After realizing that living onboard cruise ships is less expensive than paying off a mortgage, a Washington couple has spent the past year doing so.
When Angelyn Burk, 53, went on a Caribbean cruise in 1992, she fell in love with the open sea for the first time. As a result, when she married her 51-year-old husband, Richard, who shared her passion for the sea, they intended to take a cruise around the world at least once a year.
“We really enjoy cruising and being able to visit different parts of the world without hopping on an airplane,” Angelyn, a former accountant, told 7Life.
After crunching the statistics, the couple discovered that they could begin enjoying their dream retirement lifestyle sooner than they had anticipated. What’s even better? To achieve so, they simply need to spend an average of $86 every day!
“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn said. “We love to travel and we were searching for a way to continuously travel in our retirement that made financial sense.”
Angelyn and Richard could enjoy the cruise life indefinitely thanks to a combination of their life savings and the projected sale of their home in Seattle, one of the most expensive cities in the United States.
So, with only one bag each, they abandoned their 9-5 jobs and their yet-to-be-sold home and set sail for the wide sea. They’ve been maritime nomads since May 2021, and they’ve gotten used to their new lifestyle.
“We have been frugal all our lives to save and invest in order to achieve our goal,” Angelyn said. “We are not into materialistic things but experiences.”
For an average of $43 each night, Angelyn and Richard can arrange their lodging, meals, drinks, and transportation.
Using loyalty programs and taking advantage of deals, the pair has been able to stay within their budget.
Angelyn and Richard had meticulously planned where each excursion would end and the next begin since their departure.
“We don’t plan to permanently live on land in the future,” Angelyn said.
In fact, the pair has only slept on land five times in the last year, which happens when the ships’ schedules don’t line up. The pair frequently spends time with their family or friends when they are on solid ground.
Angelyn and Richard intend to go to every country in the planet. They’ve already completed a 50-day journey around the Adriatic Sea, taking in the beauties of Europe. They’ve also traveled from Seattle to Sydney for 51 days.
Singapore, Italy, Canada, Iceland, and the Bahamas are among their favorite vacation spots. They’ve gone to a few countries numerous times, but Singapore has been their favorite thus far.
“Currently, this year, we have secured 86 cruise days with an average all-in cost of $89 per day for both of us,” Angelyn told CNN. “Which includes room, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuity, port fees, and taxes. This is well within our retirement budget.”
The pair finds no drawbacks to living at sea, but Angelyn cautions that anybody considering a similar trip should first attempt long-term voyages before committing to it.
“I believe this is achievable for the everyday cruiser, but it does take effort,” Angelyn explained. “It is leisurely travel without the complications of booking hotels, restaurants, and transportation while staying within our budget.”
Angelyn and Richard show that you don’t have to be a millionaire to live on a cruise—all you have to do is be wise with your money.
Is this a way of life for you? Here’s a vlog on cruise ships from someone who vlogs about them.