The One Thing I’ll Never Regret Spending Money On

Drinking my morning cup of coffee in a cafe in Toronto. Waking up to frozen pipes in a quaint hostel in Ontario. Wandering the streets of a seaside town in Halkidiki, Greece. Soaking in a hot tub under the starry night sky in Hissar, Bulgaria.

I can remember each of these moments, and dozens of others, as if they were only yesterday. They may have seemed like fleeting moments in time, but they’re imprinted so firmly in my mind that I can recall them in an instant. When I think of them, I can’t help but smile.

Travel is the one thing that I will never regret spending money on.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to travel. It started off innocently enough, with camping trips and road trips back in my Girl Scout days, and it grew into an insatiable desire to just go.

There’s almost nothing that thrills me more than a good old-fashioned road trip. In ’08, I spent 3 weeks going across the US and Canada, sleeping in hostels, eating junk food from roadside cafes, meeting various locals and fellow travelers, and loving absolutely every minute of it. Those 3 weeks on the road were truly a turning point for me. I knew that I could never be totally satisfied with a stationary life.

Travel Challenges

Being a travel addict presents some challenges, however. There’s the issues of time, money, and now, family, which need to be addressed before every trip.

Time is a tough one for most of us, as the need for steady employment means limited vacation days throughout the year. In my twenties, I was able to work seasonal jobs to maintain my nomadic lifestyle. As a responsible parent, I don’t really have that option today.

When it comes to money for travel, it’s something that we have to save and budget for. Even a simple road trip a few hours away is going to add up, with gas, food, and a place to stay all needing to be factored in. I would definitely say that we’re budget travelers though, and we know how to cut costs. We fly economy, we don’t eat at pricey restaurants, and we pick the cheapest accommodations.

At one time, I could throw a few things into a backpack and be ready to hit the road. I had to kiss those days of simplicity goodbye when my daughter was born. Traveling with a baby, while not impossible, is not exactly easy, and it isn’t always enjoyable. Even when you’re as minimalist as I am, you still end up with a lot of gear to lug around.

My daughter is 3 now, and I’m happy to report that traveling is becoming much easier. Arranging childcare for an adult-only trip is another challenge. M. and I have been very fortunate in that we’ve taken several trips sans kiddo, thanks to willing grandparent babysitters.

As my daughter gets older, I hope that she’ll share our passion for exploring. I hope that we’ll be able to give her some amazing travel experiences that she’ll look back on fondly, and it may even light a fire within her, too. She’s already lived in 2 countries and flown more than some adults I know, so we’re getting her off to a good start 🙂

I am passionate about traveling, seeing new places, and exploring. My list of places to go is a mile long, and that’s okay. I take it one trip at a time, whether it’s to a new country or a new town, I’m happy with every little journey. Travel is the one thing that I know I will never regret spending money on, because it truly makes my life richer.

What’s one thing that you will never regret spending money on?  Has travel made your life richer?

About Lauren

Lauren May is a freelance writer and full-time mom living her best life on a budget.

31 thoughts on “The One Thing I’ll Never Regret Spending Money On

  1. I am totally with you – but of course, seeing as I took six months off last year to travel. Also spent an insane amount on a brief jaunt over to Australia last month while between jobs. But totally worth it.

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  3. Definitely never regretting spending money on travel! Or coffee, but that’s me 😀

    Like a lot of the other posters, right now I’m focusing on cleaning up my financial debt and getting my money-mind set up, but I manage to sneak in small trips anywhere I can! It helps that I’m still pretty new to the Northeastern US, so there’s a ton I haven’t seen/done in my own backyard!

  4. I would love to travel as I really haven’t before. I’ve been to a handful of places on the east coast, and to Niagara Falls. That’s the extent of it! I think traveling and experiencing other cultures is a really enriching experience. I’m sure your daughter will grow to love traveling, and it’s great that you make it a priority.

  5. I couldn’t agree more Lauren. We love to travel and while it’s more difficult with three little ones it can still be done. The other thing I don’t regret spending money on is my family. If it’s something that they’ve been wanting or truly enjoy then I don’t have a problem making it possible for them.

    1. I agree with that, too- bringing joy to my loved ones is definitely worth it. Although I think my daughter may be getting a little spoiled as a result!

  6. I love to travel and I’ve been able to do some but would still love to do more. Once we get out of debt, I will definitely be looking into ways on how to do this and economize. Lots of great ideas out there that we see from our fellow travel hacker bloggers.

  7. I’m right with you on the travel. It’s so refreshing and eye-opening to get out of your usual environment. I think travel not only helps me relax and enjoy life, but motivates me to work hard at my job so I can afford more vacations : )

  8. I’ve put off travelling because I know for a fact I wouldn’t scrimp on it. When I travel I like to do it care free and really enjoy the place and all that it has to offer. Often that comes at a hefty price so I’ve put off travelling so that I stay on track to meet my debt free date.

  9. Well I met my wife on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico, so it’s hard for me to knock travel 😉 I’m not well-traveled, but I have been on some really great trips to Jamiaca, a cruise, and to Hawaii. I’ve also road-tripped to Florida with my family growing up. I would like to travel more and it’s definitely a motivator to increase passive income, pay down debt, etc.

    One thing I don’t regret spending money on? Health care. If you aren’t healthy it’s hard to enjoy life.

  10. I totally agree I’ve been away a few times this year without any regret of what I’ve spent. It’s money I would have probably wasted and regretted spending if it wasn’t spent on a weekend away.

      1. I’m addicted too! Maybe we should start a support group. They say once you have the travel bug it is hard to get rid of- but I’m happy to have it.

        I’m glad to read you still travel with a kid. I’m so concerned that if I dot n’t one more long trip in before I decide to have kids it will never happen.

        1. I used to think that too- that it would be years before I would get to go anywhere again! But I’m happy to report that we’ve taken many trips without issue. It’s getting much easier now that my daughter is getting older, too.

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