Are you ready to hit the road and head out on the vacation of a lifetime? Traveling gives you the opportunity to see different places in the world and learn more about the cultures of the people in the areas you visit. Depending on where you’re interested in traveling and your preferences, vacationing can get pretty expensive. That doesn’t mean the trip of your dreams is out of reach, though.
While it might seem overwhelming, saving for a trip may be easier than you think. In this article, we’ll give you ten easy tips on how to save for your next vacation.
Track Your Spending
One of the first steps to creating a travel budgeting is understanding your discretionary spending. Cambridge Dictionary describes discretionary spending as “money spent by consumers on things other than necessary things such as food, clothes, and fuel.”
To do this, you first need to total up all of your set expenses like rent, mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities, and any other monthly payments you make. Then, write down what you spend on things like entertainment, coffee, dinner out, and other non-necessity items. If you think you can’t afford to travel, take a good look at the total amount of your discretionary spending. It could be possible that cutting down on spending could help you save for a trip.
Set Up a Separate Bank Account
When you are saving for a vacation, it is a good idea to set up a separate bank account and have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited in the account each pay cycle. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of money. Just the act of putting money aside is helpful in saving for a trip. Having the money in a separate account keeps the funds away from your regular spending so it is not used.
Look for New Credit Cards
If you use credit cards, consider switching your cards to ones that have travel benefits. Some credit cards help you earn free hotel rooms, free flights, and even cash back. You can use the card for your everyday purchases to earn the rewards that turn into free travel. This is a good method to use if you are diligent about paying off your card balance before you are charged interest for the purchases. Otherwise, you may end up paying more.
Register for Travel Newsletters
If you are saving for a trip, sign up for newsletters from airlines or vacation planning companies. These newsletters often have information on last minute deals and specials that can save you as much as 50%. You can also sign up for travel alert websites that allow you to enter information on what destinations you are interested in visiting. When the site finds a deal on that destination, it will alert you via email.
Check Out Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is a social networking and service website that can help you make friends with locals in the area where you want to travel so you can have free accommodations when you get there. It may take a bit of work to get responses the first few times you use the site as it does take some reviews to make you an appealing candidate. However, you can attend meetups in your local area to meet people and have interactions that can be reviewed on your profile. You can also host others traveling to your city.
Cut Back on the Coffee
While you might enjoy your daily trips to the coffee shop, the expense is slowly draining your bank account. If you spend just $5 a day for a coffee at Starbucks, you’re spending over $150 a month. That’s $1,800 a year that you could be directing to your travel fund. Cutting back on your trips to the coffee shop and making your coffee at home could save you a surprising amount of money.
Cook at Home
The same way skipping coffee out can help you with saving for a vacation, so can cutting back on eating out. Eating at restaurants or ordering carry out can be expensive, where as cooking at home can be much more economical. If you struggle with cooking skills, look into easy-to-use meal prep kits that give you step-by-step instructions on how to prepare food. You can save even more money for travel budgeting by preparing extra meals so you have leftovers for the next day.
Skip the Movies
Depending on how many people are in your family, going to the movies may end up costing more than a night in a hotel on your trip. In some cities, movie tickets can cost upwards of $20 each. Add in snacks and drinks and you’ll start to wonder if it is worth it. Since more and more entertainment is becoming available digitally, you can usually find brand new movies on streaming services at the same time they are in the theater — meaning you don’t have to wait to enjoy them from the comfort of your own home and save tons of money.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
You can get a great start to saving for a vacation by selling unwanted household items you may have stored in your home. You likely have old electronics, furniture, or even exercise equipment that you no longer use. If you have kids, you can even sell their old clothing. Sell your items at consignment stores, online marketplaces, or simply have an old-fashioned yard sale.
Get New Car Insurance
Believe it or not, you can save a lot of money on your monthly expenses by shopping for less expensive car insurance. Just like shopping around for the best price when buying any item, you can look at prices with different insurance carriers for the best value. If you own a car but don’t drive much, you could be overpaying for coverages you don’t need. See if you can find cheaper insurance and then bank that money in your trip savings account.
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