Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief

Guest Writer Daniel Sherwin

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Budget-Friendly Strategies for Planning the Ultimate Couple’s Adventure

Are you feeling some serious wanderlust but concerned you don’t have the funds for the adventure you crave? When you and your beloved are working toward healing and want to seal the deal with an epic adventure, you don’t want money worries to spoil the fun.

Here, Help for Healing shares some tips on how to plan a trip you’ll never forget, without big bills you’d wish you could forget.

Pick Your Passion

Deciding on your priorities is a great starting point for ensuring your adventure is all you’re dreaming about. Some travelers love an edgy activity exploring Mayan Ruins through the day and a cozy bed at night, while others want to enjoy the journey the most. Maybe the idea of exotic cuisine in Thailand flips your switch. Think about what the two of you are most passionate about and let it guide your choices, making that your financial priority as well as your calling.

Another idea is to pick one event and splurge on it, making it the centerpoint of your trip. Do you dream of floating through the air? Whether it’s hot air ballooning or skydiving, focus on that as a highlight, and then use cost-savings strategies for the essentials.

The Open Road

When adventure is the name of the game, sometimes exploring the open road in England is an ideal solution. As Conde Nast Traveler explains, there are amazing routes in Ireland and the UK, from the Wild Atlantic Way to the Applecross Circular.

If you’re going cross-country in the US, consider renting your wheels to save wear and tear on your own car. Big car hire agencies like Enterprise have a wide selection of vehicles, and you can save when you join their rewards program. What’s more, you can use coupons to dig into even bigger savings. That money you save can go toward your other priorities and amp up the fun!

If you’re heading overseas, don’t let the flight drain your bank account. Set a price alert, change your airport choice or opt for a redeye. Chances are you’ll snag something cheap, especially if you’re willing to fly at an off-peak time.

A Starlit Sky

If you and your partner love the idea of roughing it, camping might be your ideal adventure getaway. SkyAboveUs notes there are free camping opportunities throughout the world, if you just know where to find them! From rest stops to parking lots, public parks to hostels, you can find a place to spend the night and savor the starlit sky.

Gear-wise, consider borrowing or renting your camping paraphernalia, or purchase gently used equipment from thrift shops, or through auction and used goods websites like eBay.

Savories and Sweets

Food can chew up a large portion of your travel budget. In fact, according to The Clumsy Traveler, it’s easy for meals to eat up the largest portion of your funds! Thankfully, there are lots of ways to avoid overspending on dining.

One key strategy is to make some of your own meals. If local flavors are your heart’s desire, aim for just one meal out per day, and DIY the rest. Sometimes breakfast is included in your accommodations as well, such as when you stay at a major hotel chain, some hostels, or in an inn. Of course, if you’re camping you should plan on meals over an open fire; just be diligent about how you store your groceries.

Lastly, don’t rule out all-in-one vacations. For instance, a working dude ranch can be an adventure of a lifetime, and it’s all your meals, accommodations, and activities rolled into a single package. Just shop around for affordable options, and you’ll be making memories, City Slicker-style!

Create a Savings Plan

Once you determine the where and when, it’s time to start saving for your big vacation. Set a total to save for, and be conservative; you never know how much costs will fluctuate. Then start looking for ways to save. A great first step is automatic savings, which you can do through your bank. Set up an amount to automatically deposit whenever you get paid. Next, revisit your household budget, and look for ways to cut costs. Do you use your streaming service? Can you find a better mobile plan? Every little bit helps when you’re saving for the ultimate vacation.

Create an Emergency Plan

When you’ve scrimped and saved for the ultimate vacation, the last thing you want is an emergency dashing your plans, especially if you’re traveling abroad. High-stress situations can be trying for couples who are still mending, so take some extra precautions. Make sure your budget includes travel insurance, which will come in handy if you happen to break your arm hiking in Ireland or have a canceled flight in Canada. You’ll also want to make extra copies of your passports. You can buy a handful of traveler’s checks or pull $100 from the ATM, but have emergency cash available if you lose your wallet in Tulum. Know that your family can also quickly send you money through a transfer service like Remitly, which can deliver cash to more than 40,000 locations in minutes.

When you and your soulmate have your hearts set on adventure, don’t let your budget hold you back. Decide where your priorities are and go from there. It’ll be an epic getaway you’ll reflect on for years to come!

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

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