I’m surprised you’re looking up single parent travel.

Are you interested in trying it for yourself?

Or are you a keyboard warrior prowling for bloggers to harass about how traveling with young kids is unsustainable and not good for their stability?

However you found this post, I’m glad you’re here.

Trolls feel free to leave comments below, I’ll give you some hugs, it’s clear you need it. 

What is Single Parent Travel?

We could all talk a little more about single parent travel.

And we can’t talk about it without discussing what it looks like, who does it, and how it’s done. 

Single Parent Travel
My daughter and I in Thailand.

What does single parent travel look like?

Perhaps you imagine a fit mom wearing a backpack with a baby seat marching her way to the top of Machu Picchu?

That’s not real.

Sometimes we go to cool places.

single parent travel blogger
We often go to Hong Kong.

But I make my daughter hike on her own.

Single parent travel is slow, thoughtful, and deliberate.

I’m not gallivanting my way from resort to resort.

I recently spoke to a friend who asked me how I could possibly be living in Thailand; I must be spending $100-$200 a day just on accommodation alone, right?

No, that’s my monthly budget for a private bungalow on an island in Thailand.

I travel as a single parent because it’s more sustainable for me than living in the United States.

My rent is lower abroad, the food is cheaper and healthier, the cost of transportation is minimal, and because I don’t need to hustle my life away to pay rent, I have heaps of time to spend with my daughter every morning, evening, and weekend.

To me, single parent travel is about giving my child as much of me as possible.

I was stretching myself too thin in the US, and this approach to life puts my parenting first, instead of my paycheck.

single parent travel tips and ideas
When my dad came to visit us in Asia, we all went to Chiang Mai!

Who are these single parent travelers?

Like myself, there are single parent fathers out there doing the same thing.

Most people that I talk to are on board with the idea of single dad travel.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not met with skepticism.

Travel Dads

Consider this story of a single dad who was traveling with his teenage daughter when the authorities were called on him by the hotel staff because they thought he was a pedophile.

single parent travel tips

Perhaps it’s the stigma that ‘single dads are bums’ that lead to this unfortunate incident, causing the staff to not stop to think, ‘oh yeah, some single dads are good dads.’

Whatever it was, there are some really unique challenges to being a single dad.

You can read a little more about mine in this Reader’s Digest article I was quoted in.

There’s another brave father out there with the heroic name of Talon Windwalker, and I’m pretty sure it’s his real name.

single father travel blog
Photo credit to 1dad1kid.com

Anyway, he and his child have done heaps of travels, including scuba diving all over the world.

You can read more of his story at 1dad1kid.com.

Travel Moms

Queenie Tan

I’ve been fortunate to meet some pretty cool people in my travels.

One of them was Queenie Tan, Asia’s premier parenting coach.

single parent travel resources
Photo credit to https://foongkwin.com/

She’s smart, driven, and full of good advice for parents who are interested in worldschooling.

You can find her here, and I recently did a recorded podcast with her that I will link you to when it goes live!

Trippin’ Momma

I’ve got the easy life: one little child who is only occasionally a devil.

Amoya of Trippin’ Momma has one little child and two bigger ones.

single parent traveling around the world
Photo credit to https://trippinmomma.com/

I often reach out to her to talk travel strategy, parenting tips, and online income ideas.

You can find her blog here.

Why do single moms and dads travel?

The real question is why does anyone travel?

What is it about far-off destinations that makes any rational person want to get on a flying piece of metal to go swim with sharks or risk their lives climbing a mountain?

I imagine it’s because the very first humans were travelers.

To be fair, we don’t really know anything about the very first humans except that they first roamed the plains of Africa around 300,000 years ago and built tools out of the environment around them.

If we know that, what can we ponder about the way they must have lived?

I like to imagine I’m living 250,000 years ago.

(You can skip past this italicized portion if you’re not interested in creative fiction, if you like spending some time in a pretend world, however, the italicized portion is for you).

My eyes slowly peel open when the sky is dark blue, moments before the first birds start singing. I look over at my daughter who’s rolled away from me. Her mother was eaten by a sabretooth tiger one night when she went out to urinate alone. 

I stand up and pull my tanned-hide cloth up around my waist. Looking around the dark interior of our hut, I see other parents stretching their arms and putting on their cloths, even some of the late-teenagers have sat upright.

I’m the first out the door, I take it a deep breath through my nose of the winds coming across the plain, and I recognize our problem and know our solution immediately. My closest friend in our 40-or-so-family community steps out of the hut, smells the wind, and exhales in exasperation.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, “The herds move every season, it’s more fun trying to find them after they’ve moved over night! It’ll be an adventure.”

“It will be,” he replies, “but we’ll be running into rain later.”

I inhale deeply through my nose again, faintly smelling the onset of rain in the distance, “good nose.”

We quickly disseminate among the families that the herd has moved and it’s time to follow.

Myself and several others prepare to track and find the herd while everyone else breaks down camp and gathers the necessary tools and skins for travel.

With a razor-sharp knife cut from stone, a 6-foot spear of the strongest and lightest wood, and a skin of water enough for 3 days, our team of 6 sets out in pursuit of the buffalo.

At first we jog, following their scent, faint as it is on the wind and masked by the impending rain, zigzagging a bit to get a sense of where they went.

For hours we search, until we find their tracks. 2 of the team members turn around, to give word to the other families which direction to follow.

Our jog intensifies, our barefeet land ball-first, coil the heals down, and the rear tendon snaps back to push us forward.

Our run is rhythmic, simple, and efficient.

We could run like this for two-days straight. One of the team members once did, just to prove he could.

After hours of prodding across the open plains, watching the sunrise and feel the heat intensify, the rains begin to fall, but only lightly.

We find the rear of the herd. Walking slowly and lazily, they’re resting, enjoying the coolness the rain brings.

Steam rises from the sea of their backs and horns.

This is the time of year they aren’t going to stop moving.

They’re leaving these plains because they know the rain is leaving.

The journey ahead is a long one, and every member of the 40-families will have to endure it.

(The creative fiction ends here and the blog continues)

Obviously, we don’t know for sure what people were doing 250,000 years ago. But I like to think about things–even single parent travel–from an evolutionary standpoint.

Our eyes point forward, our hips are upright for walking and jogging, our feet are biological masterpieces of efficient forward motion.

single parent travel blog
Feet are made for travel.

I truly believe we evolved to travel.

That’s where the urge for far-off destinations came from.

Our ancestors were all travelers.

That’s why great kings expand their empires and why we visited the Moon.

can single parents travel?
Expert traveler.

It’s why we look at Mars and think, what if? It’s why we create movies like Avatar, Star Wars, and even Dora the Explorer.

So if you ask why single mothers and fathers want to travel with their children, just blame it on first humans who loved chasing buffalo across the open plains.

How do single parents travel?

Okay, we no longer carry spears and chase buffalo, but long-term with kids is still possible, even for single parents.

Let me put this plainly: single parent travel–if done properly–is less expensive than living in the United States.

That’s even compared to my home state of Michigan, which has a relatively low cost of living.

Also it’s frozen AF for half the year, but that’s another story.

 

how do single parents travel?
Michigan thinks it’s cool because it has lighthouses. Well, those lighthouses don’t do anything in the winter!

When people think of parents traveling with their kids, they think of the vacations they’ve taken in their lives that cost thousands of dollars for the family to stay 7-days and 6-nights at an all-inclusive resort.

That is not what single parent travel actually looks like, and the costs are nowhere near the same.

Single parent travel is about downsizing what you own to maximize your time with your kids.

It’s about finding the cheapest flights, staying in the most affordable place for a long time, and living as close to a local’s budget as you can wherever you go.

It’s a life focused on consuming less material to spend more time doing what’s right for our families.

That alone should be enough to convince anyone that single parent travel is okay, but they’re always concerned with the logistics and the finances.

And rightfully so.

But their concern overwhelms them and turns into fear and fear turns into excuses that reinforce the ideas that keep them away from encountering their fears.

Single parent travel is keeping concern at face value.

It’s something that’s there, but you can prepare for it and it doesn’t have to stop you.

how do single parents travel with their kids
You must trust your travel instincts.

Here are some of the excuses I hear about why people think single parent travel isn’t possible, and what I think about those excuses.

Excuse 1: Travel is expensive, I can’t afford that.

Does your child currently go to daycare or preschool in the United States?

Mine did and her school cost just shy of $1,000/month.

Your entire cost of living with one child as a single parent in Chiang Mai, Thailand will be less than that.  

If you can afford daycare in the US, you can afford to travel.

I do understand that income is tied to your job, but nowadays it’s not so hard to find a job that lets your work remotely.

And you don’t need to be making much to make it a sustainable lifestyle.

single parent travel tips
In one month, you can spend this on daycare in the US, or on ALL YOUR EXPENSES COMBINED in Asia.

Ways Single Parents Can Make an Income While Traveling

Work Abroad

Teaching

How to work abroad with family

Teaching English is the most abundant job, but if you have a specialty, all the power to you.

I taught Math and English in Hong Kong. 

Nursing

how to work abroad with children

Travel nursing is a real thing.

Heaps of people do it. 

Special skill instructor

how to make money working abroad

Think SCUBA, surfing, dancing, singing, yoga and whatever other skill you can teach.

You can take them all on the road. 

WWOOF

how to work on a farm overseas

What better way to connect with the world around you than volunteering on a farm somewhere far away?

Your whole family will be stronger and healthier.

House Sitting

how to house sit as a single parent

People leave their houses, they need others to take care of their houses and often their pets.

That can be your job. 

Transfer within your own company

make money as a single parent

I know heaps of people who have been able to spend time traveling simply by transferring within their own company to another of their locations overseas. 

Could you do that?

Work Online

Teach English

teach english online as a single parent
Your energy level on camera needs to solid.

It’s easy to make around $20/hour teaching English online to Chinese children.

Heaps of people do it full-time.

Blog

make money parent blogging

Blogs have dozens of ways they can make money, you just have to start one, which you can do with this step-by-guide that I wrote.

Then you need to monetize it by investing in yourself, and I show you some awesome ways to do that here.

Youtube

single parents on youtube

I really enjoy making YouTube videos.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be someone who makes a living off of it, but the worst-case scenario is that I get to watch cool videos of my travels when I’m old and senile!

Coach

traveling with kids how to make money

You have a skill? You can coach it.

You’re a super mom.

Coach non-super moms your ways.

And do it all online.

Travel agents

how to travel with my children

The job description is in the name.

But these agents don’t sit in one cubicle their whole lives.

Digital nomads of all kinds

digital nomad family

Web-developers, videographers, bitcoin traders, writers.

There are too many different types of digital nomads to name.

It’s anyone who works online. 

Since we’ve confirmed single parents can easily make an income while traveling, the next excuse is usually about protecting their children.

Excuse 2: My child’s education…

Is extremely important.

So why leave it up to a system that is falling behind in the world?

The United States public education outcomes don’t rank in the top-10 in anything other than dropout rate for developed nations.

According to the 2018 PISA Worldwide Rankings for Math, Science, and Reading, students in the United States ranked just 31st overall.

The education style that’s being taught in the US isn’t preparing our children for the world they’re growing up in either.

That’s why less traditional schooling options are on the rise:

  • Homeschooling
    • Traditional curriculum in a non-traditional setting.
  • Unschooling
    • No set curriculum; learn from life experiences; self-driven education.
  • Forest Schools
    • Classes are taught outside; children are given the ultimate freedom to explore nature.
  • Montessori Education
    • Self-driven education in an experience-based classroom.
  • And more

If those aren’t your thing, single parents have the option–like I do–to send their children to an international school that will still provide them with the education and certifications that they need to attend universities back home.

single parent travel possible
My daughter in her ‘Scouts’ uniform in Hong Kong.

When you throw in the fact that children in travel families get to learn new languages, try new foods, and see the world, you can see why your child’s education is going to be just fine.

When they know their income and education concerns are covered, they instinctively worry about themselves.

Excuse 3: I’d have no support system.

That’s a pretty fair point.

can single parents travel abroad?
It’s easy to worry about your children.

Taking care of a child, they say, takes a village.

But a life of travel and interpersonal support systems aren’t mutually exclusive.

For me, it works perfectly.

As an out-going introvert, my favorite job of all time was when I was a summer camp counselor.

I could be a part of a vibrant community for two months, then spend the rest of the year in a more introspective lifestyle. It’s a great balance for my personality type.

And when I travel, the same thing tends to happen.

how can single parents travel with their children
You can build a big family wherever you go. Summer Camp 2014

We can live somewhere and find a local community using Facebook groups or meetups, but I can still live my own lifestyle on my own time.

And when the scary moments happen–like when I got really bad food poisoning in Thailand–the expat community on Facebook where I was staying responded with overwhelming hospitality.

It feels scary to not have the support system you’re used to back home, but you’ll always find that good people everywhere are happy to help if you ever need it.

So you just have to replace your fear of not having support, with a trust in the world to help you when you need it, because it will.


If you liked this article about single parent travel tips and ideas, SUBSCRIBE to the mailing list below to stay in touch and receive awesome offers on my upcoming books! 

I remember brewing my coffee and watching it spiral and steam. I took a sip, sat down, and typed into Google search, ‘how do I start a profitable blog for free?’ I thought I could start a blog, make money, and be done with it.

I never did find a satisfying solution, but the last sip of coffee was still delicious.

If you’re looking to start a blog for free, then making money from your blog in 2019 probably isn’t in your future.

start a blog that makes money fast
You’ve got a lot on your plate. That’s why I made this post for you: so starting your first blog will be easy.

If you’ve been wondering, ‘how do I start a blog that makes money?’

Now we’re talking.

I’ll let you know from experience, if you don’t put money into your blog, you can’t expect much out of it.

That doesn’t mean a blog has to be expensive.

It just means that you have to invest something.

how to start a blog in 2019

And that something can be as much or as little as you like.

If you’ve created a blog for free and have successfully monetized it, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to see how you did it!

If you consider yourself a beginner, but you’re ready to make money from a blog before 2019, this post is for you.

how to start a blog that makes money in 2019
I was new to blogging once, also!

*You may click on an affiliate link, and I only link to products I believe in or use myself. Affiliate links give me a portion of the company’s profits from your purchase at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

Here are four actionable and easy steps to get started! 

Action 1: Name Your Blog

What exactly are you going to be writing about?

Is it your dog’s extensive fashion wardrobe?

Are you obsessed with Nerf guns?

Do you travel and want to share your experiences?

Your blog needs focus, what’s yours?

how to start a blog in 2018

When you know what your focus is, you can start thinking of a name for it.

Key things to remember when selecting a name:

  • Is it easy to remember?
  • Is it relevant to your blog?
  • Is it SEO optimized? (will people type the words you’re using into a search engine?)
  • You can always change it later if you don’t like it.

Use this domain name search engine to see if someone else already has it:

Once you have a name for your blog, it’s time to claim it.

Action 2: Claim Your Name with BlueHost

This is where the process starts getting a bit more technical, so I’m going to walk you through how to get your first blog post up step-by-step.

Bluehostis the perfect, easy-start hosting service to getting your first blog up.

Most importantly, it includes a money-back guarantee if you don’t like it!

But I still use it to this day because their Q&A section quickly solves any problems I run into when working the backend of blogging.

I’m no tech whiz, but Bluehost is pretty easy in my opinion.

The reason Bluehost is a great tool for your first blog is because it includes your domain name, SSL certificate (important to keep your site safe in this internet-era), and 1-click install of WordPress.

To get started with Bluehost, click this link nowthen return back here for in-depth instructions and help.

Step 1: Once you’ve arrived, click ‘Get Started Now’

how to start a blog

Step 2: You need a plan with BlueHost, select the ‘Basic Plan’

how to start a blog that makes money in 2019

Step 3; Input your Blog’s name as your ‘New Domain’ name.

If you haven’t decided, you can choose later, just click the option below where the red arrow is.

Step 4: Sign Up with Your Google Account

The next page will ask you for your account information.

I suggest signing up using your Google account just to make it easier on yourself.

 

Step 5: Customize Your Account Settings

Scroll Down to ‘Package Information’

View the ‘Account Plan’ tab. (This is for my pretend website: babyburgerpizzajoint.com)

how to start a blog in 2019

It should indicate that you’ve already selected the ‘Basic Plan’

You can choose between the 12, 24, 36, and 60-month month options.

The 36 and 60-month options give you the best value, while the 12-month plan gives you the lowest upfront cost.

Scroll down to ‘Package Extras’

I recommend only adding on the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’

The Domain Privacy Protection keeps people from being able to see who owns the site and where they live (your address).

The other add-ons are superfluous–in my opinion.

Scroll down to ‘Payment Information’

Enter your card info, click the checkbox indicating you read the T&C’s, then click submit.

how to start a blog that makes money

There you have it! 

You own your first blog!

After submitting, you will be asked to create password for your account (if you haven’t logged in with your Google account) and you’ll need to select your theme.

Action 3: Customize Your Platform with a Template

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of themes available for your blog.

You can pick one now and change it later if you want to.

This isn’t a full commitment right now.

There are plenty of great options for free themesalready on WordPress.

But people who are serious about their blog generally upgrade to something more visually appealing.

I’m using Boldgrid on this website right now, and I’m waiting for my subscription to run out so I can upgrade myself. 

I will be upgrading to Elegant’s Divi theme.

how to start a blog to make money

 

I recommend getting a theme from Elegant Themesbecause they have beautiful drag-and-drop themes that are perfect for beginners.

After owning several versions of this website and another, I can tell you from experience that not making a template investment is a bad choice.

If you want what’s widely considered the best theme for beginners on Elegant, go for Divi by clicking the image:

Divi WordPress Theme

Again, you can try it out for free to see if you like its drag-and-drop features for building an awesome website!

Action 4: Get Your First Post Live (and set a schedule for yourself)

The most important part of building your blog after your first post is remaining consistent.

So, once your blog is set up, set a schedule for yourself.  

Are you going to post Every Tuesday and Friday?

Will you post on the 1st and 15th of each month?

Or will you post every single day at 6:00 pm?

how to start a blog as a beginner

It’s up to you, just remember that consistency is important.

Your readers want to rely on you being there on a regular basis.

Starting out, it may take you 3 hours or more to get a blog post up.

Why? Because you’re new to this and you’re learning.

After some practice, you’ll be able to post 1,000-word posts within an hour–depending on how fast you can type.

how to start a blog to make money online
I didn’t start off as an expert blogger, either. Keep working!

Remember this is a learning process and you will get better at it.

Here’s how to set up your first blog post.

Step 1: Head to the Admin

Go to your browser and type in ‘yourblogname.com/wp-admin’

For my pretend website this would be ‘babyburgerpizzajoint.com/wp-admin’

Step 2: Click on ‘Blog Posts’ in the Dashboard.

should i start a travel blog

Then, click ‘Add New’ either in the sidebar or near the top left-center of the screen.

Then you’ll be greeted with your first view of a blank blog post page!

Step 3: Create Your First Post

From here it’s slightly more intuitive.

Add your title here:

should i start a blog

Add your content here:

how to start a blog 2018

You can easily decide between seeing your post in visual or text format.

I recommend you click ‘Visual’  so you can see your post without the code.

how to start a blog in 2018

In the visual field, you’ll see all your content.

Click ‘Add Media’ to add photos and videos either from your computer or from a URL.

how to start a blog that makes money

Step 4: Optimize Your Post

In the sidebar on the right, you can add tags, create categories, add a featured image, and fiddle with your publication times.

Categories are the topics in your blog. If you’re a dog fashion blogger, your categories might be ‘New Dog Fashion’ ‘Fashionable Dogs from Around the World’ and ‘Dog Styling Tips’, for example.

The categories below are from this blog.

how to start a blog for beginners 2018

It’s up to you.

Tags are indicators of what your post is about.

You want search engines to know the foci of your content.

Let them know in the tags.

For a post about the newest dog boots, your tags might include ‘dog fashion’ ‘dog boots’ ‘dog style’ ‘dog winter boots’ and ‘stylish dogs’ for example.

 

how to start a blog in 2018 for money

This lets search engines know exactly what your content is about so they can find it when people are looking for it.

The Featured Image is the photo that is the face of your post. When you link to it in social media, people will see the featured image along with a blurb.

how to start a blog for beginners that want to make money

If you’re out of time for the day and want to continue creating or editing later on, click ‘Save Draft’

how to start a blog for beginners

If you are done with your post, I recommend you see how it looks live before you publish.

Step 3: Publish Your First Post

Click ‘Preview’ to see what it will look like when it goes live.

how to start a blog 2019

Read it through one last time to check for any errors.

The switch from the ‘editing page’ to the ‘live page’ gives you fresh light on your content.

You’ll catch things you would’ve overlooked.

Click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Publish: Immediately’ if you want to schedule your post to publish for another time.

how to start a blog in 2019

When you use the Publish feature, your post will go live, or publish at your scheduled time.

That’s it, your first post is up!

Now off to social media to promote it!

If you want to keep learning how to make money from your blog, check out this post:


If you found this article helpful, please Pin it and share it with your friends on Facebook who want to start a blog!

 

Three Unique Things to See in Asia that You Won’t See in the USA

If I wanted, I could write this post forever because there are such vast differences in the food, culture, and landscapes between the United States and Asia.

Also, they’re both gigantic and could feature an endless amount of content based on them.

I’m going to stick to 3. Not just three things, but three things I was able to capture on video (I’ll get better at this, I promise).

Here are three unique things to see in Asia that you won’t see in the USA. Courtesy of this single dad blog.

The Mekong Delta

Incredibly beautiful, exotic (in an American’s eyes), and relaxing. Unless, you hit the overcrowded, hawker-filled, easy-to-find tours that we did.

mekong delta vietnam travel
One of the few shots I could get that wasn’t filled with other boats/tourists.

It’s a mangrove of palms trees, home to countless numbers of birds, insects, fish, and things with four legs. I’ve always wanted to visit it ever since I saw it in National Geographic when I was a kid.

Nature was still there, but the main tourist destinations are anything but natural. People are constantly bugging you about money and trying to sell you something. I’m there to relax, so fuck off guy who wants money for showing me some bees I didn’t want to see.

travel mekong delta vietnam honey bees
Stupid bee guy. Nothing against the bees. Long live the bees.

You’re probably better taking a multi-day trip to the more remote parts of the delta if you really want to see what it’s like. I’m not sure, I only did the crappy tour I found in District 1 for $8.

More Motorbikes than Bike Week at Daytona Beach

Seems almost everyone in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and other Asian countries only drive motorcycles. Hondas and Suzikis are everywhere in these countries. Sometimes carrying an entire family.

motorcycle asia vietnam thailand cambodia
Become one with the shoal by renting one of these bad boys.

It’s madness. But it’s madness in the same way a shoal of fish is madness. Everyone moves together and it seems much more peaceful than the rush hour anywhere in the United States.

New Restaurant, Dirty Dishes

Apparently, many restaurants in Hong Kong don’t entirely clean the dishes they’re placing on your table. They leave behind soap residue and cleaning materials. Weird.

asia things to see and do
Thankfully, this is what post-meal looks like.

Normal. For locals. They have their own way of cleaning the dishes in a bath of hot water and tea before they eat. Maybe this is why no one leaves a tip here at the end of a meal?

Check it all out in the video below! Pardon the language, this is a single dad blogger here.


If you liked this post, SUBSCRIBE below to my mailing list! It’s a great way to say thank you and keep me enthusiastic about sharing with you 🙂

So you want to live in Hong Kong? There’s heaps of beaches, a wild party atmosphere, mountains to explore ghost villages in, and some lovely places to take your kids. If you haven’t seen it, check out here for a quick idea of how life is for my daughter and me.

If you’ve gotten this far and you think, I can’t live abroad, you’re wrong. I’m a single parent, and I live abroad with my daughter. I’m from a small town in the middle of Michigan, there’s nothing special about me.

I didn’t leave the USA for the first time (except to Windsor, Ontario at 19) until I was 24. If I can do this, the only thing stopping you is you. Or, probably a million other things, but don’t let them get in your way. Do it.

single parent parenting blog
My dad came over to visit us in Hong Kong late 2017. Read that story here 🙂

If you’re wondering about the cost of living in Hong Kong, wonder no more.

Essentials Included in the Cost of Living in Hong Kong, per month

Transportation: $100

Taking a ride on Hong Kong’s MTR is an ultraconvenient way to travel. It’s cheap, fast, clean, and relatively uncrowded when you’re not traveling during the rush hour. The MTR is the city’s subway system.

Buses are ubiquitous in Hong Kong. There are so many; there are big buses and little buses, red buses and green buses. You literally can’t walk down the street without getting blasted by their exhaust pipes in some places, like next to Prince Edward Station. Buses in Hong Kong are affordable, safe, well-marked, and the plethora of information online regarding Hong Kong’s buses is excellent for mapping your route ahead of time.

Taxis and Uber are available. More expensive, but safe and they are everywhere.

Walking is ideal in Hong Kong if you’re staying in a tourist area. No reason to hop on transport at all if you’re within a kilometer or so of where you’re going. You’ll get to the city from ground level!

 

Ferries and boats are continually bubbling through the waterways of Hong Kong. Use them to cross from TST to the Island. Or take one to an outlying island and see what you can find. Highly recommended!

Overall, transport is relatively cheap if you avoid taxis. Shouldn’t be more than a few dollars a day if you’re using public transportation. Since travel is something impacting your cost of living in Hong Kong everyday, so might as well look for ways to save!

Food (local HK food, specialty cuisine, western food, groceries): >$300

Cooking in Hong Kong is difficult. Why? Space is limited in Hong Kong, so accommodations can be small. If you’re wealthy enough to afford an apartment that comes with a full-western kitchen, you’re probably not too worried about your money anyway, so I can’t imagine why you’re reading this.

I have a hot plate and a rice cooker/steamer, but I have to store them under my bed, and I cook on top of my fridge (just to give you a sense of space limitations in Hong Kong).

If you’re cooking, however, you can buy rice/noodles relatively cheap. Fruits and vegetables are reasonably priced in the wet markets (sometimes less expensive for locals than you), and if you shop around (like I do) between the nearest Wellcome, Park n Shop, and Vanguard you might be able to find some meat and yogurt (and sometimes even beer!) with a 50% off sticker stuck to it. That’s usually a good way to go.

Affordable ‘street food’ is available, but not like in Thailand. You can find plates of fried noodles, rice and (add ingredient), etc. for less than $2.50, even in the more touristy areas. Fast-food-style restaurants dot the ground level corners of Hong Kong’s buildings.

You could easily eat this for every meal and spend less than $10 per day on food. But do you really want to do that to your digestive system? No judgment, I love the occasional gut bomb.

Bakeries are abundant, and they offer everything from sugary donuts to tuna fish buns to banana bread to rolls stuffed with red beans. Most buns are less than a dollar, few are more than $2. If you get them warm, they’re extra delicious, but the bakeries are always a good option if you aren’t gluten-free.

hong kong cost of living, parenting blog
Seaside clams on Mui Wo. The plate was under $10.

There are a gazillion restaurants that can eat up your cost of living in Hong Kong. Chain restaurants like Cafe de Coral and Fairwood are yummy, and most meals are between $4-$7. Western restaurants like Outback Steakhouse are no stranger here. Some bars have great deals on burgers (like a place on the island that has an impressive burger and a craft beer for about $12, just wish I could remember where it was). Hotpot, Korean BBQ, and other buffet style restaurants usually let you eat all you can for an hour or two starting at $20. If you want to splurge and eat at something 5-star, Hong Kong has that, also, but your budget is going to soar.

Western comforts are everywhere. McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, 7-11 are all thriving in Hong Kong. Don’t get Pizza Hut though, get PHD, it’s way better here.

Rent: $400-infinity

Rent is wild in Hong Kong. $400 gets you a shoebox. Well, a bed, a bathroom, and no more, anyway. If you’re looking for an apartment akin to a modern apartment you would have in New York City, you’re also going to be looking at over $1,000 in rent each month. $2,000-$3,000/month isn’t an uncommon price for a relatively basic apartment on the island.

cost of living in hong kong
Hong Kong is filled with buildings like these. Each hold hundreds, if not thousands, of different living accomodations.

Rent increases every year in Hong Kong; it’s definitely the most significant contributor to an inflated budget if you’re picky about where you live.

My daughter and I live in a tiny place, but it doesn’t bother me. I actually prefer small areas because it’s less to keep clean and helps maintain my minimalistic ideals.

Utilities (electric, wifi, water): Free-$??

This will vary based on your accommodations. If you’re paying for everything yourself, expect your cost of living in Hong Kong to be similar in prices to the United States.

Internet starts around $30/month. I tether my computer to my phone. Why? My prepaid monthly plan gives me unlimited data for $12.50. Head over to Chungking Mansion in TST to find the guys selling sim cards and data plans.

Shop around between the shops until you find the features you want. I was previously paying $36/month for a similar service to what I have now.

Fresh Water: >$5

Bottled water prices aren’t inflated here, but they aren’t cheap either. You could easily spend a couple of dollars each day on bottled water if that’s how you’re getting your drinking supply.

I recommend you don’t do that unless you want to quintuple your cost of water.

Instead, have a refillable bottle (or two or three) and fill them at the children’s playgrounds where you’ll find fountains with cold water. Better yet, buy a several liter bottle with a handle when you first get here and refill that each time you need to. It’s how I survive!

Laundry: $40

If you’re doing laundry 4 times each month, you’ll probably spend $10 each time if you drop them off at a cleaner, depending on how many clothes you have. If you do them yourself at LaundryUp or a similar place they will be cheaper, just a few dollars each time.

School: >$200

Local or international? Montessori or corporal punishment style? Hong Kong’s schooling system is diverse and competitive. You can pay over $1,000 a month for the top international schools, or you can do like I did and send your children to a local school where they will learn Chinese like my daughter did. That school costs less than $200/month.

Bonus: her school paid for a field trip this year where they took us to Disneyland! My schools were never that cool; for one field trip in elementary, we went to my home because we had a pond. Yawn town.

Lifestyle Choices: $200

Everyone needs entertainment in their lives. The question is: what kind of entertainment do you enjoy? Hong Kong has everything you can think of: scuba, golf, parties, theme parks, boat excursions, the list goes on forever. Your cost of entertainment solely depends on what you like to do.

If you’re on the alternative side, street drugs are easily locatable in Hong Kong. Quality can be low (or superb), prices are high, dealers are shady, but the cops don’t seem to care too much (at least not enough to stop the obvious slinging in some areas).

Be warned: drugs are illegal here, and you’re not going to bribe your way out of an arrest here like you might in other Asian countries. Not only that, but the addition to your cost of living might not be worth the quality of the products here. Probably equally bad for your health.

Visas: Free, 3-month validity

You’ll have to leave Hong Kong to renew your visa (the easiest way is to hop on a ferry over to Macau and back) every three months if you want to stay any longer without finding a job and getting a working visa.

Tourist visas are free, fantastic! But they aren’t unlimited. Border hop too many times and you’ll be treated with a stamp in your passport that limits your future trips, even banning you for a year.

Side note: Hong Kong is passport friendly in the sense that they offer you a small slip of paper to place in your passport instead of taking up precious stamp real estate. Don’t lose this seemingly insignificant piece of paper though, you need it upon your exit. Otherwise, your first stop is to fee city.

Those fees don’t help your cost of living in Hong Kong, so avoid them by being organized.

Health Insurance: up to you, $100 for me

When considering the cost of living in Hong Kong, you should likely invest in travel insurance. You can receive travel insurance through your credit card, airline, or through the servicor I prefer: World Nomads.

I pay about $100 per month for both my daughter and me, and that covers anything I’m worried about. The piece of mind is well worth the cost, but World Nomads also does well in keeping its promise to pay out when you make a claim.

Total Cost of Living in Hong Kong for My Daughter and Me: ≈ $1395 per month

This price tag doesn’t include transportation in and out of the cost of living in Hong Kong and is a rough estimate based on the information provided and assuming going the cheapest route every time. And this is for a single parent blogger, not a lone traveler.

Even if you’re alone, that $1,395 could easily jump to over $2,000 if you aren’t paying attention to your budget or are living above the basics.

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Considering traveling abroad with children? If you are, then I’m sure you have a million questions jetting around inside your mind: is it safe to travel with children? Do you children adapt well to new cultures? Should I travel with my child? Most importantly, why should I travel with children?

Let me give you a quick answer to the penultimate question: absolutely, you should. There are always things you can do beforehand to prepare, so, prepare.

Now, let me tell you why you should travel with them. First, I’ll hopefully ease your fears, then give you two more important reasons to take your children traveling abroad.

Safety Concerns

Like any parent who is asking themselves the question if they should travel with their child, I have been concerned about my daughter’s safety abroad. More importantly, I am more concerned about her safety in the United States. It seems that every week there is a massacre of one type or another, a horrific act of violence, or a ‘mistake’ that ends in the death of a child.

Traveling with children
Auburn playing safely in Hong Kong, safety equipment and all

So if you’re worried about your child’s safety abroad, I can assure you, they are as safe as anywhere you would take them in the United States. Obviously, travel with caution and diligence; it’s probably not a good idea to take your child to Syria, Somalia, or Iraq, at the moment.

However, don’t be afraid to take your child somewhere that has historically been belittled by American/Western media. Auburn and I have been to Colombia and Vietnam, places I had heard from other Americans (who’d never been there) that I shouldn’t go there because it’s ‘dangerous!’ Now I just laugh when I hear this because I’ve never been to a place outside of the USA that felt more dangerous than living in the USA itself.

Traveling with children in vietnam
Auburn playing with her new-found friends in Ho Tram, Vietnam. I’m pretty sure this sand pile was for construction purposes so likely not the best example of traveling safely 🙂

Learning Opportunities

Can your child get a solid education in the United States? Sure, if you send them to a private school you know and trust. I may sound like a hater in this regard, but the American education system sucks, it sucks big ol’ donkey hooves.

So you think I’m a hater? Not true, I love the United States, but I also love and respect other places for knocking us around in the education department. Take for example that American education ranks just 14th in reading, 25th in maths, and a sad 17th in science.

Traveling with children, class in Ho Chi Minh City
Auburn enjoying her birthday in Ho Chi Minh City, summer camp 2016!

Now I’ll hand you over to my personal experience in public education: donkey hooves. I grew up being taught the letter ‘w’ could sometimes be used as a vowel, that Christopher Columbus was a class-act, and that the USA had never lost a war. Let me scribble that out for you: (1) is B.S., (2) is vomit-inducing, and (3) is utter nonsense. A university-education and the internet have taught me heaps more than what I could have ever hoped to learn (unlearn) from the over-lavished, sub-standard, American public education system.

Now take for example that if you travel with your child, they’ll have the opportunity to learn in a different culture (avoiding common mistakes), see things from a new perspective, and pick up on languages that you probably won’t be able to speak. Get them to put down the new iPhone, the latest gadget, and get outdoors and meet some new people! The new language alone is the best investment you can give your child. Aside from the fact that it might cost $10,000 in the future to learn a new language from a university and you can save that by simply immersing them in the language and culture, but learning a new language also changes your brain, makes you more open, and helps you understand things that monoglots cannot.

Memories Increase Your Lifespan

So maybe you don’t care about your child’s education that much or learning a new language isn’t really on your radar of things you want your child to achieve. Fair enough.

Then, for a moment, imagine a life without memories. Or, more common, a life with the same memory over and over again. How short is that life? Painfully, in my experience.

Traveling with children
Me, my daughter, and my sunburn, all together. Koh Tao, Thailand

I can remember spending each day waking up at the same time to go to the same job at the same place through the same amount of traffic. In my memories, months can pass without any significant change, and that’s where your life gets lost: when you’re not making new memories.

I don’t want to pretend like every day will be different traveling and you’ll remember everything, no, that’s not true. You can fall into routine traveling or living abroad as well. But the move itself, the plethora of new sounds, sights, smells, tastes, textures, people, all add ages to your memory. A year will no longer feel like it flies by when you live or travel abroad, a year can actually feel like a proper year, imagine that?

Traveling with children who sleep on your head
Auburn sleeping on my head in Hong Kong, a memory I won’t forget and she won’t remember 🙂

Travel, Travel Now

So your child will learn more than your standard American B.S., will pick up a new language, will be as safe as ‘back home,’ and you’ll expand your lifetime through an increased diversity of memories? That’s right; if you do it right.

Give me a shout out if you have any questions: do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment 🙂 And don’t forget to sign up for reminders of future posts through the submission form at the bottom of the page 🙂

Traveling with children to U.P. Michigan
We didn’t have to travel far for this one, just a few hours north of home. Kitch-iti-kipi, Michigan. Simply gorgeous, though it’s better in color, to be honest.