As I have watched my parents Facebook posts from the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, I can’t help but be bitten by the travel bug again.  Right now it’s more like travel fever! My husband and I went to Europe for our 25th anniversary and cruised the Mediterranean.  I loved all of it.  Every island, every port, Barcelona, Rome, everywhere we went held new and fascinating adventures.  Jim and I talked about traveling to Austria and Germany next.  Seeing Mozart’s apartment in Salzburg is a must on my bucket list.

Of course, I am the diva with the dreams of traveling everywhere and going to concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, and Beyreuth.  Jim, the businessman and former soldier, is far more practical.  He wants to know how we’re going to pay for another trip to Europe.  The last trip involved a cruise and 5-star hotels.  So, indeed, how do we pay for it?  First of all, it will help if we accrue enough points on our Capital One Visa to pay for both our tickets.  Secondly, I don’t want to do a cruise next time.  I want to stay in bed and breakfast accommodations or small boutique hotels (These are the best choices for avoiding other people’s children screaming in the middle of the night as they don’t accommodate small kids), eat local fare at small cafes and travel by train.

We looked up train fare on the Eurorail system, and we could travel in four countries for a little over $800 US dollars, less if we stay in two countries.  Bed and breakfast places in Vienna, one of the cities I am dying to visit, range from $100 to $135 U.S. dollars a night.  Lunch and dinner fare range, but many of the bed and breakfast places include breakfast of course.  Lunches are usually simple affairs.  Mom reported that in Austria and Germany brats are the thing.  I can’t see Jim complaining about that.  In Italy it was pizza and paninis.  Dinner, of course, will be more expensive, and we’ll have to look at how much admission to museums will cost.  It’s always a good idea to make sure there is extra money for incidentals too, like needing to buy medicine or extra train fare for an unanticipated side trip.

Food at $90 per day for 2 people:     $1350

Eurorail Pass 4 Countries                    $840

B and B for 15 days:                              $2,025

Cash for Musuems/Incidentals:          $1000

Total:                                                       $5,215

Ultimately, once we have enough points to fly to Europe, we can most likely budget this amount to go back to Europe.  I calculated $135 per night for the B and B, but we may find something nice for less.  I also calculated going to 4 countries on the Eurorail, but we might stay within 2, which would also be less. That’s not any more than a Caribbean cruise aboard Celebrity Cruise lines, and a Sandals vacation in one year.  The key here is setting aside that money every month.  Create your own travel savings account and have that money withdrawn every month.  It’s the only way we have found to travel without wracking up those dreaded credit card bills.  Yes, we can do this.  Are you ready Jim?






2 thoughts on “Planning Your Next Big Trip

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