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This January is the first start to the year in a really long time where I’ve not had a defined list of trips mapped out for the year before we’ve even gotten into the second week of the month. I’ve normally booked at least a couple of flights, organised most of our leave from work and been pinning travel tips like a woman possessed.

So what’s different about this year?

I feel weirdly guilty admitting this on what is primarily a travel blog, but travel is taking a little bit of a back seat in 2018. Eeek! There, I said it.

We’re still going to be taking trips but this year we have a number of other goals in mind too.

Downsizing our Home

We’ve owned our current house for 11 years this May.

I was only 25 and Paul was 30 when we bought it and although it is a wonderful home and we’ve got some great memories here, it’s too big for two people.

We did the classic British thing of buying as big as you can afford without really thinking about what we really needed in terms of space.

We’re not planning on having children, at the time we thought we might, so we’re on the lookout for something more suited to two people.

There are a number of benefits to downsizing and I’ll be writing about our experience in the next few months.

The obvious attractions are much smaller bills and not having a mortgage for the next 19 years, which is what ours currently sits at!

 

Harrogate Snow

The current view from our house when it snows

Travel Plans

So we may not have been flight stalking and wishlist making, but we’ve still got a few ideas for trips this year.

At the end of January, we’ll be heading over to the Lake District National Park in Cumbria for a long weekend. This has become a tradition for my birthday and it’s something we both really look forward to.

There’s nothing like getting some fresh air after being cooped up in January.

 

Coniston Fells Cumbria Lake District

The gorgeous Coniston Fells in the Lake District

 

Later in the year we’re planning on a two-week European road trip. We have some dear friends that live in Tyrol in Austria and they are the main reason for the trip.

Just take a look at our friend Edgar’s photos below and you’ll see why we want to go.

 

Tyrol Edgar Moskopp Mist

Having a photographer friend living in Tyrol results in constant travel envy

Credit: Edgar Moskopp

 

We’ll probably grab a cheap flight into Munich and if we’re clever with planning we hope to visit the Dolomites and maybe even the Black Forest in Germany on the same trip.

Aside from that, our travel plans are wide open. For someone who is a bit of a control freak, I have to say I’m quite enjoying playing it by ear.

 

Tyrol Austria Mountains Glacier

Seriously though… Austria

Credit: Edgar Moskopp

Housesitting

One of the reasons for the lack of travel plans is that we’re finally planning to start housesitting this year.

While we were travelling full-time a number of friends started getting housesitting gigs around the world.

They would look after the homes and pets of people who were travelling themselves, the benefit to the housesitter is free accommodation in various locations around the world.

The homeowners benefit from both their home and their beloved pets being cared for free of charge.

The gigs could last anything from a weekend up to fairly long-term sits. We had one friend who lucked out with a 6-month housesit.

 

Vermont Cabin

Housesit goals for one day…

 

The rise in popularity of housesitting comes from Airbnb style websites where the homeowners and housesitters can build profiles and housesitting resumés to match them to potential gigs.

We’ve signed up with TrustedHousesitters and plan to initially try housesitting locally to see how we get on.

There are a number of sites out there but we’ve heard very good things about these guys and they have a huge selection of housesits.

One of my tasks for January is to get our housesitter profile looking awesome and stalking new listings every day to find something suitable in the UK.

As soon as we get matched with our first housesit we’ll make sure to write about the experience here.

 

Isle of Skye Cuillins

I also wouldn’t be too upset if we get to housesit in Scotland

Financial Goals

Saving as much as we can is nothing new to us, we’re at the stage where most of our savings and investments are automated and ticking along without much involvement from us.

But we want to dial things up a notch this year. 2018 will be the first year we’ve fully tracked all of our expenditure since our full-time travel days.

Now that we’re in full swing with saving I want to see what else we can shave off our expenses, and the only way to do that is monitor every penny.

We’re still finalising which budgeting software we’ll definitely use but I’ll keep you posted in the coming months.

 

Grand Teton National Park Mountains Van for scale

This will be the first year since 2010 that we’ve not visited the U.S, sobs 🙁 Grand Teton National Park looking stunning

 

What are your own plans for 2018? Any exciting trips on the horizon?

Don’t forget to pin me!

Two for the Road in 2018. Our personal, financial and travel goals and plans for the year.

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