From the moment I married my husband, we dreamed of the trips we would take together. Our trip of a lifetime? Europe. It was a big and far-fetched dream, especially five years ago when we were just starting our careers and didn’t have much stashed away in savings. But, it all starts with a dream, right?
I am proud to say that this dream has become a reality, as we will be on our way to Europe this Spring! I can’t believe it. If we can do it, so can you. I can boil down our success to four main points. If you can stick to these four things for the next five years, maybe you’ll be packing your bags for your dream trip!
1. Setting a goal.
This is the easy part- choosing where you want to go! Start planning out your dream trip. The sticker shock is real but giving yourself a realistic goal in the beginning will set yourself up for success in the end. I’m a goal-oriented person, so a real number with a real purpose made me much more driven to get to the end goal.
2. Be patient for promotions.
This part is hard for the planner side of my brain. But, we saved not hundreds but thousands of dollars by waiting for promotions on plane tickets and travel arrangements. There are so many travel blogs that will give free and helpful advice on when and how to find out about the best deals in the travel industry. For my husband and I, we subscribed to a site that would notify us when a certain flight went on sale. After booking our trip (during the promotional season), we waited anxiously to receive emails, knowing what number we were looking for. It took about two months, but we got the absolute lowest airfare to Europe that is possible. We literally saved over $1,000 on airfare alone.
3. Saying no.
This part is the hardest, but also vital to success in hitting your goal without debt. We have said no to friends who have asked us to go to dinner with them because there was no more money allotted for eating out. We had to buy popcorn at the dollar store and watch a movie on Netflix because we were out of “Date Night” money! We decided that our first house would be an older, smaller house. We have made a lot of sacrifices on this road. But, now that our trip is booked and waiting on us, I can tell you it was worth EVERY no that we had to say along the way and every penny saved.
4. Sleeping on it.
Don’t make large purchases in one-day. Make sure that you go home, let it settle in, and sleep on it. The next day, you may realize that going on your dream trip is more of a priority than purchasing a new car. For us, there were several major home renovation projects that we wanted to work on after buying our house a few years ago. But, we decided to wait in order to pay cash for our trip. We chose experiences every time. (Also, dreaming about Italian gelato helped, too.)
Going on a vacation that is already paid for is SO much more enjoyable. We can’t wait to spend money, guilt-free, on our trip. It’s our hard-earned money. I hope that these three tips will help your family save over the next year(s) for the trip of a lifetime. If you want to learn more about savings, click here to go through the module in our ēCO Educational Center.
Written by: Georgia Hux