Whether I’m in the midst of paying off debt or saving money, travel has always been an important part of my life. I was knee deep in debt when I took time off to honeymoon in Cuba. Last year, I put aside a large sum of cash to take a trip to New Orleans, and later, France. All of these trips were amazing, and I don’t regret them for one moment. That’s why I’m going to keep up the current trend and plan more travel for 2015, just maybe on a smaller scale.
2014 was a big year for travel for me. I went to New Orleans for FinCon in September, and then to France for ten days in December. Both trips were amazing, but both trips were expensive. Overall I spent $7,000 on travel last year, and I won’t be spending that much this year. That amount just seems too extravagant given my other goals for the year.
2015 Travel Plans: One Big Trip + One Little Trip
I want to keep things somewhat on the frugal side this year, so my husband and I will be traveling domestically. We have a friend who is getting married in the Ottawa area, so this was the perfect chance for an inexpensive trip. We haven’t decided if we’ll be driving or flying yet since it’s a very long drive, but either way we’ll be keeping things frugal.
The second trip we’re planning isn’t technically happening in 2015, but it’s so substantial we’re going to have to start saving for it now. In February 2016, we’re going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This trip is a total bucket list item for me ever since we went last September.
My husband’s whole family (he has many siblings) have got sitters for their kids, and we’re renting a house. It’s going to be amazeballs, but it’s going to be expensive. Since Mardi Gras is the busiest time of year for that city, accommodations and flights are absurdly expensive, but I have no doubt it’ll be worth it. Fortunately travelling with that many people means we’ll be able to realize some economies of scale for our accommodations.
My husband wants to visit some of the attractions like the World War II museum and some of the big casinos there, but I’m planning on keeping him far away from places where he can spend a lot of money – he’ll have to stick to online gambling sites for now.
Overall Savings Goal: $7,500
Ideally I’d like to save $7,500 for these two trips by February 2016, but we’ll see how that goes. I have other goals (house down payment, retirement, super secret savings goal) to meet, and I don’t want to sacrifice those. We’ve already booked our flight and hotel for Mardi Gras, so I expect to dedicate the first half of this year to paying off those two expenses. So the “travel fund” on the side bad is going to fluctuate quite a bit over the next little while.
Other Frugal Close-To-Home Trips
We’re also planning a few frugal camping trips around our new home province. Known for it’s fantastic views, Nova Scotia has sandy beaches and idyllic coastlines, and we want to take advantage of that for some frugal fun. Those trips won’t cost most that $100 per outing, but I’ll save for them in the travel fund all the same.
So to recap: I wanted to spend less on travel this year, but in the end we’ll be spending about $500 more. It wouldn’t have been so expensive, but Mardi Gras with friends is too good to pass up. Maybe next year we’ll truly scale back, or maybe this will become a trend of something I promise to do every year but never actually do. I’d be ok with that too, travel is one of the best ways to spend money.
Tell me about your travel plans in 2015. I want to know!