Digital Nomad Money-Saving Tip: Don't Go by Plane, Go by CRUISE SHIP

I wrote before about Michael's and my finances as digital nomads. (and how surprisingly cheap it is to travel the world like this!).

Here's a non-intuitive travel tip for other digital nomads: rather than taking a plane to travel long distances, consider taking a cruise ship. It might even save you money.


No, wait, here me out! It actually makes sense when you think about it. This is where living as a digital nomad really pays off. Since we're not paying for a home back home, we can apply that money directly to the cruise. After all, we have to sleep somewhere, right? And as digital nomads, so we can work anywhere, including on a cruise ship.

To get to Europe this year, we took a fourteen-day cruise from Miami to Barcelona. Michael and I shop discount sites for cruises, and our schedule is completely flexible, so we always get really good deals. This one cost us $1200 (for two) in an inside cabin (tight quarters, but okay since we have the whole ship to wander around in). We don't get the pricey drink packages ($400-$800 per person), but we don't mind going without alcohol for a couple of weeks. We also don't pay for the wifi package ($400), and instead use wifi in the various ports of call. That's fine for us, and it's even nice to get a break from the internet (and the dreadful news out of America).

That said, we did have to pay port taxes ($400) and staffing fees/tips ($490), All told, we spent about $2090 on the cruise. (The cruise lines must hate us for how cheap we are. Truly! On the other hand, these are otherwise empty berths.)

Remember, cruises are all-inclusive: lodging, entertainment, food -- oh, yeah, especially the food. Boy, did we eat. Plus, we got to see places (like the Azores) that we probably wouldn't have seen otherwise.

I explained in that previous post that our costs as digital nomads (lodging, food, insurance, etc.) are now about $125 a day for the both of us. For fourteen days (or the two-week cruise), that comes to $1750.

But we were going to Europe anyway, so if we hadn't taken the cruise, we would have needed to buy an airline ticket. Very cheap airfare from America to Europe is $600 a person or $1200 total.

If we hadn't taken the cruise, our total costs for this fourteen day period of time (including transportation) would have been $2950. Instead, we spent $2090. So in a way, we saved money.

And did I mention we were on a cruise ship?

We don't know exactly how we're getting back to America when we return for the holidays, but you can be damn certain it'll be on a cruise ship! 

(Caveat: This is a good option for digital nomad couples. The numbers make less sense for singles, and it might also get lonely.)