Turning 40 is a big deal, so it’s only right to celebrate it when you can. Some people throw a big party for themselves, while others save up for a trip abroad. One group of Irish friends decided to do both, with ten of them hatching a great plan; to set aside €50 each every month for five years in order to fund an epic and unforgettable adventure to mark the occasion.

Irish 40th birthday
The group of ten friends have known each other since they were children © Ian Jenkinson

“We all grew up living close together in Dublin, Ireland. Most of us went to school together. One guy in the group - Dave and I have been in school together since we were four years old. But like all groups time takes its natural course, kids come along and you don't see each other as often as you'd like. Generally, we have been good at staying in contact but we would rarely actually see each other, so in the summer of 2014 myself and Dave approached the rest of the group with the idea of organising a holiday for when we all turned 40. Thing is, back then we were only 34,” Ian Jenkinson told Lonely Planet. 

The group were all due to turn 40 within a few months of each other between late 2019 and mid 2020, so the idea was put forward to start saving for a joint celebration. In January 2015, the group set up a bank account, with standing orders of €50 each per month due to go in until December 2019. “We purposefully forgot all about it until about two years ago when the very exciting process of deciding where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do started,” Ian said.

Tampa
The group decided that Tampa would be the perfect place to start their trip © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The savings (€50 per month at ten people each for five years) amounted to €30,000, and now, the group is preparing to head off on 2 March for ten days. The only rule that they had was that all the money was to be used both for paying for the trip as well as for spending money.

After much deliberating (and a ten-way Skype meeting), the group decided to go to Tampa for three nights in a luxury village, one night in Cocoa Beach, two nights in Miami and three nights in New Orleans. It will include tickets to an ice hockey game to see Tampa Bay Lightning play the Boston Bruins, a trip to the Everglades on air boats, and lunch with an astronaut at Kennedy Space Centre.

“To be honest the best part of it all is the fact that we will get to spend time with each other. During the planning period it was said many, many times that it really didn't matter where we went because we would be in great company and that's all that mattered,” Ian said.

The group has set up an Instagram page where people can follow their adventure.

Explore related stories

Three friends on a train laughing

Tips & Advice

Stories from the road: What we do when things go wrong

Jul 9, 2024 • 9 min read