A fair amount of the charges on my credit cards have historically been experiences, or purchases because I misjudged a pay period and came up short near the end of it.
I love traveling, and in the past the only time I have successfully saved money is for a trip. For my Italy trip I had saved up money for my plane ticket and some lodging. For Greece I saved up about the same amount. The problem with that? I totally underestimated how much the trip would really be once I got there. And I really didn’t care at the time. I figured, ‘I may never be in Athens / Naxos / Lake Como / Assisi / Squaw Valley / Sedona …. again! It would be silly not to charge it and take advantage of all the opportunities in front of me!’
I don’t regret any of those things. I had a blast, I have a ton of great memories, and I feel confident in my aggressive plan to pay everything off in 2 years or less. But, I don’t want to take that approach to travel any more. And this month is a good test for that!
I am taking a little vacation and am hell bent on cash flowing the entire thing while still hitting my target deposit to my emergency fund. I’m doing this while also adjusting to a new spin on this trip – I’m going solo rather than with someone, so now I’m funding the whole thing.
This added layer of the unexpected has really made me up my game – I sold a few extra things on Craigslist (my old bike, snowshoes, and some climbing gear) so I’ve got an extra $260 of income that is going to the trip. My lodging will be extremely reasonable too which helps. The first and last night of the trip will be crashing on the couch at my brothers, and the other nights are in little cabins at KOA campgrounds. With tax the average for a night’s stay there is only about $58. Not bad!
I’ll be posting about my trip, and how I’m learning to travel on a budget to hopefully help other people to do thae same – it will be a first for me but I think it can be done! 🙂
(Featured photo is from Trip Savvy)