Friday, February 5, 2010

Plans for the year

This year is not going to be a big one for us in terms of travel. We don't really have any vacations planned, and don't expect to add any, mostly because of Torsten's company but also because I want to save up my leave time and roll it over to 2011 to extend my hoped-for future maternity leave. For example, this will be the first year of our relationship that we will not be going to Germany to visit Torsten's family.

However, there are a few things we have scheduled, and a few things that I am still hoping to schedule. We have been saving up credit card rewards for ages and have quite a few accrued, and I'm thinking this year is the time to use them.
  • I'm going to DC in March for work and for my sister. Torsten will be accompanying me for a few days but not for the whole time. My company is paying for my plane ticket and we're using credit card rewards to pay for Torsten's ticket. I will likely go to DC for work again in the fall, but we'll see.
  • I want to go to San Francisco to visit my best friend sometime this spring. I think we have enough credit card miles to make this happen too. I hope.
  • My French host sister is getting married in May and I am absolutely dying to go to the wedding. I haven't been to France to visit my host family and friends there for three years, and I miss them. Different members of my host family have been to the US to visit us on two different occasions since my last visit. One occasion was our wedding. I really, really, really want to go to this, be there for her, and see everyone I love and miss over there. I know I could stay with friends for free, and we have this bonus on one of our credit cards where we can use a few hundred dollars' worth of points to get a round trip ticket to Europe worth up to $800, so I could do it for minimal expense. But of course with no money we are using our credit card rewards for everything right now, and they only go so far. And Torsten wouldn't be able to come because we don't have enough rewards for two tickets, and he wouldn't be able to take the time away from his new company anyway. So it would just be me, which is disappointing, especially since he still hasn't been to France with me and seen where I used to live and met all my friends. But I still really want to do it. It would be worth using a couple vacation days at work. Still, is it ridiculous to fly nine to ten hours each way to spend what amounts to a long weekend in France?
  • Depending on timing and how everything works out, I may or may not be fairly far along in a pregnancy by the time the holidays roll around, which means I would probably not want to fly, which means I may or may not get to spend the holidays with my family. As a result, we want to make sure to visit my parents this summer. The nice thing about working remotely is that I can just work from their house instead of ours, and I won't have to use vacation time for this. I think we have just enough credit card miles to cover this trip as well. That would be it, though, after that. Which is fine, really. Hopefully by the time all our credit card rewards are used up, Torsten will have a couple clients and we will have two incomes again.
  • Torsten's parents are planning to come visit in July. They haven't booked their trip yet, but I believe they're planning to stay for three weeks. In the past when they've visited, it's gone better than expected, but this will be their longest trip yet, as well as the first time they've actually stayed with us. So, we'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I seriously need to get back on that Rosetta Stone thing.
  • I'm assuming my parents will come out to visit us at least a couple times this year, but nothing definite has been planned yet.
What about you? What travel and visits do you have planned, or are you hoping to plan, for this year?


  1. Sounds like you will have a fun year despite all the restraints. And maybe if Torsten's got the company rolling by fall, you guys could do another road trip.

    We're going to Italy next month (cannot wait), and have some instate travel this summer for weddings, but otherwise no plans. I'm sure we'll head to Florida again in the fall to see family, but we're just going to have to play that one by ear and by budget.

  2. We are moving cross country. That's about as big as it gets. I would like to plan a trip home for the holidays next year as I am just going to assume my husband will be deployed; or invite everyone to us, but I doubt they'll come.

  3. Sounds like you've got it all figured out...

    We're lucky in that Sweets' family is small and all local. So, we see them fairly regularly.

    My family is on the East Coast. This year is pretty typical - we'll go to New York City to see my brother in the spring and we'll visit my parents on Cape Cod during the summer. Our only other planned trip is to go to Grand Cayman next month ... but, you knew that already. =)

  4. I went to France for a long weekend last year and it was totally worth it. Absolutely and completely. But then again, France! You know where my vote lies. Either way, I'm sure you'll figure it out.

  5. Oh, this list sounds lovely. Especially the France part (and YES, a long weekend is totally worth it. When ELSE are you going to get to France, especially if you're likely to have a baby in the house soon?)

    Our big travel plans include two trips for work, a marathon Spring Break drive out to Legoland and Disneyland in California (I'm sorta dreading this one), and hopefully several small camping/ backpacking trips over the summer. We once had plans for a family trip to Switzerland, until we priced the tickets and realized we'd be lucky to get them for $1000 apiece. Then suddenly it seemed more worth it to wait until we can make a longer trip.

  6. Well, I went to both Portland and Newport Beach in January already. I'm driving down to Vancouver in April, we're hoping to take the whole family to Mexico in May and I'm going to BlogHer in New York in August.

    Wow. I'm a frequent flyer.

  7. We're planning on going to Germany to visit my grandparents and go to the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest. While we are in Europe, we would love to visit France and maybe Amsterdam.

  8. I know I'm going to be traveling a bit for book stuff, but I don't know the where's and whens yet (although, I will be going to Denver, I think b/c on of my dear friends made me promise). Because of that, I'd had to turn down some plans, which is a little sad. But I am really hoping to get to see a bit more of the country and see some old friends and meet some new ones.

    I always had a hard time deciding about wedding travel - it's hard to spend all that time and money to be there for a wedding when you won't really get to spend a lot of time with that person and maybe that money could be better spent taking a trip later when they have more time. But that said, being at my best friend's wedding was really one of the best moments of my life, and missing another friend's wedding is something I'll always regret.

  9. It is absolutely not crazy at all to go to France for a longish wedding. I went to the Loire Valley in 2008 for a dear friend's wedding and it was amazing. I would have been crushed to miss it. I also have found that weddings are pretty much the only thing that I sometimes regret not going to. It sounds like these people are family to you and love and miss them. I would go if I were you.

  10. I think the France trip is TOTALLY worth it!!! Go! :)


  11. LOTS of travel planned for the first half of 2010 for me!

    jan - went to cali for work
    feb - going to new orleans to cheer on @pseudostoops while she runs a 1/2 marathon!
    mar - apparently a cruise/carib trip is in the works? bf is working on this one.
    apr - vegas for a friend's 30th bday
    may - cali to see my sister

    jun thru dec - apparently eat only ramen.

  12. That sounds like fun! I went to California last month (to be on Jeopardy--the best vacation ever!) and have a couple other trips planned:

    * Chicago in late Feb. because my girlfriend is there for a while on business

    * Michigan in May for friends' wedding

    * Boston every month or two starting in the fall because my girlfriend is being transferred there

    * possibly a trip with my parents and siblings someplace warm (arizona?) between xmas and new years.

    Not as exciting as France (you should go!), but I'm excited nonetheless.

  13. If you can swing it, you should DEF go to France! DEF!

    Wow - 3 weeks with the inlaws. Good luck.

    We plan to visit my family in April, at Easter. We're driving - it's about 9 hours one way.
    We are planning to visit husband's family in June, also driving, it's about 16+ hours each way.
    With 4 kids under 5 these are not sounding like dream vacations, are they?! lol

    We are HOPING, desperately hoping, to be able to take a real vacation to the beach in September. It depends how much these other trips cost us and if any large, unforeseen expenses come up between now and then. Fingers crossed.

  14. Oh, that's Panama City Beach. Should have been more clear. lol

    I haven't thought about anything after Sept. 8 mo ahead is apparently as far as my brain can store info.

  15. No trips planned for us this year. Just wanted to say how great of a wife you are for having your in-laws stay for 3 weeks!

  16. We are just doing a week long trip in the mtns of CO next month. Other than that, we haven't planned anything. I think that we need to figure out our financial situation and our possible moving situation before making any plans....

  17. Last summer Martin and I did three weeks in Poland -- our biggest and most expensive trip in our five years together. With us both just starting our careers, we're trying to pay off our debts and save to live together, so I don't think we'll be making any major travel plans this year. I would love to go SOMEWHERE though even for a weekend getaway.... but nothing has really been talked about yet.

  18. We're going on a European Cruise this year. Plan TBD, but we're meeting with a cruise travel agent next week. The options are endless!

  19. Seriously? While I like going and visiting new places and seeing friends I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of this year not going anywhere farther away than a few hours drive.

    Also? I almost passed out when you said three weeks with visiting in laws. I get all "omg get out!"-y after a few days! You're a much nicer host than me :)

  20. Well, despite your plans on not doing any major spending, that sounds like a fun year. I hope to do some traveling, but I really don't know if it's going to work out financially. I have to pay off my credit card until the summer for that to happen. (And it's going slowly, very slowly.)
    I would love to go to Paris and Prague, though. Technically I could do both trips for very cheap, but when you don't have any money, even cheap is too much. So I will have to wait and see.
    I am also moving away at the end of August (after college graduation). First to my parents' and then to wherever I find a job (unless I find a job right away, then I'd skip the parents, but it's unlikely).

  21. I say go! It might not be that easy for you to go places with a baby so make the most of it, even if they arent huge trips!

    I'm going to Mexico and San Francisco in April (these are 18 hours of flight time from my side of Australia) and a trip to Singapore in September (this is a 5 hour flight).

    Because I am going to three countries this year, I have sacraficed my annual trip to my home country of New Zealand (which I will only make if dad gets sick). I dont expect any of my family will come and visit me though. *sigh*

  22. There's nothing I like better than knowing I have upcoming travel. It's definitely a priority, and it sounds like you have some great stuff in mind! I don't have anything planned past March, but that is largely because I have no idea what I'm going to be doing past March.

  23. You're coming to San Francisco?!!

    OK, sorry, I realize that wasn't the ONLY point of the post.

    It sounds like you'll get in just enough travel not to go stir crazy, while staying within your budget.

    My entire year of travel is centered around weddings. April in Florida (thankfully my parents offered to cover that one with credit card points), May in Boston, June in Seattle, September in Wine Country, November in Florida. I also hope to go to Portland for a work trip and LA for a work trip, but neither of those will come out of my pocket.

  24. I say go to France! Especially if you really, really, really want to go! And especially if you have somewhere to stay for free!
    I love how you plan everything. I'm usually so awful at that, I just fly by the seat of my pants which doesn't always work.
    I have lofty travel plans this year...England for three weeks, NY for a week, Chicago for a weekend and maybe another trip close by for a few days.