How do you afford to travel? Answering travel budget questions and sharing tips for European travel. Tips on where to splurge and where to save.
We’ve never shied away from taking our kids places, regardless of how old they were. We’ve traveled with newborns and toddlers and older kids and now teens. (Admittedly, teens are a lot easier to travel with, but now they cost more.
I get a lot of questions about how we travel. How do we plan it? Where do we stay? How can we afford to travel? How do we pack? I can’t answer these all in one post so I will do a series to answer your questions.
I’m going to get the big one out of the way first.How do you afford to travel?
当我们发现我们要去德国,we made a decision to put all of our available dollars towards travel. We knew that we had two years and would never have this chance again. We also went from two full-time incomes to one at the same time.
Did we save a lot while we were here?Absolutely not。But I’m proud to say that we did pay cash for all of our trips.
人们看我的travel pictures on Instagram和DM我问我们如何能负担得起旅游。它可以感觉对我们如何花钱的判断。（Why is there so much weirdness around money?) Truthfully, I don’t mind talking about it at all. I actually love talking about it. It might look like we have a huge travel budget and can just jet off whenever or wherever we like, but I promise you, that is not the case at all.
The thing is that travel is something we prioritize. If something is important to you, you will find a way to make it happen.
And how that happens for us is that我们不会花很多钱在别的。We can afford to travel because that’s where we have decided to put our money. Experiences over things is our motto right now.
How can we afford to travel?
We give our kids what they need, but we’ve also made them work to pay for some of the extra things that they want. I’m not a big shopper and don’t have a lot of clothes. I got my first new car since before I had kids last year, and the one I had before that, Wes will drive until it dies. We live a pretty simple life.
I’ve also picked up some freelance jobs that I wasn’t super stoked about, I did them because I knew that it would pad my travel account. Work isn’t always fun or rewarding or fulfilling, but it is necessary to be able to do the things you really want to do in life.
Here’s where I am coming from, travel needs to be a fun and pleasurable experience, otherwise I can’t convince my family to do it. I need to balance cost-effective travel with convenience.
There are places where I am willing to spend more if it means the day runs smoother and things that I am able to save money on. We also usually have a short period of time to be there, so you need to pick and choose where to spend and save to maximize joy and overall satisfaction.
Budget airlines have sales all the time. Sign up for their newsletters and see what you can find. I have often found really cheap plane tickets just putting in random dates and places. Ryan Air, Eurowings, and EasyJet are the ones we fly on most often.
I am also a big fan of off-season travel. We have scored some incredibly cheap trips really close to the beginning or right after peak season, but not in the thick of it. Which makes for cheaper travel and more pleasurable experience. I’m always a fan of fewer people.
I have no problem letting my kids skip a few school days.Travel是教育。If I need some wiggle room for travel days, I’ll take them. Being flexible saves us a ton of money.
One of the greatest things about travel while living in Europe is that our long weekends and vacations don’t match the European school calendar. Guess what? No one cares that it is Thanksgiving in Spain. German kids are in school until July, so mid-June travel is great.
When you find cheap tickets, before you hit the buy button, do a quick search for a place to stay. Quite a few times I’ve found super cheap tickets, but then look and see that lodging prices are insanely high. Do a precursory check before you commit.
Always budget for more than you think. There are always random things that pop up that may not have thought of or cost more. Car rentals are the first thing that comes to mind.
Just get there /购买你可以找到欧洲最便宜的机票。一旦你在这里，它是很容易得到解决少。各大城市都有各种廉价的方法来获得在欧洲其他地方。
Budget airlines /Budget airlines are just that, budget. You aren’t going to get amazing service or even a drink, but it gets you from point A to point B without blowing your travel budget on transportation. They have strict rules about bags, and there are a lot of fees that add up. Even still – totally worth it.
If you care about sitting together as a family, you need to pay for seats. /的日子一去不复返了,你可以用someo开关ne when you weren’t seated together. I was flying by myself and purchased my seat. (I like an aisle toward the front of the plane.) A couple asked me to switch with them because they weren’t seated together. I felt like a real B for not wanting to move, but I purposely paid for the seat I was in. Moral of the story, don’t assume you will be able to sit together.
Pack light /行李是他们俘获。学习轻装已真正一直在我们的旅行经验，一个改变游戏规则。只有我们托运行李的时间，当我们搬到这儿来的航班。
Check the airline’s carryon policy and adhere to it. We haveAway bags和孩子们登山背包and they have served us well. Get yourself some packing cubes. You can cram so much more into your carryon and I like how organized my clothes are.
Sometimes the cheapest flights aren’t the best flights /You might get a cheap ticket, but is a 6 am flight worth it if you need to spend the night in a hotel to make it? Is the cheap flight with the long layover going to make a difference if you spend the same amount keeping your kids entertained in the airport when you could have spent a little more to fly direct?
Sometimes it is not cheaper to drive /Tolls, gas, and parking are really expensive here, so trains and planes often are less expensive.
如果我们是一个地方night, I usually get two rooms in a hotel. It’s easy to check in and check out and normally this is on a travel day.
Booking.com是where I find most of our lodging for two nights and beyond. It is the easiest I’ve found to book travel for five people. It lists hotels, but also AirBnB type accommodations. If I am looking for a house, I use Airbnb or HomeAway. I’ve had really good luck and found some amazing places.
Where to splurge //
I will always pay for convenience /There are a lot of unpleasant parts of travel and things that make our travelers less than enthusiastic about leaving the comforts of home. There are times where I am more than willing to spend more if it makes life more pleasant.
That might mean a better location so that we don’t waste a ton of time getting back and forth from the sights and where were are staying. A great hotel deal is good in theory, but not if you spend half the day on a train going back and forth. Or if that train is expensive too.
I am willing to spend a little more for a good location with some room. Travel days are better when people can spread out at night when we get back after a long day.
I’ll buy skip-the-line tickets or book a tour /其中，这样可以节省大量的时间，但我们也学到了很多，对旅游更好的体验。
Food /In Europe, a meal can take hours. My kids are really well-behaved, but a 3-hour dinner is an ask. If we are going to sit down and eat in a restaurant, it will be for lunch. Reservations are necessary for most places and I’m not much of a planner anyway.
We typically go to the grocery store or nearby bakery and buy breakfast things and snacks.
We eat at weird times. We usually eat a late breakfast and then a late lunch/early dinner. Sometimes dinner is gelato. Sometimes it is a baguette or a crepe from a street vendor.
We don’t do everything /即使我们去伦敦的17倍，我们仍然不能做或看到这一切，所以我们甚至没有尝试。我们通常会做一个或两个天大的事情。我们真的很喜欢走来走去，探索社区或公园。我们宁愿坐在露天咖啡馆和人观看。
I think that people put off travel because they认为他们买不起。但是你知道，你不能？你的价格出来？你的帐户中有一些信用卡哩？下周末你可以去什么地方？你可以做一些事情，使一些额外的钱？
I think that about covers it how we afford to travel. If there is something that I haven’t answered, or you would like to know more about,feel free to ask me。I’m happy to help!