You might be reading this article because your dream vacation seems a million years away, and you don’t know how in the world you’re gonna save money for travel.
Maybe you’re piled under debt, or you’re barely making rent every month, or you just can’t possibly imagine affording to take time off work.
We can’t claim to be your financial adviser. But, we ARE passionate about making travel a priority, and for many, that means going on a budget.
So, that’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you save money for your next vacation. You will have to buckle down and take your finances seriously, but we SERIOUSLY mean it when we say this savings method works.
THE FOOL-PROOF METHOD TO SAVE MONEY FOR TRAVEL
1. Choose a Destination
Maybe this is your dream destination. Maybe this is a trip that simply fits into your budget. But whether you want to take this trip 3 months or 12 months down the road, start considering a place and time of year to travel.
TIP: Create a Pinterest board for this location, and fill it with photos and links to traveling to this destination. While you’re in the saving phase, you’ll be motivated to put money toward traveling.
2. Choose a Time Frame
Research the best time of year to travel to this location. Also, start considering the amount of time you want to spend traveling. Based on your spending habits, the difference between a one week trip and a two week trip could be HUGE.
Look at your commitments coming up in the next year, then decide when and how long you are going to be traveling.
TIP: If you don’t already have at least $1000 USD saved, give yourself at least 6 months to comfortably save up (assuming it’s international travel). Vacations on a credit card may be fun for the time being, but they’re no fun to pay off later!
3. Create a Budget
The most important points for your travel budget are going to be airfare, lodging, and meals. You can see the following example below for planning a trip budget. As you budget, enter numbers on the higher end, just to have a cushion.
TIP: If you are traveling internationally, be sure to research whether you will need a travel visa, health exam, or any vaccinations. These are can be large costs that you’ll need to budget for.
4. Start a Savings Plan
Let’s assume you don’t have any money put away for traveling yet (if you do, you’re ahead of the game!). We’re going to determine how much you’ll need to save each month in order to have enough put away for the trip.
Divide the total cost by the number of months away from your vacation you are.
For example, if you want to take this vacation a year from now, you’ll need to save roughly $140 every month.
$1,720 / 12 months = $140 per month
Likewise, if you want to take this trip 6 months from now, you’ll need to save about $280 per month.
This might sound like a LOT for someone who is trying to meet other budgets and has expenses, but it can be done. Look at these simple suggestions for saving cash each month:
- Every time you go out to eat is roughly $20 per person. Consider cooking at home.
- A manicure or pedicure every two weeks is about $40. Consider painting your own nails.
- A movie ticket is roughly $15. Rent a DVD or stream online.
TIP: You can also use envelopes to dedicate spare cash and gifts to your travel fund. No touching! Keep it in a place where you won’t be tempted to reach for it on your way out the door.
It’s ABSOLUTELY possible to save money for travel.
We love using this savings system, and as long as you make savings a habit, you can save enough to take trips year after year.
Even if you don’t have a huge income, it’s still possible to see the world. Make saving a lifestyle, and you’ll be ready to take flight in no time!
Ready to take off?
Check out Lonely Planet’s world-best ranked travel guides to get the best travel advice and inspiration for your next big destination!
Let us know in the comments what you think about this method, or if you have a creative way to save money for travel.