Making Travel Happen

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Oct 17, 2011 / 0 comments

Watching the sunset from a beach in Thailand. Traveling to Antarctica. Living in Europe. Visiting South America. All travel dreams that have been done (and well!). Are you still planning, dreaming, and wondering WHEN you'll be able to travel and explore the world for more than a weekend at a time? You need education, guidance, a plan.


The good folks at MarriedWithLuggage (Betsy and Warren Talbot, look for our interview with them soon!) have a great new book (and website) that explains, in detail, how to do JUST that. Dream Save Do is a book you NEED if you're planning on long-term travel - it's a complete guide to planning and saving for your dreams. Most impressive is that this guide offers both personal experiences AND handy checklists - it's real-life motivation, with completely do-able life changes. Dream Save Do includes a welcome video, two videos on credit card debt reduction from Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt, and a 3-month email followup program with supportive emails and videos to help you keep on track. Watch, read, and learn. This is one smart guidebook.


Dream Save Do


We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Betsy about  Dream Save Do - here's what she had to say.



WE: Please tell us about your new book, the  Dream Save Do Guide...

BT:  Dream Save Do is our first guide to Live the Good Life series. In it we talk about the three main aspects of saving for something big: Defining the dream (so you can put a price tag on it), Saving (which includes earning, selling, saving and other creative methods), and finally Telling people about it to garner support. The book is full of the step-by-step method we used along with plenty of inspiration and advice for guarding against failure (and what to do when you screw up). I like to think it is a nice blend of practical advice and inspiration to get moving!



WE: What inspired you to write this guide?

BT: We have had many people ask us to share our story over the last year, and we try to do that with the blog. But sometimes people want more specific and focused help, and after meeting so many people who have big dreams but no way to finance them, we decided it was time to tell our story and reveal our methods in detail. Saving isn't always a sexy subject, but when you show what saving can do, it can be a pretty powerful motivator.



WE: One aspect of your book is Dream Porn - can you please tell us more about that, and how people can utilize it best?

BT: It's a saucy name, isn't it? Dream Porn is the sensory motivation you see/smell/hear/taste/feel every single day, the thing that keeps you on track with your dream. For us it was a giant map on the wall that we saw every single day. For someone else it might be music or food. When you have a reminder that is unique to your dream in the way that you most like to be inspired (or even a combination of senses) it can be a powerful reason to stay on track with your savings plan.



WE: What are the biggest roadblocks to people actually saving money to pursue their dreams?

BT: Action. We think the biggest roadblock is simply never getting started. We all say that we want this or that, but we often don't actually take the first step to do it. How many people have a dream? Probably nearly 100%. How many know how much money it will take to finance that dream and the first 3 things they need to do to move toward that goal? Probably less than half that number. And how many of them have actually started saving and doing the things that will draw them closer to their dreams? Well, now you're talking about 10%. If you want to be in that 10%, you have to take action.



WE: Where did you go on your travels, after saving for so long? How was the reality different from your perceptions?

BT: We traveled through South America for six months, took an amazing trip to Antarctica, got creative and hitched a ride on that same polar cruise ship as it repositioned North and sailed the ocean for 5 weeks as the only passengers, and then spent the summer in Europe, housesitting and visiting with friends. We are now in Thailand, where we plan to be for the winter, exploring Southeast Asia and working (Warren on his website development business and me on another book). The reality has far exceeded our expectations, and we still have to pinch ourselves that we are living this life. We meet incredible people, see the most beautiful places on earth, and have had our eyes opened socially, politically, and environmentally. We can't recommend long-term travel enough.


Betsy and Warren Talbot in Belgium

Betsy and Warren Talbot in Belgium



WE: What are your top tips for saving money on the road (so you can travel longer!)?

BT: We get this question a lot! So much, in fact, that we started a separate website called There we list what we spend each month, the financial lessons we've learned, and also post articles by us and other long-term travelers on ways to save money.

Our top tips would be to travel slowly - this saves a ton of money itself and gives a richer experience. You can always negotiate better rates on longer-term rentals, and transportation costs can eat up your budget fast if you go, go, go all the time.

We also enjoyed quite a bit of house sitting this past year. In fact, we only paid for 5 months of lodging in the entire 12 months! Our favorite site is, and if you enter the code "married" you can get a 25% discount for signing up.

You can find tons of ideas at the site - and more are being added every month when we update our expense report.



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

BT: We think the key to happily ever after is simply action. We get so caught up in the planning and worry of what might go wrong that we fail to act, and if we fail to act, we'll never get closer to our dreams. Planning has a place, but it can't replace the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and doing something. 



WE: Thanks so much, Betsy. This guide is a life-changing, invaluable resource - one that we highly recommend to our Wandering Educators!

For more information, and to order the book, please see:



 Note: we received a review copy of this book from the authors. Thank you!