How to save for your dream vacation – By Eva Hamori
I don’t normally write sponsored posts, but when I heard about this brilliant program to save for future vacations, I thought what a great way for my fellow Canadian wanderlusts to experience family travel. Now there is no need to deplete your account when you go away on holidays. Instead, with some simple planning, you can work your way towards a dream vacation via monthly payments.
Our holiday of choice will be the Canal du Midi. Born in Beziers France, Paul Riquet finished the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO heritage site, in 1681. It runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea built as a shortcut for boats, with amazing engineering achievements such as the Malpas Tunnel in Nissan and the 7 locks in Beziers. Once the trains came to southern France, the Canal became quiet but the living art of the canal, the cathedral domed Platane trees 40 metres above head and the tranquil meandering waterways brought endless visitors and eventually the luxury barge business was born.
Surrounded by endless miles of grapevines, the Pyrenees and Black mountain ranges stand in the distance. Traditional villages nestle the side of the canal making barging a serene way to absorb French culture while visiting the Languedoc–Roussillon region of France.
Our dream vacation is planned on the barge Athos du Midi, a traditional steel-hulled péniche, originally built in 1964 as a commercial grain and wine barge, and now converted to a luxury hotel barge. Athos cruises from Argeliers to Marseillan over the course of 6 days. We chose Athos for a week of activities tailored to energetic families. As well as all meals, drinks, and transfers, excursions are also covered: a visit of the fortified Castle of Carcassonne, walking through the historical Cathar village of Minerve and its spectacular gorge, kayaking down the River Orb, horseback riding at la Fount del Bosc, climbing the church tower at Capestang, visiting the covered markets of Narbonne, and cycling to the Mediterranean Sea for a swim.
In addition to the chauffeur-guided shore visits to keep our family busy, the interior and front deck of the Athos is designed for luxury and comfort. Also onboard is Athos’ committed crew: a Captain/Pilot, a personal Chef, two hostesses, and our private bilingual Tour Guide.
The gourmet meals onboard Athos take our families’ food requests into consideration, and the Chef has promised to do a shop en famille at Les Halles (the covered food market ) in Narbonne. The hostesses treat us to delightful breakfasts of fresh pastries & fruit, drinks as and when we need them, meal service, and quietly tidied surroundings. Our guide is their to discuss our wish-list of what we’d like to see and do over the course of the week. In short, every detail has been considered from our transfer off the TGV, to our champagne greeting onboard, the smooth Egyptian linens and the perfect L’Occitane bath products in our cabins.
We calculated that based on saving $400/month for 4 years in an investment fund today, we would have approximately $20,000CND towards our dream vacation. We would put this monthly deposit into a TFSA in order to grow our money tax-free and we can withdraw at any time without penalties.
Investing now for a vacation tomorrow saves us the stress of planning and putting our holidays on credit when time comes.
The reason we decided on this type of trip is to celebrate my teenagers leaving the nest with one more big family vacation before they go off to university. This is not just any family vacation, but our ultimate family vacation to southern France including my parents, and my brother’s family of 4, for a grand total of 10 passengers. It would be my kids’ first ‘grown-up’ vacation before heading to adulthood and independent life.
My entire family is investing monthly with Wealthsimple towards our southern France dream excursion.
Athos has 5 cabins; sleeping 2 in each for a total of $40000 ($4000Canadian/person)
Our $20,000 will cover our families’ portion of $16000 towards Athos for the week, and another $4000 to cover flights and travel from Paris to Beziers, perhaps a souvenir or two…
What’s your #10KTRIP?
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If you were wondering how you could afford your dream vacation, please contact Mallory Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org