You can save money at home to make any dream vacation possible. Cutting costs on a daily basis paired with these budget travel tips allows you to travel more often, having funds for additional destinations.
Start saving now. Not tomorrow, not after you buy a house, not after your kids graduate school. It will be much easier to just go when you have the money in your pocket…or your bank account, rather.
Look at the money you spent within the past month. Where did you spend the most? One of the largest costs for big spenders is social things like dinner or drinks at the bar, which are hard to eliminate because it is difficult to say “no” to your friends. Maybe it is material things like clothes or electronics. Could you wait a little longer to buy the new iPhone? Valuing experiences, not things, makes for a happier life.
Cut Down on Drinks
A night out at the bar filled with drunken revelry adds up to two days travel budget in some parts of the world. Look for happy hours, or host friends in your home where everyone BYOBs and brings a snack to share. If your friends aren’t into this kind of thing, meet the social butterflies later in the night. You could also bring the amount of money you want to spend in cash and only buy that many drinks. Resist the urge to use plastic!
For beer geeks, the cost of craft beer adds up, especially with all the limited release bottles we MUST have! When you look at it, travel also introduces you to rare beers because they never get distributed to the USA. Spending less on pricey bottle releases can mean more money for beer travel.
Make It Automatic
Use a service like Mint or other budgeting apps, many of which are available for free, or the budgeting apps offered by some banks (at no cost!), where you can designate a dollar amount of your paycheck to go into a fund specifically for your future travels. You won’t be tempted to use the money on a new pair of shoes or a 6-pack of beer when the money is placed directly into the fund.
Learn How to Cook
Even cooking your own meals one more day of the week saves money. Host a dinner with friends where everybody pitches in and that way, even if you are not a good cook, you can learn from others. When friends invite you out, it is often possible to meet the group after dinner when they go out for drinks and eat your own home cooking beforehand.
All this sounds easy, right? In reality, it is not. Saving takes time. Have the patience to not let the money “burn a hole in your pocket,” as my grandparents used to tell me as a child. I come from a family where being budget conscious is valued and getting a good deal can elicit a high five. My parents taught me to save when I was young and my habits have continued to the current day. You have the power to change your habits day by day, and if travel is important to you, you will.