Travel First & Then Invest, or Invest & Then Travel?

9 Replies

Hello all,

First time posting to the forums after browsing around for awhile and listening to the podcast. Thought I would ask for some insight from aspiring and seasoned investors..

I'm approaching a major turning point in my life, and transitioning out of military service in the near future. I am dead-set on investing in real estate, specifically multi-unit properties and renting via Airbnb. I thought about purchasing a multi-family unit property in an area near a Naval shipyard as I know I can get tenants in a timely manner, for at least a year. If not there, then an area frequented by travelers. Anyway, I also have an insatiable desire to travel and have been fantasizing and plotting my foreign adventures for years now. I have the perfect opportunity as I will have no debt, no burdening responsibilities, and can basically uproot without harm. I have narrowed down my voyage down to a ~5 month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia and I have funds to cover my pilgrimage and transition back into the "real-world" with a decent cushion, but not enough to immediately purchase a home.

The question I'm asking here is, if you were in my situation, would you purchase an investment property and get everything situated (finances, tenants, etc) BEFORE you travel, or travel first with the ultimate freedom (time), and focus on investing after the journey?

It seems simple to ask, but I feel a lot of people delay travel into some other more "convenient" time of their lives (which never happens; we'll always have duties and responsibilities), and never end up embarking on the adventure they once longed for, minus a brief 2-week hiatus from the corporate jungle to a beached island.

Thank you for reading, and please let me know your thoughts!


You may find it difficult to buy a property unless and until you have a W-2 job lined up.  We recently did the same transition.   If we contnued to work in the same industry, the lender would accept the income, but only after seeing the job offer and the first paycheck hit our bank account. We had to hold off on a financing until the lender saw that money in our account.  If we chose some other line of work, the lender we use wouldn't be able to count that income for a period of time (I think 2 years).  

In our situation, we used the leave we'd stored up and traveled during the last weeks before retirement, and while we still had a military paycheck.  We bought a new property once we'd had the new income.

Remember, too, that you can use a VA loan, once you qualify with income, to buy up to 4 units.

I'd invest first, but do worry about income verification for a lender as well. The time you're traveling you could be making money! 

Also, just a bit of concern with air b&b places that are attractive to tourists, in an economic downturn people cut travel. You might want to look into places a bit more insulated to the recession! Just some thoughts. I'm excited for you!

This is a bit freestyle but what if you figure out how to get lending and buy a duplex to ultimately live in after your travels, long term rent out the other side and do a short term or air b&b rental on the side you'll occupy after your trip? This way you can get away with putting very little down.  

I believe this really depends on how fast you want to reach your goals. You could hunker down right away and spend 5-10 years purely focusing on growing your investments or you could take 15-20 years and travel as well. My wife and I also love to travel, and we try to take at least 2 trips a year. Usually one big one out of the country and another one in the US. We want to be financially free, but we also want to enjoy travelling while we are young and don't have kids! However, it does sound like you want to take some trips that are longer than you would be able to with a W-2 job, so this may not be as helpful.

I hope this gave you a different point of view, good luck with your real estate investing!

Hi, I highly recommend visiting the Champs Elysees, there are a lot of boutique shops there. Be sure to visit the catacombs near the Seine, and of course the Louvre, these are the coolest places in Paris, and if you don’t have anywhere to stay for the night, then it’s better to use https://www.glamourapartments.... with this service, cool apartments and beautiful views from the windows.

@Benjamin Kirkpatrick

My advice is go travel then come back, get settled, and get to investing. However, who knows what happens while you travel. Maybe you find the business you want to run or the love of your life! So I’d take the time to travel and be open. Your best laid plans could change.

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