On Travel and Money

budget travel

^ Versailles, France 2013

Jordan and I both place a high value on travel and adventure: far away getaways, smaller weekend trips and various local excursions. Growing up, the trips my parents took us kids centered around visiting family; we always stayed state-side. The family trips were fun but my longing to visit places around the world has been strong from a very young age. Thankfully, I married a man who shares those desires! We want to see the world while being wise with our time and money.

During this early stage of our marriage, Jordan and I have chosen travel over what others might view as more normal steps for our age (i.e. purchasing a house), but we don’t regret our adventures one bit. We’ve seen lots of great things and hung out with some even better people. As an aside, we’ve been granted good health and seven years of marriage without children, which has given us more flexibility with our money. Travel requires a lot of planning and saving and we’ve learned a few things along the way.

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^ Mount Adams, Ohio, 2013

Pink House in London

^ London, England 2013

When we went to Europe in 2013, we began saving more than a year in advance. We also didn’t go on a large vacation while saving. I have no problem spending money on travel, but it still takes dedication, time, and potential sacrifices to keep on budget. For instance, we often pass on extra items at museums or attractions (opting for free admission access), eat at budget friendly restaurants/grocery shop, forgo taxis and public transportation for walking, and stay with friends or family when appropriate.

All those little things add up to big savings!

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^ Laguna Beach, 2009

I often hear people express the desire to travel, but most never seem to turn their dreams to reality. How does someone get over the financial hurdle? My biggest piece of advice is to create a budget within your budget for discretionary money. Our paychecks fluctuate, so we don’t budget to zero each month. Once our regular bills and savings are taken care of, we assess any remaining money and set aside a certain amount for vacation.

At the beginning of this year, we mapped out a tentative budget outline for Canada: gas, food, outings, etc. This gave us purpose towards saving and lessened frivolous expenses. Also, I went on a two month shopping freeze in January and February.

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^ NYC, NY 2014

If you have a strong desire to visit Paris, Fiji or Australia, you can totally do it! Don’t let the price tag of a plane ticket discourage you. Even if it would have taken five years to save for our trip to Europe, I would have gladly done it. I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

It’s worth the sacrifice.

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^ Clovis, NM 2014

How do you budget for travel? Share your tips in the comment section!