But the second question I get is, "How much is that going to cost?!" (Obviously, I have really forward friends)
Surprisingly, traveling to Europe can be accomplished on a tight budget. More specifically on a one-income**, paying-for-school budget. The trick is being smart with your money.
The most important factor is how you view money. What is your philosophy? The Clark's belief is that you don't spend what you don't have. I've talked about this before, but we have a monthly budget that we (*cough cough* I) are fairly strict with. Utilities, groceries, entertainment, giving, school, health care- all things we keep track of each month. We know where each dollar goes- simple as that. And each month we are consistently spending less than we make, thus saving money. This reason alone has made this trip possible.
Josh and I agree that we want to be in the middle of it all. We're not fancy people and don't typically enjoy doing 'touristy' things (i.e.. tours, group activities, etc). And lucky for us, that is the cheaper option.
The best resource I have found is Rick Steve's Europe: Through the Back Door.
Good 'ole Rick believes that the budget savvy traveler can experience true Europe with $150 a day- that is $300 a day, per couple. I hope to do it for a little less. (That does not include getting there- which is another post for another day). That means planning ahead and spending time doing research, which is something that any of us can do.
I hope this has led you to realize that if the Clark's can pay for a 2+week Europe trip, then you can too. It just takes self-control, lots of excitement, and a Type-A spouse who loves to plan! (Sorry Josh, you knew I was like this when you married me.) And a European trip may not be your goal; maybe you want to pay off all those school loans, buy a new car, or travel around the US. Whatever your dream is, a budget can get you there!