I’ve lived in France since January 3, 2000, when I moved to the city where I still live in order to go to school and learn French. I was only supposed to be here for 6 months, but I very quickly decided that 6 months wasn’t going to be nearly long enough. Happily so, because in November 2000 I met my handsome French frog, who soon became my prince.
I’ve gone back to the United States since then, but our last visit was in December 2005, so it’s been almost two and a half years. And that’s a really, really long time. Fortunately we live in the Internet age and I have much more access to americana than did emigrants of years past. I mean, I watch American Idol just like the rest of you, only a day later!
We’ll be going to the United States for a month, mid-March to mid-April, all five of us plus my husband’s parents. We’ll first visit my mother in the Pacific North-West, then my grandparents near Palm Springs and finally my father in Los Angeles. It will be the first time my in-laws are visiting the US, heck it’s the first time they’re getting on an airplane! It’ll be an adventure.
What about money you ask? We’re going to be implementing a tried and true strategy: asking our parents for money. No, actually that’s a joke. We’ve put aside â‚¬1000, which in today’s exchange rates is about $1500- giving us an average of $50 per day.
We’re going to be using the same system that we’ve used in the past. We take a small book or notepad with us every where we go, and write down every penny we spend. At the end of the day we total it up, and calculate a running total. If we’ve gone over we spend less the next day; it’s as simple as that. What usually ends up happening is that at the end of our vacation we have some ‘extra’ money, which we use to treat ourselves to things we wanted but didn’t buy earlier.
Of course we’ll be looking for ways to save money. We’ve ordered entertainment coupon books through My Points, both saving us money and earning me points and a free restaurant coupon. We’ll be eating at home a lot, although I’m not going to miss this opportunity to eat my favorite fast food. We’re also going to stock up on clothing at thrift stores; the exchange rate is so favorable for us that we can’t help but save money that way. And finally, yes our parents will probably pick up the tab a few times, although we’re certainly not counting on it! (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
While we’re on vacation I have some exciting things in store for AlmostFrugal. There will be contests and guest posts galore, I’ve written some posts in advance to go out automatically, and of course I’ll be blogging a bit as I go. So make sure to stay tuned, or better yet, subscribed!