Here's what you should know before taking your first cruise.

Want to Save Money? Live on a Cruise Ship

Have you ever dreamed of taking a never-ending vacation? Well, now you have the justification to do it — if you live in a certain part of the Golden State.

Cruise Watch compared the cost of living on a cruise ship to the average expenses people pay to live in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. And for two of those three, you really ought to live at sea. Overall, the results found that:

  • Sacramento. Living in this city beat out year-long cruising, but you still might make the case to your spouse. You’d only spend $1,582 more a year if you were to take sail.
  • Los Angeles. Endless sea trips to the Caribbean and Mexico would save you $2,058 annually.
  • San Francisco. You would save an unbelievable $7,154 per person each year by continually cruising rather than living in this city.

How they did it

The cruise deals site found the annual average cost of living and converted it into dollars per day, per person, for those three cities. That figure covers food, housing, transportation and utilities. The company then compared those costs to cruise prices, and graphed out which months of the  year it was cheaper to live on land and when it was cheaper to kick it on the ocean.

As expected, it was most expensive to live on sea during the summer months and late December (with slight surges during March and April, no doubt caused by spring break vacations), while the rest of the year remained sea friendly.

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Don’t pack your suitcases just yet

Even though the thought of living your life on the deep blue may be intriguing, don’t forget that those costs reflect the prices for interior cabins – the windowless rooms that are approximately the size of a shoe box. Upgrading to suites costs a whole lot more. Though you may argue that you won’t be spending too much time in your room, not waking up to sunlight for an entire year is a pretty depressing thought. Think of your poor circadian rhythm.

However unrealistic this plan is, it does speak to the larger issue of affordable housing, especially in metropolitan areas. It’s disheartening that a self-indulgent year-long trip is — even in the most technical circumstances — more affordable than living comfortably in a major city. As the disparity between the upper and middle class widens, cities are slowly but surely evolving into economic hubs only accessible to the wealthy.

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