Sunday, 15 January 2017

We're a Travel-Cheap Family!

I've had many experiences over the years that have taught me the value of a dollar.  I grew up in a middle class family, but left home by 18. I have lived on welfare and attended university as a young single mom. I've used food banks, and wrote many essays and applications for bursaries and scholarships to get me through and to provide me the experiences I had studying overseas. I graduated approximately 5x more in debt than the average student. I then married a man who came with his own student loan debt and flight training debt!  We've learned when to be frugal and when to splurge (think of the towel theory). We've been working hard over the last 10 years to pull ourselves above the water, and although not completely there yet, the stars have aligned for me to finally take an extended trip and travel the world.  

Want to know how to be a travel-cheap family- here's my top 5 list!

Marrying a Pilot (or be one!)

This one might be the most difficult for people! I didn't go out searching for one, but boy did I luck out! Being an "airline family", we are able to fly at a discounted rate on standby flights, this helps significantly when planning many destinations!

Home Exchange

Swap your house! With out home exchanging I would definitely NOT be able to afford to travel! However, not only is swapping homes saving us money, it's giving us a whole different experience when we travel to different destinations. More about this in another blog post. Here's a link to the company we use: Home Exchange.

Work a Second Job

As you know I'm a teacher, but I've also worked small contract type jobs at the same time. I've been an external evaluator of exams, wrote curriculum and online courses and every year I instruct online courses for a university. This extra money has been put aside for all of our travels.


Determine a budget and stick to it. Each pay check have a set amount put into a savings account. Although we've had to dip into it once in a while for those unexpected expenses (i.e. car repairs, home repairs), it has helped me have a small nest of money on top of my income from the second job.

Be Frugal

Cut out the Starbucks Chai Lattes! Any time you want to pick up that grande or go out for lunch or dinner, think twice!  Although it's been difficult, we tell ourselves we'll enjoy a nice meal when in Paris! Special treats for our daughter would be to go to Menchies for frozen yogurt, but we've agreed not to visit leading up to our trip as that is her way to try and be frugal and understand the need to save. 

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