In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Exotic Travel on $53 a Day
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Years ago, we never would have guessed
that by age 57, we'd be journeying for more than 100 days through the Mexican
Pacific Coast, on into the volcanic heart of Guatemala, enjoying the beach and
laid-back island life of Belize, and partaking in the Mayan style of living in
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. What's more, we found a way to do it that was
See it all -- for less
During this three-and-a-half month odyssey, we bodysurfed and soaked up the sun
along Bo Derek-style secluded beaches, shopped in indigenous markets, explored
mountain-high coffee plantations, and visited a macadamia farm, learning of the
nut's marvelous curative properties. We found the exact spot where Mayans claim
the world began and spoke with them about their end-of-the-world prophecy for
We found amazing natural wonders,
historical sites, and stunning scenery. And we did it on less than $53 per day.
Lodging, meals, transportation, and country exit fees -- it covered everything
we spent money on throughout this time.
Nor did we suffer for it. Many hotels we
stayed in had pools, views, and beach access. Others were centrally located in
the hearts of cities within easy walking distance to the main plaza and points
of interest. Hotel WiFi for our netbook was available, and cyber cafes were
daily expense log, we demonstrated that having exotic travel
experiences and meeting unforgettably intriguing characters doesn't have to cost
any more than staying at home. How did we do it? We focused on four main expense
categories and fine-tuned our skills to get the most for our money.
We don't travel to exotic places to stay in the hotel. It's a place to sleep and
to store our gear while we are exploring the town and all the sights. By
choosing hotels close to what you want to do in a particular city, you'll cut
transportation costs greatly.
So we look for value in a hotel -- a clean
room, a firm bed, and a decent bathroom. We prefer views when they're available,
but it's a respectable room we look for, not a perfect one.
We've found that online reservations don't
work in our favor. Credit card and currency exchange fees can clobber your
account, and online prices are often as much as double what we pay by simply
walking in the door. We are willing to stay longer if we can get a discount. We
also find out if something else comes with the price of the room, like
breakfast, free purified water, or airport transportation. These charges add to
the bottom line of one's travel expenses and to have them included in the room
There are many options for getting from place to place. We don't drive, because
local transport goes everywhere we want. We've taken first-class buses, water
taxis, pedicabs, private drivers, and even bicycles. Sometimes it's cheaper to
fly rather than to bus long distances if you factor in food and lodging along
We seek out hotel rooms with refrigerators or even full kitchens. Preparing
simple meals is a lot cheaper than paying restaurant prices whenever we're
hungry. Even keeping beverages in the refrigerator or making coffee allows for a
relaxing time on the veranda instead of having to go out. Many hotels have
rooftop access with spectacular views, and it's a casual way to meet other
travelers who gravitate there for the sunset happy hour.
Restaurants that cater to locals are a lot
cheaper than trendy tourist restaurants. Lunch is our largest meal of the day,
with its corresponding smaller price tag. In the evenings, tasty light meals
from street vendors meet our needs. And when we have long travel days ahead of
us, we pack sandwiches or protein-based snacks so we are not at the mercy of
higher prices or the unknown while on the road.
Entertainment can make or break your budget. But lots of fun things cost next to
For instance, we often found art galleries
and museums that were free or very inexpensive. On Sundays, some cities would
close off architecturally exceptional streets to vehicular traffic, creating a
walking street that allowed pedestrians to meander, enjoying art exhibits, food
displays, bicycle races, and music.
Renting bicycles for $2 an hour, we biked
along the packed sand paths of Belize. We hiked up Volcan Pacaya in Guatemala
with a guide and transport for a total of $24 for both of us, and our visits to
Mayan or Garifuna villages throughout our trip cost no more than modest bus fare
or water transport. When we got tired of walking, taking local buses as their
routes loop through towns is a cheap way to take an informal tour, and you'll
find things you never would have known about.
If a tight budget is holding you back from
seeing exotic places, don't let it. There's a big world awaiting your
discoveries, and it does not have to cost you any more than staying at home. Go
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their
time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly
follow the crowd.