If you’re like me, saving money isn’t always fun, because you are constantly finding things that are awesome and you “have to have”. If you think about it, you really don’t need a tenth pair of flip flops or that new video game system that just hit the shelves. In fact, I find it can be a lot more fun and satisfying to save for something in particular. For me, that’s vacation. Sure, I might like another handbag right now, but that won’t help me pay for my plane tickets to some exotic land. If you have a yearning to travel the world, then make a savings plan for your next vacation and stick to it.
I know, like me, you are probably asking “How can I save thousands of dollars when I have bills to pay and food to buy and have to go to that new movie next weekend?” If you don’t think of it in big-total terms, it makes it much easier to realize the possibility of building a travel fund. Decide how much you can reasonably take out of your paycheck each month and have it automatically deposited to your savings account. This way, you never see it, so you don’t even miss it! It’s a sneaky way to trick yourself into saving money for something great. While you aren’t looking at that total, it’s making more money for you, too. That’s pretty cool, right?
You can then spend your free time travel planning instead of shopping for things you don’t need on the Internet. All those minutes add up and could be used to find discounts on everything you want to do, cheaper airfare, hotel deals and more. So, if you can’t save as much as you hope to, you can still make it to your desired destination. Or save some of that hard-earned cash for your next trip!
A few tips to make your travel budget stretch:
• Travel in the off-season or shoulder season to get better prices on plane tickets and room rates. You’ll also face smaller crowds and not have to stand in line forever.
• Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly and Sunday through Thursday are generally the least expensive nights to stay in hotels.
• Buy a travel pass if one is available at your destination. It will almost always be less than paying for individual trips on public transportation. Try CityPASS and SmartDestinations.
• Pack light, because then you don’t have to carry everything you own and baggage fees will be non-existent.
• Eat at food carts and farmers’ markets for lunch and save a bundle over sit-down restaurants.
By just adjusting your travel methods a bit, you can save hundreds of dollars on a trip and not sacrifice comfort at all – unless you’re used to staying at the Ritz and eating lobster dinners every night. And if you keep your travel savings separate from your other savings, you’ll be less tempted to spend it until you take your trip.
Want more budget travel tips? Check out my blog at Shereen Travels Cheap or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.