We all have that one friend who is able to travel, and is always out on one adventure or another. We might even feel a little bit jealous at times. She is off seeing the world and we are stuck at home unable to afford the luxury of travel.
It is now time to stop feeling sorry for yourself. We all have the freedom and the ability to travel just like that one friend does if we really want to.
Make Travel a Priority
This is step number one in being able to travel. If you want something badly enough, you will find a way and be dedicated to making it happen. This goes with everything in life not just travel, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on saving for travel. In order to be successful saving for travel, you must make travel a priority. If you skip this step, you won’t be successful.
When I made the decision that life was too short and my primary focus turned to travel (next to my family and my employment of course), I sat down and took inventory of all of my current expenses. I was shocked to see how many areas of my life that I could change in order to save money for what I loved to do…travel.
Cut Down Expenses to Save for Travel
Walk Instead of Drive
In this day and age, we think nothing of hopping in the car and driving to where we need (or want) to go, failing to plan our errands in advance. There are times when we may find ourselves out, only to realize that we had forgotten to pick up something that we think we might need. Then off we go again.
Not only will we save time when we pre-plan our errands, we will also save money by not using as much gas. Before running errands, take the time to determine what is needed for the week, plan your route, and get it all done at once so that you aren’t taking the car out as often. Better yet, leave the car at home and walk whenever possible. Not only will you save money, but you will also get in a bit of exercise.
Going out shopping or to the movies encourages more spending. Change your lifestyle when you aren’t traveling to be more of a homebody. Take up new hobbies, become an avid hiker (which is free and healthy), or entertain your friends at home. Just stay home more often. Everytime we leave the house it will cost money.
Stop Eating at Restaurants and Getting Take-Out
Most of us are in the habit of either going to a restaurant at least once a week, or at the very least getting take-out. I always did this on a Friday night. As somebody who loves going to restaurants, I found this a tough one to give up, but travel was more of a priority for me, so give it up I did. I do occasionally treat myself by going to a restaurant every month or two, just so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on one of my favorite things to do.
Skip the Timmie’s Run
Canadians will know exactly what I mean by this one. We love our Timmie’s coffee, and I certainly am no exception. I use to stop for a Timmie’s every night after work and two or three times on the weekends. My weekly coffee bill often exceeded $15.00 per week. Although it doesn’t sound like much, over a month that’s $60.00. That $60.00 has gone a long way towards my travel fund.
Quit Smoking and Drinking
This is a biggy! Yes, I was a smoker for my entire life until 4 years ago. I decided that I wanted to begin to travel 4 or 5 times a year, and quitting smoking was the only way that I would be able to do that. With cigarettes in Canada being $16.00 a pack (at the time I quit), I made a HUGE savings for my travel fund. It certainly wasn’t easy to quit after smoking for 45 years, but my desire to travel and see the world was much greater than giving myself shitty health.
Need vs. Want
Finally, when cutting down on your expenses, ask yourself, do I really NEED this? Or do I just WANT this? It is amazing how much we buy just because we want it. If you are serious about traveling often, you will only purchase items that you really need.
Saving Money for Travel
In addition to all of the money that we have saved just by cutting unnecessary expenses, there are also additional we can save for travel.
Travel Savings Account
Once you have reviewed your weekly/monthly budget, determine what you can afford to set aside. Open a separate bank account strictly for your travel fund. Deposit the determined amount either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, into that account. Do not have this travel account linked to your debit card, so that the only way you can access it is to go into the bank.
Save Your Pennies
This strategy has always worked for me and I am surprised that more people don’t use it. I have a large jar (it’s actually a 2 foot plastic beer bottle), that I put all of my change into. When it comes time for me to travel, I roll it up and exchange it for bills. This strategy pays for all of my adventures and/or tours when I am traveling.
If you want to save for travel and be successful, these are just a few methods of saving that have worked for me. We are all looking for ways to save money, whether it be for travel or other things, and I would love to hear what methods you use to save money so that you are able to travel more?