Travel is expensive. But you know what I’ve decided? I don’t care. I’m doing everything “right”:
- I have 6 months in emergency reserves, plus all of my insurance deductibles set aside. (Total: ~$24,000)
- I am investing 20% for retirement, including maxing out my 401(k).
- I have a pretty good picture of my spending.
- I am making a car payment to myself, automatically each month, to be able to pay for my next car in cash. Even though I’ve only had my current car for about a year and a half.
- I’m saving about 50% of my net pay each month.
- My net worth has exceeded my expected gross annual income. (w00t!)
- I have no family obligations (plus I’m single).
- I have no debt (and never have).
So I’m planning on taking all of my vacation days for travel, plus weekend jaunts. But wow, are weekend jaunts more expensive! I’m cool with it taking longer to buy a condo if that means I get to travel more in the meantime (the amount of vacation time I have will limit this from really being much of a problem though).
Thus far in my young life, I’ve been to many cities in North America and Europe:
- Austria: Vienna
- Belgium: Brussels
- Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria
- Czech Republic: Prague
- France: Paris, Strasbourg
- Germany: Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart
- Greece: Athens
- Italy: Rome
- Mexico: Cancun, Manzanillo, Nuevo Vallarta, San Jose del Cabo
- Netherlands: some town I can’t remember the name of
- Poland: Krakow
- Slovakia: Bratislava
- United Kingdom: London
- United States: 7 states
Where have I not been that I would like to go or some places that I would like to go again? I’m going to categorize these by the number of weeks I would want to spend seeing them (0 = weekend jaunt).
- Australia (1-2)
- Canada: Rockies (0), Nova Scotia (0), Quebec City (0), Victoria (0 – it’s been awhile)
- Europe: Ireland (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1-2)
- New Zealand (1-2)
- United States: the other 43 states* :)
I’m sure that I’m missing many places that I haven’t been, but this is my list for now. I don’t want to overextend myself with travel and sports. Taking a vacation a month in January, February, and March was a bit much. I think that I should look at having a minimum of a month break between trips. I’m not going anywhere in April or in May and then I’m going away for about a week and a half in June. This puts remaining trip slots for the year in August/September and October/November.
As for my June trip, I’ve already paid for the flights and the hotel in full. So all that is left is food, touristing, and airport transfers.
If I go on a trip in August/September with my mom, we will probably go to Waikiki or one of the Canadian weekend trips that I would like to do. If I go with a friend, maybe we would go to Washington, DC, but I wouldn’t do that trip in November with the election.
Soon, I should start my 2013 travel planning! (Mostly for the placement of the 2 week trip so I can plan my vacation days accordingly.)
Readers, any cities that you’re particularly fond of and you think I should visit? :) What is your favorite US city to visit and why?