering a store and for scanning items in the store. With all three apps I have earned over $150 in the last year! Not to mention all of the times I forget to use the apps, I’m sure that amount would triple!

Check website for discounts- If you are planning a trip or activity always check for discounts on their website. They may have a weekday special. They may send you a discount code if you sign up for their e-mail program. They may do a buy one get one deal. Happy Hour pricing. There are many possibilities and you just need to do a quick search can save you $. For example I want to take Mason to Medieval Times for his 2nd birthday. If we were just to show up it would cost us $59.95 for each adult and $36.95 for each of the kids. A look at their website and they give you a coupon code to make it $37.95 each adult and $29.95 for kids. That’s a savings of $58. Easy savings. Groupon is another site that you can always check for deals as well.

Share meals– Most people would tell you not to eat out to save money. That is true… but we definitely like to try different restaurants wherever we go. That’s one of the best parts of traveling, all the YUMMY food. So when we do eat out we usually get an appetizer, split an entrée and the kids usually split a kids meal. Our motto is if we are still hungry we can always order more. But it usually ends up being the perfect amount of food!

MILITARY WAYS TO SAVE:

Military Campgrounds- While rving the USA we stayed at numerous military campgrounds.  Not only do we feel safer using these campgrounds they usually cost a lot less then a regular campground. Some places we stayed at cost as low as $5 a night! Rv spots, tent camping, or cabins may be available depending on location.  Check out www.militaryliving.com for more information on military rv, camping & outdoor recreation.

Military Marinas– If you travel by boat be sure to look for military marinas aswell. We will warn you they aren’t extravagant BUT they can save you $$$.

Space A- Space Available travel is a great program for Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Retired and their eligible family members. Basically you can catch flights carrying cargo or supplies to other military bases. The flight schedules are usually 3 days in advance but there are no guarantees you will have a seat. So far we have successfully traveled to Germany, Spain, Hawaii, and the UK using Space A and it cost us absolutely nothing! To learn more about Space A try Poppin’ Smoke or Space A.net.
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Military Lodging- Depending on location DOD Lodging can be much cheaper than a regular hotel. We have stayed at several Navy Gateways and Air Force Inns. Two bedroom accommodations with full kitchen for half the price of a hotel room without a kitchen.

America the Beautiful Pass- Jon was able to sign up for a lifetime access pass so we can visit all of the National Parks and landmarks for free. NOTE: Current Active Duty and family members can sign up for a FREE yearly pass. They also offer a Senior Pass for a very discounted price to those 62 and older.

Vettix- Vet Tix * provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life.  Through this organization we have been able to see Daughtry, Josh Turner, and Drew Baldridge in concert. We also took the kids to see Octonaughts Live.

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Please comment below with questions or if you have a tip on another way to save!