Friday, May 5, 2017

Traveling on a Budget

If you didn't already know, we love traveling. I never really thought of myself as a big world traveler but ever since we got married, Parker and I have been able to go on some pretty amazing adventures. So far we've been to Las Vegas twice, Southern Alberta several times, a Carribean cruise that took us to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Barbados, and St. Lucia. We've been to Florida twice (once to Universal Studios and once to Hollywood Beach/Key West), California twice (next weekend will make that 3 times), Montana several times, North Carolina, Cancun, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Arizona, and all over Ohio and Utah. We are blessed, to say the least.

I've had a few people ask how we are able to travel so much especially on a student budget and honestly, the answer to that question is that we choose to spend our money on traveling. We could easily put a lot more money into nicer home decor, a better apartment (although, I do love our current place), more and higher quality clothing, better cars, or simply save that money, but instead, we decide to spend it on making memories. Please know that this doesn't mean that we are super frugal elsewhere because we aren't and we definitely could be much better at saving lol but we try!

Before we started medical school, we got some advice that really resonated with both of us. A man we know said that he and his wife were suuuuuper frugal during medical school. They sacrificed a lot. He said that it was nice to not have a ton of debt when they finished, but they still had quite a bit because medical school is ridiculously expensive. His advice was to just live life smart and that's what we are doing. We don't go crazy trying to penny pinch because it isn't worth it but we don't spend a ton either. Traveling and spending that time together on vacation is important to us and we feel like it's a good use of our time and money. I do also realize that you don't have to travel to make memories but our vacations are some of our greatest times together. I am working two jobs and Parker has worked while in school, too, so we are doing alright. We are happy :).

Our vacations haven't been super extravagant. We don't stay in 5-star hotels and have rental cars the whole time and eat out at fancy restaurants for every meal. Usually, we live on cheap sandwiches and fruit snacks and pop tarts as much as we can and then eat out at affordable places if we don't have access to a kitchen where we are staying. If we do have access to a kitchen, we try to cook as much as possible so we don't spend extra money on eating out all the time. We ride the bus or walk as much as we can. We rent inexpensive studio apartments (one that had a twin bed once hahah). Our favorite site to book through is Airbnb (use my link to get a $40 credit for your first stay and I'll get credit, too, in return for referring you. Everybody wins)! Parker and I are content to hang out on the beach and read, work, study and don't need a ton of crazy excursions although we usually try to do like one bigger more adventurous day. We try to pack as little as possible so we don't have to pay extra to check bags. All you really need for a beach trip is a swimsuit anyway, right?! We are totally content with keeping things cheap when we travel and that's what works for us!

Take note that I am no travel expert. And I will be completely honest and forthright in saying that Parker does most if not all of the planning (he has a knack for finding deals and just knows what he is doing where as I'm a little clueless). I actually tried to book a hotel for us once and had two options open in different tabs and after discussing and deciding which one we should get, I booked the wrong one because I'm an idiot... Anyway, I'm grateful to have an adventurous husband that likes to go on vacation with me :).

Some other places that we would LOVE to visit are Hawaii, Italy, Greece, the Caribbean again (Parker has done a sailing trip before and it sounds absolutely amazing), England, Ireland, North Carolina again, New York City, Fiji, Maine, Bora bora, Bahamas, Thailand and just basically everywhere. We want to see it all. Accepting travel buddy applications now ;).

Now I want to know, what is your favorite place you've ever visited? What is your dream vacation? And what is your best travel tip?

Thanks for reading! Happy travels!

xoxo, Chelan

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