Dave and Vicky are an inspiring couple who have been traveling together since they were teenagers. They have recently embarked on a huge journey through Asia and Europe. In this interview, they share some of their budgeting tips, travel advice and more.
Please introduce yourselves. Tell us a little bit about who you are.
We’re Dave and Vicky from acoupletravelers! We just recently graduated college, worked for two years, and are now setting off on a two year journey around Asia and Europe. We blog about our travels, including budget saving tips, restaurants and accommodation reviews, and overall travel reflections.
For two years Dave worked as a business analyst at a financial services company, while Vicky was an accountant in Washington DC. We’ve had a love of travel ever since we were young, and have been going on trips together since high school.
How long have you known each other and been traveling together?
Vicky and I have been traveling together since we were 17. As seniors in high school we spent 12 days in Italy after graduation. Since then we’ve gone to Spain, Israel, and Greece, as well as many other countries separately. Our two year trip will be our longest consecutive travel time together.
What are both of your backgrounds?
Vicky majored in Finance at Boston University and I majored in Applied Mathematics at Harvard. This prepared us very well for corporate jobs once we graduated, but, unfortunately, after two years we were no longer interested in them!
Tell us about this two year journey you are going on?
We’re that plans everything out and consequently, that all the other travel bloggers laugh at. We have a very detailed route through Asia and Europe that maps out the next two years. I’m not saying we’re going to stick to it 100%, but it’s there as a fall back.
The idea is basically to start in Japan and make our way back home. Right now we’re just beginning, and are on our second country in South Korea!
How did you plan your trip and choose which countries to visit in two years? Which factors did you consider?
I almost forget a bit what the process was like. I know for sure that we cut out countries that we had both visited or that one of us had visited extensively. We wanted to go to new places. We also cut out a few places that were really difficult to get to, out of the way, had a complicated visa, that sort of thing. Lastly, we considered safety and not giving our parents a heart attack. In the end, we finished with about 50 countries or so from Europe and Asia, so yeah, not too much didn’t make the cut.
How much luggage are you carrying with you on this two year journey? Do you feel like you have packed too little or too much?
We both carry Gregory bags, Vicky’s is 38L and mine is 65L. I think we packed more or less just right. I really tried to be a minimalist so I brought next to nothing (3 t shirts, a sweat shirt, one pair of pants, and a bathing suit + underwear). Vicky has a bit more so I have to carry some of her stuff. Overall though, pretty good.
How did you save up for your trip? Can you offer some tips for others who are saving up for a big adventure?
We budgeted hardcore. The key is cutting out the little things, the cup of coffee everyday that you really don’t need. You’ve heard it all before but probably never listened. We wrote extensive about our trips in our article on 5 ways to save money.
How do you manage your expenses while on the road? What clever money saving tricks have you learned?
We keep track of all our expenses and I think this is really the key. We practiced this at home as well. You have to know what you are spending in order to curb it. It actually gets kind of fun, since we both like math. Overall, we walk a lot and sometimes do light meals at a convenience store to cut down on expenses. If something is really worth it we are willing to spend the extra cash.
Tell us about some of your most amazing moments on the road so far?
The most amazing experiences are always the kindness of others. We do a lot of couchsurfing so we see a lot of people extended their small homes or studio apartments to us, offering to show us around the city and to their favorite places. It’s really amazing. We literally had a 71 year old man take us in, cook for us, and show us around Kyoto, Japan – so hospitable!
Have there been any obstacles or scary situations along the way? How did you deal with them?
We always try to stay calm. Nothing, so far, has really been that bad. Yeah, sometimes we get lost, or miss that train by a few minutes, but really it’s rare that we ever really NEED to be somewhere or something. We just wait it out and take our time.
Tell us a bit about the experience of traveling as a couple. How does it drive you crazy and how does it bring you together?
Overall we’ve been getting along very well on the road. We kind of have to, because in many ways we’re all we have. I have no one else to talk to throughout the day. Couchsurfing a lot is great for bringing a third or fourth person into the mix so we still have other people to share stories with. We’re used to traveling together so I think that helps – definitely something you want to test out before just blindly committing to a 2 year journey!
Do you have any advice for travelers who are setting off on their first journey?
Do it while you’re young. When we told everyone about our trip, so many of our co workers said the same thing – “Man, I always wanted to do something like that but just never got around to it”. We decided that we did NOT want to be those people. Make it happen. It doesn’t have to be two years. Even people I know who have backpacked for just two months have come back with great experiences and new perspectives.