How We Travel So Often And How You Can Too!

Hilarye Family Travel Tips 32 Comments

Sunset in MauiMy all time hated response to when people find out what we do is: “lucky” or “I wish I could travel that much.” I think this is a common feeling among travel bloggers about the reactions we get. I promise I’m not “lucky” as if this by happen chance fell upon my lap. Seven years of hard work, dedication and passion does not equate to luck (ok maybe there was a little luck thrown in there but it’s initiated luck). And my response to “I wish I could travel that much,” is you can! You totally can! But it has to be something you WANT and something you will SACRIFICE for. Β I’ll explain throughout the post.

Buddha at Kamakura Japan

I did not grow up traveling. I was not given the opportunity as a young child to see the world. And that’s ok. Maybe it’s for the better. I think it would have been too distracting for me if I had, I may not have gone to college, met Reid and things may not have worked out the way that they did. Reid however grew up traveling, experiencing the world, and got his own case of wanderlust at a young age (he can’t stand that term wanderlust). It’s something that carried over with him as he got older, but didn’t mention it that much to me as we were dating (although his month long trip to Europe should have tipped me off). Because I had never had the taste of what it was like to leave, and experience new things I never gave it much thought. Traveling to me was as much a foreign idea as the concept of others visiting foreign countries. I just had never done it and didn’t understand it, but kind of really wanted to try it.

National Monument in Washington DC

So after a year of marriage and just before we were both to graduate college we took a trip to Washington D.C. so Reid could show me around where he served his LDS mission. And then I was hooked. It didn’t help that my sister-in-law was a flight attendant and always galavanting off to awesome and exotic locations. And that’s where it all clicked for me. Travel was not only doable but attainable, and I didn’t need to be a millionaire to do it. So as we were applying for different jobs straight out of college you can understand that the three places I applied for were corporate jobs Β for Jet Blue, Southwest and Skywest. But more about that later.

cuzco peru Cathedral

Cathedral in Cuzco Peru

We are not rich. We have a mortgage, student loans, we live off of one middle class income, yet we travel 12 plus times a year. That averages out to be about once a month. Our special secret: we made it a priority. I know it’s a whopper right? But it’s true! Think about the priorities and passions in your life and then see where you allocate your extra income. We make sacrifices because it’s a passion in our lives. Our priorities go as follows: Faith, Family and Travel. We don’t go out to eat very often, we drive crappy cars, we have old furniture gifted to us from our parents when we got married, we budget like crazy all to feed our passion! You all do it too but your passion may not be travel, it may be motorcycles, camping, or even movies.

Alaska Seward Highway

Alaska somewhere between Anchorage and Girdwood on the Seward Highway

We put all of our bills and expenses on credit cards and use the points and miles to pay or subsidize our travel expenses. For the first three years after college, Reid worked for a regional airline in their corporate office so we were able to fly for free (oh yes, it was awesome). It’s true that once in awhile we go on press trips or get free stays at hotels and the like, but I work for those! I am always the one negotiating and working with PR people and outreaching. Very rarely do they get offered to us, and we don’t often get invited on group press trips. It happens, just not as often as people think.

Cape disappointment lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment Washington

What I am trying to get at, is that if you want to travel you have to make it happen. Unless you win a contest no one is going to hand it to you. I don’t want people to think that they have to be rich or empty nesters to travel. And you don’t have to live the nomad life either! We travel and yet we have a homebase (remember the mortgage?). And maybe you don’t even want to travel that often but you just want to make that trip to Australia you have always dreamed of. Take the first step to make it happen!

redondo beach sea lions

Sea Lions in Redondo Beach. California

My mom always talked and dreamed of going to England. She would talk about it often and yet she didn’t even have a passport. I would always remind her and ask her how she intends to get to England if she doesn’t even take the simple step of getting a passport. Her granddaughters both got their passports at 3 months old. Finally years later of me pestering her about it she applied to get her passport and the second she got it in the mail she called me sounding like a kid in the candy store. TAKE THE FIRST STEP. Don’t just dream about it!

cannon beach Oregon

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach Oregon

Set a plan. Put out a coin jar or set up a direct deposit to automatically take out money in an account each month. Do your research and find the best deals and educate yourself what the best deal would be. Don’t just take the first one that comes along. Initiate your plan and even if it may be small just make it happen! Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Cemetery in Glendalough Ireland

Cemetery in Glendalough Ireland

Travel inspires me. It makes me a better person. It makes me a happy person. I love to share it with my husband and my two daughters. It has brought us closer together as a family and keeps us connected with the things that really matter. Why we are here in this world and what we hope to accomplish. I truly wish for everyone to get the opportunity to see the world. One spectacular view at a time.

What are you going to do today to make your travel dreams come true?

 

 

Comments 32

  1. So true! People who really want to travel find ways to make it happen. We also live on one income and do not carry credit card debt, but we travel regularly and play tourist in our hometown often. We have a coin jar labeled “Hawaii” and direct deposit to a travel savings account.

    I especially love your photo of North Head Lighthouse. I lived on the Long Beach peninsula for a few months and it’s a special place for me.

    I loved meeting you and Reid in Colorado last weekend! I look forward to another get-together.

  2. I love you for saying this. I always think I’d like to travel – but the truth is it’s nowhere near the top of my priority list. Instead of 12 times a year I think we’ll travel like 12 times in my life. And camp 12 times a year. πŸ˜€ In the meantime I sure LOVE looking at your awesome experiences!

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    Thanks Allison! We will be coming to you for tips soon! Was fun meeting you as well!

    Amy- I totally wrote the camping thing and had you in mind : )

  4. Thanks Hilarye… great post. I am totally guilty of feeling this way about travel. I love to do it, but allow too many things to feel like impassable barriers. I would love to chat sometime and get more advice on how to be a smart shopper when it comes to travel deals. Tracy (my wife) and I are looking into a 25th anniversary trip next year.

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  6. What an inspiring post my friend for all to read!! And talk about photos…yours are spectacular!! This is one site that I will be watching more closely my friend! Thx for the wonderful article!

  7. I just recently started my own travel blog and really enjoyed knowing there are other parents out there that love to travel as much as we do. It really is possible to travel on one middle class income and with kids!!! I will definitely be following you, thanks for keeping me inspired!

  8. You’re absolutely right: I’ve been to so many places in my life and it’s a rare year that I earn enough money to pay tax. I would go so far as to say that not having money can affect your travel experiences for the better. Because I can’t afford to stay in hotels, I have been forced to rely on strangers, many of whom have become my friends and given me insight into their way of life, which is always very different from my own.

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    That’s awesome Will! It’s funny that so many people think you have to be a millionaire to travel because so many of us are broke!

  10. Oh those sea lions are gorgeous:) Like you I prioritise travel. I don’t spend money on flashy cars or clothes (much;)prefering to save for big trips and amazing travel experiences.

    I hear you’re so lucky a lot too and I always nod my head in agreement. Of course I am but we also make our own luck:) Good on you!

  11. Even though we are currently traveling, but this post still inspires to travel!!
    Love especially the photo of (near) Anchorage and seals πŸ™‚

  12. What a wonderful post, Hilarye! I also got a late start traveling and feel like I have a lot to catch up on. I love this–“faith, family, and travel” πŸ™‚

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  14. Allison, You hit the nail on the head. Affording travel is all about priorities! We, like you, spend ALL of our disposable income on travel. All of it! That’s our passion. I think everyone should follow their passions! Great, great post!

  15. My wife and I love traveling. We just got back from our first cruise. We are headed down to the Destin area of Florida next month, I’m going to Nigeria in May and Las Vegas in June and possibly back to Mali in July. I love traveling. I also love the picture of Maui. We were there in 2008 and have to go back soon.

  16. This is an absolutely fantastic post (with some beautiful pictures I might add.) We have a very similar story. I didn’t travel at all as a child, and my husband traveled tons. Thanks for sharing your passion to travel and encouraging others to do the same.

  17. I like the way you think and I am excited to explore your site more. Do you travel with children? I’ll have to dive into your site to find out more!

  18. We can travel more often than we’d think we can. It’s mostly a lifestyle thing, but financial intelligence is also a key factor that influences us.

  19. I love your philosophy on travel and I think I feel the same way. My boys have seen a lot of places but that because I feel like they can connect more with a place having seen it. The President isn’t far away to him; he’s the person who hosts the BIG Easter Egg hunt.

  20. I want to share this post with everyone! I am one of those who traveled from a very early age. It killed me in my 20s to learn what it cost my parents and how I didn’t have those funds. But, due to my passion, we have always made it a priority and like you, have made travel choices/sacrifices by foregoing other things. And it has ALWAYS paid off. Travel has soooooo changed my life and is contributing to a gazillion awesome family memories.

    Love your pics too! And PS: Let’s start planning that trip to Iceland. I wasn’t kidding all those months ago. πŸ˜€

  21. I literally yelled at my screen, “preach it, my sister!” This is a fabulous reminder that so many people need. If we want something, we have to DO something.
    “I wish” is always spoken before so many things, but without actions on our parts, it never turns into “I have, or I did”

    FABULOUS post!

  22. This is truly inspiring and I think everyone out there should read this! Just goes to show that if you plan ahead and budget for it, you can live your dreams and go anywhere you’d like!

    Wonderful post!

  23. This is so true!! My family and I just returned from 6 months in Costa Rica and I can’t tell you how many times we heard people tell us how lucky we are! I tell them every single time – it wasn’t luck. Also, people are quick to think we must be rich if we can just take off for that amount of time. And we are FAR from rich. It’s priorities. We can’t wait to do it again! Thanks for the great post.

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