Are you trying to save money for your first trip aboard, your 10th or an extra special one that has been on that bucket list since you were a little kid?
Below are some things you can do to save up for that dream vacation. These are things that I have done in the past and many of which I still do to this day.
Save Your Change:
When my husband and I first got married, I used to find his change everywhere: on the counters, floor, in the sofa, you name it! I told him that if we put all of it in a jar, I would be a rich woman. Well, it didn’t make me rich, but it did pay for our first plane ticket to Sweden. Sounds crazy but that coupled with #2 is what paid for it! Make sure you do not
touch this. If you cannot control yourself, roll this on a regular basis and deposit.
Put aside all “found” money:
When you get money for rebates, coupons, birthdays, holiday, and bonuses. Throw it in the jar! OK, so do #3. But the same concept.
Open a bank account for nothing but travel:
Put all your money in here as you obtain it, so you don’t spend it. Also, if you are trying to save up for the vacation, automatically transfer a percent or a dollar amount from each paycheck into this account. When you travel, use this account instead of your main one. Make sure when you set it up that your PIN number works abroad so you don’t have to deal with that later.
Don’t spend your tax refund:
Put this towards your trip as well. I always look at my tax refund as “found’ money.
Get your credit card work for you:
There are all kinds of credit card rewards out there. Look for one that fits your needs and use that one. Just use it wisely and don’t get in debit. Make sure whatever card you choose that it does not charge you’re a foreign transaction fee. This can add up and 2-3% may not sound like a lot but when you get home and you are trying to pay for your trip on the back end 2% of $1000 is $20. That’s a lunch or two!
Track what you spend:
If you aren’t already tracking where all your money is going each month, start! Start a spreadsheet / Google sheets and put in everything, and I mean every little thing, so you know where your money is going each month. Once you do that, then move to #7.
Look at what you spend each month and determine where you can cut costs. Cut back on eating out, shopping, or those fancy coffees. You just must determine where your priorities are: the trip or these things. If you need motivation, print pictures out of where you want to go or a map of the trip with the itinerary and post it in the place(s) you will see it the most (work desk, fridge, bathroom mirror).
Sell stuff you no longer need:
Most of us have things we no longer need / use. Gather it together and determine the value. There are plenty of places online to sell these or even hold a yard sale if you have a lot to sell.
Pick-up additional hours at current job:
If you are paid hourly, talk to your boss and see if you can pick-up some additional hours at your day job.
Get a part-time job:
This can be a temporary position to help you obtain your necessary funds. Possibly think about doing a seasonal position over the holidays or summer.
I know some of these things sound a little painful and you don’t have to do them all. Maybe you pick a couple of them at first and then once you see that you are making headway on saving up, then you add on another one or two. Maybe these suggestions spark some ideas for you on other ways to make / save money as well.
Bonus: Ways To Save Money While Traveling
Travel during shoulder / off season:
Hotels and flights are generally cheaper, and the best thing is there are less crowds.
Go to the grocery store (or street market) and pick-up supplies:
Water, picnic supplies, breakfast foods, snacks, etc. are so much cheaper at a grocery store that in a hotel. If you travel like we do, we spend a lot of time running around from the time we get up until late in the day. We go on vacation to see, and do not to sit in a restaurant. Also, look for a hotel that has breakfast that is included in the price but make sure you aren’t paying more just for that option.
Go to off the beaten path places:
While it is nice to go to the city, seeing the off the beaten path places are so nice and easier on the pocketbook. If you don’t know where to start with this, here’s a great list from Fodor’s for 2020.
Look for free days:
Many museums and sites have free days or times. Check out their website prior to arriving to know when the best time is to visit them. If you plan on going to going to many sites while in town, check to see if there is a city card that gives you access to most, if not all the sites for 1 price. Some will also include transportation plus other bonuses. Since outside food and lodging, this will probably be your biggest expensive this can be a way you can save money.
I know you think I have lost my mind with this one but if you are going for a long period of time (more than a week), you do not want to pack that many clothes. It is much easier to pack one weeks’ worth of clothes and do laundry along the way. It will save on luggage fees and frankly your back from having to lug all of that around with you. Prior to leaving, figure out where you are going to be around day 6-7 on your trip and Google laundry in that town. Today there are so many great options. My husband loves it because he will grab a beer and chill out while he is doing it. We pack our laundry pods in our checked piece of luggage, so it is one less thing we must pay for as well. You can drop it off at a laundry mat but it will not really save money.
While most big cities have public transportation, we have found walking everywhere is not only cheaper, but it also allows you to see more of the city. A great example of this is Florence, Italy. It is a walking town where you can be just about anywhere in 15 minutes and hopping on a bus is a waste even to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Hopefully, these bonus tips will help you out while you are travelling. We all of them on every trip we go on, so we are spending money on the things we deem important.
And once you have saved up money for that dream trip, check out my blog on how to travel safely abroad.
What do you do to save money for your dream trips? Please feel free to leave your comments below and sign up so I can notify you when the next post is available.
I hope you enjoyed the short View Thru My Lenz.
Until next time,
© 2019 Nina Zee