In may of 2008 we started a “Europe Fund” with the intention of traveling there together during the summer of 2010 (along with my parents). By September the account contained $300, mostly from completing online freebie offers (Revolution Money Exchange and Sharebuilder) and selling various items through Ebay and its sister site, Items that we sold included old games and books, outdated electronics, and a few miscellaneous baby items. Shortly after the beginning of 2009, hubby decided that “his” items (video games, electronics) would be better sold and put back into his spending allocation, rather than the communal Europe fund (and the same with “my” items). Ok, fine. I get the logic. He wasn’t quite as gung-ho as I was about saving up for Europe (of course, who actually ended up going, hmmmm???) I only say this to explain the much slower progress the fund made during 2009 and 2010. We put in a few bucks here and there, including a bit of a tax refund, and a bit of a pfd. Viola! Three years later and a trip to Europe was well funded. I think you can do it too. I really do. In fact, I think you can do it even better, particularly if you are both committed to stowing away the cash bit by bit. The big cost of hubby’s recent trip was the airfare, and even that was a steal. Condor will fly you directly from Anchorage to Frankfurt for $1000, and you might even be able to get in well under that number if you keep an eye on fares.

If you’ll be going as a couple (or a family) it’ll take quite a bit longer to stow away the funds necessary for even a short trip “across the pond”, but if you’d like to send out a spouse on a scouting trip like we did, this can be done very inexpensively. The first step is to find a traveling partner (it’s waaaaaay cheaper to split on hotels and a car than to eat the whole cost yourselves). Preferably find a former college roommate who is familiar with your eccentricities and has traveled extensively. It helps if said former roommate is incredibly generous and blogs regularly (hilarious stuff!) for the folks back home. Take lots of pictures for the kids and wifey, and Voila! An Ebay sponsored trip complete with oodles of reconnaissance information, funny stories, and good memories.