I was out with some frequent traveler friends after the travel show and the topic of how others perceive us came up. Because most assume travel has to be expensive (and whatever you hear, it isn’t free), they also assume that people who travel frequently either:
- have a mega-job (or a spouse with one) or
- a trust fund
I’m here to report that I don’t have either! I’m not claiming poverty, but in the DC suburbs we live solidly in the middle of the road.
So how am I spending almost a month in Europe this summer after spring break in Florida, Memorial Day week in Williamsburg and weekends in New York and London, and how did we take so many trips last year including Thanksgiving in New York City and 24 days last summer? Points and miles help of course, but the bottom line is it’s all about choices. By making the choice to travel I leave other choices behind.
Three immediately spring to mind:
- The new car smell. We haven’t had a car payment since 2008, and don’t anticipate having one until it no longer feels safe not to have one. That frees up at least $6K a year (on two cars) even considering we what we spend on maintenance.
- House Beautiful. Our furniture is almost all 2nd hand, purchased at consignment stores. We lucked out on our dining set and living room credenza, buying teak 15 years ago for peanuts when it was out of vogue. Now, it’s “mid-century modern” which gives us a good chuckle!
- Date night. (and this I regret) We’re really bad at paying for a babysitter, knowing it’s at least $50 for a night out before we even leave the house! I need to get better at sucking it up on this expense.
What DON’T you buy so you can travel?