So many people assume that they need a lot of money to travel, but that's simply not true!  There are several ways to travel while on a tight budget.  In September 2012, Nick and I did a month long cross country road trip for only $2,000!  Yep, true story.  I want to share some tips on how we travel on a tight budget.  You may find that you are much closer to going on your dream trip that you realized!

1.  Decide On Your Budget

This sounds so simple, but it's actually pretty important!  You don't want to begin to dream up and plan a $5,000 trip, when in reality you can only afford a $500 trip.  But, it goes both ways.  You don't want to plan a $500 trip when you can actually afford a $5,000 trip!  So, how much do you want to spend?  Remember that if you are planning a trip one year in the future, you'll have plenty of time to save, compared to if you are planning a trip next weekend!

2.  Choose Your Destination

Once you have an idea of the amount you are willing to spend on your trip, you should choose a destination.  Again, your budget will have a huge impact on where you can actually go.  If you have $5,000 and want to fly to an all inclusive resort and get the royal treatment, then go for it!  But, if you are on a tighter budget, you will have to get creative.  This is one of the reasons why we love road trips!  By eliminating airline tickets, you can save a ton of money.  Also, think about who you know who has been asking you to visit.  Do you have cousins in California who have been begging you to visit?  Or an uncle in Norway who has invited you to stay?  Or your parents have friends who love visitors in Scotland?  Or even those friends of yours that keep reminding you that they have a spare bedroom in Australia.  Think about those friends and family who would love for you to visit...not only will this allow you to catch up with loved ones and see their area of the world, but you will most likely save money by staying with them in their home!

3.  Plan And Save

Now, we both know that money isn't just going to appear in your bank account.  This is the hard part of the process. You have decided on your budget and destination and you are going to be spending a lot of time planning and saving.  Don't give up!  Click HERE to check on my post on this topic.

Camping in the Redwoods

4.  Skip Hotels

If you have friends and family who have invited you to stay, you've probably already got this covered.  However, if you don't, there are some tricks to spending less money getting your beauty sleep each night while on the road.  On our cross country road trip, Nick and I camped in many of the National Parks around the country, so that was a good bit cheaper than the cost of a hotel room.  We even had some family and friends set us up to stay with their family and friends on our route, which was a huge blessing.  Another option is airbnb...we've tried it once in Utah and it was a good experience!  You basically rent from individuals who have an extra room, studio apartment or even entire home!  There are some great prices out there in pretty much every city you'd want to visit.  But, the absolute cheapest options are from sites like Couchsurfing because it's free...you stay with locals who are willing to host you!  However, we have not tried it because Nick is nervous for us to use it...I'm hoping to convince him to try it on our road trip next summer!

5.  Eat Cheap

Eating out will probably end up being the most expensive part of your trip, so don't do it!  Go to the local farmers market or grocery store and stock up on things like apples, bananas, baby carrots, nuts, protein bars, water bottles and other healthy options.  It's true that when we travel we end up losing weight because we are walking so much and not eating much, but we are willing to sacrifice big meals in order to travel!  If you absolutely cannot go without a "real meal", consider eating very light breakfasts and dinners and only going to affordable restaurants for your lunches.

6.  Look For Free Stuff

Grab your morning coffee in Starbucks to use their free Wifi.  Walk around the city and visit the free museums.  Go to the free show in the downtown park.  Use Couchsurfing.  Use your own car for your road trip, instead of paying to rent one.  Did you know that you can park your vehicle and stay for free in Walmart parking lots overnight?  Many times when you are flying, you'll notice that the airline will announce that the flight is overbooked and that they need volunteers to stay behind.  They will usually offer you a free night in the hotel, free meal vouchers, book you on a flight the next day and give you credit for another free flight.  This basically means that you get an extra free day of vacation on them AND a free flight for your NEXT trip!

Stirling, Scotland

7.  Be Flexible

Consider choosing a time of year when not everyone is going to be traveling to that location.  True, the weather may not be ideal and some things may be closed, but it will also mean that most things will be much cheaper!  We visited Northern Ireland and Scotland during January and were absolutely freezing, but we dressed warm and saved money, so it was totally worth it!  That day in Stirling, Scotland (pictured above) was so cold and it poured rain and we walked for what felt like miles to get to the train station.  After an hour long train ride, walking to find the bus in Edinburgh, taking the bus and then hoping off to walk back home, I remember thinking that I wanted to just quit, sit down on the side walk and curl up in a ball and die there.  I was obviously cold, tired and not thinking clearly.  But, we made it back to our place and now it makes for a great memory!

8.  Do Whatever It Takes

Many people ask how we were able to go on a month long cross country road trip and how we are able to continually take time off to travel so frequently.  With our road trip it was easy...our commitment with our current job was ending on August 31st and Nick told his new boss (my dad) that he would begin working his new job on October 1st.  That gave us 1 month!  No, we didn't get paid during that month, so yes, we had to save enough money to cover the month long trip and the fact that we were not bringing in an income for a month.  But we knew and planned for it.  Now things are a little different.  Since Nick still works for my dad and my dad is so generous, Nick is able to ask time off of work when we want to.  It also helps that, since we own our own business selling essential oils, we can also work from anywhere in the world and continue to make an income whether we are home or traveling the world!

9.  Ask For Help

Seriously.  If you are totally blocked and can't think of where to go and how to do it cheap, just get on Pinterest.  Look through the Travel pins and use the search function to type in stuff like "how to travel cheap", "traveling on a budget" or whatever you can think of.  Or I bet you have at least one family or friend who has some traveling background...ask them for help!  And don't forget about me! I'd love to help you dream and brainstorm and plan.  If you want to travel somewhere and you are willing to do the hard work to make it happen, I KNOW that it can be done!



If you know me, you probably know that I love grabbing a friend and hitting the rail trail.  I never get tired of my morning walk and get super excited when I meet someone else with the same enthusiasm.  Burning up or freezing cold, I never want to miss...unless of course, its raining (then I sleep in to celebrate).  In all my years of walking all over the world, my favorite was when our friend, Gunhild, took us on a walk up Lovers Lane, where it's tradition to kiss at the top, overlooking the city of Klaksvik!  It was snowing and Nick and I were both all snotty, but the scenery was gorgeous and I remember how happy and in love I felt in that moment!  However, a few years ago, I began to wonder if walking truly was enough daily exercise for me.  So, I did some googling and quickly confirmed that walking is excellent for many reasons!

1.  Catch Up

Walking with loved ones gives you a great chance to catch up on each other's lives.  You basically get their undivided attention for 20 minutes to an hour (depending on the length of your walk).  This is even great for making new friends, as it gives you time to get to know each other without feeling the awkwardness of sitting across from each other at Starbucks and not knowing what to say.  And don't forget, you need "me time" every now and then also!  If you'd prefer to walk alone, this gives you a good chance each day to be quiet and enjoy your own thoughts...some people even use this time to listen to music or pray!

Walking in Klaksvik, Faroe Islands
2.  Go Anywhere

No matter where you are in the world, you can walk.  Just put on some comfortable shoes, dress appropriately and go on an adventure!  Walking in your own neighborhood can be relaxing because you know your route and don't even have to give it any thought.  However, it's especially fun when you are exploring a new city (plus, walking can help you avoid weight gain while enjoying all the new foods)!

Walking in Killybegs, Ireland

3.  Exercise Clothes Optional

With many exercise programs, you need clothes that move, specific shoes to protect your feet, hair in a ponytail and plan on hoping in the shower afterwards.  Not with walking!  I love how you can walk all over a city in your normal street clothes, not break a sweat and still get in a work out!  When we travel, I never take work out clothes, but because we walk so much when visiting new places, we always come back in better shape than we left!

Walking up the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
4.  Physically Good For You

Since walking is low impact, you can still benefit your health without having negative effects on your joints.  Walking helps with strengthening and toning and can even result in weight loss and a glowing complexion!  Many exercise programs are hard to do consistently because of injuries or aging bodies, but walking is something that you will most likely be able to do your entire life!  I believe that walking consistently throughout your entire life would be more beneficial to you and your health than starting and stopping exercise programs and diets throughout your entire life.  I see so many people gain weight, do crazy things to lose it, only to gain it back again.  I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be consistent with good nutrition and daily walks!

Walking in Stirling, Scotland

5.  Mentally Good For You

If you are having trouble concentrating, your mind feels like mush or you've hit a creative block, taking a walk outside will do wonders!  I have noticed that I can leave my house with a problem that I can't seem to solve, but after a good long walk, I return home with a solution.  This is especially true if you walk with a friend that can be a sounding board when you need to get things off of your chest and hear a second opinion.

Walking in Chepare, Bolivia
6.   Emotionally Good For You

Nature is a natural mood booster.  Some mornings I wake up feeling unmotivated, but as soon as I walk out my back door, breathe in some fresh air and start walking, I get an instant pick me up and come back home feeling ready to get things done.  If you walk with a friend or family member, this is also a great time to work on that relationship...everyone needs time with loved ones!

Walking in Cochabamba, Bolivia
7.  Anyone Can Do It

If you can walk, then you can walk for exercise!  Whether you are 18, 38 or 78, this can be "your thing".  You can walk alone or join a friend or two...you could even start a walking club!  You can walk outside or inside on a treadmill.  You can walk super fast or seriously slow.  That's the beauty of it.  You just decide what's best for you and go for it!

Walking in Florence, SC

8.  Furry Friends Approve This Message

Pretty much everyone I know has a dog and most dog's love walks...except Buddy the Bulldog because he is fat and lazy.  Dogs are man's best friend and I bet you'd both enjoy going on a walk together!

Walking in Greenville, SC

9.  Make Memories

Sure, it might be "remember that time that you almost stepped on a copperhead?!"...or it might be "remember that time when we found that enormous snapping turtle?!"...but, it could also be "remember that time we went walking in the Redwoods and we couldn't believe how big they were and then we turned the corner and found a deer just watching us?!".  That's why it's fun to go with a friend or family member and share the experience.  But if you go alone, try taking your camera with you and being on the look out for things that stand out and make you smile!

Walking in the Redwoods National Park

So, what do you think about walking?  Do you love it like me or have I now convinced you to jump in?  Do you live close to me and want to join me for a morning walk?



Just because going to the spa to get a pedicure isn't in your budget, doesn't mean that you can't still have one!  I know that having cute toes always makes me feel more put together in the summer, so this is something that I do frequently.  Go ahead and mark some "me time" off in your calendar, gather your supplies together and give your feet a treat!

You will need:

-a large bowl
-a towel
-epsom salt
-baking soda
-a carrier oil (like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc)
-an old toothbrush
-a heavy moisturizer
-essential oils (optional)

1.  Soak

Find a bowl that is big enough to comfortably fit both of your feet.  Fill it with hot water, epsom salt (I used 1/2 cup) and a few drops of essential oil.  Lavender essential oil is great for relaxing at the end of a long day!

2.  Scrub

Mix baking soda (I used 1/4 cup) with a little water to make a paste, add a drop of essential oil (I used Thieves to give my toes a good clean up), grab your old toothbrush and give your toes a scrub!

Once you've finished on your toes, it's time for your feet.  Pour some sugar in a bowl, add extra virgin olive oil (or a carrier oil of your choice) and a few drops of essential oil (Peppermint essential oil is fresh and energizing, if you want to try that one).  Mix with your hand and massage into feet for several minutes.  

3.  Moisturize

Make sure you have rinsed off all of the baking soda, sugar and olive oil and dried off your feet well. Then, take a heavy moisturizer (I love Rose Ointment because its super moisturizing and full of essential oils that are great for skin health) and massage on and around toenails.  You can also massage a lighter moisturizer into your feet, but they should still be really soft from the sugar and olive oil scrub.  You can also add some nail polish, but be careful to choose a brand that is safe and free of harmful toxins!

I love this at home pedicure because most of these things can be found in your pantry!

Do you have a favorite at home treat that you would like to share with us?  Please comment below!  I am always up for a new hair mask, face mask, scrub or anything that makes me feel pampered!



Since we were married in 2007, Nick and I have traveled to 18 countries together!  For years, people have been asking how Nick and I are able to travel so much.  I never know how to answer and end up saying something like, "I don't know...we just save and then we go".  It makes it sound so easy, like magic.  But I think it also gives the impression that we are doing something special that no one else can do.  This is simply not true!  I know that anyone can do what we do, but most people won't because they are either too nervous or they feel like they can't afford it.  So, I want to share our tips on how to save money and travel!

1.  Create Your Own Bucket List

I know I know...this sounds all like butterflies and unicorns, but I firmly believe that EVERYONE needs a Bucket List.  Every.  Single.  Person.  YOU!  So, let's get started.  If you had 1 million dollars RIGHT NOW, what would you do with it?!?!?!?!  For instance, I would complete my home renovations, pay off my mortgage so that I am debt free and I would take my husband and travel the world for 1 year straight (or forever?)!  Or another way to think of it is when you look at other people’s social media, what makes you jealous? When you see people taking their children on family vacations, when you see people giving back to their communities, when you see people going to exotic countries, when you see people being a stay at home mom...what do you see that makes you jealous? I know it’s not good to be jealous, but I’ll let you think about it just this once!  Now, from those things that you were just dreaming of, create your Bucket List.  What are YOUR dreams made of????  You can put down 3 dreams, 13 dreams, 23 dreams or more!  It's up to you.  Click HERE to see mine.

2.  Choose One Dream

Now that you have created your Bucket List, you need to choose the one dream on your list that you want to focus on.  This doesn't mean that you aren't going to do the other dreams you want to do on your Bucket List, but you need to start somewhere, right?  It can be something on your Bucket List that is a short term goal, like a weekend getaway next month, or even a long term goal, like a trip to Paris next summer.  For instance, right now, Nick and I are planning a huge 3 month long road trip for next summer...so this gives us 1 year to plan, budget and save.  So, do you have your one dream?

3.  Bring Out The Budget

Start researching your one dream.  How much will it cost you?  Look into everything including travel, hotel, food, entertainment and anything else that you can think of.  Pinterest and google will be your BFFs...you can pretty much find everything you need.  You can also contact family and friends who either live in that area or have already done this same trip.  If you are planning a weekend getaway, it may only take you an hour or so to come up with a budget, but if you are planning a 3 month road trip, it may take you weeks to figure out an estimated cost.  Just make sure you come up with some number so that you know how much you need to save.

4.  Start Making Sacrifices

Unless you are making a great income or inherited family money or won the lottery, you are most likely going to have to cut costs in other areas to be able to save.  When Nick and I were getting ready to get married in 2007, Reeves Cannon counseled us on budgeting and encouraged us to take the Dave Ramsey course and learn his Zero Based Budgeting.  I truly believe that this is what set us up to budget and save so that we could travel.  For most of our marriage, we have only owned 1 car (Nick now has a company truck through his work), we have not paid for cable, we have watched Netflix instead of paying to go to the movies, drank coffee at home instead of picking up Starbucks each morning, only shopped for clothes when we truly needed something, etc.  We have made tons of other little sacrifices in all areas over the years that have added up and helped to to save.  Sure, I wanted some new shoes, but I went to the Faroe Islands instead.  Yes, I wanted some new make up, but instead, I enjoyed Northern Ireland.  Of course, I would love all the Noonday Jewelry, but I'd rather go on my 3 month road trip next summer.  Each time I want something now, I have to remind myself that I am saving for something even better later!  So, I encourage you to look at where you are spending your money and evaluate what you can sacrifice...you'll be surprised how much money you can save by prioritizing your spending and using the Zero Based Budget!

5.  Live Simply

I love the minimalist lifestyle because we only have things that we need.  Our house is fully furnished, but we have been patient to get hand-me-downs over the years as other people have gotten rid of their "old" furniture and decor!  Ever since we were married, we have never bought any furniture for our home (until last week when we purchased our new king sized mattress)!  Does this mean that we do not always have what we want?  Yes.  But, we always have what we need.  Last week was the first time that we ever bought something...we got a king sized mattress and it was worth every penny (its crazy how much your mattress effects your sleep).  The nice thing about living like this is that you truly have nothing that you worry about.  While we are traveling, I never worry about someone breaking in and stealing anything because I don't have expensive furniture or valuables!  It's so freeing to not worry about "things".  While talking about the minimalist lifestyle, I have to cover the Capsule Wardrobe, which is by far my favorite aspect!  Basically, you have a very small amount of clothes, but what you have you love and looks great on you.  It makes getting dressed each day and packing for trips so much easier!  Plus, it helps you save money because you are more conscience of your purchases!  You should read Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L Scott for tips on living a minimalist lifestyle...Jennifer is, by far, my favorite person to follow on living simply.

6.  Stay Inspired

I'm not going to lie.  Sometimes I get tired of living simply and I want to go insane at TJMaxx, buy all the clothes I want, all the jewelry I want, all the shoes I want, decorate my home with new items, eat out every day, go to the movies when a new one comes to theaters, get pedicures each month, get massages each week, buy really nice gifts for each birthday and Christmas...I mean, I could totally be a shopaholic.  Also, don't forget that I am living in a Fixer Upper and could totally sink like $50,000 into this place easily.  But, these things are just things.  And what I really want are memories.  I have one life and a huge Bucket List and no time to waste.  But it doesn't mean that I don't get discouraged.  So, to stay on the right track, I have to stay inspired.  Pinterest, thank you again...well, kinda...I have to avoid Home Decor and Women's Fashion on Pinterest and head straight to the Travel tab.  I spend A LOT of time browsing travel on social media...google, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs...you name it, I've probably read it or seen it.  This helps me stay focused on my priority: Traveling!  One of my favorite people right now is Brooke from World of Wanderlust.  You should follow her!

7.  Mark Your Calendar

Make it official.  Tell your family.  Tell your friends.  Shout it from the rooftops.  Comment below and share it with us!  Mark it down on your Calendar.  It's ok if it doesn't actually happen when you originally planned.  The important thing is that you begin to DREAM BIG DREAMS, build your Bucket List, budget and save and plan.  If you do those things, one day you will be marking that one thing off of your Bucket List.  

8.  Be Your Own Boss

Consider starting your own business that gives you freedom to work from anywhere in the world.  There are many people who are Travel Bloggers, Freelance Writers, etc. and are able to travel the world while working.  This also means that you don't have to save as much money for traveling since you will continue to make money while traveling.  Nick and I are going on 3 years selling essential oils with Young Living Essential Oils.  Because of our jobs with Young Living, if we want to travel, we just go!  Most of our work can even be done from just our iPhones!  Do you remember last year when Nick and I spent 3 months in Bolivia?  It's all because of owning our own business and having the freedom to make our own choices!  

9.  Do It And Do It And Do It

It really is just a vicious cycle.  We look at our Bucket List, decide on the next thing, budget, save and plan, do it, cross it off our list and then start over.  We are always dreaming and scheming.  It's really not magic.  It's just a choice.  Choose to live like no one else so that you can live like no one else.