I've declared 2010 the Year of Weddings. I went through another of these right when I graduated from college (crazy kids who got married right after schoo!), and looks like year will be even crazier. SCL and I have been invited to four so far this year, two of which are less than a week apart and two time zones away from each other. And one of our friends is not only getting married, but also ordained as a minister! Needless to say, we've got quite a bit of travel planned for this summer and fall. Here's our current timeline:
End of March: Ordination in Philadelphia, PA
Mid-July: Wedding in New Haven, CT
Beginning of August: Wedding in Savannah, GA
Mid-August: Wedding in Denver, CO
Mid-October: Wedding in Philadelphia, PA
We are so excited for our friends and plan to attend all of these events, which is going to mean some serious extra costs, especially when we'll have to fly to Savannah and Denver. And, I've already stated that I hate the drive to CT up I-95 and would prefer not to drive, even though it would be cheaper.
Given the extra costs, we're trying to plan ahead so as not to be caught off-guard when these dates start approaching.
- Since we've been so on target with budgeting, we actually have a little excess, which we've now put into a joint savings account. It's a great start!
- As I wrote yesterday, I'm going to put a few hundred dollars into this savings account each month. It's nice to be able to do that!
- We're thinking of creative ways to get there. For example, we're considering taking the Bolt Bus to New York and then taking the local train to New Haven rather than taking Amtrak. Not quite as convenient but better than driving ourselves and much cheaper.
- Staying with friends. Let me say I am for the most part beyond sleeping on people's couches. Sorry, at some point I became a grown up, and I want to be well-rested for my friends' special days! But we also have friends with guest rooms, and I'm going to contact them early about having us stay. Hotels can be nice, but they're expensive. And besides that, it's more fun to stay with friends!
- Staying fewer nights. A lot of these places are not too hard to get to and from, and even if it makes it an early morning or a late night, we might think about staying just one night if possible. I like sleeping in my own bed anyway.
I'm hoping that we might be able to make one of these trips more like a vacation (one of our goals as a couple is to take a trip together every year.) Maybe we'll splurge on a nicer place in one of the cities. But for the most part, this'll be an experiment in balancing frugal but relatively comfortable traveling.