How much does it cost to travel full time? This is how much a couple pays

Ernestas Tyminas felt “stuck” as a marketing director at a newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

So he asked for two months off to backpack through Asia, he said, landing in Beijing in January 2019.

“On the first day… I met this person,” he said, gesturing to Darina Karpitskaya, who was sitting beside him.

The couple, speaking to CNBC via video from Dubai, said they met through the travel app Couchsurfing, which links solo travelers together. Karpitskaya, 31, and a flight attendant at the time, had to land in Beijing for two days because of a mechanical problem on her return flight.

Although many solo travelers agreed to meet on that day, Tyminas and Karpitskaya were the only two who showed up.

After a day together, they plan to meet again in Asia a month later.

A month-long second date

According to 29-year-old Tyminas, Karpitskaya is back in Asia and the couple’s second date was a “crazy one-month adventure” to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

He said that in the Philippines, he decided not to go back to his old life.

“We were… lying on the beach under the stars,” he said. “We’ve started to dream of this lifestyle.”

After returning to Colorado, Tyminas quit his job, sold his belongings and moved to Europe, he said.

Karpitskaya isn’t quite there yet, saying, “At first it sounded like: Oh man, you’re quitting. You’re relocating from America. Maybe it’s too early. But at the same time, when I come back from the trip. There, I feel like I’m living a life that I don’t enjoy.”

A sled dog

Tyminas flew from Denver to Paris with her dog – an 82-pound Borzoi, once known as the “Russian Wolf,” named Cosmo, who was over 6 feet tall on his hind legs.

“They gave me three rows of seats, and the dog just lay on the floor,” he said.

Since then, the couple has traveled frequently – to places like Italy and Iceland – but not full-time, they said.

Ernestas Tyminas and Darina Karpitskaya took their dog, Cosmo, to 26 of the more than 40 countries they visited together, Tyminas said. Cosmo is a great networking tool, adds Karpitskaya: “We meet a lot of people walking their dogs.”

Source: Dream Team Travels

Then Karpitskaya got what she calls her “dream job” – a position with Emirates airline. She has since moved to Dubai, but the couple continues to meet and travel together.

Then Covid succeeded, and Karpitskaya accepted 4 months of unpaid leave.

“We said: We have four months – we can go explore whatever is open,” says Tyminas.

The trio – consisting of Cosmo, who traveled in a large bed in the back of their SUV – traveled first to Croatia, then slowly made their way through much of Europe, including many countries of the former Soviet Union, Karpitskaya said.

She never went back to her job and the couple have been traveling ever since, she said.

Cost to travel the world

Initially, they spend between $1,000 and $2,000 a month — all from their savings — by staying in cheap apartments, cooking at home and finding free activities, Tyminas said.

As the money started to dry up, Tyminas took several jobs online, earning between $2,000 and $3,000 a month, not far from his $3,300 salary in Colorado, he said.

Tyminas said the couple stayed in Romania longer because “we saw how kind people are… how much money they have to give. Sometimes you Google and you are like: ‘There’s nothing to do here, ‘ and then you go there and [realize] That’s just because no one travels here. “

Source: Dream Team Travels

But the work is cumbersome, and “it feels like I still have to work,” he said.

So the couple decided to open a marketing and graphic design company, despite the fact that “we don’t know much,” says Tyminas.

They have reached out to thousands of people who, they say, often work late into the night. Potential customers will ask, “Can you design a book cover?” “Is it possible to promote music?” Tyminas said his answer is always the same, “Of course I can.”

In fact, he’s learning on the job, he said, relying on YouTube, Google and online research. But the customer was very happy, he said.

“They pay me half what they would pay other marketing agencies, and the results are better than before,” says Tyminas.

In the first month, the couple made $6,000, he said. Now, they sometimes make several thousand dollars a day working with real estate companies and music labels, he added.

“We blog for people – we do everything,” says Tyminas. Plus, “we don’t have to report to anyone. We’re our own boss.”

Over the past six months, the couple said they spent an average of $4,000 a month. More than half go to motel rooms, which vary by location — from $3,100 per month in Dubai to $1,500 in Lisbon, Portugal, they said. They limit stays in expensive locations, like Switzerland, to no more than a week, they said.

Hiccup on the road

They say that a constantly moving life is not all fun and games.

They ran into dirty Airbnbs and the host canceled the reservation at the last minute. They have also had their camera gear and clothes stolen twice – once in Mexico and more recently in France – plus another theft from their car in Barcelona, ​​while they were sitting in there.

Tyminas said they also thought about settling down when they found a place they really loved, such as the beaches of Portugal or the French Riviera.

“But then… we drove to another place and we felt this place was good too,” he said.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, quickly occupying the Kherson region where Karpitskaya’s parents lived, Tyminas emailed CNBC to say they had stopped traveling for the time being.

Tyminas and Karpitskaya (pictured in Abu Dhabi) stopped traveling at the very beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Karpitskaya’s family is now outside Ukraine, except for her brother, who “registered to join the army to defend his country,” Tyminas said.

Source: Dream Team Travels

“The first few weeks, we didn’t even leave our apartment,” he said. “We spent a lot of time arranging transportation for civilians as well as many dogs from shelters to be taken out of danger zones for adoption in Europe.”

By the summer, they had resumed traveling, but still helped evacuate Karpitskaya’s family.

“Just a week ago we were finally able to get Darina’s parents out of Ukraine,” Tyminas said, adding that they are now at his family’s home in Lithuania. “We also made a trip to Romania to pick up Darina’s sister and her five-month-old baby from the border and bring her to live in Germany.”

They said the couple is currently in Malaysia and plans to explore Southeast Asia in the next two months.

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