There is not much traveling we can do right now but that doesn’t mean we can’t be planning for future travel. I know a lot of people have been hit financially by the COVID pandemic (myself included) so budgeting for your next vacation may be a little harder than you are used to.
I enlisted the help of my favorite Canadian, Jenn from willsavefortravel.com to help us all come up with a plan for how to pay for our next trip
Don’t forget that using a Travel Agent doesn’t cost anything extra and I can help make sure you are getting the best value for your vacation dollar.
For most people, the one thing stopping them from traveling is money. As a travel blogger one of the most common questions I get is how I afford to travel so often. If you really want to take a trip, but you aren’t sure how to afford it, here are my tips on how to save for travel!
The single most important piece of advice I can give you is to build travel into your budget. If you haven’t been budgeting your money this may be a hard step for you.
When you first get started on a budget you’ll have to take a look at what you are currently spending. This will be eye-opening, as you probably haven’t been aware of where your money is going.
I budget every 2 weeks on payday. First I add up what we’ve made, then I add up the fixed bills for the next 2 weeks. After that, I see how much is left over for variable expenses like groceries and entertainment. Using this method I spend what I have already made, and make sure I save every 2 weeks for my goals.
Automatic transfers can be set up usually in your online banking. I recommend transferring money into your dedicated travel account every payday. This way you are paying into your travel goal before spending your paycheck! Waiting to save until you see what money is left over is not the best idea since you will likely save less than you originally planned to. This goes for any savings goal, and retirement saving as well!
Don’t keep your travel savings in your regular banking account or even with other savings. Most banks allow you to open free high-interest savings accounts where your money can grow while you save up for your trip! Having the money in a separate account keeps you from spending it, and you’ll be able to watch the account grow and get closer to your goal!
You don’t have to take on another job in order to save for travel (unless you want to, of course!), but you can make extra income by taking on some overtime shifts, or by selling extra stuff on places like Facebook Marketplace. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but every dollar counts when you are saving for a trip!
This is a great way to get the whole family involved! Make a savings goal for your trip, and make it a family game to see how fast you can save. Maybe your teenager will throw in some of their babysitting money, or their allowance, maybe your younger kids will throw in some of their birthday money. By making it a whole family goal you are working together and that vacation time will seem even sweeter since you all contributed! You can use a tracker on the fridge to keep track of how you are doing!
This is where a travel agent comes in handy! Your travel agent will be able to price out hotels, airline tickets, attraction tickets and more so that you know how much your trip will cost. Then to know how much to save you’ll divide how much you’ll need by the amount of time before the final payment is due. For example, if your Disney trip costs $3000 and your final payment is in 6 months, then you’ll have to save $250 biweekly to pay off your trip.
If you want to travel more often, I recommend saving every pay even when you don’t have a trip booked so that the funds are there when you are ready to book.
I always recommend paying for your vacation before you leave home. Why? Because no one likes to be stressed out about that credit card bill when you come back! We always remember the big expenses like plane tickets, hotels, and car rentals, but here are some overlooked expenses that you should research and save for before you go:
Airport parking, or a cab to the airport
Small snacks throughout the day
Cell Phone fees/ International calling plans
Pet or house-sitting while you are away
Saving for travel is mostly about making travel a priority. We personally only have 1 car, we don’t eat out often, and we don’t shop much in order to save more for travel! I like to live by the motto “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I hope these tips helped you to start your vacation fund ASAP!
Jenn is a personal finance and travel blogger over at Will Save For Travel. She loves Disney, ice-cream and discovering new places. Jenn and her husband paid off $26,500 worth of debt in 21 months to take back their life and have more money to travel the world. Follow her adventures on YouTube and Instagram!
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