Many will tell you why you should take that gap year and travel before retirement, least youth be wasted on the young. Quit your job and see the world while you still can. Today, we are doing the opposite. Showcasing all the reasons why quitting your job before retirement to travel the world is a bad idea.
Seeing your kids for only an hour or so at night, busy weekends, always tired, bills to pay, this sounds like the perfect reason to pack it all in and leave it behind. To travel the world while everyone is still young enough to enjoy it. Until the time comes when we can work part-time and earn a living, or take a few years off without harming our career prospectives and financial security, we need to learn how to travel as much as possible while still working full time.
“Millenials” have been getting a bad rap lately for quitting their jobs after only a few years and leading a nomadic lifestyle. Baby boomers just don’t seem to understand why anyone would put their families in that kind of position. According to them, these are the many reasons why you should not quit your job to travel the world before retirement.
1 – Jeopardize your earning potential.
Your job level and years of service will be placed on hold during your sabbatical, while your peers continue to climb the corporate ladder. If you don’t take a sabbatical and simply quit your job, your seniority is history. Maybe the new job will acknowledge your work history, but that is up to them.
By taking a year off, you not only lose actual earnings but your growth momentum. How easy will it be to find a new job at the same rate of pay?
2 – Family responsibilities
The children still need to be in school. Yes, homeschooling is possible but it is not legal in all countries, so you will need to either visit during the summer months (peak season) or enroll them in the local school while you are staying there. This seems a little counterproductive.
With a family, there are now that many more people to take care of. It isn’t just you or your partner to feed, house and cloth. It’s the kids too. This makes everything that much more expensive and they can’t exactly earn their keep – you are now saving for 4 people to travel, not just yourself.
Yes, you are saving money from mortgage payments, car costs, schools fees and extracurricular activities, but insurance, short-term emergencies, accommodations, clothes and food still be to be paid
Finding a way to travel while working full time teaches the children about a proper home/work balance and shows them they can do it too when they are older and start a family. Tapped Out Travellers absolutely advocates for traveling as a family, and the importance of world knowledge outside of the classroom, but on a part-time, during school holidays level.
3 – Won’t be able to retire on time (or early)
We all have that one friend, the guy that retires before he’s 50 because he’s put in 25 years of service. Or hear about the worlds youngest CEO. They didn’t get that way by taking a few years off. Since many pension programs require X number of years of paying into the system, you are either stuck paying into it while traveling or making up for lost time after you get back. This can add years to your retirement age. I don’t know about you, but I have zero intention of working a day longer than I need to.
Sure, there is more to this world than working until retirement, but there is also something to be said about retiring early and getting the best of both worlds.
4 – Loose vacation day benefits momentum
In many countries, and for many employers, you gain more vacation days the longer you work for the same company. This means a 10th-year worker will get X more weeks off than the new guy. Do you want to constantly be the new guy or bank your holidays and get a free month off, while still being paid?
5 – The world isn’t going anywhere
There are a handful of locations that are being closed due to over-tourism, but that is mostly during the peak season. Never travel during peak season.
On the other hand, the rest of the world isn’t going anywhere. If you are afraid that a major destination will quickly be ruined by over-tourism, you can take the week off and visit now or wait until the country has sorted its tourism out and try to visit it in a few years. As far as we know, the world isn’t going anywhere. You can afford to wait a few years.
6 – You honestly cannot afford to
Yes, you can technically afford that plane ticket and hostel stay, and get around your destination just fine. But wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to work 80 hours per week, loose contact with all of your friends, and be stuck in a dorm room with 10 other people just to go on vacation.
My idea of a vacation is being free and relaxed and not worrying about the money. Have a budget, yes, but not strapped for cash. Make sure you enjoy it the first time you visit, properly, and without regrets. Do what you want.
The main reason you can’t afford it is because that’s not the way life works. That’s not reality.
Travelling functions as a break, not a way to live your life
The thrill of travel is that it is a unique experience. The reason why people love doing it so much is because it functions as a means of escape. Yet if travelling itself becomes a daily chore, then it is unlikely that it will retain its magic.
7 – More enjoyable when you plan ahead
Planning ahead is much more enjoyable than flying by the seat of your pants. We like to research the crap out of each location and know exactly what we are getting ourselves into. What restaurants are there available for our family, the operating hours of our desired attractions, the best time of year to visit and which ones to avoid. This is a little difficult to do while already on holiday, and working from home, and raising children and and and… you get my point.
8 – Can’t legally live anywhere you choose
There are only about 172 countries that Canadians and Americans (166) can visit without a visa. This leaves 65 that requires you to apply for visas. But visiting isn’t living or working in that destination. For digital nomads, those that work from home while traveling the world (mostly bloggers but other types of employment that simply require an internet connection), sponsorships and advertisements make up a large part of their income. If you can’t legally work in a country, can you still receive compensation for your work from a local company?
The number of days you can remain in each country varies. It is important to know how long you are allowed to stay, what you are allowed to do (and not do) while visiting and when you need to leave before being arrested or banned for life. Schengen Zone is a particular headache for many since you are only allowed for 90 days, before taking a 90-day break in order to return. Not all European countries are Schengen. Knowing which countries to hit up, and which ones to visit while your clock resets is key to traveling legally within Europe.
Remember, visa-free travel is for leisure. It is against the law to overstay or to work (on the economy). With normal vacation travel, you’ll rarely have to worry about visas or the risk of being denied permission to remain in any one country for a reasonable period. You shouldn’t confuse traveling and vacationing: Just because you went on a vacation and enjoyed it does not mean that you will enjoy traveling.
9 – Personal and Family health
It can be very costly to seek treatment abroad or fly home to seek treatment for yourself or a family member, so global health insurance is essential if you ever quit your job to travel the world. It’s 100% possible, as expats, tourists and locals have to get medical attention somewhere, but it could cost a small fortune and your insurance premiums will eventually go up.
As a Canadian, our health insurance is “free”, but going through a private travel insurance provider and you start to pay monthly premiums, deductibles and some stuff just plain isn’t covered. Moving around all the time leaves little room for a family doctor to get to know you and your family, have regular check-ups and access to a proper dentist. Again, all possible, but is it worth the stress?
There are many travel bloggers out there that have lead a nomadic lifestyle for a few years, only to call it quits and set up roots. Their bodies aren’t able to handle the time zone changes, food changes, quality of water changes. Everything takes a toll on the body and there comes a day when enough is enough. Taking health care aside and just looking at your health, traveling full time is hard on the body. It’s hard on the mind. It’s hard on the family unit. For health reasons, it may not be prudent to be traveling non-stop. You may have your own medical condition that requires doctors’ visits and regular follow-on care.
10 – You already have more time off to travel than you think
Please share your thoughts in the comments or reach out on social media...We would love to hear from you.