Last Updated on February 23, 2022
A traveler’s life is filled with adventure and new experiences. Some people never get a chance to travel because they think that it’s a lifestyle that’s out of their reach, or that even a single trip would be too expensive. The truth is that yes, travel does cost money, but for most people, it is possible to create a lifestyle that allows them the freedom to take trips, be it once a year or once a month. There are destinations near and far where you can experience new things and that fit into your budget.
Here are 5 budget tips to help you save for travel:
Let’s face it, healthcare can be pricey. When you need medications each month, or you have doctor’s visits a few times a year, these costs can add up. But when you learn how to get free birth control or how to get a discount on your insulin or how to pay less at the doctor’s office, these savings can quickly add up – put the money you save in a travel funds! You can get health discount cards, leverage points at pharmacies for freebies, and so much more. Some of these health discount programs can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
Rewards Credit Cards
Some people use credit cards very wisely. They can leverage rewards programs to their benefit by putting their monthly expenses on the card and then paying it off in full at the end of every month. Paying a credit card in full every months is literally rewarding – you get reward points. And these reward points add up to free trips over time. When you use a rewards credit card you can reap the benefits, such as free airline tickets, free hotel stays, and even rental cars for free. These rewards credit cards are an excellent option when you want to earn back money or trips for expenses you need to pay for anyway.
Check Your Bills
When was the last time you got a quote for car insurance? When was the last time you looked at how much your electric bill is? Have you considered switching your phone plan to a more affordable option? Look at all your bills critically to determine if there are ways you can save money each month. Just saving $50 per month on car insurance, and $30 per month on your phone bill could add up to almost $1000 worth of savings per year. If nothing else, switching providers could pay for a weekend getaway in a nearby city.
Downsize Your Home
This one is hard for some people. But when you have the travel bug, your large home may be impacting your ability to travel and see new things. Think about it, if you have a home with a lot of extra rooms that need to be heated and cooled and you’re barely using them, spending that money isn’t exactly helping you reach your goals. A smaller home means less spending on utilities, insurance, and even mortgage payments. Downsizing your home is a good way to get you out to see the world, and owning less can also feel liberating.
Shop Food Sales
Raise your hand if you choose to shop at the same exact grocery store each week regardless of what’s on sale. We’ve all done it. We want to pick something that’s easy and convenient, but when you need to keep a tight budget, this isn’t always the smartest option. Choose 2 – 3 grocery stores in your area and start shopping for the sales. Buy meat when it’s on sale, buy produce when it’s in season.
Meal prep also makes a big difference. Yes, it is a bit time consuming, but preparing your lunches for the week will help you cut down your spending on groceries / take out considerably. Add up all the money you spend every week on take-out coffees and take-out lunches and add against that what you spend on ingredients for five healthy home made meals, and you’ll see that it makes a big difference. It may seem tedious in the beginning, especially if you don’t cook a lot, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. And on the plus side: you can listen to travel podcasts while you’re meal prepping, getting you psyched up for your next adventure!
Budgeting for travel takes intentionality and goals. Start by deciding that you are going to take a trip. Then pick out some places where you’d love to go first. Research what it might cost to go there and set a budget for yourself. Then split that amount over 6 months or a year to determine how much extra you need in your budget to make it happen. You can look for ways to save money by spending less or find ways to make more money by temporarily taking on a part-time job, starting a side hustle, or delivering for DoorDash or a similar company. You’ll find that you can take that first trip in no time.