NEW: Check out my exclusive NFT travel photographs for sale.

Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best vacations

Show Me The Money!

Show Me The Money: You Won't Believe What This Family Spends

This family contacted us after reading our series and we knew we needed to highlight them. You are not going to believe how much this couple has spent travelling the world with their 2 kids. We are talking nearly $5 per person per day....

How much money was in your pocket/wallet/bank account when you started on your travel adventure? And how did you decide that was enough to get started? 


In August 2010 when we became a full time travelling family we only had €5,000. We are minimalist and the reality proved that we needed less during our travels than at home. We use credit cards and cash. In some countries like Iran, the credit cards are of no use because of the sanctions imposed on the country; therefore we had to carry enough cash.


What methods do you currently use to make money while you travel (in order of most value)?

We have created two ways of generating income during our travels: an active and a passive one.

Passive Income: The stable one is strangely enough the passive one, which generates income through renting out our house in Germany (€800 monthly).

Active Income: The active alternative is translations. We both translate while we travel but the income is variable depending on so many factors. Our monthly active income on average is about 200.

We are looking into finding new ways of funding our travels. There is a great potential in sponsoring. We have started a project called Iran Is Great and are starting to raise money through crowd funding.

As you've travelled the world and met other travellers, what is the most unusual way you've heard of other people creating an income on the road? 

We have been on the road during the past 4 years in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Most of the people we met were living on savings. Others were blogging, programming or teaching.   


How much do you spend (on average) each month?

Flights/transport: 0

Accommodation/utilities: 0

Food: €200

Tours & Entertainment: €20

Miscellaneous: €220 (diesel, road tax, visas, car maintenance)

Mobile/Communication: €20

Total outgoing expenses: €460

See below an overview of our costs of two major trips:

Germany – Belgium - France - Spain - Morocco - West Sahara - Mauritania - Mali - Burkina Faso

November 2011 - March 2012   =   4.5 months


Germany – Slovakia - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Iran - Pakistan - India

July 2010 - April 2011   =   9 months


What have been the ways that you've saved the most amount of money? 

Since we are full time living in the camper van we have zero accommodation and utility costs.

We also couch-surf and even offer a mobile couch for guests in our camper van. We fill the tanks (1800 litres) in cheap countries like Iran (€0.03/litre).


What's things have been the biggest waste of money for you? 

Entry to Taj Mahal, shipping and flying.


What is the best money generation/management tip that you read/heard that impacted your life? 

Through buying property and renting it out we created the so called passive income which is fully paying our travel expenses and even leaves room for savings.

You can find Cristian here -

Website: Iran Is Great

Facebook: Iran is Great

Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Vanessa on
Wow, very inspiring story. Good luck on you travels.
Posted by Deia @ Nomad Wallet on
Those are some impressive numbers! I'm building passive income as well and my current goal is to replace our current active income in Canada. I've been playing with the idea of taking off to travel full time before we reach that point, though, because we probably won't need that much money to support ourselves in some places.
Write a comment...

Please DO NOT include links/URLs or HTML in your comments - they will be automated deleted and you will waste your time.

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)
Find more posts by tag:

Reader FAQs:

Question: How can I create my own travel blog?
Answer: Read my super simple step-by-step guide that will get you online in 5 minutes.


Get The Latest Blog Posts

There are a number of convenient ways to get the latest blog posts and news from Travel With Bender.

RECOMMENDED: Want to find out how the travel pros spend their money overseas without the big ATM fees? Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the answer. You can also use it for super low-cost international transfers (way cheaper than banks).