How To Become A Perpetual Tourist (Prior Taxpayer)

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist


Published in Lifestyle on 19th December, 2018


These days, people are often looking for ways to escape the standard routines of life. Go to work, get married, buy a house, stay in one place. Some people can feel so trapped stuck in the same old routine from day to day. That's why more and more are becoming interested in the perpetual tourist lifestyle.

Here, we're going to take a look into what that lifestyle entails, including the benefits, things to consider and some details to help you decide whether or not it's worth trying out. Let's dive into this lifestyle, and what it may have to offer you!

perpetual tourist

What Is A Perpetual Tourist?

As the name implies, a perpetual tourist is someone who is frequently traveling. Oftentimes, it means that they don't remain in a single place for very long, thus avoiding the tax liability that can come with being a resident of a given place.

Often, such individuals may hold jobs or run businesses that don't require them to be in a single place. Because of that, they can save money by moving around frequently. Some find that it's not only helpful for taxes, but can also allow them to have many new experiences in places they haven't been before or recently.

What Are The Benefits?

What makes the perpetual tourist lifestyle so interesting to many lies within the benefits it can offer, including things like tax breaks and the freedom to experience many places. Let's take a look at those benefits in more depth, so you can see what the lifestyle offers.

Travel

As a perpetual tourist, you get to gain a number of fantastic experiences. Traveling from place to place, you can learn about different cultures, continually experience new things and enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. For those who don't like to be tied into one place, this can be a dream come true.

It's a great way to avoid the stale, stuck feelings that can come with a standard 9-to-5 life in a single place. In time, you can become a person of the world, making friends and memories in many different kinds of places. Where you go next is also entirely up to you, which can feel very freeing overall.

Tax Benefits

One of the benefits that people really look forward to is the ability to avoid many of the taxes owed by those who are a citizen of the US, or somehow tied to another location regularly. However, it is important to be very careful about making sure you handle things in a legal way, or you will end up owing.

An exclusion that can assist in the matter is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which can assist in allowing you to remain tax free on a certain amount of income. Having a complete understanding of this exclusion can help to guide you through the process, so that you can live the lifestyle you want and still be obeying US laws.

Personal Freedom

Many of us can feel trapped within the confines of a standard life. Because of this, a yearning for freedom can mean that the concept of being a perpetual tourist is a dazzling one. Being able to move from place to place, experiencing new things, can be one that allows us to feel free.

personal freedom

If you can do it, and do it well, then perpetual tourism can certainly allow you to feel more free. In addition, if you can manage a career that allows you to move around from place to place and still have reliable income, it can truly be a dream come true for those involved.

An Unburdened Lifestyle

What many love about the life of perpetual tourism is that it involves a kind of richness with relation to experiences and memories, though they may not have many objects. Rather than bills and toys, those involved get to do new things frequently, gaining in character.

The freeing aspects of living as a perpetual tourist are what add a kind of romantic view of the idea. It's important to make sure this view is balanced with what is real. After all, the life of a perpetual tourist isn't one that is filled with easy, unending bliss without any effort.

What To Consider

Not everything about this lifestyle is rainbows and sunshine! Because of that, it's important to take into consideration the aspects that may not be so glamorous. This can help you to decide whether or not being a perpetual tourist is really the best option for you.

Tax Laws

Tax laws in the United States can be complicated, and it can be easy to handle things incorrectly. However, doing so can result in penalties and money owed that has built up. Consequently, it's very important that you make sure you know exactly what the laws are so you can follow them correctly.

Keep in mind that following them correctly can mean earning a decent amount of income before you have to worry about paying taxes on it, so it's very worthwhile. If you need help, then seeking out a tax representative who can help you fully understand the concepts is also a great idea.

The Cost

It's worth keeping in mind that the perpetual tourist lifestyle is not cheap. You'll need to make sure that you can cover the costs of personal healthcare, travel and places to stay. There are also going to be different exchange rates for your money, which can either benefit you or become a drawback.

travel and work

Because of that, you have to plan carefully to make sure that you're keeping things afloat. This can be even more difficult if you don't have a job that allows you to work while traveling. There's plenty to keep in mind!

Lack Of Roots

While living a nomadic life can be a lot of fun, it may also get lonely sometimes. Typically, in order to receive the tax-related benefits, you can't really stay in one place for very long. This can prevent you from setting down roots or building lasting relationships anywhere.

As a result, it can become a lonely lifestyle for those who long for deep connections. Some can find that being a perpetual tourist is fun, but perhaps not something they want to do for the long term. This is something worth considering so that you can plan according to what you want.

Minimalist Lifestyle

This aspect can be either one that proves to be a benefit or a downfall, depending on your preferences. Some people like to have plenty of things to provide comfort and allow them to enjoy plenty of luxury. Meanwhile, others can find that less truly is more, and enjoy a minimalist life.

Either way, it's going to be quite necessary if you're going to be doing a lot of traveling. There are often limits on the amount of luggage you can have, and it would just be quite annoying to have to struggle with several suitcases as you go from place to place.

Travel Exhaustion

For those who are drained by social interaction, traveling can become an exhausting thing. Even for those who aren't traveling so frequently can become tiring, and it can be difficult to relax fully in a temporary space. This is something worth considering if you think you might be drained by traveling often.

Train stations, airports and other types of travel can become frustrating, or simply drain energy through hours spent waiting to depart. If you decide this is the lifestyle for you, then you'll want to be able to keep yourself occupied during those times.

Instability

There can be plenty of bumps in the road for perpetual tourists. These might include having a difficult time finding work in a given area, or a place to stay. Otherwise, you may also find that while you may have a place to stay, it may not turn out to be as ideal as you had hoped.

For some, issues like these may keep them from trying out the nomadic lifestyle. However, if it's not something that scares you way, it is important to plan for issues like these. If you can find a way to have regular work that isn't dictated by location, that will help immensely.

Tax Laws Involved - What You Need To Know

As mentioned previously, most perpetual tourists make use of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which allows them to avoid paying taxes on a certain amount of income they bring in. This can be helpful to business owners as well as those who would just like to save that money.

If you're considering this kind of lifestyle, it's very important to make sure you understand what the tax laws entail and how you can create your lifestyle while avoiding breaking the law. Understanding things like earned income versus passive income is going to be important as well, as they aren't the same thing.

Earning Money

Some who engage in this lifestyle already have a job that allows them to move about as needed, while others may be looking to move from a more standard career to something of that nature. This in itself can be a venture that is worth getting a handle on prior to moving around.

earning money

Whether you're starting your own business or a freelancing career, there can be a number of bumps in the first couple of years that are worth ironing out before you decide on a nomadic lifestyle. That way, you'll be able to rely on your income a little more.

Staying Safe During Travel

An aspect that many might not think about is that traveling and being in new places frequently can be dangerous. You may not always know the areas that are less prone to crime, which can sometimes leave you open to thieves and other kinds of issues along the way.

Because of that, it's important to consider your safety while traveling. Make sure you have a lock for your luggage, and use a carry on whenever possible. This can help you to avoid having anything go missing while you're moving around from place to place.

The Perception Of Happiness

One thing this kind of lifestyle can cause it a re-adjustment when it comes to what makes you happy. We've largely been trained to find comfort and happiness in luxury and comfort, but you may not always get those things as a perpetual tourist, especially when you're first starting out.

Because of this, you may need to take on a more humble approach. Try to find happiness in your experiences, and in having the freedom to live such a lifestyle rather than worrying about how well you're doing it. Remember that a lot of people out there will never even try it, so getting out there is a huge accomplishment!

Is Perpetual Tourism The Life For You?

This kind of lifestyle isn't one that you should just jump into, but instead take some time to think about the details, the pros and cons, and come up with a plan if it's something you want to do. You can really never be too prepared when it comes to this kind of lifestyle!

Furthermore, really think about what that life would look like for you. Consider whether or not you might become homesick, or miss having a stable place to rest your head and connect with others. It can be easy to get excited about an adventurous new life, but these things are worth thinking about.

A Final Thought

A life as a perpetual tourist can be an enjoyable one, but it's also one that requires a lot of planning. Make sure that you really take a close look into the lifestyle and tax laws that surround it.

As you explore the idea, you just might find yourself making a 2019 resolution to get started on the path to a life of perpetual tourism! It's sure to be one filled with adventures, great memories and a whole lot of exciting travel prospects.

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