But, in order to travel, you need money. True, there are many ways to travel – and you can do that on a very tight budget – but if you want more and aspire to splurge a little on an expensive holiday, then you have to find inventive ways to grow your bank account and save some funds specifically for travel. Here are some tips to help you save money to travel and go to all the places you dream of, without making too many changes in your life!
Method 1: Cut ExpensesFirst Step
In order for any plan to work, it needs some specific data. The first thing you need to do is to pick your desired destination. Then, calculate the total cost of the vacation – don’t forget to include the transport, accommodations, money for the tickets to various local attractions you might want to visit, and more, along with some extra money for unplanned shopping. The final budget is your target. Also, set milestones –when do you need the money? Set a few milestones – so that it will be easier to get the necessary amount in time.
You know how much money you need – now you need to know how you currently spend your money by assessing your spending. Write down your expenses – the fixed ones (loans, mortgage, cell phone, rent, utilities, bills, etc.), then see how much money you have left and figure out how you usually spend it.
Start cutting costs. Spend less of the amount that you are left with after the mandatory expenses. You can take in consideration elements such as: reducing the number of movies you go to per month (you could save $10-$40/month, to give you an example); reducing the number of times you go out per month (another perhaps $30-$50/month); cook at home; find affordable food for lunch (or even prepare it at home and take it with you); cut the shopping excursions, etc.
The final amount you’ll be saving depends on how much money you want to save and on how many things you are willing to give up and on how many things you want to change. If you have a weekly available budget of $400 and you discover you could actually spend only $300, go for it. You might notice that you could even go lower and spend only $200 per week, saving the rest. And the most rewarding moment will be the next Monday when you see your travel “fund” get bigger and bigger. That will definitely motivate you to reach your goal!
Method 2: Cut ShoppingYes, sales happen almost all year long. Yes, promotions are tempting. But do you really need all those clothes and everything else you usually buy?
A very effective way to save money is to keep you shopping to a minimum. Don’t buy all the clothes that are trendy now – think first if you need new clothes, and if the answer is yes, then only buy a few, the minimum you need. The same for home appliances, furniture, and for all of the products that you usually spend your money on.
This method can save you thousands of dollars, thus allowing you to take that dream vacation (or even more) and you’ll be spending your money in a more responsible way!
Method 3: A Savings PlanAs I already mentioned, you need a plan with several milestones so that you’ll know if you are able to save the necessary amount or, if not, if you need to change your holiday destination. If you are well organized, then this method might be a great one for you.
There are two options: either set a fixed amount that you want to save each month (or week, if you prefer a weekly plan), or increase the saved amount each week/month. For instance, you can establish that you want to save $100/week (first option), or you can start and save $50 on the first week, $55 on the next one and so on. Or you can start low – with $10/week and go from there. The most important thing is to start. The first step is the hardest to make, thus choosing a smaller amount, one that you can easily afford to save, is a great idea. It is important to be realistic when setting your savings goal. You have to be able to make the cuts/changes required for you to be able to have at the end of the designated period the desired amount. If the amount is too far-fetched, you’ll be bummed and you’ll most likely abandon the savings plan. In this case, the best solution is just to adapt the amount, not to give up.
Method 4: Part Time JobDepending on your lifestyle and current restrictions, you may want to consider taking a part time job. It is not easy, but, if you are able to, you’ll be able to save some money. And, on the bright side, you don’t have to do this for a long period of time. However, try not to choose something that will leave you absolutely drained, or otherwise you will not be able to enjoy your vacation. You could try doing some freelance work from the comfort of your home, something that only requires 1-2 hours of work per day.
Other Savings TipsCommit to the saving money process. Do you really want to go somewhere or are you just saying that because it might be nice? If you really want something it is easier to commit to the necessary measures to reach your goal. So, first of all, make sure you truly want to travel to a given place. Yes, like already mentioned, you need to pick a specific place, calculate your budget – accommodation, attractions, transport, food etc. Keep in mind that there are also ways to save money while traveling.
Sell stuff you don’t use/need anymore. Do you have a ton of items that you don’t really use? A laptop you could spare? Some furniture? Then you could consider selling them and save the money. It may not be an impressive amount, but, bit by bit, you’ll get to your desired amount.
Make a lifestyle change. Yes, this article is about ways to save money without changing your life (so that travel won’t be the result of a big compromise), but, for instance, if you smoke and if you were already taking into consideration quitting or reducing the number of cigarettes that you smoke per day, you could save some money. It’s a possibility worth taking into consideration.
Use any means of cutting costs. This involves using coupons, special offers, cutting down on salon/spa sessions, reducing the car usage, and so on.
You’re On Your Way
As you can see, there are many ways to save money. You don’t have to implement them all. Each person is different – at a different moment in life, alone or having a family, working in a different environment with specific restrictions, etc. You just have to find the one – or the ones – that are perfect for you, for your lifestyle and go from there. Save money for your dream vacations and go explore the world! And another important thing: if you have a partner, involve him/her in the saving process. Team up for success and wonderful travels!
Main Image Photo Credit: © iStock/AVNphotolab
About the Author: Violeta-Loredana Pascal is a public relations and marketing specialist who also loves to travel. She shares her travelling experiences and tips at http://travel.prwave.ro. You can also find her on Facebook (/TravelMomentsInTime), Twitter (@TravelMoments) or Instagram (@violeta.loredana).