We returned lat night from our longest trip ever, a dream trip of cities, three heretofore unvisited, including the city of my mother's birth. How did we pay for it? Being mere teachers and all. Who haven't had a raise in at least five years? The short answer is always the same: FRUGALITY. The longer answer is TBYM.
TBYM. That means TRAVEL BELOW YOUR MEANS. The term is adopted from the familiar LBYM, a cornerstone of frugal living, early retirement, and the like: LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS. So when I hear about the snazzy lodgings and luxe restaurant meals of other tourists of my acquaintance, I'm not jealous for more than a few minutes. We are trading a long vacation for a shorter--and perhaps more intense--one.
The rough stats:
Airfare and inter-city transport: a bit under $3000. OUCH. I do envy people who can rack up big frequent flyer numbers through business cards and the like. I am not one of those people.
Lodging: Thank you internet for AirBandB and similar. We paid between $38 (Budapest) and $70 (Vienna) per night. Our apartment in Paris was teeny and probably below the acceptability level of many people reading this. We thought it was fine. These little apartments had washers and--most important--kitchens, so
Food: OK, my kids say we should go out more. Still, I LIKE cooking and I loved figuring out how to use the unfamiliar ingredients of Eastern Europe. So we ate chez nous mostly, just like at home. The best thing we ate: some strawberries in Prague.
Yeah, the numbers added up, but not as much as you would think. We're going to start saving for next year!
Do you TBYM?