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5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a Reality

I’ve been struck by a bad case of the travel bug lately… I haven’t been out of the country since 2007, which seems like a long time. CB and I are saving for Galapgos, but we also want to travel quite extensively in the intervening months before our Big Galapagos Adventure.

Plenty of people have a 5-year plan for career and educational goals. So why not have a 5-Year Travel Plan? Two years ago, I posted on my Big Ticket Travel Dreams – since then, I’ve accomplished 1 dream on my list (Disney World). Most of the destinations overlap. Here are the destinations on my 5-year Travel Plan (the 5-year mark also coincides nicely with the entrance into my 30s).

manhattan 300x224 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityNew York City:

I’ve been to NYC quite a bit in the last few years, but CB has never gone. NYC is lovely in May/June, so perhaps we will plan for a Labor Day weekend 2010 or a Memorial Weekend 2011 trip. I’d like to stay at least 5 days and 4 nights and squeeze in a Broadway show. A back-of-the-envelope calculation puts our budget at about $1,500.

japan overview 276x300 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityJapan:

CB really wants to go to Japan. I’ve been to Tokyo and Osaka for a short while several years ago, but I’ve never been to Kyoto, the former imperial capital and arguably Japan’s most historical city. I’m not sure how much a trip to Japan would take in terms of both money and vacation days – $5,000 for two including airfare? 8 days? (2 days for travel, 6 days for play). Debt Hater booked a 4-night stay in Toyko & airfare package for only $1,200 in 2009. This will be a 2011 or 2012 trip.

China:great wall 300x241 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a Reality

CB lived in Beijing for several months while I’ve spent time in Southern China. My aunt and uncle work and live in China, so we can stay with them when I’m in their city. For the rest of the trip, CB and I will be on our own (although my uncle can probably wrangle some travel discounts for us). Plane tickets will be around $1,600 for two, with another $1,000+ in lodging / meals / travel within China costs. $4,000 for two for 2 weeks - doable?

China is so huge and there are so many things I want to see that I’d like to devote at 14 days to this trip (2-3 days will be lost to traveling to & from the US / overcoming jet lag). I would like to go to China next year, which would push Japan to 2012. Or, I could try to squeeze China and Japan into two weeks, which would use up all my vacation for the year. 2 weeks is a little short for these two countries, but at least we’d do the bulk of the overseas flight in one go.

australia kangaroo 300x270 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityAustralia and/or New Zealand:

CB has proposed these destinations for a potential honeymoon trip. If it were to be a honeymoon trip.. I want it to be at least 10 days! Budget: no idea. I expect it to be fairly high because of the travel costs (round trip tickets to Australia will be at least $2,500 for two) and because we’d probably want to splurge. So… $7,000?

I would want plenty of snorkeling, relaxing, and eating. And of course, indulging in the world-class culture that Sydney or Melbourne offers.

paxos 300x201 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityGreek isles:

Oceans the color of lapis lazuli and beaches as white as sugar – sign me up please! I’ve been dreaming of the Greek Isles ever since I saw my first picture of Santorini. I’d like to spend a day or two in Santorini, but also visit the other, less well-known islands in the area (Paxos – doesn’t the picture look enticing?). Budget: no idea. I assume this trip would also cost a pretty penny (or $2,500 to $3,000 for a week?).

Pyramid at Louvre Museum 300x225 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityFrance / Italy / Spain:

I would love to do a tour of Western Europe. Sunflowers of Debt Chronicles estimated that her 15-day London-Paris-Germany tour cost $8,000 to $9,000 for two, so I expect that’s about the range CB and I would be look at. Maybe we can shave $1,000 off if we got really good deals or stayed in hostels, but I think a trip of this magnitude would cost at least $7,000. Perhaps this trip will get pushed off until we are older, however.

galapagos1 300x163 5 Year Travel Plan: Making Your Travel Dreams a RealityGalapagos Islands:

Say hello to the dream! People don’t tend to equate savings with romance, but CB and I are committing our financial resources for a future adventure together – what can be more romantic than that?

The cost of trip will be $10,000 to $12,000 for two. We are basing our budget on Lindblad Expeditions. Not sure that’s the operator we will select, but I know that I want a company that offers small groups, safe and comfortable ships, great food, knowledgeable biologists and scientists as tour guides, and a reputation for respecting and protecting the fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. For operators of similar caliber, I assume that the high prices will be here to stay. I want to do this trip in 2013, before I head to business school.

Thinking about all these travels have really put things into perspective for me – perspective on how much money we’d need to save! New York, Japan, China, and Australia alone will cost almost $18,000. Galapagos will be another $10,000. At the risk of being discouraged, I think this is a good exercise – I don’t want to keep “talking” about how much I want to go to Galapagos or Japan or Greece but never taking the steps to make those dreams a reality. (To be honest, I have no idea how I’m going to fund these travels and max out my retirement accounts at the same… I guess that’s all the more incentive to make sure I perform well enough at work to get the full bonus and refrain from needless purchases).

image source: (1) wired.com, (2) finnair.com, (3) travel.nationalgeographic.com, (4) textually.org, (5) greece-holidays.sunvil.co.uk, (6) photos4travel.com, (7) gliving.com

Share your 5 Year Travel Plan destinations in the comments! Or, if you have advice / feedback about the places I’ve listed here, I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

  • laura@mtp - Wow! Great travel plans. In the next 5 years we want to go to Vancouver {Oct 10}, take Amtrak from Seattle to SF and spend 1 month in Manahattan {Oct 12}. I've done a bucket list of travel plans and nearly all of them are to the US – your list is much more adventurous :-) ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - When you get to Portugal Europe will become your oyster. :) Catching up on your blog.. good luck on planning for the big move. ReplyCancel

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  • eemusings - Come to NZ! You me and Sense could get our PF geek on :D ReplyCancel

  • paragon2pieces - $4K for two for two weeks in China sounds doable based on what I spent for my two week trip there. i spent more, but we had all the extra expenses of group travel and stayed at unnecessarily over the top hotels.

    the greek isles and australia/new zealand are on my list too :)

    i like this idea of having a plan. my parents always aspired to be world travelers, and all these years later they've only been to tahiti and canada. there was always something that got in the way. with a plan, you can keep from deferring your big dreams so long! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Great minds think alike. :) I think going to Disney World has made me realize 1. how fun it is to go travel / see new places, 2. how satisfying it is to cross off a bucket travel item on your list. Two great reasons why we shouldn't defer our dreams. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - I don't have quite as an extensive plan, I just have a list of places I want to go. I can totally give you tips for Japan (for affordable hotels check out Toyoko Inn, super cheap, EVERYWHERE, and clean), as I have been twice, and Kyoto and Tokyo are two of my favorite places.

    My husband and I would love to do an extended vacation in Europe (and by extended I mean more than 1 week), and so I'm thinking maybe after grad school, could be a good way to celebrate.

    I also want to go to more places in Asia, as well as visit South America. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - A European tour will be an excellent way to celebrate. And yes, when we come closer to the Japan trip I will definitely email you (and I haven't forgotten about your email either! Just taking a while). ReplyCancel

  • calgirlfinance - I think getting a lot of travel done when you're young is awesome, if that's where you want to consciously spend your money! After one of my trips, my boss commented on how I always take such great vacations – I told him it was because we didn't have kids yet. With one on the way, we don't plan on doing any international travel soon, but we had quite a few good trips since we've been married.

    Maybe you can see if you can combine some of the major trips and take 3 weeks? The hard part about traveling to Asia/Europe is you lose so much time traveling.

    We went to:
    Fiji – honeymoon, 10 days
    Europe trip 1 (London, Paris) – this was actually a business trip, 7 days for hubby, 12 day for me
    Europe trip 2 (Vienna, Prague) – another business trip, but we added a weekend in Prague, 10 days
    Europe trip 3 – vacation to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sevilla, and England (midlands), 13 days
    Asia trip – Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok, small Thai island, and Hong Kong, 4 weeks
    Hawaii – 7 days, not international, but it was a pretty expensive trip with airfare

    We've actually been to quite a few other places within the US (Grand Canyon, NYC, Seattle). While it probably seems like we travel a lot, quite a bit was free (added onto a business trip) or cheap (used miles accumulated during work travel). ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I would love to hear more about Fiji.. I've wanted to go ever since I saw The Truman Show. Funny story – I have a professor who travels extensively for research and pleasure.. I think her kids (all under 5) have already achieved elite status on a few airlines. ReplyCancel

  • Becca - The only things on my radar right now are St. John in November (family, it's an annual thing usually) and probably Argentina in 2011. My top 3 other places after those are probably Italy, Australia and Scotland–or perhaps Ireland again when it ISN'T February! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Argentina is amazing. Are you staying in Buenos Aires or do you plan on traveling down to Patagonia? ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - i went on a lindblad trip to mexico with my mom (and she went by herself on their galapagos trip before that and costa rica and alaska since then). fabulous food and great guides but one thing i didn't like about it was that everyone was much older than me. my mom was among the youngest passengers ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Hmm I can see how that would be true. If you have time, perhaps a blog post on Lindblad? How are you feeling? ReplyCancel

  • Ciawy - Made me think of my dream travel plans. I wanna go the NYC too as I haven't been there. Hoping to shoot for it next year and catch the US Open Tennis. I would also love to go to Spain but nothing solid yet- I would need a lot more money for that trip. ReplyCancel

  • StyleOnAString - For our estimates to go to: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore for a month, it was about $5000 each.

    That means eating on the cheap, staying on the cheap & booking in off season. But the currency is pretty low compared to the CAD, so it's the reason why it's so cheap for so many countries/cities (except Singapore/Hong Kong)

    We wouldn't be staying with anyone there.

    For our estimates to go to Europe in July/August, we are planning on staying in France, England, Greece and Italy.. and it will cost $5000 but we have an apartment in Paris for free.

    We are planning 4 days for England, 2 for Greece, 2 for Italy, and the rest of the 1.5+ months to be in France.

    Without family members in France, and if you want to stay downtown Paris, it's at least $200/night, so our estimates would be $7000 extra ($12000 total) for 5 weeks in Europe.

    Of course, you can always stay outside of Paris and just take the train in… or spend a couple of days in Paris and then visit the countryside. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Oh to take 1.5 months off! I'm hoping that I'll have a good 2-3 months before business school in 3 years to go travel.. although I bet with looming tuition a paycheck will look pretty good right about then. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Oh to take 1.5 months off! I'm hoping that I'll have a good 2-3 months before business school in 3 years to go travel.. although I bet with looming tuition a paycheck will look pretty good right about then. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Oh to take 1.5 months off! I'm hoping that I'll have a good 2-3 months before business school in 3 years to go travel.. although I bet with looming tuition a paycheck will look pretty good right about then. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - I don't have quite as an extensive plan, I just have a list of places I want to go. I can totally give you tips for Japan (for affordable hotels check out Toyoko Inn, super cheap, EVERYWHERE, and clean), as I have been twice, and Kyoto and Tokyo are two of my favorite places.

    My husband and I would love to do an extended vacation in Europe (and by extended I mean more than 1 week), and so I'm thinking maybe after grad school, could be a good way to celebrate.

    I also want to go to more places in Asia, as well as visit South America. ReplyCancel

  • elle & ish - Woo!! I love traveling! I booked a trip to Japan in September with my sister.. flight per person was $659 and we're staying for 2 weeks for $2240 per person using a British tour group (I highly recommend them, I went when I was 17 and I just HAD to use them again this year, they are THAT good) Plus it's a mix of Americanized hotels and more traditional Japanese inns and the tour guides are always with you the entire way.
    http://insidejapantours.com/japan-small-group-touReplyCancel

  • eric1985 - I have nothing this specific mapped out, but I am going to Israel for two weeks this summer and really want to do a trip to India and Western Europe. I would really like to work out a trip to be in Europe for Sensation White in Amsterdam. ReplyCancel

  • SP - I only map out one trip at a time. And like I said, I struggle with vacation days much more than finances (though both are imporatant!) and have toyed with the idea of extended time off at some point. But not committing to that yet.

    I'm also trying to add a lot of semi-local (or at least close) trips into the plan, because while not cheap, they can fit into a long weekend! ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - One of the struggles I face is.. do I spend the vacation days / money on a long weekend trip (somewhere within CA, Las Vegas, etc.), or do I save those resources for a BIG trip? We were planning a trip to Vegas but I think we are forgoing that to save for NYC. ReplyCancel

      • SP - True – but if i can cram them into a weekend, it is better, and I can flex some time to take off early on a Friday. Still, lots of places in Cali I want to go are so far north they hardly fit in a 3 day weekend (Yosemite, Tahoe, big sur, etc.) ReplyCancel

  • StackingCash - Instead of doing Greece, France, Italy, and Spain traditionally I think you should do a Mediterranean cruise. Even better would be doing the Disney Mediterranean cruise :) That is probably my biggest dream vacations.ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Ahh Mediterranean cruise. That's an excellent idea. How much would one of those cost (including airfare to and from port of departure)? $3,000 a person? $5,000? ReplyCancel

  • londonkiwi - I’m living in the UK, purely so that I can travel!

    If you are planning a trip to NZ and Australia then you will need a lot more than 10 days if you want to see a decent amount of each! If you are planning on just Australia you will need to factor in at least 2 days of that 10 for travel to and from then say 2 days in Sydney, 2 days in Melbourne and 2 days on the Great Barrier Reef for snorkling The other day you will need for domestic travel.ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Definitely want to go to the Great Barrier Reef. I knew 10 days was too optimistic.. ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - I think it's great that you have your travel planned out. I have a lot of ideas and dreams about travel but no concrete plans (mainly because BF is not a big planner). I used to think more along the lines of Europe and other parts of the world, but after getting a taste of Canada and some larger cities in the US, there's a lot more that I want to explore closer to home first (although I definitely want to hit Europe again at some point–haven't been since 1999–YIKES). ReplyCancel

  • MoneyMaus - I love travel! NYC is my favorite city in the world. Japan (especially Kyoto – where I spent 2 days a few years ago) is amazing and, as others have said: CLEAN like no where else in the entire world! :) China is massive (I've done Shanghai/Beijing) and there is so much to see/do all around the world.

    Right now, I don't have a long-term travel plan. This is mostly due to the fact that I'm not in a serious relationship, and I am uncomfortable traveling internationally as a very petite young woman – plus I enjoy traveling with others! So right now I'm doing more short weekend getaways (Vegas, Denver, NYC) instead of longer trips. I have MANY places I'm dying to visit (Thailand, Egypt, Czech Republic, Malaysia) in addition to returning to many of the 27 countries I've already seen (Vietnam, India, most of Europe)… and my dream honeymoon destination is Greece!

    Good luck with your travel plans!! :) ReplyCancel

  • Guest - You read my mind! I was researching some of these exact same trips, including the Galapagos, the other day, and trying to figure out how to save for them. ReplyCancel

  • Money Reasons - I would like to go to Hawaii in 2 years, then 2 years after the Hawaii trip, I'd like to go to Europe (Paris, London, etc).

    But now the the Euro is on the downswing, I might reverse those to desitinations… Go to Europe first, then Hawaii… I'll have a better idea 2 years from now :) ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - How fun. Will this be a family vacation? It'd be great memories for your kids. ReplyCancel

  • The Asian Pear - 2010: Montreal
    2011: Some undetermined destination – hopefully, in Europe!
    2012: British Columbia
    2013: Maybe Australia
    2014: Alberta or the maritimes

    (and somewhere all between these… Finland) :) ReplyCancel

  • Financial Samurai - When you go, make sure you take plenty of pictures for us!

    Ive always wanted to go to Greece. Beautiful place it seems! ReplyCancel

  • FinEngr - Well-Heeled:

    It’s great that you have a variety of trips you want to take – allows the flexibility to move on a visit if the chance arises.

    Two notes:

    Greek Isles – if you are doing an island exclusive tour, that could be costly. The alternative would be to fly into Athens, then take a boat to any of the islands. There’s commercial fairies that make daily trips to/from Athens.

    France/Italy/Spain – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out my recent article! Ironically, I wrote about this very topic last night, and your estimates are way higher than they have to be. There’s no reason that the bulk of your costs shouldn’t be more than your NYC trip!
    .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Travel Industry’s Biggest Secret: How to Slash Your Bill in HALF =-.ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I do want to do an island exclusive in Greece… but perhaps a short trip to Athens is also in order.

      I'd definitely want to travel off-season if possible.. but places like the Galapagos, well, doesn't HAVE an off-season. It's paradise year-round! ;) As for Europe, I'm not sure what would be an "off"-season. If I were to want to take advantages of holidays to tack on to my vacation days, then everyone else will be thinking the same thing. It's like the fact that flying on a Tuesday or a Wednesday can save you hundreds of dollars. Which is great, unless it's not feasible to go on a Tuesday/Wednesday because you want to maximize your vacation days. ReplyCancel

      • FinEngr - Europe's traditional high season is Spring/Summer, with Fall/Winter being the off-seasons.

        Yes, it does stink when somewhere doesn't have a "true" off-season, but there's generally always a low period. My fiance and I were initially looking at Tahiti & Bali for our honeymoons…its still pricey either way – but there were variations between seasons.

        True about maximizing your vacation days. Makes sense only if the amount you're saving on the flight is more than your daily wage rate.
        ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I do want to do an island exclusive in Greece… but perhaps a short trip to Athens is also in order.

      I'd definitely want to travel off-season if possible.. but places like the Galapagos, well, doesn't HAVE an off-season. It's paradise year-round! ;) As for Europe, I'm not sure what would be an "off"-season. If I were to want to take advantages of holidays to tack on to my vacation days, then everyone else will be thinking the same thing. It's like the fact that flying on a Tuesday or a Wednesday can save you hundreds of dollars. Which is great, unless it's not feasible to go on a Tuesday/Wednesday because you want to maximize your vacation days. ReplyCancel

  • FinEngr - BTW – my dream vacation would be a walking safari in Zambia. People think its nuts, but I can’t think of any better way to be so in-tuned with and really soak up the surroundings. Plus, when you’re standing on the ground looking up at an elephant – I’d imagine there would be a whole new level of respect for the animal.

    I’ve either got to figure a way there before I start the kids discussion or I’ll have to save it as my mid-life crisis adventure….:)
    .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Travel Industry’s Biggest Secret: How to Slash Your Bill in HALF =-.ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I'm with you on the safari!! Ever since I read about Madame X's trip I've wanted to go, but probably not in 5 years. Not sure about the walking part though… ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - Wow, you are organized! I just went to NYC in January and it was fab–saw Phantom of the Opera. It cost an arm and leg but it was worth it.

    I do not have a 5-year plan like you, but I just got engaged and my fiance and I would like to honeymoon in Asia (we haven't set a date yet but we're likely to tie the knot some time within the next three years). We would definitely visit parts of China and the Philippines as we have roots in those countries, but we'd also love to visit Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, just to name a few countries. I think it's going to cost a fortune!

    In 2001, I did a 10-day trip with my friend to London, Oxford, York, Edinburgh, and Paris, and I think the trip came in b/w $1K-$1.5K for me. I wonder how much a similar trip would cost now, especially since I think I'm too old for hostels at this point :)? ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Congratulations on the engagement! When I went to Eastern Europe several years ago, I stayed in a hostel. I don't think I can do it now though. ReplyCancel

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  • @tony_bedford - Great idea. I have a Goals page on my blog where I put some of my key goals including travel plans – it helps keep them in mind, and make sure they happen. You picked some great locations – that's more than enough for five years. I could definitely spend five years just traveling around SE Asia. I think you are going to love Australia and New Zealand. NYC is on my TODO list too. Nice little post. :) ReplyCancel

  • Steven - Please do not take the following statement with offense but:

    Are you kidding me???

    I travel somewhat frequently and have never, ever had those kind of expenses. Your methods of travel must be considerably different from mine because on $7,000 dollars I could probably spend a couple of months traveling all around Europe or Asia. If you really want to visit these places, you could do so on a much smaller budget and still have a great time. I guess it just depends on what your personal demands are. I have no problem with sleeping in hostels, etc. I'm not there for a bed, I'm there to see the country and engage in the culture.

    I have a goal of traveling 50,000 miles this year and have so far been to (since January) Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman, Germany and upcoming trips include Iceland (next week), Hawaii (Kauai) for two weeks at the end of June, and Orlando, Florida for a week in August and who knows what else in the meantime. There is no way I would be able to do this if I spent as much money as what you expect your trips to cost. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - All your destinations sound so exciting… especially Iceland! As for the costs… do keep in mind that I am estimating the cost for two people. Some costs are fairly set (i.e. Galapagos – for the caliber of experience we want, there's no way around a $5K per person price tag), while others I'm just guessing at (i.e. Europe – I'm sure we can do that for cheaper if we really wanted to). Also, I've selected fairly far / expensive destinations such as Australia, Greek isles, and Japan. As the time line get closer I'll be sure to consider the costs and decide what features we want to make our trip a great experience, and what we can do without. Thanks for the comment. Safe travels! ReplyCancel

  • Steven - I'm not sure what your expectations or requirements are but I just think you can do those trips for far less cost and turn your goals into reality much sooner and more inexpensively than you might expect if you are willing to sacrifice a little luxury. ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Hi! First time reader & commenter here. I just came back from a three week trip to AUS & NZ. Loved. every. minute. Ours was a combo cruise/land tour that our travel agent put together for us. We spent big bucks, but it was a "bucket list" trip for us, and my travel partner passed away just a month after we returned.
    Go. Soon.
    On our trip, several people recommended vacations to go (dot) com. On our return, we booked a 15-day repositioning cruise with stops in Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain and Italy. The price was about a thousand dollars each for a balcony cabin! Alas, we did not make the trip, but I love checking their website and look forward to the day I'll be traveling again… ReplyCancel

  • TUMC - Great destinations! I’ve been to all except for New Zealand and Japan on your list and would happily revisit any of those places (particularly Greece, because I loved it so much, and China, because it’s so big that you’d need weeks if not months to see it at a typical travel pace). I would just note that if you’re looking to save money, you can definitely travel for much less. I’d guess that your budget estimates were based on trips that include Americanized hotels or resorts or tours. If you’re able to be a bit more independent and are willing to stay in guesthouses (which won’t necessarily have the two double beds per room and robes and closet with ironing boards of, say, a Hilton but which will have a perfectly comfortable bed and much more character), you can spend a lot less. Or if you can book a little more flexibly and travel off-season, you can take advantage of good rates.

    For example, I have a long list of places I want to go, so when my boyfriend said he wanted to do a trip for ideally no more than $1200, I was able to come up with a couple of options, including a late April week at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico that would have cost us maybe $950 apiece plus some sum for tips, airport transportation, souvenirs and other miscellaneous expenses. He ended up deciding on Iceland instead (in early May, which was a bit before peak season), and we just returned from a seven-day, six-night trip there that cost about $1400 each including airfare — and that included a glacier hike, a rafting trip and an evening trip to view the volcano, plus lodging in an apartment that’s bigger than the one I live in.

    A few thoughts: Try Greece in June; its high season is July and August, but things are open by June, and I personally think the temperatures are much more manageable in June. May and September are great months for traveling in France, Italy and Spain. For cruises, look for last-minute specials. (I personally wouldn’t favor the Mediterranean cruises, though, because I think there’s so much you’d miss in each country that you’d feel you’d have to go back anyway to see more of it.) China and Southeast Asia are extremely cheap in terms of daily expenses, which can often make up for the airfare. Use Kayak.com to hunt for airfares, but do check Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity, and buy if possible directly from the airline to save fees. Collect frequent flyer miles from your Europe trips and use them for South America (often just 35K miles for a RT ticket that would have cost you $500-$800 otherwise, whereas you’ll need 60K miles for a Europe trip that you could have purchased for $500-$600) or Australia. The Lonely Planet is the Bible for inexpensive independent travel (and has a great forum, which I used to select my Galapagos cruise), while Fodor’s and Frommers will look at more expensive options; I also like the TripAdvisor forums (though they can be geared toward travelers who’ll spend a bit more).

    Hope you don’t mind the long comment — as you can probably tell, I love to talk travel, and my friends joke that I should have been a travel agent in another life. (I’ve been to about 50 countries so far, and I think all of my trips of 10 days or less have been budgeted between $1000 and $2000 per person including airfare except for the Galapagos.) The only problem about living your travel dreams will be that you’ll get addicted and will need to spend even more time and money traveling. Good luck, and enjoy!ReplyCancel

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  • zade - April 2010 – Vancouver (Amazing)
    July 2010 – Greece & Turkey – a week in each country (can't wait)
    June 2010 – Boston MA
    August 2010 – Virginia (probably my 5th time in the DMV area)
    December 2010 – My home country in West Africa (not naming so I stay anon)
    2011 – maybe london and scotland, otherwise Peru & Argentina if I can afford it
    2012 Goal (Kenya/Tanzania and Uganda)
    sometime before 2015 (age 30)– AUSTRALIA/NZ

    Secret honeymoon/Destination wedding dream: The seychelles!
    ReplyCancel

  • Broke by Choice - I love this idea. Right now I plan two trips a year for vacation. In the summer I like to cruise, which I will be extending the length in 2011. In the winter I like to spend two weeks on a major international trip. There are other random trips involved, but those are just things that come up.____In December 2011 I am considering crossculturalsolutions.org as a way to volunteer internationally. ReplyCancel

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  • My Guest Post on Krystal’s Give Me Back My Five Bucks | Well Heeled Blog - [...] a life together is one of my greatest achievements and deepest joys. I love Argentine tango. I love travel. I love food (and fights a never-ending / frequently-losing battle with too much take-out). I [...]ReplyCancel

  • Make Your Travel Plans More Effective With These Tips! | Travel Guru - [...] experience. There is no time like the present to start your travel plans for  your next trip!Travel Plans It does not matter where you want to travel, this article will give you resources and i…" />It does not matter where you want to travel, this article will give you resources and ideas on [...]ReplyCancel

  • Is Travel The New Way to "Keep Up With The Jonses"? | Well Heeled Blog - [...] has been two years since my 5 Year Travel Plan post, and I have only made my way to one of those places, and that was for a family emergency, not a [...]ReplyCancel

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