There are so many adventures waiting for you in this world, and traveling provides us the opportunity to explore so many different areas. Planning a vacation or journey can be exciting, but at the same time, planning on how to financially save for the trip can be daunting. Whether you’re taking a week-long trip, or spending a semester studying abroad, the tips discussed below can help you save for your journey, rather than stress about it.
Research the Area
If you begin researching the area you are visiting, this can help reduce stress and allow you to find restaurants and hotels that are affordable. A great way to learn more about the area is by reading reviews from those who have traveled there. Some great review sites to visit are TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Pinterest. Not only will people share their opinion with you, but it also allows you to see and compare almost all of the hotels and restaurants available in the area.
Create a Budget
Create a budget before the trip, and stick to it. Use a journal or excel sheet and calculate how much you want to spend in each of the following areas: food, travel, activities, lodging, souvenirs, and miscellaneous. One of the most important things to remember when making a budget is being realistic. If you think the lodging costs for a week are going to be between $800-$900, budget for $900. It’s better to estimate high and have money left over than estimate low and find out it’s more than you can actually afford.
In many cities, there are a variety of free activities offered. Although swimming with dolphins may sound great, make sure you can afford it. Instead, take a trip to the beach and see if you can borrow some snorkel gear to explore the sea creatures nearby (you never know, you may see a wild dolphin). Other activities to think about maybe going to a national park, hiking, surfing, walking through the city, and biking. The list is endless.
Start a Travel Fund
If you plan your trip far in advance, there is time for you to specifically start saving for this event. One way you can do this is by creating your own travel fund. Some ideas may be collecting loose change and small dollar bills. Another way to implement this idea is by picking a dollar amount and saving that every week. For instance, say you decide to save $50 per week, collect $50 a week and set it aside. Let the fund grow until you have enough or the date of the trip has arrived.
This one may not seem as pleasant, but there are many monthly subscription services we purchase that we don’t take full advantage of (Digital Streaming, Music Streaming, Gym Membership, etc.). Track how many subscription services you use, and really think about if it’s worth the $20 a month. This can help reduce your monthly costs, and you can then use that money towards your vacation.
By implementing one or all five of these tips, your next vacation will hopefully be a lot less financially stressful and still be just as fun!