The Broke Girl Goes To Europe

As many of you may know, I recently took a trip to Europe for ten days with my family. Now, at this point you might be thinking, “Wait, aren’t you the Broke But Bougie girl? How can you afford to go to Europe? Hypocrite much?!”

Everybody calm down. I didn’t just decide to take this trip on a whim. It’s something that my family and I had been planning for well over six months. Because we had so much time to plan and prep, we were looking at about seven months to save that dolla dolla bill.

Also, I’m a married lady. My hubs and I both work full time so we are able to save money from two different incomes. We did go into what my husband Matt calls “austerity measures” a couple months before departing. Basically, any money that we would normally use for things like easy dinners out, movies, or impulse buys at Target, was squirreled away. That money was set aside to spend on the trip. Also, now that the trip is over and it’s getting closer to the end of the month, austerity measures have been reinstated. They will be lifted soon and I’m looking forward to a couple hot dates!

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It is completely true that when traveling, you will need half the clothes and twice the amount of money that you think you will. (Thanks, Mom!) This little nugget of wisdom prompted us to only take one carry-on each for the entire ten days. I kept thanking myself because we changed airlines every half hour en route to and from Europe and that never bodes well for checked luggage.

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(Picture by my lovely sister, Teresa Lappert!)

We also set limits to the amount of money we would spend at each city. We wanted to make sure we had enough money to last us the entire trip without pinching too many pennies toward the later half of the trip. This kept our spending under control and we didn’t make any impulse buys. We also set money aside to take my family out to dinner a couple times to thank them for getting our room reservations!

All this to say, we didn’t just drop cash and fly to Europe. We planned our trip, bought our tickets way in advance, and made sure that our limited budget went as far as possible. Do you have any tips for saving money for trips and vacations?