In preference to “settling down” with a family or other traditional life goals, some lifestyle travellers can actually develop a career or even start a family whilst “on the road”.
Younger people often pursue a year or two of travelling, called a gap year, before settling down, returning to university, or otherwise resuming a “regular” lifestyle. This is known as backpacking. A very small minority, however, follow the path of a lifestyle traveller, as a path for a major part or even all of their adult lives.
Some lifestyle travellers purchase a sailboat, which provides a place to live and a mode of transportation at the same time. Others rely on cheap berths on cargo ships or modern aviation to take them from destination to destination, purchasing, for example, inexpensive standby or open-jaw tickets to meet the flexibilities of their schedule. Others, according to their budget and way to generate income, travel with a van, or in rare instances have their own airplane, or even continue backpacking.
Lifestyle travelers network, cocreating the necessary conditions for the self-sustainability of the lifestyle travel.
Lifestyle travellers, as opposed to shorter-term backpackers, often spend at least three to six months in their various destinations, usually to cut down on costs but also to get a fuller experience from each new culture they explore. Stays of two, five or even ten years are not uncommon, at the far end of which the only distinction between being an expatriate and a lifestyle traveller is the certainty for the latter that one is leaving.