10 Tips to Budget for Travel
Once you have decided where you want to travel for your dream vacation, estimated all the expenses you will accrue, it is time to figure out how to save for the trip.
Many people don’t travel because of the cost of the vacation, but I believe if you put a plan together you can make your dreams come true! Just like anything else you may want out of life, it requires a compromise, determination, and effort to get what you want.
Without having excessive credit card debt or overdrawn notices on your checking account, let me give you some helpful tips.
Tip #1: Plan early to take advantage of lower-cost bookings and special deals.
Traveling is more fun and relaxing if you know money is not going to be an issue. By planning at least 6 months in advance, you can budget and find great bargains on airline tickets and other vacation packages. The goal is to have the trip paid for before you leave home!
Tip #2: Complete a budget worksheet to know what the trip is going to cost.
Establish a special bank account to help you save money and start an automatic transfer into that account each pay period. For example, if you save $165 a month or $5.50 a day, you will have nearly $2,000 at the end of the year.
If this amount is too high select an amount you feel you can afford to save. There are other ways to set aside money for your vacation and the following are some of the ways I used to pay for my vacations:
Tip #3: Set aside a portion of your tax refund.
Some of you may not get a tax refund and if you do, set aside a percentage of that refund to go into your vacation account. You deserve it!
Tip #4: Look for those travel reward credit cards.
Start using travel reward credit cards to pay bills. Important to note to make sure that you pay them off at the end of the month. These rewards can add up quickly and earn you enough points to pay for airline tickets and/or hotel stays.
Tip #5: Eat out less and take that amount and put it into your savings.
Eating out has become a weekly habit for many of us, but those meals are costing you travel money. Cooking at home will not only help your budget but improve your health!
Tip #6: Get your own coffee maker and stop buying lattes.
Once you learn how to make coffee you will come to appreciate the convenience of having a cup right when you wake up or on your way out the door. If you are regular at the coffee shop you will see a $20-$30 savings each week by cutting coffee shop visits.
Tip #7: Trim your grocery budget.
Pay attention to the cost of Major brands vs. Store or Generic brands… a lot of money can be saved by buying generic brands. Within the produce section stick to buying produce that is in season. Avoid prepared foods as these items have added cost. Use coupons when doing so saves you money. If you eat a lot of one thing, try to buy in bulk.
Tip #8: Time for that yearly garage sale.
We all have too much stuff. Selling things we no longer use or want, is a great way to get some cash for that vacation. If you live in apartment, then sell your things on social media marketplace. I was successful using Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist. What doesn’t sell take to a donation drop-off location that will give you a receipt which could be used for tax deduction purpose when filing your tax returns.
Tip #9: Get a part-time or seasonal job.
Remember our goal is to save enough money for the trip. Once you reach that goal you don’t need to continue to work at the part-time job. Seasonal jobs are great because some employers only need your help during the peak holiday season, and you can pick shifts that fit into your schedule.
Tip #10: Pick-up extra hours at work.
If you are paid by the hour and don’t mind spending a little more time at work, ask your supervisor if you can work a couple of extra hours. Those extra hours will be 1.5 hours if you are working over 40 hours a week.
These are just a few ideas to help you save/generate money so that you can have a great travel experience. Having a plan will make the trip go smoother and will certainly make your vacation much more enjoyable.
I have learned that having more “experiences” in life outweighs all the “things” you can buy. Traveling will create amazing memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” –Robert Orben
Enjoy your time in the rose garden! Please read my blogs about being an expat as well as other exciting places to travel at Traveling Lens Photography.
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Inshallah (God willing!)