Five Ways for you to go on the Vacation of your Dreams in 2015

There are few things more intoxicating to me than the pungent scent of dark roasted coffee beans combined with creamy wedding talk. And this past week I got both brewed together in a large steaming serving, with whipped cream on top.

I was leaning across the counter at our local coffee shop right before my Advanced Directing class began, and I asked a question that seems to be becoming more and more common since I got engaged: “Do you have any advice about weddings?”. The gal working behind the counter was a fellow classmate of mine, and she had just gotten married over the summer and spent a week in Ireland on her honeymoon. Her quick, tapered fingers stopped making my coffee, and she turned toward me with a smile. And some advice that I have been mulling over in my mind ever since: “Just don’t stress about it. And invest in your honeymoon rather than your wedding. We cut corners, and had a simple wedding so we could go overseas for our honeymoon and it was so worth it“. She gave me that frustrating self-assured smile of a woman who has already braved the wedding horrors, and is now firmly ensconced in her wedded life, and turned back to the coffee, leaving me with a plethora of questions bouncing about in my brain that plunged me into a frenzied informational search on traveling overseas.

Most people I know have a deep hunger for traveling, and the majority of them are deeply dissatisfied with the amount of travel they have accomplished in their lives. In Drama Survey class we read Eugene O’Neil’s classic work The Iceman Cometh, and the most terrifying thing about that play, to me, was the fact that every character constantly talked about a pipe dream that he had. A pipe dream, in essence, is a dream that you want to accomplish, but you never will. A pipe dream is something that you think about, dream about, but never make the necessary steps to make it happen. Pipe dreams are more terrifying to me than snakes, crocodiles, and IRS agents combined.

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If you hold a pipe dream of traveling more, I encourage you to get off your po po (as my kindergarten dance teacher called your rear end), and start taking the steps to make it happen. I want to go overseas this year, as a poor college kid, and you can too.

1. Get out of debt, and put that money towards traveling.

The average American is shackled in debt, and if you want the single most guaranteed way to increase your financial happiness it is to become debt free. Dave Ramsey is my favorite financial guru, and he writes about how to make your dream vacation a reality here. I just love that he encourages you to reward yourself every step of the way. So get working on those baby steps!

2. Get a ticket to ride the Euro-train, and save money on hotels.

Warrior Man was talking to one of his favorite professors about traveling overseas, and he said that his daughter saved money on her honeymoon by a Europass. This is a pass that you buy in America, and it allows you to take the train in Europe across dozens of countries including France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and many more. The professor said his daughter and her husband would site see during the day, and travel on the train at night (so they could sleep, and not have to pay for hotels), and that they had a great time. These passes are 20% right now, and worth a look.

3. Research the lesser known, and cheaper travel destinations.

There are many places that are a lot cheaper than others to travel to right now, and this list is always changing. Check these articles out here and here and here . Some of these destinations really surprised me as being affordable such as Ireland, Italy, and England.

4. Stop eating out, going to movies, and buying expensive coffee and put that money towards your trip.

According to the Consumerist the average American spends $20 on coffee alone every week, not even to mention eating out. Even poor college students (or perhaps especially college students) are shelling out money for an expensive cup of joe (see my location at the beginning of this post). That bit of money every week adds up to $1092 per year, more than enough to buy a ticket overseas. Keep an eye on that spending, and start brewing your own coffee.

5. Think creatively, and outside of the box.

If you want to go overseas, and turn your pipe dream into a reality you just need to start cutting your budget, get out of debt, and save all the extra money. The bottom line isn’t whether you can travel overseas, but if you are willing to do what it takes.

Have you traveled anywhere recently? Do you have any tips on how to make it happen? I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment, or two. And don’t forget to like Dandelion Pie on facebook for even more fun content!

15 thoughts on “Five Ways for you to go on the Vacation of your Dreams in 2015”

  1. Hi honey! I can’t believe I missed this post, but I’m glad that I found it now. We travelled as college students (as you know) when we had no money at all, and we had a glorious time! We did have a Eurail pass, and we did just what you described: we’d sleep on the train at night, saving hotel fees. And in the morning, we’d be someplace new! When we got too tired of that, we’d splurge for a night and stay in a motel. I hope you and your fella get to take the honeymoon of your dreams!

  2. Love your post, Bethany. Another way to save for your trip (or anything else, for that matter) is to keep a change jar. At the end of the day, dump all your change into the jar starting the next day with bills only. Psychologically, it is more difficult to part with a bill than with loose change … Also, stop using a credit card. Budget at the beginning of the week, withdraw the necessary amount and leave your credit card at home (or hidden deep in your wallet for emergencies! )
    When travelling (and at home) buy your food at the local grocery store enjoying picnics during the day and eat-ins at night. MUCH cheaper than restaurants and sometimes probably healthier as well. ENJOY your travels! HUGS <3

    1. Judy, I just love your idea about the change jar! What a fantastic way to have a bit of fun whilst saving. You are completely right in saying that it is a lot easier to spend with plastic as opposed to paper (credit card vs. paper money), and we picnics are always more fun and more economical than eating out. Thank you for all these great tips! You have given me new fodder for thought as I head into the planning process. You are the best!

  3. Great advice! I agree that emphasis should be placed on the honeymoon vacation and less upon the wedding. A party can be held anytime, but the vacation is something special.

    1. It seems like the most common advice people have been giving me is that I should spend more on the honeymoon, and I can see why (although it didn’t occur to me in the beginning). Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

  4. There is much to be said for just jumping in the car and driving in any given direction for a few hours and seeing where you end up, as well. Sometimes those spontaneous day trips are better than planned vacations. And much less expensive!

    1. You made a valuable point, Kandas. We took several trips in my growing up years that simply involved jumping in the car, and exploring around my home town. Honestly, it amazes me all the sites there are to see that we often take for granted. I think that is true of anybody. And it IS a less expensive option! Thanks for adding this great tip!

  5. What a brilliant and inspiring post Bethany. You’re absolutely right we can’t be on our deathbeds thinking about all the pipe dreams we didn’t bother to bring to life. I love all your suggestions but the one I’m going to implement is #4. A dollar goes a long way in several countries and if I can cut down on some unnecessary expenses, I’m saving up for a sweet trip! Thanks for writing. xo

    1. That is exactly the scenario that haunts me the most, Puja: being on our deathbeds thinking about all those pipe dreams. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen! I, too, need to watch my dollars and cents a bit ore closely. Glad you stopped by!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to saving some $ and visiting Europe again. I visited Italy back in 2003 and it was a great time. Beautiful architecture. Cant wait to visit again. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I am so glad that you, too, enjoy traveling Hope! I would travel overseas several times a year if I had the budget. I just love being immersed into another culture, and learning from different people. Thanks for the comment!

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