In the world of social media we are constantly swept up in the comparison game. I can’t tell you how many times a day I go on Instagram and feel like while I’m sitting at my desk everyone else is off traveling the world. I think ridiculous things like “ugh they must be rich” and longingly stare at their photos of the Amalfi Coast like why can’t that be me? I’m not dramatic at all.. right? Well clearly not everyone traveling and posting their gorgeous photos on Instagram has a Beyonce sized bank account. I feel lucky to have traveled to so may beautiful counties all over the world, but because I love traveling so much it has been hard to stay stateside these past few years. Traveling is obviously very expensive and with the daily struggle of paying bills, rent, health insurance, etc. traveling can often be put on the back burner.
Although Daniel and I just got back from Hawaii, I am really craving a big international trip next year (destination TBD and totally open to suggestions!) so when we got home I decided I needed to make some changes. Even just to go to Hawaii it took a lot of planning and saving, so we could actually enjoy ourselves while we were there. These are some of the recent steps I have taken to save more money in order to go on more trips.
Start a “Travel Fund”
People have been doing this for years, but I always wrote it off because I didn’t have the finances to even set money aside. I started looking into it more and when we got home from Hawaii I realized how smart it was to start something. I went with a super old fashioned method of a jar in our kitchen with a labeled piece of tape that says Vacation Fund. I started with $100 and told Daniel we should add all of extra change and cash and big bills whenever we can. Having an actual jar is easier for me than setting money aside in a bank account and I get excited to put money in. Even if it is just a few dollars left in my pocket, I know that it is adding up to a much larger total. My goal is to save enough in the jar to at least cover our airfare and possibly some accommodations for a big trip.
One of the biggest things with traveling is the cost of airfare and accommodations. These are obviously much cheaper if you plan your trip far in advance. I love scouring sites like Expedia, Kayak and Hotels.com for deals on rooms and airfare and notice the dramatic rise in rates the closer the date gets to your trip. It really helps to plan ahead of time and map out the sites with the best deals and jump on them before they’re gone.
Adjust Your Lifestyle
Just like anything else in life, if you want something, most likely other things will have to change in order to get it. Recently my therapist challenged me to not spend on anything I didn’t need for two weeks. No candles, pillows or new shoes only the essentials like groceries, etc. Its not like I am out dropping thousands of dollars on new clothes every week, but I do have a habit of buying things I already own. I will get a new candle before the old one is burned out or will buy a new book before I even opened the last one I purchased. Making these simple adjustments allows me to have more money to put into traveling (or savings in general) instead of impulse shopping and getting things I already own. It is so important to think big picture and I try and stop myself in a store now and think do I really need this or is it just adding more clutter to my life.
Create A Realistic Budget
Setting a budget for a trip is really helpful to not go beyond your means. Figure out ahead of time how much trains, food, hotels, etc. cost and make sure you are budgeting accordingly. This helps to come up with a savings plan and figure not only how much will you need to get there, but how much will you need once you are there. You don’t want to blow all your money getting to the destination and not be able to enjoy yourself while you’re there and creating a detailed budget really helps with that.
What are some of you favorite travel saving tips?
Photo by: Belen Hostalet