Monthly Expenses Of A Nomad
In February 2021, my boyfriend and I gave away our cars and apartment to live as nomads. We had seven months of traveling before having to go back to Miami for a friend’s wedding.
Needless to say that we had a fantastic time, and we will continue to travel. But something that I get asked frequently is:
“how much I spend on my travels?” and “whether I am spending more money than I was when I resided in Miami?.”
I am here to share with you a recollection of my Airbnb bills throughout our seven-month journey. Please note that the explicit details are limited to housing expenses, though I would attempt to make general estimates for additional costs.
For context, here is a summary of my expenses living in Miami.
I was living in the area of midtown — which I love. Our apartment consisted of 2-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms. The agreement covered furniture, utilities, and a parking spot. We also had a gym, pool, and ocean view. I must remark that Miami rent does not usually include utilities, furniture, or a parking place.
The monthly value of this apartment is over $2,000/mo. We were lucky enough to rent our place from a family friend who gave us a terrific cheap deal. Thus, my rent was advantageously priced at $2,000/mo.
Also, note that I lived in an old building. Fancier and newer buildings in the area cost over $3,500/mo.
Now, let me expand on the topic of interest:
For the last seven months, we stayed in 13 Airbnbs located in different cities of the world. We moved Airbnbs every 2–3 weeks, which resulted in higher rates considering that hosts give you a kinder discount when you stay for a whole month.
I would also like to clarify that we mostly stayed in apartments with two bedrooms since we need privacy to work. However, small studios can be a good alternative for you if privacy is not a necessity.
As you can see on these tables, on average, we spent $1,660/mo, which could have been lower if we had skipped Italy.
Italy was certainly the most expensive rent we paid throughout the whole trip. We did not even stay in the best neighborhoods and paid Miami-price for each of our Airbnbs. Therefore, if you are nomading on a low budget, think twice before visiting Italy.
To give you some perspective of an alternative plan, I browsed www.numbeo.com and looked for statistics regarding Madrid’s cost of living. You would see that a three-bedroom in the city can cost around $1700/mo (USD). So if we add that to our table, we get an average of $1,345/mo, which is a pleasant difference.
If you only need one room, it gets even better, with a total of $1,248/mo.
Even with the visit to Italy, we spent a bit less money than we would have paid to rent an apartment in Miami.
Besides paying for expensive housing, you MUST have a car in Miami. So gracefully add $500/mo (lease, insurance, gas) to the $2,000 apartment lease.
As you can imagine, transportation expenses in European countries went unnoticed. Yet, moving countries hurt our wallets, mainly due to COVID (COVID-tests, canceled flights, entry restrictions). On average, we were spending about $300/month on flights.
Regarding food, the expenses did not deviate much from Miami. However, as expected, we eat more out when traveling. So we may have consumed more on food some months, but honestly, it did not seem striking.
Other miscellaneous expenses cover entertainment — something we do not get to do in Miami as much. Yet, this aggregate depends on how adventurous you want to be as well as on your budget. There were times throughout our travels that we were on “saving” mode. Still, then, it was more meaningful for us to do less in a different country than to be stagnant in Miami.
In summary, traveling the world for the last seven months was slightly cheaper than living in Miami — and absolutely worth it! We may have saved just a few hundred dollars, but at least I got to live in carte blanche.