Since 2009, Jennifer Dombrowski has visited more than 50 countries.
She had been living and working in Arizona when her husband got transferred through his military job to a small town in northern Italy.
For their first six years abroad, she worked remotely for an American university as a social-media manager, and her husband, Tim Davis, continued in the military.
They maintained a hobby blog to detail their travels for friends and family back at home, and about a year ago, Dombrowski left her job to devote herself to the blog full time. She’s turning it into a luxury-travel business, Luxe Adventure Traveler, and Davis will join her full-time when he retires from the military in three years.
The first weekend they arrived in Italy, they visited three countries. Davis’s schedule was restrictive, but Dombrowski had seven weeks of vacation working for a university, and she was determined to maximize every minute. Instead of spending quiet weekends or breaks at home, “we would make sure we always planned to have something going on during those times,” she told Business Insider. “Having the weekend and being in Europe, you could go so many places just driving or taking a cheap budget flight.”
More than 50 countries and about seven years later, Dombrowski shared her best travel advice:
Take care of the logistics
“Always, especially when you’re planning an international trip, ensure that you’ve got all your ducks in order,” she said. “If the country you’re visiting says you need four consecutive empty pages in your passport, makes sure you do. We’ve had friends that have been denied entry for things like that.” She recommends travel.state.gov to find out what you need.
Decide on your priorities before you arrive
“When you’re deciding to go on a trip, it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip,” she said. “Even if you take a trip once every year, that’s a place you’re going to go and not come back to. So if it means not going to Starbucks for your morning coffee for a few months to save for that one item you really want to splurge on while you’re there, that’s what you do. Don’t go and regret not doing something when you get home. There are things you can do in your daily life to save up for those luxury expenses. Just don’t miss out on those things because they seem out of reach.”
By Libby Kane