When asked what inhibits individuals from their travel ambitions, the answer almost always boils down to time – or more frequently – money.
But the truth is, it’s not about time or money. It’s about priorities. If travel is not a priority for you, you will always find some other things to spend money on and you’ll never have “enough” money to travel.
Here are a few budget and lifestyle friendly ways to make your travel dreams a reality:
- Change for Travel Savings Account. Many banks offer checking accounts that “roll over” your change into a savings account. So if you spend $5.37 on your morning coffee and bagel, your bank will take out $6 from your checking account and put the remaining change into your savings account. Doesn’t sound like much, but you would be surprised on how quickly it adds up.
- Skip the Coffee Run. The average person spends over $5 every time they swing though the Starbucks drive through. Make your own coffee at home – even splurging for the good creamer, you will save over $20 a month.
- The Gift of Money. Next time your Nana asks what you want for Christmas or your birthday, let her know you are saving for a trip. Visa gift cards are a great way too.
- The Cheap Challenge. Break your monthly budget down into weeks and challenge yourself to be the biggest cheapskate possible one week of the month. Save wherever you can. Cook at home, use public transportation, host a board game tournament for your weekend entertainment. Whatever money from the budget not spent during the week goes in the travel fund. Bonus: get your family/friends in on the action with a creative cashless wager – like loser cleans the winner’s gutters.
- Travel Smarter. Use a travel agent. Most agents are able to meet (and often beat) any deals you might find shopping online. They are experts in finding the best deals for all your travel needs – from flights, to rentals, accommodation and even excursions.
- Payment Plans. Many agencies have payment plans for cruise or resort destinations. This allows you to book early to get the best value and make monthly/quarterly payments that won’t break the bank.
- Odd Jobs. Next time you hear of someone looking for a weekend sitter (pet/house/kid) volunteer. You can make some great money.
- Donate Plasma. Did you know you can get paid to donate plasma? The process is similar to donating blood – just longer. Be sure to consult with your doctor first, but depending on your city, you can be paid up to $40 per donation. While it takes a few hours to complete the process, you get to enjoy a movie, snack and help other people. Win-Win-Win.
- Clear the Clutter. It’s time to finally have that garage sale and get rid of all those treasures that have been cluttering your closet. You can make great money selling unneeded furniture, clothing, jewelry, tools etc. Check out places like Ebay, Craigslist, OfferUp or ThreadUP.
- Shop Smarter. Don’t wander the grocery aisles. Plan out meals and make a list of the items you need. Group your items similar to how you find them in the grocery aisles. Get only what is on your list. Frequent one or two stores and take advantage of their coupon and shopper programs.