WAYS To Save For Your Next Travel Vacation
Are long hours staring at a computer screen making your mind drift off to that unforgettable trip to Europe? Like many people, you've probably often dreamed of quitting your job, throwing everything in storage, and hitting the open road with nothing but a passport and a backpack. Well what’s stopping you from going this year? Oh yeah, your savings account—or lack thereof.
We know how tough it is to save, period, let alone for that travelling sojourn. Traveling is essential to our personal growth, and making time for yourself (away from your cell phone) is always a good thing. So here are a few tips to scrape those savings together and make some magical memories.
Figure Out How Much You'll Need
Where do you want to visit? How long do you want to stay? What’s the exchange rate? Is it more expensive there? Ask yourself what costs you need to save for so you don’t get stuck, or worse. According to a new survey by Experian, vacationers usually spend more money than they expected and rely on credit cards to make up the difference. Not ideal. In fact, millennials spend even more. A whopping one-third surveyed said they don’t save beforehand, 72% said they spend more than planned, and 52% are strapped with credit card debt once the trip ends. It’s all in the planning, people.
Put Together A Saving Plan
You can’t save money until you know where you’re spending it. Before you do anything, you have to do what we all loathe: budget. It’s never enjoyable, because it means cutting back, but it’s the only way to know what’s coming in, what needs to go out, and the absolute minimum you can live on.
Take a look at last month’s expenses and add up how much went toward bills, groceries, dining out, entertainment, etc. After everything has been separated into categories, it’s easier to determine where you can cut back. Got an online shopping habit? A package of movie channels you never watch? Take action and start trimming those unnecessary costs.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, either, or you’ll never make it.
Create A Travel Saving Account
Open a new account that is solely dedicated to your big adventure. Keeping your travel fund separate from your day-to-day money is key to making sure you don’t spend it.
Preferably open a totally new savings account with a different bank, making sure its not attached to a card. The harder it is for you to access that money, the easier it is to save. Set up a direct transfer so that your travel savings go straight into this account every time you get paid. Set it and forget it.
Revise Your Eating Out
Most people often associate saving money with giving up their social life, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Instead, start thinking about ways to do the same things but cheaper.
Enjoy your favorite restaurant during happy hour. Catch that blockbuster hit when it comes out on DVD. Dust off some of those cookbooks and try out some new recipes at home. Not only will you learn a new skill, but you will also be healthier for it and save some serious coin.
Stop Your Gym Membership
How often do you really use it, anyway? Just think about how that monthly fee adds up. Directly deposit that money into your savings account and watch it grow. This isn’t an excuse to let your fitness go, though. Buy a DVD in your workout of choice to do from home instead. There are plenty of thrifty options on Amazon and eBay, and once you buy it, there will be no hidden fees
Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement to keep you on track. Subscribe to a round-the-world travel blog. Change your desktop and phone screen image to a photo of your number one bucket-list destination. Hang a countdown calendar in your bedroom. It’s easier to stick to your savings guns when your goals are at the top of mind.
If your goal is long-term travel, set your sights on more-affordable destinations. Your money will go significantly further in Southeast Asia, India, and Central and South America than it will in, say, Australia, Europe and New Zealand. Think about what types of things you want to see and do, how long you want to travel, and what you’re comfortable spending to find your sweet spot.
Most importantly, have patience. It may sometimes seem like your target is so far away that you want to throw in the towel, but keep this in mind: The time is going to pass anyway, whether you are saving or not! And it’s invigorating to watch your travel account grow. Future you will be happy you started today.