Our Travel Plans for an Amazing Year

In this post I’ll be covering where we plan to visit in 2024, our reasons for choosing those destinations, and a few tentative plans on what we hope to do while there. 

I’ll also be sharing our approximate budget for each trip and providing you with a free Travel Budget and Plan template below using Google Sheets.

A few things to note about this year:

  1. Once again we will be fully utilizing our RV as we have the past two years. We own a 2021 Forest River RPOD 192 and highly recommend the unit, especially for couples.
  2. With the exception of a work trip in June and our May trip, we focus our travels on off-the-beaten path destinations and/or nature based destinations. 
  3. To keep costs low we cook the majority of our meals while traveling and opt for outdoors activities that tend to be free or inexpensive. 
  4. We are extremely lucky and privileged to be able to set aside $15,000 a year to travel. We only allow ourselves to do so because we have been completely debt free since 2018. We worked really hard for multiple years to pay off all of our student loans, auto loans, and even our mortgage. We never finance a vacation and don’t own credit cards. So you won’t see any travel hacking from us. We save our money and put it towards things that matter most to us. 
  5. I work for a company that has an insanely good PTO policy (at least for US standards). At this point in my tenure with the company, I can take 28 days of PTO. I always save an additional 40 hours of PTO and roll it over for the next year and try everything I can not to take sick days. 
Our trusty 2021 Forest River RPOD travel trailer.

Here’s Where We’re Heading This Year:

Of course these plans may change! But here’s what we’re thinking so far. 

We’ve only booked our trip in July to Lubec but all others still need to be confirmed. 

Some campgrounds won’t open reservations until 6 months before, especially the national parks. 

Here’s a blank copy of my Travel Budget Template.

Here’s How to Use this Free Travel Budget Template

  1. First column is pretty straightforward – where are you planning on going!?
  2. Next I write in any notes of possible destinations, specific campgrounds, or bucket list activities. 
  3. Then I like to order based on month of travel
    1. Originally our November trip was going to be in July so that’s why it’s out of order here!
  4. # vacation days you plan to use
  5. # of nights on the trip which is then used to multiple against the per night accommodation cost
  6. Accommodation cost per night (could be campground, hotel, Airbnb, etc)
  7. If you’re taking a roadtrip or RV trip, I make note of how many miles we’ll be driving here
  8. If you need to purchase plane tickets, I estimate the cost of those here. 
  9. Next column is for groceries and any eating out you plan
  10. Don’t forget to plan for activities (I also put the cost of a  rental car here if needed). 
  11. Next two columns are for Miles Per Gallon and the cost of gas per gallon. 
    1. This is for road trips and RV trips. (We haul a travel trailer which is why of MPG is so low). 

All of these columns can be customized to you of course. Change what better fits your type of travel.

Read More: How to Travel More with Limited Paid Time Off

January – April

We don’t have trips planned for the first few months of 2024. Living in Maine, the majority of our travel happens between May-November. For 2025, I would love to incorporate a winter getaway to break up our travel plans a bit more.

We spend winters exploring our home state Maine and its beautiful scenery. This is Winslow Park in Freeport, Maine.

May

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Accommodation: Majestic Mirage All-Inclusive

Reason for Choosing Dominican Republic

Our nephew is graduating high school so we’ll be celebrating with the whole family. 

We’ve never been on an all-inclusive trip although the price tag hurts my heart a bit, I know we’ll have an amazing time!

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in Dominican Republic

  1. A day trip to an island for snorkeling and relaxing
  2. Tons of beach days.
  3. Making memories with Ben’s family:)
The last time we visited the Caribbean was 2020 right before the pandemic hit on a trip to Puerto Rico.

June

Chicago

Accommodation: Downtown hotel

Reasons for Choosing Chicago

I’ll be visiting Chicago for a work trip and hope to see a few sights while I’m there!

I’ve only been to Chicago once with my mom during a surprise trip through Pack Up and Go. 

Top Things I’ll Be Doing in Chicago

  1. Attending a work conference. 
  2. Eating all the deep dish pizza I can find. 
  3. Exploring Chicago’s famous sights.
My last trip to Chicago in 2018!

North Dakota

Accommodation: Campgrounds near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Reasons for Choosing North Dakota

  1. Ben loves any chance to go out west.
  2. North Dakota is close enough that it won’t take too long to get too.
  3. North Dakota has the national park and wildlife which we love.

Top Things Ben and His Dad Will Be Doing in North Dakota

  1. Spending time with his dad who has some health issues. 
  2. Visiting Theodore National Park
  3. Spending time outdoors, possibly fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching.

July

Lubec, Maine

Accommodation: Sunset Point RV Park, Lubec

Reasons for Choosing Lubec, Maine

  1. We are thrilled to be visiting Sunset Point RV Park again. We visited back in 2021 and absolutely loved it! We tried re-booking in 2023 but they were all sold out. 
  2. Be sure to book early, especially if you want their two amazing oceanfront sites (12A and 12B)

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in Lubec

  1. Revisiting Cobscook Shore Trails for some easy hikes
  2. Biking to the Roosevelt Campbello International Park
  3. Ocean kayaking
Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine

Read More: Your First Trip to Maine: Everything You Need to Know

August

Oquossoc, Maine

Accommodation: Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground

Reasons for Choosing Oquossoc, Maine

  1. This is a lovely part of Maine and full of outdoor adventures.
  2. It’s relatively close to where we live so makes for an easy weekend trip.

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in Oquossoc, Maine

  1. Visiting Rangeley Lake State Park for kayaking and fishing
  2. Having a relaxing day at Cupsuptic Lake

Eustis, Maine

Accommodation: Cathedral Pines Campground

Reasons for Choosing Eustis, Maine

Ben visited Cathedral Pines Campground back in 2021 with his dad and loved it!

Top Things We’ll be Doing in Eustis, Maine

  1. Kayaking and canoeing Flagstaff Lake.
  2. We may travel to Chain of Ponds, a series of long skinny ponds close to Maine/Canada’s border with beautiful scenery.
  3. Hiking in beautiful western Maine mountains.

September

Wyoming and South Dakota

$6000 for 25 nights (Since Ben has to drive out it takes longer time. I’ll only be there for 15/25 nights)

Accommodation: Colter Bay RV Park, Spearfish City Campground, and a few more undecided

Reasons for Choosing Wyoming

  1. Ben will drive the RV out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I’ll fly out and then we’ll drive to South Dakota and finally he’ll drop me off at the Omaha airport where I’ll fly out. (we may choose a different airport depending on which offers the best price). 
  2. Because he has a per diem job, he can take the time to drive the RV out west while we like to save my time for other trips throughout the year.

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in Wyoming

  1. Stay within Grand Teton National Park for the hiking and wildlife.We love any chance to see wildlife and have a good chance of seeing bison, pronghorn, elk, bears, and more!
  2. Visit Yellowstone National Park for geysers, beautiful landscapes, and more wildlife!
  3. Explore a few Wyoming state parks like Buffalo Bill or Hot Springs

Read More: One Thrilling Week in South Dakota

Reasons for Choosing South Dakota

  1. To re-visit Badlands National Park (we loved our visit in 2022 but only spent one day here last time)
  2. When planning cross-country trips we like to chose a 2nd location that is on the way back to Maine.

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in South Dakota

  1. Re-visit Badlands National Park and hike amongst the beautiful landscape.
  2. Explore Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills of western South Dakota
Driving through Badlands National Park in 2022

October

Presque Isle, Maine

Accommodation: Arndt’s River Lodge and Campground

Reasons for Choosing Presque Isle, Maine

  1. We’ve never visited northern Maine
  2. This region is a more remote area of Maine and known to be peaceful and relaxing.

Top Things We’ll Be Doing in Presque Isle, Maine

  1. Visit Aroostook State Park
  2. Ben hopes to do some bird hunting.

November & December

We have space in our budget and PTO for one more trip in 2024, but we haven’t decided exactly where we’ll be going. We’re allocating around $2500-3000 for a week-long trip. 

We were originally hoping to visit Newfoundland for an epic 2 week trip, but due to work constraints, that is more likely to happen in 2025. 

No worries! There are endless possibilities of where we might travel too. 

Here’s a few of the options we’re considering:

  • Iceland for northern lights
  • Curacao for snorkeling and beaches
  • Costa Rica for wildlife and rainforest adventures
  • France for a foodie road trip
  • California to visit Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks
  • Arizona to visit Tucson and Saguaro National Park
  • Merida, Mexico for food, cenotes, and ancient ruins

Maine Day Trips I’m Planning for This Year

To maximize our travels throughout the year I love to sprinkle in day trips in our beautiful home state of Maine. 

  1. Whale Watching in Kennebunk, Maine
  2. Beach trips to Reid State Park, Head Beach (Phippsburg), 
  3. Lake trips to Range State Park, Mount Blue State Park, and Sebago Lake State Park
  4. Concert at Bangor’s Waterfront
  5. Trip to Acadia National Park
  6. A trip up north to hike Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park
Acadia National Park, Maine

Final Thoughts

I hope by sharing our travel plans for this year, you’re able to gain inspiration, motivation to get your own travel plans started, and a little help with the use of the free Travel Budget and Plan template. 

Happy Traveling!