“No Responsibility January” & Travel Planning for 2018

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We’re back to “No Responsibility January” at the Fire Station. Last year I noted that January has become a pretty chill month for us with me not working, my son off from college, and my wife no longer working her part-part time job.  While it seems like the rest of the world is back to school or work – we’re just goofing off.

With time on our hands, we are going to celebrate “No Responsibility January” with a sunny trip to Miami and a Caribbean Cruise.  Last year we went to Cabo San Lucas (highlights/trip planner HERE) and really enjoyed traveling in January – when the resorts are pretty quiet.  The FIRE Travel Framework that we developed before early retiring two years ago has been working great.

  • Check it out in this POST – the Travel Framework is free and downloadable

We booked this winter getaway very last minute and scored an ‘open bar’ package on our cruise (free beer, wine & mixed drinks)!  We’re not big drinkers generally, but who can turn down free?!  I was surprised that we could get a great room and special discount this late in the booking cycle.  Good learning for the future!

We haven’t booked any other 2018 trips at this point, but we are attending an information meeting in a few weeks for a possible summer trip to the Holy Land.  We are also thinking about a Spring trek to Tennessee/North Carolina.  We’ll see how things progress when we get back from our fun in the sun this month.  We live in Minnesota, so we will still have a couple months of winter weather when we return.

What locations are on your 2018 travel list?  Anything really unique?

Image Credit: Pixabay

26 thoughts on ““No Responsibility January” & Travel Planning for 2018

  1. So fun! We are going to Bali this year (business class with miles!) for 2.5 weeks. We are super excited! (Adults only)

    We are also taking kids camping and found a unique place that rents a dome house in the mountains. And we (kids and I to catch up with husbands skills) are learning to snow ski together this February. May try to sneak in a trip to Colonial Williamsburg or do the Inn to Inn part of the Appalachian Trail (4 days).

    Last year we slept on a yatch in Charlestown and visited patriots point among other fun trips (puerto Vallarta Mexico).

    Finally, started planning a trip around the world to happen in a few years – sooo many places to see and I can’t retire for a while so as compromise we will take the year off mid point and then do one more “leg” of working years and finally call it quits.


    1. Wow – so many fantastic trips! I’d love to rent a yacht/boat and live aboard – even for a few nights. I also started travel hacking this year and certainly have enough points to business class upgrade an overseas flight. My wife has always wanted to go to Australia/NZ – so I’m guessing that would be a good place to spend them.


      1. I did my MA in Australia and self drove for a month in NZ. I still have That itinerary if you ever want it shoot me an email and happy to send your way!

        The yatch thing was awesome (we did a tree house and an RV hotel too – Airbnb has some cool stuff when you puts around lol)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome! Man, I’ve got some work to do on this retirement thing! This is my first January since retiring last May, and I’m spending it building out my new basement gym. Ugh! Sunny skies and blue water sound much more appealing right now! We are planning a week or two in Miami/Florida Keys in April. Wanted to do it sooner, but Jimmy Buffet and the Eagles wouldn’t cooperate and hold their concert sooner! So we decided to combine their April Miami concert with our normal Keys trip this year, so alas, the sunshine must wait. But on the bright side, I’ll be in better shape with the new gym come April!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. April will come very soon, sir! We are going to the Eagles/Jimmy Buffett tour this year, too. They are playing the MN Twins Ballpark in Minneapolis this July. We saw Billy Joel there last summer. Should be a good show!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! I love the Eagles and it’ll be our 2nd Jimmy Buffet concert. Living in central Virginia, we don’t get a lot of opportunities to see concerts. But we have more time now to travel, so looking forward to it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some people think Buffett and the Eagles are an odd pairing, but it makes sense to me. Should be a good show!


  3. Don’t forget sunscreen! “Off-season” definitely the way to go for cruise deals. VacationsToGo.com sends out email deal alerts for cruises, if you want to keep an eye out. This year, our big trip is to Northern Ireland and Scotland. Our youngest daughter is marrying a man from Belfast who lives in Philadelphia, as she does. May of his large extended family cannot make trip to States for wedding. So we will bring a wedding party to them! BTW, love your Travel Framework. Curious how close your Actuals come to your Budgets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We went to England/Scotland this past year. I’ve got an amazing hotel reco for you in Edinburgh: The Witchery. Insanely indulgent.

      We’ve slid some things around in our Travel Framework/Budget, but it has worked very well. Last year we skipped Spring Break to pay for a Super Bowl ‘Staycation’ next month. Just bought our outrageously priced tickets – but no cost for hotel or airfare.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The restaurant at the Witchery is awesome, too. Sneak in their for breakfast and you can have the Scotsman’s Breakfast. Includes traditional Haggis & Blood Pudding.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You make me want to follow your travels more closely! I just saved your Cabo post to my One Note Travel file, because it looks like your tastes in travel are very similar to ours! We have not traveled to resorts in Mexico as yet, because of all of the State Dept. Travel scares. Your post makes me want to go even more. We ARE headed to Phoenix for a few days in a couple of weeks, just to explore and get out of the cold. Then we’re headed to Kauai near the end of February, traveling on hubs airline upgrades (First Class both ways – yeehaw!). I also saved your Travel Framework – It seems worth copying! Thanks so much! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We hadn’t been to Cabo before, but would love to go back. The State Department warnings came out after we were there. I’m not sure if they have been lifted or not. We had some friends go there recently anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Last year we did the Big One. An 18 day safari in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania). Which was Beyond Amazing… and blew our travel budget away for years. This year, we are staying closer to home(s) – money wise as well as needing time to manage through the health scare. I didn’t recall your 4-season travel thinking… but I’m going to look at it more carefully. A couple of years ago, we did our first ever long weekend trip (NOLA) and really enjoyed that. I’m going to have to consider planning a summer or fall weekend trip!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A big safari is definitely on the list. I’m on the board of our metro Zoo and have a real interest in that. I imagine that it would be a budget breaker, though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We went with Gate1 Travel…more reasonable cost than many and I would travel with them again. It was not 5-star but still amazing with mostly 4-star accommodations, great focus on safety (cooking with bottled water at all locations), small group, and really great guides. We did the back-to-back Kenya and Tanzania safaris and that was definitely worth it. I was encouraged to go for “as long as we could afford”. One couple on our trip had added on a South Africa and Namibia excursion before. Another couple tagged on Zanzibar after. And still another stopped in Paris for a week on their way home. The 18 days there was our zone budget-wise and time wise. The longest trip ever taken.

        If you sign up at Gate1 site, they regularly send when various trips are on deal… even the safaris!

        Liked by 1 person

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