Ok, so 2020 was not the year we hoped it would be as far as meeting and realizing travel goals. And even though we aren’t fully out of the woods yet, we can plan and prepare for those dream trips so we are ready once travel comes back!
The thought of traveling to your dream destination is all fun and games until you realize that you actually have to put in a lot of work and make some necessary lifestyle changes to make it happen. Whether it is a weekend trip with the family or a solo trip you’ve been planning for years, a significant amount of time goes into setting aside funds for any travel plans.
This article features the Top 10 Ways to Save Money to Make Your Dream travel Possible.
Set A Target
Start saving money for your dream travel by setting a target. Since you probably already have a dream destination, the next step to do is to plan an itinerary for that trip. Plan out what activities you will do, the places you would want to stay in, the restaurants you want to visit, and finally do some costing. Set out a fixed budget for your trip including the airfare costs and an emergency travel fund. That way, you already have a target travel budget to save for in mind.
Keep in mind to always set aside a decent amount to cover for rent or mortgage and food for when you get back. Whether you are taking time off from work or quitting your current job, there is no assurance that you would be able to get back to work and get paid right away. It is always good to have something set aside for the rainy days. We wouldn’t want you going big on your dream travel and then going hungry and homeless when you get back!
Start Your Travel Fund
Now that you have a target amount in mind, the next most important thing to do is set up and start your travel fund. You can use an existing savings account, open up a new one intended solely for your travel money, or even use up an old jar and turn it into a travel fund jar!
Assess your expenses for every pay cycle and look into how much savings you can take out from every paycheck. The best strategy in making sure there is money going into your travel fund regularly is securing your savings as soon as you receive your paycheck. If you are getting paid through your bank, you can set up automatic regular transfers or deposits from your account to your travel fund for convenience.
Setup A Weekly Budget and Stick To It
The best way to save for any dream whether it is a trip or any other project is to have a budget and sticking with it. Setup a weekly budget with a breakdown for all your expenses. Make sure there is enough for food, gas or transportation, utilities and other bills, and prescriptions if you have any. Having a budget and sticking to it helps you to control your spending and manage your savings better. Also keep in mind to not only save for your dreams but to also set aside money for an emergency fund.
Needs vs Wants
What do you really need and what are the things you spend on out of whim? It helps to identify the things that you actually need and your wants. By wants, I mean getting that new smartphone even when your current one is fully functional or getting that new trendy top when you have enough clothes to last you the whole year. Treating yourself out once in a while is not bad, but when you set out a priority for yourself such as saving up for that dream destination, then making sacrifices now and then is necessary.
Redefining What Fun Means and Getting Creative
What comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”? Is it shopping? Partying? If these are the things you associate with the word “fun” then maybe it’s time to redefine the meaning of the word. To have fun doesn’t always mean going out and partying all weekend or trying out every new restaurant in town. Instead of blowing off your paycheck in these activities that provide temporary satisfaction, why not opt to invite friends and stay in for a movie and enjoy a home-cooked dinner or perhaps organizing a dog walking party if you have pets.
Get creative and find lasting satisfaction in the little things. Low-cost or free activities aren’t boring; these activities are not only helpful when it comes to saving but also give you a better perspective in life.
Make Weekly Meal Plans and Cook At Home
Speaking of home-cooked dinners, the best way to save on your food costs is to make weekly meal plans and cooking at home. Having a weekly meal plan will help you determine the ingredients you need for the week and stops you from getting unnecessary items that aren’t on your shopping list.
Deciding to make your meals at the start of the week will also help you refrain from eating out as you already have food prepared at home. You will soon realize that your unnecessary expenses are due to spending on convenience. Having ready to eat meals at home or preparing packed lunches for work will help you cut down on your spending and give you control over what you eat.
Take Advantage of Coupons and Discounts
After you have made a full rundown of all the things you need and have to buy, make sure you always check for sales, discounts, and available coupons. Grocery stores nowadays have apps to help you collect points, digital coupons, and notify you about upcoming sales. Take advantage of these features and notice how savings add up whenever you hit the store.
Reduce Utility Costs
Reducing utility costs doesn’t mean having to sleep in a cold room or showering with cold water. It can be as simple as unplugging your devices whenever they’re not in use, be more conscious of your water use, and taking advantage of natural light instead of turning on all the lights when it’s still bright out. Sticking to these simple practices will not only help you achieve your target, but you are also contributing to reducing carbon emissions and saving water.
Walk or Bike
Another cost-efficient and environmental option is to walk or bike whenever you can. If the weather and distance allow it, opt to walk or bike to your destination to save gas or transportation cost and sneak in a good minute of exercise. Walking also means not worrying about a parking spot and soaking up much-needed vitamin D during sunny days.
Declutter and Sell Your Stuff
Are you tired of that pile of unused clothes sitting in your closet or those pair of shoes you never really got to wear because they hurt your feet? Now is the perfect time to get rid of those and make money out of it! Go through your things, identify what you need, throw out the junk that’s been in your house since forever, and sell the ones which are still in good shape.