This is a guest post by Michelle Dale.
Many of you would have heard about the “4 Hour Work Week,” and for many it’s pretty much impossible to keep on top of personal email and general business in 4 hours a week, let alone making that the extent of the working week! So, I’m going to put forth an alternative suggestion for those of you looking to live a virtual business lifestyle, something I’ve been engaging in for the last 4 years.
The 4 Year Vacation!
I am going to reveal a personal true story, happening now in fact, about how I’ve been on holiday with my family for the last 4 years, non-stop, and why we live this way.
First of all, it’s not strictly all holiday, it’s more like a working holiday, because I’m the CEO of an Internet-based virtual assistant company, which originally was started when I was out travelling in Egypt. Back when I was single it was much easier to live a nomadic lifestyle. What I did when my husband and then children came along is adapt that lifestyle, and we now basically follow these simple rules to moving house:
1. Pick a country.
2. Work out roughly how we will get there and the area or areas we want to live.
3. Search for holiday rentals around that area or areas.
4. Contact the owner and negotiate a long term rental – this works best for up to 12 months.
5. Pay the deposit and move.
If you would like a more detailed, in-depth version of this process, it can be found on my blog.
Because it’s a holiday rental you will need to submit a lot of contact forms, or even better — ask your Virtual Assistant to do it for you! To be able to hit the jackpot, usually we end up with about 3 final options to choose from.
You may be wondering how much extra you need to pay to be able to live the holiday lifestyle. We have always found that we end up paying around 300 Euros a month more than we would normally to have everything all inclusive, plus we get many other perks which make up for the additional few hundred quid.
So why do we live in holiday accommodation? Plenty of reasons! Here are my top 7.
1. No Bills, No Hassle.
Have you ever tried dealing with gas, electric, water, Internet etc… In a foreign language? It’s a huge hassle, with holiday accommodation, all bills are included in the price, and you don’t have to worry about them.
2. You Don’t Need Any ‘Stuff’.
You can travel super-light, we’re a family of 4 and all our worldly possessions fit neatly in the car, we don’t need anything, because holiday lets are generally always fully equipped, furniture, kitchen equipment, bedding and towels.
One of the many perks you can negotiate is a housekeeper, in our next villa we have secured in Greece, we get a housekeeper included to come in once a week, clean, change the towels and the beds… All year, Bliss!
4. Not Your Average Home.
Holiday accommodation is generally very nice indeed, after all who wants to go on holiday to somewhere no different from their own home. Expect panoramic views, swimming pools, local beaches or places of interest and other random ‘holidayish’ things.
5. Important Assistance.
Most folk who own holiday accommodation either live close by or they know someone who does. We generally find that these people are willing to help us with anything we need, and provide assistance settling in and getting to know the area. This is very much appreciated as we are busy folk with a family and virtual business to run. Especially with a language barrier, this help comes in handy. Because utilities are included, if anything happens, say for example to your Internet connection goes down, the owner will usually tend to it fairly promptly.
6. It’s A Vacation!
When you live in temporary holiday accommodation, you get the feeling of living in a home away from home (not that we actually have a home base, apart from our car which is the only consistent part of our moves!) because they tend to be very comfortable, but you also get that brilliant feeling when you switch your computer/work off, that your holiday is starting!
7. Easy To Arrange.
Generally holiday accommodation is very easy to arrange, you can do it entirely online, you don’t need to view the property, because usually plenty of photos are provided, there are detailed descriptions of the accommodation and surrounding areas, what facilities are at the property, and usually, there is a place previous holiday makers leave reviews, so you can see what other people thought of their holiday there.
We are soon going to be entering our 5th year of moving through holiday rentals and it’s a really brilliant way to travel, see the world, and live the virtual business lifestyle with very little hassle which can otherwise often come when travelling in foreign countries with languages you aren’t well versed in.
So if the 4HWW and mini-retirements aren’t for you, then try a 4 year vacation instead!
I’m curious, if you were to take a 4 year vacation, where would you go? What would you bring with you? Lets share a few ideas below in the comment section!