As I recently said in Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!, we no longer have our Jeep and have been car free since July. Since we are preparing to cruise and will soon be leaving the marina (eeek, this week!), we no longer have a need for full-time use of a land vehicle.
But, this has led to many of you asking what we’re doing now that we no longer have a car with us.
I’ve heard questions like:
- How are you getting groceries?
- How are you going to the store?
- What are you doing for errands?
- How do the dogs get to shore to use the bathroom? Not that a car would help in this instance anyways, haha!
Due to ditching our car, we are commuting by dinghy, folding bikes, walking and Lyft.
We haven't had a car for around four months now, and we are still very happy with our decision!
Some of you may feel bad for us, but we're actually really excited! Perhaps this novelty will wear off eventually, but for now, we're excited about this change in our lives.
I know many people think that being able to drive a car anywhere you need to go is super nice, but for some people, driving everywhere might just be a habit.
Trust me, I completely understand. I used to live in a suburb and the thought of walking or riding my bike somewhere never once crossed my mind. Not at all!
Getting rid of your car (or, maybe just using it less) and finding other options might be exactly what you need if you want to save more money, be more active, feel refreshed, and so on. Taking the time to consider the benefits of being car-less might just be the push you need to change your life.
For us, having a car just wouldn't make sense right now anyways. I mean, where would we keep a car on our boat? Haha!
Going to and from our boat with our dinghy.
If you're not familiar with boats, then you may be wondering what a dinghy is. A dinghy is a small boat that you use along with your larger boat. In the RV world, our “dinghy” was our Jeep, if that makes more sense.
When we're not at a marina, our dinghy is our main form of transportation for getting off our boat, such as when we are anchored or on a mooring ball.
This is how we get the dogs off the boat so that they can use the bathroom (this is a common question I hear!), as you can see in the picture above.
We've also taken our dinghy to go out to eat at restaurants, to meet up with friends, and more.
It goes behind the boat like this when it's not being used.
In case you're wondering, we have a Highfield CL340 dinghy with a 20 HP Yamaha. We also added some dinghy chaps to protect it from the harsh sun and to help it in spots where it's rubbing against metal.
With our setup, it's easy to get it on and off the boat, and it's nicely secured while we're out sailing too.
Folding bikes to get around town.
The other day we needed a part from West Marine, so we decided to turn it into a fun bike ride– 20 miles total.
It was a fun ride, a great way to get a workout in, and we also completed some errands. This is now our norm.
We actually love riding our bikes. When we were RVing, Wes would often ride 100 miles a day, and I like to ride around 50 miles, so doing 20 miles isn't bad at all.
We ride our bikes to the grocery store, out to eat, to meet up with friends, and more.
Many of you have asked, “But how do you bring stuff home, such as groceries, on a bike?”
We have reusable bags, backpacks, and even a backpack cooler. It's easy to just put everything in our bags and go home.
So, what bikes do we have? Wes and I both have Bike Fridays, which are high-quality custom folding bikes made in Oregon.
They fold up nice and small so that we can store them on the boat. They've been great and we are really enjoying them!
We walk everywhere.
Even though we have bikes, we still walk quite often. We may walk to and from lunch or dinner, to do errands, and so on. Many times, we will take our dogs with us on a walk and complete errands (one of us stays outside with the dogs, while the other runs inside to get whatever we need). We’ve also been very fortunate to be in a marina that is within walking distance from grocery stores, banks, restaurants, and more.
Having a car is so convenient, and I realize that. However, one of the major benefits of no longer having a car is that we think longer and harder about each errand we have to run.
This is because if I want to get something from the store, it'll take me a heck of a lot longer to complete that errand.
Plus, it's super hot in Florida, so I will really think twice (or even three times) before thinking that I need something.
And, if I do decide to go to the store or complete whatever other errand I have, I will have to carry things home in my arms or in a backpack, so that's another thing that can stop you from overspending or getting things that you do not actually need.
Just think about it: how many times do you go to the store for one or two things and come out with several bags full of stuff? That’s definitely not happening now!
There's really no splurging and going crazy at Target when you have to carry everything home once you're done shopping.
And, this is probably a no brainer, but if you are thinking more about your purchases in terms of how much stuff you can carry home, you are likely spending less money on stuff you probably don’t even need.
Maybe you really think you want something, but if you can’t just drive to the store to grab it, you will weigh out the benefits of actually going to buy the item in the first place.
It's also just really nice to just walk everywhere! There's no worrying about your car, finding a parking spot (which is hard in cities), and so on.
Uber and Lyft for farther away places.
Don’t forget, though, there are plenty of ridesharing services for those rare times when you just need to get somewhere a little faster or farther away.
We have been using Lyft a little bit (once or twice a month, for the most part), for when we've had to get things that were just a little farther away that we couldn't wait on, or if it is raining too hard to ride our bikes or walk.
In the end, we aren't missing our a car for running errands or anything else. It's been nice riding our bikes and walking everywhere! Plus, dinghy rides are always fun.
Have you ever thought about getting rid of your car? Why or why not?
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