So you are dreaming of that long holiday trip. How about that vacation you have been putting off because you thought you couldn’t afford it? Even the long weekend trip seem out of reach for you? Do you think you can’t even get out of town because just the fuel or hotel is too expensive?
If only it were this easy!
Well it’s true, it does cost money to travel. And since money doesn’t grow on trees – yes you probably work hard for your money – you feel it is impossible for you to travel. But you know that it would do you good to get away, maybe you have a passion for travel. Yet you feel it is totally out of reach.
Well not so fast! With proper planning and budgeting you may find that you can take that trip, that vacation, that holiday. But here is the catch. It starts by taking a hard look at you spending and then creating a – wait for it – BUDGET. That’s the key. Start by establishing a travel budget. Plan your trip, figure out what the cost will be, and then devise a plan to help you meet that goal.
There are several ways that you can help yourself save the necessary money for you travels. By following some of these simple tips and tricks on how to save money for a trip you will see how easy it is to build up a travel fund even in your current situation.
Here are 10 tips courtesy of Solo Traveler.
1. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your regular account and send the money to a dedicated travel account. Would you miss $20 a week? That adds up to $1040 a year — enough for a single person to do something fun for a week or maybe more depending on your taste. If you tend toward more luxury travel, hopefully your budget can handle more each week.
2. Don’t think you can afford $20 a week? Make and bring your lunch, go back to regular coffee rather than lattes, walk or cycle rather than drive or take transit. Each of these changes are actually healthy lifestyle choices and will easily save $20 a week. All three could save you $60 a week. (Achieve this and you’re a better person than I.)
3. Buy with a credit card that has no annual fee and offers cash back on purchases. Pay the card off in full every month and don’t shop at a more expensive store just to get the reimbursement. Add your cash back to your travel fund.
4. Use the library for your reading needs and to borrow travel guides. For short trips of a month or less, its usually worth borrowing guides and maps from the library to take with you. This can save upwards of $30. While you’re there you can borrow a couple of DVDs and save another $10 a week on entertainment.
5. Drop your long distance package from your phone bill and use Skype. It may even make sense to eliminate your home phone completely. You’ll have to do the math on that one
6. Dine out at lunch rather than dinner — especially at fine restaurants. The quality will be the same but the cost will be much lower.
7. Know how you react in an impulse buy situation. Some people are stopped by seeing cash leave their hands, others by the prospect of using a credit card. Carry whichever form of money you are less likely to use.
8. In the same vein, have a “spend no change” policy. It will add up nicely in a jar, especially true in Canada where there are $1 and $2 coins. They add up fast.
9. Sell your unneeded stuff on Craig’s List. It’s amazing what you can sell and it’s cash right into your pocket. Sell a bunch of stuff at once to be efficient with your time.
10. Track your spending. Just by knowing how much you’re spending and where, you will spend less. I can almost guarantee it.
There are many other ways to save money on a daily basis by following general guidelines for a budget. Things such as utilities, cutting back on non-essentials or even re-organizing your debt can also be helpful.
And remember when you start to book your travel to look for the best deals, do your research. There are many other ways to save money when making your travel arrangements. Articles such as this one on getting cheaper airfare can help you stretch your travel dollar.
So I hope this helps you fulfill your passion to travel. Please feel free to comment and let us know if you have any tips of your own.