Dreaming about possible travels is one of my favorite things to do. The trip may not happen, I may never see in person the places I dream about, but I sure have fun researching and planning.
The mind boggles at such a thing. Casting off the fetters of budgets and limited vacation days and letting the imagination run wild is marvelous fun indeed. But in addition to being a dreamer, I am a practical woman. So today I’m going to write about three dream birthday trips to suit an assortment of budgets: Mostly Broke, Getting By and Sitting Pretty.
My Mostly Broke Dream Birthday Trip will be a day trip since I can’t afford hotels, plane fare or fancy restaurants.
Place: I will head straight for the ocean, somewhere like Bribie Island where I can spend the day with my nearest and dearest napping in the sunshine, walking the beach and looking for treasures, and finding a shady spot to read an escapist novel set in France or Italy.
Food: I’ll pack enough victuals for two meals since we have to stay to watch the sunset. For lunch we’ll have chicken salad croissants, sugar snap peas, minty lemonade, and generous slices of dark chocolate tart. And for dinner, hmm, I think a savory tart studded with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and feta, followed by ripe strawberries, dark chocolate with sea salt, and champagne will be just the ticket.
Cost: About $100, the price of a full tank of petrol and groceries.
How: Set aside $10 from my grocery budget each month and put it in a birthday fund.
My Getting By Dream Birthday Trip will be an overnight somewhere with lots and lots of good food.
Place: I admit I’ll head straight for the beach again. It truly is a happy place for me. This time I think I’ll go to the Gold Coast and find a cozy but simple bed and breakfast with a big soft bed, down-filled doonah, and a bathtub for me to luxuriate in. I will sleep in until the sun wakes me up, swim in the warm water, lounge on the beach, and eat heartily.
Food: There will be no cooking for me on this trip. In addition to a delicious breakfast at the B&B, I’ll track down mid-range but delicious restaurants such as Milan on Main where I’ll happily tuck into things like trout-filled crepes drizzled with heady balsamic reduction or creamy seafood pasta with fresh dill and lime.
Cost: About $350 for B&B, petrol, and restaurants.
How: Set aside $30/month. Do this by not going to the movies 3 times or not going out for coffee 6 times or eating vegetarian twice instead of buying a beef or pork roast.
My Sitting Pretty Dream Birthday Trip will be a month at a villa in Italy.
Place: Ever since I watched “A Month by the Lake” I have dreamed of renting a villa for 30 days in early summer on Lake Como, Italy. Doesn’t that sound glorious? I will swim every day, take boat rides on the lake, and spend hours in the sun reading, napping, and visiting with the dear souls who are with me. I’ll take long walks anywhere I like and frequent local bakeries, pastry shops, wine bars, and restaurants. I’ll take day trips to nearby Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta and board the train for journeys up through the Alps into Switzerland. I will dance in the moonlight and sip wine on the terrace and watch the sun rise and set. I will live a beautiful, idyllic life for one whole month with people I love and treasure every second of it.
Food: Oh my, where do I start? I will have multiple cups of strong Italian coffee and sweet pastries every morning, eaten on the terrace as the sun rises over the lake. I will have my own chef on hand to prepare glorious lunches and desserts and pastries right there in the villa, a jolly fellow who laughs loudly and tells outrageous stories. At night I will dress up in gorgeous, twirly dresses and go to town, to explore and try out restaurants until I find my favorite, then eat there every night so that for one month I will feel like a regular as I’m greeted by name and with smiles. I will wear sundresses every day and visit the markets for fresh fruits, artisan cheeses and homemade sausages to take on picnics in the hills and train journeys to nearby places of beauty. I will sample local wines and collect bottles to bring home. And, best of all, I shall not gain ANY weight because of all the walking and exploring I shall do. 😉
Cost: Total: $13,000-$20,000
- Villa rental – $5000-$10,000
- Travel (train tickets, car rental, petrol, boat hire) – $3000
- Plane fare – $2000 (from Australia) $1200 (from US/Canada)
- Food/wine – $3000-$4500
- Option One: Be very, very rich. 😉
- Option Two: Set aside $361/mo for three years (low end) $555/mo for three years (high end).
- Option Three: Find friends to go with you and split the cost.
- 4 friends (low end)
- Total: $6200
- How: Save $259/mo for two years or $172/mo for three years
- 6 friends (low end)
- Total: $5533
- How: Save $231/mo for two years or $154/mo for three years
- 4 friends (high end)
- Total: $9750
- How: Save $407/mo for two years or $271/mo for three years
- 6 friends (high end)
- Total: $8666
- How: Save $361/mo for two years or $241/mo for three years
- Option Four: Cut costs in half by taking the train instead of renting a car, cooking your own food in the villa kitchen, and renting a smaller villa.
Sigh…what a lovely dream that is. 🙂 Perhaps one day we shall all see such a dream come true.
How about you? What would be YOUR dream birthday trip?