Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A New Kind of Vacation

In just a few days, I will be leaving for Europe with my friend Shelley. I'm SO excited! I love traveling, and haven't been to Europe in almost five years. I've got most of my ducks in a row and I think it will be a great trip.

The trip itself is not that different from other ones I've taken (though most of the other times I had a friend to stay with or did hostels...this time it's a B&B and a hotel). Shelley and I have lots we want to see, and I've read up on the countries we're visiting. But, this trip feels different than my other big vacations.

Why? I saved for it ahead of time.

I've taken some smaller vacations without going into debt, so it's not totally new. But in the past, my other international trips were funded with my credit card, I'm sorry to say. I paid for pieces in cash, but I've always come back to the US with a hefty credit card balance to deal with.

This time I set aside specific funds in an ING account. Saving for this trip didn't empty my savings or stop me from putting money into my Roth IRA. I still made extra payments on my student loan, and I even came out with extra money in my March budget to put into my E-fund before I leave.

So now, my trip can be 100% fun. No nagging feeling that I shouldn't be spending or worrying about what I'll face when I get back. My goal is to come home with money left in my travel fund (to put toward a smaller trip this summer), but if I spend all of my ING account, that's allowed. That's what it's there for.

Have did you pay for your last vacation?


  1. I am headed to Europe this summer too! And I'm going the same savings route as you -- ING account.

    Here's hoping I can still contribute to my other financial goals while saving for the trip!

  2. Wow, great job saving ahead! I recently went to India for 2 weeks, and I saved for almost a whole year just to be able to afford it and be able to enjoy myself there! I used SmartyPig, but I hear wonderful things about ING.

    Have a great time!

  3. Congratulations! Have a great trip!

    We saved ahead of time, at least theoretically. In reality we mostly just cash flowed it with the help of our savings slush fund.

  4. My husband and I are going to Australia next month, one flight was paid for with Air New Zealand airpoints and the rest we have paid for in cash. We have a 'travel fund' account and make a deposit into each fortnight on payday.

    Hope you have a great time and enjoy experiencing another culture.

  5. I used ING also. I found that my husband really enjoys going on vacation and doesn't want to "not try something". Snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing. And since I pay the bills I was REALLY tired of wondering how to pay the credit card once we returned!

    So we put money aside every month.

  6. I went to Europe for two weeks over Christmas and paid cash! It felt amazing and I was really glad that I had paid for it beforehand and didn't have to worry about covering my minor Visa bill once I came back :D