Follow my blog with Bloglovin Rita Wanderlust: Top Tips to Save Money for Travel

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Top Tips to Save Money for Travel

top Tips to save money for travelThe most common question I get from people who know how little money I make is “how do you afford to travel?” And for me personally, there is very little else I will sacrifice as much for as travel. Even with all the best intentions, my saving efforts are usually thwarted and the result is a very broke lifestyle for a month or two before and after the trip. For me, this is entirely worth it, but I realize that this is not the case for most people. When I manage to stick to my budget, and saving plan, I feel a whole lot less stress and it makes the trip that much more enjoyable because I’m not worrying about how I’m going to pay my phone bill when I get home. Since downgrading my life this year, it has become that much harder to just travel on a whim so I’m forced to be more diligent in my saving efforts. Here are my top tips to save money for travel:

1. Figure out roughly how much money you will need for your plane ticket, your hotel (or other accommodations), food, and other miscellaneous spending money. Once you have that number, add a few hundred more dollars to it. By nature, I worry a lot, especially about money, so knowing that I have a spending cushion puts me more at ease. I never have to think twice about splurging on a beautiful piece of artwork because I know it's in my budget. Fringe benefit: if you don't spend all of the money set aside, you have more for when you get home, or to set aside for a future trip.

2. Start early: you want to make sure you have your tickets and accommodations booked in advance. I start saving for these about a year ahead of the trip, and make the purchase whenever prices are lowest. There is a lot of differing advice on when you should purchase (i.e. on a Tuesday, at midnight, three months in advance, on a full moon on the equator, etc.) and if you follow any of that, go for it. I generally just keep an eye out for lowest prices and purchase when the price looks right.

3. Do some math: once you know how much you need, and when you need it by, you can figure out how much money you need to set aside per week, month, day, whatever. Make a plan, and stick to it!

4. Save for the fun things (food included): once you have the big purchases out of the way, you can start saving for the fun stuff! This is where the cushion comes in. Make sure you have enough to not worry about running out. This requires doing some research. There is a big difference between going to Iceland and going to Thailand. In Thailand, $400 USD might get you through an entire two weeks easily, while in Iceland, that might get through a week.

5. Make it pretty: I'm much more likely to set aside money if I have somewhere festive to put it. Maybe a shadowbox with a fun note on the front, or even a big mason jar. If it strikes your fancy, use it.

6. Cut back: I know this sucks, but for those who are serious about travel, it is a priority. That means fewer happy hours, venti lattes, and yes, giving up that gym membership. That's right, you officially have an excuse to "quit the gym." But instead of leaving that money in your bank account, withdraw it, and set it aside in your pretty shadowbox, or mason jar. This way, you'll be making fewer changes to your spending habits but still setting money aside. Make your own coffee, and pay yourself the $4 you'd be paying at Starbucks.

Whatever you do, do NOT dip into what you save. That has been my biggest mistake. It's so simple to just grab a $20 out of the pot, but don't do it. If you plan ahead and stick to your plan, you can do it. Next thing you know, you'll have enough saved up for that trip of a lifetime.

Safe Travels,

Photo was edited by me, but you can find the original at pixabay.