Tips on living abroad: A Better Life for Half the Price

If you’re a serious lover of travel, it’s crossed your mind at least once, and you probably flirt with the idea regularly: what if we were to move outside the country, and explore a different culture indefinitely? 


As a travel writer who could work from anywhere, I’ve considered the idea more than most parents I know. Most recently, I toyed with dipping my toes in the expat waters when I crunched the numbers on a whirlwind European trip and found it would actually be cheaper to stay longer in a less-traveled country and base ourselves in one location with a long-term home rental. Intriguing…

I personally know several expats with families, including my Practical Travel Gear editor Tim Leffel (also of Perceptive Travel and Cheapest Destinations blog). His latest book, A Better Life for Half the Price, came out in late 2014, and is well worth the read for anyone who loves the travel lifestyle. Outside-the-box thinkers be advised: you’ll want to start packing your bags.

a-better-life-for-half-the-priceA Better Life for Half the Price takes a very approachable and no-nonsense tack; even if you’re not in the serious planning stage of moving abroad, it’s an engaging read that makes you think differently about how to travel on a budget. Leffel writes conversationally, and gets to the heart of an expat’s motivation: the desire to do more, see more, and live more with less. Yes, the book covers the practical stuff, like moving your pets and getting a visa, but does so in a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting down to coffee with a friend to hear his experience and get a little advice, not like you’re reading a how-to book.

The book is structured with the nuts and bolts up front: how to reduce your bills abroad, what you can expect to be cheaper (and what won’t be), and how to make a living. The secondary chapters get into the heart of the planning stage, with 18 separate chapters on specific countries. This is where the no-nonsense part comes in, as Leffel is upfront about the pros and cons of each region. There’s no ‘best place’ to live, but rather a clear best place for each individual or family. Readers are likely to find theirs in this section.

So after reading the book (and talking with other expat friends such as Andrea Fellman of Wanderlust Living), will I be moving my family? Not yet. For the time being, my husband’s job (and the necessity of keeping it) keeps us grounded in the US, but I will never say never. And in the meantime, my mind has been opened to what possibilities exist, even–or especially–for families like ours, on a budget.

Photo credit: Flickr/sweetviscape

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of A Better Life for Half the Price for the purpose of review.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. I’ve had my eye on that book for quite some time. My hands are itching, too!

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