First Major Travel Plans of 2012!

We just booked our first flights and RSVP’d to our first wedding in 2012!  Both events are taking place in April.  We’ve been quite light on travel in the last few months – we haven’t flown anywhere since last November – so this feels great.

Our April is going to be quite busy!  We have something major going on every weekend except one.

  • March 29 – April 2: I’m traveling to Atlanta to be part of a team representing my university in a competition (on their dime).  This is also Final Four weekend so if our team goes to New Orleans Kyle will enter the ticket lottery and hopefully get to attend.  (We find the prospect of our team getting that far unlikely, but we should save for this possibility nonetheless.)
  • April 8: EASTER!!
  • April 13-15: We are attending a friend’s wedding in Tennessee.  We’ve estimated the trip costs to be $430 (hotel, gas, meals, gift, entertainment).
  • April 26-30: We are flying to California for our college’s alumni weekend.  We graduated in 2007 so this is our 5-year reunion.  The flights were $799.20 and we expect the remaining costs to be about $300 (registration, gas, other meals).  Fortunately whenever we go to L.A. we can stay with Kyle’s parents and borrow one of their cars for our around-town transportation.

We have been plowing money into our Travel savings account and it was going out just as fast through last Christmas.  As of this month we have about $1200 in the account, which is about 75% of what we need for the events in April.  Because we don’t have anything else on the horizon we can cut back our savings rate quite a bit from $500/month.  I don’t want to cut it completely because of our experience in 2010.

us on a flight to AZ for a wedding last September

The summer that we got married, 2010, was a crazy summer for being invited to weddings.  We weren’t able to attend all the ones we wanted to because we couldn’t afford all the flights!  That summer was the impetus for us starting our Travel savings account (and then many other savings accounts) so that we could save throughout the year if a summer like that happened again.  It seems that it was an anomaly though.  We attended a bunch of weddings in 2011 but they were spread out through the year a little more, and so far in 2012 we’re only invited to one and don’t anticipate any other invitations (by the summer, anyway)!  Aside from weddings and Christmas/New Year’s we generally don’t fly anywhere (this reunion is the first exception) so there’s nothing else on the horizon travel-wise.  Maybe we can actually save for a trip at a destination and time of our choice – how about that?

Do you have any exciting travel plans on the horizon?  How do you prepare for the costs of wedding season?  Do you feel like you have control over where/when you go on vacation?

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15 Responses to "First Major Travel Plans of 2012!"

  1. PFM says:

    We’re taking 3 weeks in July for a road trip across the country, basically NC to CA and back, mapped it out, it’s about 6,000 miles of driving. No weddings this year. We have control over where we go but some of it’s limited by having kids (so no all night partying in Vegas)

    1. Emily says:

      Sounds great! I’ve never driven cross-country but I want to. Maybe when we move back to CA. Are you hitting a bunch of major sights/cities?

      1. PFM says:

        me neither but should be fun with 2 kids ;), St Louis, Yellowstone, Portland, Redwood Forest, Vegas are on the list, there’s a few more, we’ll add stops as we get on the road and see how are schedule works

  2. Leigh says:

    Sounds like your April is going to be a lot of fun!

    I have a wedding to attend in April as well, but it’s local, so I’ll just be driving there and back. My friend was really happy when I said I’d be driving since then I wouldn’t be drinking any of the alcohol and saving her money!

    Last year, I set aside $166.67 per month for travel and this year I upped it to $250 per month since I realized $166.67 wasn’t going to get all of the things done that I wanted. I’m not really seeing a wedding season in my circles yet – I think that’ll happen in another 3-5 years.

    This year, I’ve already been on a relaxing, all-inclusive week-long vacation and on a sports vacation. I also have plans to go visit friends in another city next month and then I’m planning a week-long trip to visit a couple more cities in the summer. My mom and I will also take our annual vacation and I’ll probably take another trip in the fall.

    Wow, that’s a lot! I love traveling and I’m so glad I can use miles to pay for some of my flights this year. I might re-evaluate partway through the year and up my travel budget some more. We’ll see!

    1. Leigh says:

      Oh, and I’m really lucky that my family lives within driving distance, so I don’t have a budget for Christmas travel 🙂 That makes all of these trips a lot easier to handle financially.

      1. Emily says:

        That’s a pretty high travel savings rate as well, but it certainly sounds like you’ll need it for all those vacations! How do you take all that time off from work? We are considering getting a travel rewards credit card but don’t know much about it. Do you have one you really like? And what is a sports vacation – are you attending a competition or training camp or something?

        Reflecting on all the weddings we’ve attended while writing this post, I realized that our immediate friend group from college has a strangely high rate of married people. We’re only 26 so I wouldn’t expect such a high percentage by now, especially when you add in that nearly all of the people involved were pursuing or had achieved a PhD or JD, and people with lots of higher education tend to get married later than the average. And of course all of the local weddings we’ve attended since coming to grad school have involved (future) PhDs or MDs. So maybe all these invitations will die down at some point or we’ll keep meeting unmarried people and this will go on indefinitely.

        We are currently driving distance from my family and flying distance from Kyle’s. 2011 was the first year that we spent the whole Christmas holiday with my family – before that both of us flew every year at different times (Christmas with our families, one would travel to the other for New Years). I think we’re going to fall into an alternating pattern for a while so we might only be flying every other year.

        1. Leigh says:

          I get 3 weeks vacation per year and only took 1 day all of last year from what I accrued, so I have quite a bit available this year. Weekend trips help, as does traveling around public holidays. Also, taking Wednesday-Friday off provides just as much of a vacation as taking Monday-Friday off since you also have Saturday and Sunday 🙂 Sports vacation was to attend a competition.

          You could alternate at Christmas and then go visit Kyle’s family at a different, cheaper time of year so you don’t go two years without seeing them all the time. (I’m assuming you see your family more often since you’re driving distance from your family.)

          That is pretty crazy that you have been to so many weddings at 26! Props to your friends for meeting their spouses so young.

          1. Emily says:

            We also take advantage of quick trips on weekends. For several west coast weddings we have flown out Friday night and back Sunday night! We don’t get many official holidays but we sneak them occasionally, like Labor Day this past year. That’s awesome that you get to take so much vacation this year, although I suppose last year wasn’t quite as much fun!
            Oh, we see Kyle’s parents plenty, usually at least two times per year other than Christmas. Family weddings! And actually they offered to fly out here to visit us in April but we had to turn them down because we’ll be flying to them anyway. But I expect they’ll come out for Kyle’s defense next November (ish?) if not before.

  3. I’m planning on finally going on our honeymoon this year! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    1. Emily says:

      Woohoo!! When will you book/know for sure?

  4. We do one big trip every year or two – and pay for it in full when we book. Otherwise, lots of little camping trips and road trips keep us happy. We’re lucky that most of our wedding invites have been local – but we did have to turn down an invite to my step-brothers destination wedding this Summer… because we’d already booked (and paid for) a cruise. We can’t afford to do both.

    1. Emily says:

      That’s so nice that you take a long vacation periodically. I’m not sure what pattern we’ll fall into. Our honeymoon, which was about 1.5 weeks, was in May 2010 and we haven’t taken a long break since then. They are so refreshing. Short trips can be very fun but I don’t find them particularly restful!

  5. I was just invited on a bachelor party for April. There goes another $750.

    Also going to Europe in June. It’s gonna be an expensive year for travel!

    1. Emily says:

      Wow, that’s a lot for a bachelor party. I hope you’re doing something awesome!

      I’m so jealous of your Europe trip! For all the money we spend traveling, we still haven’t been outside of North America. Are you going to celebrate becoming debt-free?

  6. […] 2012 I have three flights to Atlanta scheduled, all with Delta.  The tickets we bought to our reunion are with Delta.  That piqued my interest, so I looked back at all our airline spending in the last […]

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