The Endless Summer: How to “Winter” Like Old Money

The best meat on the planet in Buenos Aires — $14 per person for all you can eat, including fresh vegetables, dozens of plates, hand-made pastas, and waiters in tuxes. La Bistecca in Puerto Madero. Noah Kagan at my right.

E-mail 1 (friend):

“You should come!”

E-mail 2 (me):

“Uh…. sure. It’s too damn cold here. I guess I’ll see you in 24-48 hours.”

That was on last Friday afternoon. I bought my ticket an hour later and arrived in Buenos Aires Sunday morning, greeted by 90-degree weather and a pleasant breeze through the stunning greenery now surrounding me.

Screw freezing rain in NYC.

“Where do you winter?” used to be a question asked only by blue bloods with old money.

The ultra-rich would leave their fancy digs in Nantucket or Central Park West once a year to go to the Caymans or somewhere equally inaccessible to most people who can’t live off the interest of their trust funds.

Not anymore. In a flat world, work and life and things you do and not necessarily places. Living the good life in an endless summer costs much less than you think. It also takes less work and prep than you think. Here are both for my latest escape:

-I bought a ticket from NY –> Buenos Aires –> Los Angeles fewer than 24 hours before departure. Total cost was $1,200, and I used nothing fancy, just the “multi-city” flight search on Orbitz. Just a few days earlier, those flights had been near $2,500. I almost never purchase airfare far in advance any more, as prices are better when the airlines get desperate to fill seats and panic. I’ve never missed travel because of this habit.

-I emailed BA4U Apartments and got a kick-ass apartment secured in less than three hours. Cost? $250 per week, the equivalent of one night at a comparable hotel in the posh area of Recoleta, which is where my apartment is located. Front and center. Check out the video below. Nothing third world about it. Tell Ralf I sent you — he is awesome.

-I arranged with my post office in CA to use Priority Mail to forward all of my mail to a friend in NY, who then sends me a weekly email describing anything I might need to respond my return on Jan. 15. Cost: $10 per week of forwarding with USPS, and I’ll buy my friend a bunch of drinks and gifts when I get back. If you have an assistant do this, it wouldn’t be more than an hour of work per week (thus, $10-15/week).

-For luggage and necessities, I practice the old Zen art of BIT travel. It ended up costing me less than $10 upon arrival.

Total for two weeks:

$1,200 for airfare

$500 for excellent apartment in the best central location

$50 maximum for mail handling


Let’s do a few more calculations to make this sexier.

You might be inclined say “$1,750! I don’t have that kind of money.” Don’t forget to subtract what you would have spent in the US or wherever you happen to be. This goes for exercise, too: before you exclaim “I burned 215 calories on the Stairmaster!”, be sure to subtract what you would have burned sitting on the couch watching Family Guy.

Back to our example…

If you go out to a good club for New Year’s Eve in NYC and buy a bottle of vodka for a table, you can count on $200-400 per bottle. I can get a table for six and unlimited champagne all night for $100 USD here in Argentina. If we assume two bottles for the evening, I just saved $300-700, which I can subtract from my airfare, etc.

Long story short: I will actually save money by wintering in Buenos Aires for two weeks instead of NYC or San Francisco. How cool is that?

Alrighty then, ladies and gents, I’m off to party like it’s 1999. Be safe, be grateful, and may 2008 be the best for all of us.

Here is a quote (and a hope for all of you) from the father of my friend and world-class Russian strength trainer, Pavel Tsatsaouline:

“May you have the two things that are so hard to have at once–time and money.”

Pura vida!

Other good spots for wintering:

Coiba, Panama

Phuket, Thailand

Bali, Indonesia

Queenstown, New Zealand

Sydney, Australia

Florianopolis, Brazil

Related links:

How to Live Like a Rock Star (or Tango Star) in Buenos Aires

How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less

“Chapter 14: Mini-Retirements: Embracing the Mobile Lifestyle” in The 4-Hour Workweek

Get George Bush to Help You Skip Airport Lines

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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56 Replies to “The Endless Summer: How to “Winter” Like Old Money”

  1. Hey Tim. The meal looks tasty…just wanted to shoot you a note, as I just finished your book. (And it was a quick read, thanks to your speed reading tips…) Kudos to you for all your success. I’m also 30 yrs old, it’s refreshing to see someone reinventing the way things are done…and pissing a few people off in the process!


    PS…You’re on my 5 people to meet for 2008. Care to be a guest on my radio show on AM 760 in Denver?

  2. With the USD down, I wonder how effective wintering in other western countries is – probably more of a luxury trip. I’m thinking of my home country of Australia on this one. The cost of living with the USD, isn’t good anymore.

  3. Well as someone who is sick on NYE and stuck in cold cold Vancouver, I just wanted to let you know Tim I am extremely jealous. Have fun 🙂

  4. Hi! My wife & I are going to Argentina for the first time in April or May for a few weeks. Tim, we’d love to buy you a drink when we’re there to thank you for all this great advice. Is there a bar you like? take care -Bill


    Hi Bill,

    I’ll be back in the US, but thank you for the thought! I HIGHLY recommend “Wine Bar Gran Danzon,” which is in Recoleta. If you google it, you’ll find it. Beautiful atmosphere and killer wine.



  5. Hmm. Nice idea for a young single bloke. The sums just don’t add up for a family with kids and pets.


    In my book, I interviewed a middle-class single mother with two children who traveled the world for a year. There is another woman I know who traveled the entire US in an RV with her husband and cats. There are hundreds, if not thousands more, just like these two. I understand there is a big difference between one person and three, for example, but it is by no means impossible. Here in BsAs, the food and housing costs wouldn’t change much at all. I have a king-size bed and a big couch, so I can sleep 2 or 3 here.

    The big cost difference is airfare, which is why I advocate longer relocations vs. binge traveling, so the to-fro costs are amortized over longer periods of time.

    Be sure to check out my post from 1-2 weeks ago on how families can travel the world.

    All the best,


  6. ………GOODBYE 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats on all your success and fame you have earned this year. As I think back now, I remember hearing about your book on a hot May summer day in Texas. One of my old mentors told me about it. Ever since then I have changed my entire life. I have a lot more self awareness now. Thank you so much for your advice(s) Action really is the key to making change. I will be in Buenos Aires for 3 weeks starting in Feb 18 2008. The top list of things I learned from you in 2007:

    1. Record your life…… Writing is key.

    2. Take risks……worst case scenario go back to what you were doing.

    3. Low info Diet, Boy my stress level went down by doing this.

    4. Focus on one task at a time, Multi-Tasking ….RUBBISH!!!!!

    5. What we fear most, is usually what we need to do most!!!!!!

    6. Parlysis by Analysis, Learn, but most important take the steps to make your dreams come true.

    7. Outsource!!!!! I have implemented this and love using This is a smart way to delegate tasks to others.

    8. Mini-Retirements: Sweet Idea!!!!! Thus I will be gone most of 2008 traveling the world. What do I have to lose, my sanity!!!!!!!

    9. NR- Dollar and time. Learn how to observe both of these. This kind of goes with the quote at the end of the blog.

    10. My Favorite…. BE THANKFUL. Times change, people come and go, but enjoy it all and learn to give back. Giving is the best gift one can give. 2008-write top 10 things you are thankful for first thing in the morning. And I want to personally thank everyone whom has contributed to this blog. I have been a student amongst all of you. Thank you for your time and your different perspectives. I look forward to learning more next year.


    I am not the best to quote others but I saw this on the Indiana Pacers Basketball court,

    ” Every man will endure pain; the pain of hardwork, or the pain of regret.”

    I saw this when I was running on the treadmill and it really made an impact on me. I am so exciting to be alive and hope everyone continues to push through this thing we must all do, LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! Be safe, be happy, and most importantly live life doing what matters most to you.


    Jose Castro-Frenzel


    Dear Jose,

    Thank you so much for the kind words! It really means a lot to me. The quote you mentioned is also fantastic. 2008 is going to be a great year, and I also want to thank all of you readers and contributors for being my partners in arms, supporters, critics, and teachers. It’s been an awesome year.

    Felicidades 🙂


  7. if you are ready for a story. a story about the full time 24 year old self employed single dad traveling to Amsterdam and Belize story, there’s one ready.


    Hi R,

    I wasn’t sure if you wanted to publish your contact info, so I deleted it, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks — myself included — who would love to hear about it!

    Thanks for contributing,


  8. What a great way to start the New Year! 🙂

    My fiancee and I are going to get to some cool, cost effective places this year!

    Very best wishes Tim! Are you planning coming to the UK this year?


  9. hey Tim:

    Happy New Year! I noticed that website for the apartment rental is just for Argentina – do you have one for Hawaii?

    I’m planning on going in a few months and renting a place may be fun!


  10. Tim,

    Have you wintered around Kalapana, Puna-side on the Big Island of Hawaii?

    Super affordable, totally lush environment, great people. If you want to go the cheap route you can get a low key vacation rental for a daily or weekly rate, or if you want to go super cheap, you can bring a sleeping bag and head into the jungle. There are lots of beautiful spots.

    Last night I was at a dinner party 6 miles out Noni-Farms road, a red-dirt road that was deep in the jungle. The entire unit is home to four, hosted 20, runs on solar and rain-catch for electric and water. All the modern amenities and completely off-the-grid. A lot of Puna district is like that. And the longer you are here, the easier it is to find free places to stay.

    Tons of people from the mainland invest in properties and need people to care-take for a month at a time. Pretty cool.

    I’m here for 21 Days on this trip staying at Yoga Oasis. It’s helping me recover from my car accident last November.

    Thanks for sharing all your great resources and insight. Have a great ’08!

  11. Hi Tim,

    I read your book a few months ago (and am actually in the process of patenting something! fingers crossed…)

    I just wanted to say how interesting and inspirational it’s been following your story. Appreciate all the insights and tips you share on this blog. And kudos for spotlighting the worthy cause, LitLiberation.

    Here’s to a very happy 2008!


  12. Happy New Year Tim and to everyone in this tribe.

    Thank you for showing up last year. I suspect many of us were relieved to discover there are others like us out there!

    I´ve been in Ireland, England, Spain and Mexico in the last few months and I kept bumping into people who had the 4HWW.

    Each person had the same expression on their face when we discussed the book – a big smile and a new excitement for living life more fully.

    Could it get any better?

  13. Thanks, Tim, for sharing. It’s motivating. I grew up with parents who would drop everything at the drop of a hat for an adventure like that but I seem to have moved more into the plan way ahead mode.

  14. Hi Tim,

    I just wanted to Thank You and wish you a Happy New Year. I picked up your book in an airport a few months ago and could not put it down for the rest of the day. I am a little older than you (41), but like you, I live a life that is lots of fun. I own four businesses and have 2 children, and I really don’t work that hard. I have been listening to people tell me for years how “it can’t be done”, but somehow we are making it through with a smile. I’ve purchased 5 copies so far to share with my disbelieving friends. Your book made us all laugh again and again. One of the businesses I own is a small winery, and I would like to send you a bottle of wine as a “Thanks” for a good time. Have someone contact me via email as to where to ship it to you and Enjoy.

    All the best,

    Laura Gisborne


    Thanks so much, Laura! I’m in Argentina, but I’ll be back soon. Address to come via email.

    All the best,


  15. Wanted to tell anyone out there considering international flights to reasonably close places – if you’re traveling with one or more people you just might be able to find a 7-14 day all-inclusive cruise for about the same price as a mind-numbing 18-24hour, 2 layover flight.

    If you’re able to break away from your commitments (or bring them with you) then this is a great alternative.

  16. Hi All,

    Just a few responses:

    1. I will be in the UK around the first week of April for the UK release of 4HWW. See you there!

    2. For apartments in general, I often use the good ‘ol

    Off to sun — pura vida 😉


    1. Tim,

      After reading this article a few days ago I persuaded my team to relocate to Canary Islands for 1-2 months in April:) As I mentioned in previous comments, I read it multiple times during the last few years, but it still has a magical effect on me. More people should see it!


  17. I chose Sydney and flew down via a conference in Montreal (and a buddy in Vancouver) for three months. Returning to NYC late January by which time I’ll be looking forward to a bit of winter!

    Where you can, it’s great to spend three months somewhere. It’s just long enough to feel like you’ve “lived” there and then any future trips you already know the locals haunts and have some friends to visit.

    What was better, I got flights from London to Montreal to Vancouver to Sydney, returning to NYC and then off to London in March for another conference. The whole package cost just over $2,000 USD. It’s amazing the deals you can get . . .

  18. Great post, Tim! I’m curious as to how safe it is for a woman (or women) to travel alone to some of these great places you list. I’m very interested in visiting some of the less tame travel spots.

    BTW, I took to heart one of your recent posts and spent Christmas Day climbing the ruins of Mayan pyramids!


  19. I am yet to acquire the urge to travel to any place cold. I live in Australia and that is cold enough for me – so I enjoy our nice warm Christmas and head somewhere warm over for at least a few weeks over winter.

    South East Asia is my destination so far as its super affordable from Oz (not sure if airfares are as cheap from North America).

    I noticed you recommend Thailand as one of your winter destinations Tim, definitely a recommendation I agree with, except not Phuket! It seems to be mainly for package tourers and sex tourists (with exceptions of course). Places like Chiang Mai & Ko Phangan are much more fun.

    Enjoy your warm winter Tim and thanks for the ongoing posts.


  20. Hey Tim,

    You left out the Philippines, right now I am in Boracay which is a tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila. To get here from Manila is less than $100, I got early bird accommodation for $36 per night in the main strip, buffets range from $6- $20 (best on the island) and this place is pure paradise and just so cheap. This is my view right now (link below) and after this flying Air Asia I just fly for less than $100 back to Thailand to continue to relax =-) then back to AUS.


  21. Tim, I’m a loyal reader of this blog and I think it is absolutely awesome you take time to read a lot of the comments and respond to them.

    I’m not sure if you knew about it…but there are some plugins for WordPress called “threaded comments” that allow you to more easily reply to comments, and reply-to-replies etc.. – which is super helpful for a highly active blog like yours. If you google “wordpress threaded comments” you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    You might be happy with your current process of replying to comments, but I thought I’d just share that with you if you were unaware of it. 🙂

    Happy New Year! –Todd


    Todd, you have great timing. I was just wondering about this. Will check it out — thank you!


  22. Tim,

    First and foremost, Happy New Year to you and all the other 4HWWers out there.

    I wanted to let you know the 4HWW has been a true inspiration for me. I plan on finally putting some of online tech ideas into motion this year, thanks to your suggestions on outsourcing via elance and VAs.

    My hope is become a global mobile traveler like yourself in the very near future!

    I also noticed in this post you mention you forward your postal mail to a friend to review, so that you don’t miss anything. There was some talk on the 4HWW message boards about a service where you can basically outsource your postal mail to have scanned, emailed, shredded or fowarded to you or someone else. It was called Earth Class Mail – I believe there are also a few other similar services like it out there and was wondering if you had ever used any of them with success? If not it could make for a good future experiment for the 4HWW!

    All the best,



    Hi Mike,

    I have not used the service, as it appears to require a real commitment to making it a long-term decision. Given how strict I am about micro-testing and short-term experiments, I have not gone for it yet, but I’m interested to hear from those who have.



  23. Hi!

    I read your portion about having your friend email you the mail…

    I have an even easier solution! I have a service that, full time, gave me a PO BOX to use, in which all the mail sent to it (all my bills, statements, everything etc go to this) is scanned in and emailed to me with a link that I can access online! No matter where I am in the world I have regular daily access to my US Postal Mail.

    They only charge me I think 14.95 a month! Also part of the service is they can autoshred all third class mail so no junk mail.

  24. Tim – great idea, but I’m wondering how one might go about extending that. Say you wanted to really spend all year round in a summer sun environment. That might involve travelling south of the equator for longer periods than 2 weeks. I’m based in the UK, so I guess the best wintering destinations for me would be South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or SE Asia. What kind of career choices would facilitate that? Obviously, a writer is pretty well mobile, but I’m a computer support guy with little experience outside IT & programming careerwise. What would you recommend?

    (BTW – I have 4HWW on pre-order from – looking forward to the release in April)

  25. Tim,

    Happy New Year, thanks for the book and the inspiration. Your video made me laugh, it’s so similar to one I sent home from my rental apartment in Recoleta in October–including the three-dollar bottles. For a month-long getaway I spent less flying to Buenos Aires, renting a nice apartment and taking language classes than I would have spent simply paying $75/night for lodging close to home.

    One issue though. Escape winter, but let’s not eliminate it altogether–those international flights release a lot of CO2! I don’t know if you have addressed this issue before on your blog, but I urge you and your readers to look into purchasing carbon offsets in conjunction with your travel. Yes, the value of some carbon offset programs has been challenged, but standards are improving, and some programs provide additional benefits at the local level such as biodiversity protection and sustainable rural development. Choose carefully and when you fly, for not much additional cost, you can offset your share of added greenhouse gases by supporting reforestation in Madagascar, bringing clean energy to villages in India, or a host of other initiatives.

    For those interested, there’s a good analysis and ranking of retail carbon offset providers at Some of the best options to check out include Climate Care, Climate Trust, and Sustainable Travel International.

  26. Pavel? Haven’t heard that name for a few years. I had him come out to our office to get Yanda Situp instruction a while back. Still have a couple of his books. Abs of steel baby!

  27. Hey Tim,

    I love this post, but I just check some exploratory prices on orbitz for a bunch of locales and I found contrary evidence. I looked for prices 3 months out, 3 weeks out and tomorrow and I found the prices were better in that same order….


    Hi Darryl,

    It’s true that you can get equally cheap stuff far out, but my plans are very fluid and I’ve had to change tickets a lot in the past, ultimately making them more expensive and a pain in the ass. Each person must find their own method, though, to be sure.



  28. Hey Tim! I’m Ariel from Argentina, the kid that wrote you a mail when your book was published. Well anyway, could you mail me or phone me the next time you come to Buenos Aires? I’d like you to dine with me and your Bs. As. Fans Club we all are applying in someway your teachings and will pay you dinner and make you feel comfy, what do you say?!


    Ariel, I’d love to, but I’m just going to Aeroparque for Punta! I’ll let you know when I get back 🙂

    Un abrazo,


  29. Buenos Aires is still one of the top places to Winter I think, not that Summer is bad. I was there at the same time as your last trip.

    I can also warmly recommend La Cabrera in Palermo for probably the best steak I had during a whole months stay in Argentina. Get their 27 peso ($9) monster Bife Chorizo.

  30. Hey Tim,

    I guess you liked the “Pura Vida”, as I’ve noticed it twice in your signatures. I will be glad to buy you an Imperial next time you’re around in Costa Rica (just shoot me an email). Your book has fueled major changes in my life.

  31. Tim,

    Do you have any issues with getting VISAs for the countries you go to on short notice?

    What are your tips on VISAs? I know some places they aren’t needed.



  32. Hi Tim,

    What an adventurous time! I recently returned from a year long travel which took me and my boyfriend through Europe for 3 months, 1 month in Thailand, 5 months in Australia, and 1 month in New Zealand. It’s really great to hear that a fellow American values travel and culture. It was disappointing to not meet more than 5 Americans abroad for an entire year. Traveling is not as expensive as most people believe which is awesome that you are educating people about the endless possibilities of life. I would love to swap traveling stories. I have accumulated a wealth of travel stories and strange situations. As I am sure you know, the world is full of strange yet memorable people. Anyone who has any stories feel free to share.



  33. Phuket is one of the grossest places on the planet — too built up, full of old white men with underage Thai prostitutes on the back of their mopeds, sex clubs and nasty men everywhere, and beaches with rows of chairs. Gross. Instead, think a tiny bit out of the box, get on a ferry from Phuket, and within an hour you can be one one of dozens of less developed islands with pristine beaches that are tropical heaven.

  34. Tim, you have an excellent accent! I found you from your OKdork friend to your right. Then I noticed that my dear friend Erin Weed just left you a comment. Synchronization! I recommend her, she’s awesome! I’m getting your book, thanks for writing it! I’ll send you a copy of mine if you want. Eat well! I’ve been to Costa Rica a lot, but not Buenos Aires yet. Pura vida!

    Angela Shelton

    (not the only one but one-of-a-kind)

  35. Hi Tim,

    I enjoyed reading your book I have been living overseas 6mo out of the year for the last 7 years I have a company that markets Digital phone service that you can forward your USA land line or mobile the the cost is very inexpensive and can make anyones working experence overseas a good and profitable one.


    Jeffrey Fiddes

  36. Hello,

    I’m an expat living in Dhaka, Bangladesh and I get 4 mini-retirements a year ranging from 1 week to 2 months.

    Any contrarian, out of the way, adventure advice for the Bangkok area?

    I have a conference there in April and am extending for a week. I’ve been to Chaing Mai and Bangkok several times and have done the usual stuff. The Forensics Museum in Bangkok is a personal favourite.

    Any personal experiences to share for someone getting bored of Bangkok. (Oh the Horor) I’m married and not interested in any “third hours.” 🙂



  37. I just finished the book. My cousin told me I had to read it… the book inspired him to start up a back pain pill website. I am having my first child in March and want to stay home to raise the kid and need to start up my own site but am having trouble thnking of what product to market ( because i dont know what direction to take i got stuck in the middle of the book… then kept reading anyway) Do you have any sugestions

  38. Tim,

    Loved the book and you have inspired my wife and two young kids to travel to BA for a month. Where would you recommend us renting an apartment/house and is BA still a good value with the week dollar. Many Thanks!


    I usually just bite the bullet and go with The “speedo” apartment is a great value and Ralf is the man to talk to.



  39. Hey Tim-

    Ive always wanted to go to Argentina and South America, and after reading your book it renewed my interest.

    Ive used your tips to look at apartments, and one thing I noticed…. I recognized the apartment in your video here:

    Its listed at $1200 – have they raised their rates in response to any new inquiries you might have sent, or is it good to bargain against the published rates?

    thanks 🙂


    Hi James,

    Thanks for the comment. The prices have gone up in Buenos Aires quite substantially (all things, not just apartments), but $1,200 for this apartment per month is still a good deal. It’s super central, in a safe neighborhood, and two blocks from the major subway line and shopping, with security, full broadband, cable TV, prepaid local calls, etc.

    Here’s how I slice it: 5-star hotel will be $200-400 USD per night. This apartment has a better location than most hotels (real neighborhood vs. finance or business zone) and is around $250 per week.

    There are much cheaper places in BsAs, for sure, but I personally like Ralf, as there is no nonsense and he takes care of everything.

    Have fun!


  40. This is by far the most inspiring section of the blog. Mini-retirements are priceless and really make you feel alive. I began implementing these at about 29 yo. I’m 33 now. And since Tim’s book, mini-retirements are exceedingly more accessible. My wife loves it, as do my two kids. They learn more in a week traveling through Mexico than they do in a month at school. Few people realize how easy and inexpensive it is to retire these days! To them, I say read the 4HWW! Thanks Tim!

  41. Tim’s book was an inspiration, I’m now planning my first mini retirement as well… I’m going to move to south america with my wife and new baby and live like a king for 4 months.

  42. We rented an apartment in Buenos Aires. I recommend. There are scores of Buenos Aires apartments to choose but not all are good or complete. We chose this one, in the Recoleta neighborhood, for its location, style, reasonable price and full services and amenities. Are a good deal, fully furnished, free wifi internet, gym, swimming pool, 24 hrs doorman, etc more cheaper than a 3 star hotel. You can Take a look! please take it as a recomendation but not an ad. I’m from Germany

  43. Tim – after reading this post and watching the video I feel an insatiable urge to go back to Buenos Aires NOW! I fully agree with everything you are saying. I have spent several winters abroad myself.

    In terms of best locations, I would personally recommend Canary Islands for people living in Europe. The weather is amazing all year round and there are cheap flights from anywhere in Europe. Also, despite the appearances Canary Islands don’t have to be expensive (especially the nightlife and food).

    Cheers once again