We’ve all been there, watching Instagram stories about someone who is living the life you really want, while you are sitting at home watching Netflix and eating away your travel envy with ice cream. You see these magical destinations, the ones that seem just a little out of reach. I’ve been there too, many times, and most of my trips, I’ve worked hard and made it work. I sometimes can barely afford travel, but each time I have gone on a big trip, I’ve managed it. As I look to 2018, I realize that I’m going to Australia twice (yes, I said twice! Can you say Weddings?), and my wedding/honeymoon is in early 2019. That is a lot of money and trips to plan; and they aren’t small trips either for a girl from the middle of Canada. So, as I’m here pinching pennies and working my butt off, I figured I’d share my tips for saving to afford travel.
First and Foremost, Look at Your Budget
Travel takes money! Yes, I know there are people who work and travel their way from place to place. But, you need to get there and have a backup plan for money when you do. There are ways to “travel for free”, but for most people those aren’t the ways we want to travel. Instead, travel takes meticulous budgeting and careful saving. But with a little hard work and some careful planning you can definitely budget your way to your dream trip.
Cut Out A Habit You CAN Live Without
As we approach the new year, I’m sure most of you have a time you want to go and place in mind that you want to travel. You want to explore the world, you want to live your Instagram dreams and most of all you just want to get on a plane to the next great place to explore. You know how many months it is going to be until you can go, and you know how much money you need to be able to go on your trip.
In order to afford it, you are going to have to make some cuts, and we all do it. From your morning $5 coffee to your biweekly manicure, you are going to have to cut out the habits. If you look at it this way, your $25 a week coffee habit, might seem minuscule and like nothing (I know it does to me). But over and entire year that is $1300! That is a lot, that could be flights to Australia, a week in Banff, two weeks at an all-inclusive. Ready to make your coffee at home yet? As I write this, I sure am.
Get A Side Hustle
I work 8.5 hour days, with an almost hour commute on either side, then I work an additional 6+ hours a day blogging, networking, and freelancing. Side hustles, whether that means a part time job or using your skills to freelance, are a great way to save to afford travel. Most people, can’t just drop everything and use their trust fund to travel the world. Instead, they need to pinch every single penny and budget what they need to be able to afford to travel.
Finding other ways to bring in income, will help you to budget and to save for your next holiday. I am aa fan of “work hard, play hard”. So, while I’m at home, I love to push the limits on how much I can do, and what I can do.
Put A Portion Of Your Income Away Each Cheque
This is one of the easiest and hardest ways to save money for your upcoming trip. You need to look at your books and decide what you can and cannot afford. Then you need to put a chunk of your pay check into a savings account that you won’t touch other than for travel. Even if this is $50 biweekly, that still adds up to $600 a year. Though this might not seem like the biggest amount of money, it still helps on your way to your dream holiday!
Find Deals and Cheaper Ways To Do Things
Instead of spending $50 going out for drinks and dinner with your friends, have a potluck at home over a cheap bottle of wine. Though this might not be something everyone does, it is also a lesson that you can take into your life and use. For everything you do, there is a cheaper way to do it. Find alternatives so you can save $20 and put that into your travel fund!
Start Doing Online Work
Whether you start and monetize a blog (hard) or you start getting paid for surveys online (easy, though time consuming). There is always a way to use the internet to make a few extra bucks that you can put towards travel. There are so many online resources for making money online, all it takes is a few google searches. I’m currently trying out Flex Jobs online to see if it is all it’s cracked up to be. I’m hoping to get a few more online jobs in the coming months.
Remember, why you are saving!
At the end of the day, paying for a new pair of shoes, a car, a house, a coffee, are all choices we make that might make us not able to afford travel. But with every new thing, it gets harder to make new experiences and to afford to travel. So at the end of the day, when you are finding different things to do, and pulling yourself away from that new travel “must-have”, remember how great it will be when you are out exploring a new place!