Anyone who has contemplated travel to Ireland has learned one thing very quickly…
Ireland is not an inexpensive place to visit.
In fact, it is one of the more expensive vacations you can take. So how does my family of 4 afford to visit at least semi-annually, if not twice a year?
We make travel to Ireland a priority.
I'm not going to overlook the fact that my husband – who is self employed- works incredibly hard, and very long hours, when we are at home. He deserves not only my thanks for being such a good provider, but also my respect. But even with an upper-middle-class income, Ireland is an expensive vacation.
So how do we do it?
- We pay cash for everything. We don't own a credit card- not even the kind that give you “free” miles. Carrying debt only weighs you down and keeps you at home.
- I drive a minivan that is nearly 10 years old and has over 150K miles on it. Even with the (constant) repairs, it still costs less than a car payment.
- My girls clothes are “gently used” when we buy them from a consignment store.
- We live on a crazy, strict budget (á la Dave Ramsey), rarely eat out, shop for groceries in bulk and don't have cable or satellite TV.
- We travel in the low seasons to save on airfare & lodging.
But what about school?
After sending my girls to public school for a couple years- and running into issues with the state over “unexcused” absences, we decided to homeschool. No, it isn't a choice for everyone and yes, it requires a lot of work (not to mention patience). But, for us, it is the right choice. We are already seeing the benefits in both our girls' educations and their growing interests.
Are You Dreaming of an Extended Vacation, Career Break or Do You Just Want to Learn How to Make Travel a Priority?
You can join me and other travel enthusiasts and dreamers at Meet… Plan… Go! events nationwide on October 16, 2012. I'll be in Minneapolis leading a round table discussion (probably on budgeting or road schooling).
Have a look at the Minneapolis speakers and panelists, and then make plans to join us to become inspired to live the travel adventures you have been dreaming about!
Not in Minneapolis? Find a Meet… Plan… Go! event near you.