2013 Spokester Search: Lauren Reeves

Lauren is a 21-year-old from Windham

Lauren's Situation

I am 21 years old and as of May 11, 2013 I became an alumna of the University of Maine where I studied Journalism and Spanish. I grew up in Lovell, Maine and moved in with my sister in Windham right after graduating college. Last year I spent six months going to school and living in Bilbao, Spain where I lived with a Spanish family and became fully immersed in the language. While I appreciated my time abroad, I was able to reflect on how much I loved my home. I am deeply committed to the state of Maine because there are so many opportunities here and I plan to educate other young people about them. 

Lauren's Blog Post

Dominican Republic Bound

Planning vacations are filled with more emotions than just excitement. Time, money, research, and stress usually go along with traveling. It seems the further you go, the more planning that needs to be done.

As a 21 year-old, it was not that long ago when my parents were responsible for planning family vacations and road trips. Now however, planning for travel is my duty. 

About six months ago my girl friends from college came up with an incredible idea. We planned to vacation together after our graduation from the University of Maine. It has been a long time coming, but we leave in just a few short days. From the beginning there was a struggle of how to get the ball rolling on purchasing plane tickets and hotel rooms for eight girls, as if it is not hard enough to plan for myself.

Each of us coming from a different financial background, we had to agree on a price limit which we capped at $750.

After determining a group budget, we then had to figure out where our destination would be. With a group of eight girls from Maine, it was easy to agree on a warm vacation spot. We each spent several weeks researching the Internet for all-inclusive resorts in a tropical location.

The thing about all-inclusive is the by the time you get to your destination, you do not have to spend extra money on top of that price! For young people who need a get-a-way this is the only way to go. I was able to budget for one lump sum that I paid upfront, but when I arrive at the resort I will not be spending another dime.

Eventually we found a resort we could agree on in the Dominican Republic that cost each of us $730. Keep in mind that price includes my entire vacation—the airfare, hotel, food, and drink. We found this incredible deal through CheapCaribbean.com

I was able to pay that sum of money because I saved my pennies as soon as I heard wind of a possible vacation. This vacation is a present to myself. For 10 weeks I took away $50 out of my paycheck and put it towards my vacation fund. For the remaining cost, I used my savings.

I may have been stressed a few months ago, but it is all worth it now as my departure date nears. I have been on a strict budget for four years, and I never thought I could finance such a leisurely trip. But no matter the budget, we can all have the chance to get away for a while! 

My advice it is to talk to people you know, search the Internet, and keep your eyes and ears open for deals. Websites like SkyAuction, Groupon, and LivingSocial, allow even the most frugal to enjoy a vacation once and a while.