How to Save More for Your Trip: 7 Steps to Take Before Your Next Vacation
Vacation is not just about sleeping in a different bed and eating different food. It's a time for your mind and body to recover, learn new things, and prevent your mental health from potential problems. It's also a way to almost touch the history of the world and see how people live thousands of miles away from your place. However, in our minds, travel has taken hold as a costly affair that is accessible only to people with above-average incomes.
The good news is that it's not the point. Even if you have a limited budget along with mortgage payments and bills to face every month, it's still possible to travel the world. Below are some tips that will help you save money for a vacation without changing your regular lifestyle.
1. Budgeting Is The Key
Money accumulates only when you count it and manage it properly. No matter how much you earn, money will slip through your fingers until you get it under control and plan your budget. Generally, your budget should consist of mandatory payments (rent, utilities, grocery bills, and loan or credit card payments), savings, and your wants and entertainment. Depending on your income, you decide which of the categories will apply to travel. You can finance it with savings or classify it as your wants and set aside a fixed amount for your next vacation.
To make it easier for you to get started, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Where are you going to spend your vacation?
- What time of year do you choose for your trip?
- How are you going to get there (by car, by plane, by train)?
- How long are you going to stay in your destination?
- How much money will you need on a daily basis?
- What are you planning to do?
- How much do you plan to spend on meals?
By answering these questions, you can have a better idea of how much money you need for your next trip and what steps you can take to reach your financial goal.
2. Track Your Spendings
By knowing where your money is going, you can cut off unnecessary expenses and redistribute these funds toward your travel budget. It's quite simple. Just analyze your financial behavior within one month so you will be able to learn more about how you manage your finances. Start with writing down all your expenses, whether it's a Starbucks coffee, lunch with your friends, or an impulsive purchase. Then, think about whether you can avoid this spending by taking free coffee from home or getting it at work. This will help you better understand what expense categories you can easily do without and prioritize saving money for a vacation.
3. Set an Automatic Withdrawal Toward Your Travel Savings Account
When your paycheck arrives, you commonly use a portion of the sum to cover mandatory payments so as not to miss anything important. People usually set auto payments for their bills, loans, mortgages, and credit cards. But what if you try to do the same for your vacation budget?
Decide on a fixed amount that you would like to save each month and set an automatic withdrawal that will be transferred directly to your savings account. This way, you can avoid accidentally spending just because your money for vacation happened to be as close as your wallet was at the moment of need.
4. Cancel Your Unused Subscriptions
It seems like you can't save much just by canceling subscriptions. However, statistics say that the monthly cost of unused paid subscriptions is nearly $25 per household. Although it's not the amount that you can use to finance the whole vacation, a penny saved is a penny earned. This simple action can give you $300 per year without bringing any changes to your life. Use these free funds to pay for an excursion or meals during your trip.
5. Save on Groceries
There are multiple smart ways to cut your grocery bills and keep eating healthy. The most common advice includes:
- Cooking at home;
- Planning your meals;
- Creating a grocery list;
- Shopping on sales;
- Buying frozen or canned foods;
- Using coupons;
- Choosing store brands.
Also, you should avoid doing your grocery shopping when you're hungry. Otherwise, you risk buying tons of junk food that is not on your shopping list. Thus, you will spend more than you wanted to and most likely eat it all in one evening.
All these steps will help you free up money that can be used toward your travel budget.
6. Find a Side Gig
Consider various ways to make extra money using all the resources available. There are multiple money-making tips that can help you get more cash to throw directly toward your vacation. Many of them can be done online and don't require any hard skills or extensive expertise in the area.
Start small and spend just a few spare hours a day, and you will see the difference. You can try yourself as a freelancer, deliver food, take surveys, test websites, or take care of pets while their owners are out of town. Everything we've mentioned can be a paid side hustle if you know how to act to make money fast.
7. Sell Items You Don't Use
Another way to free up some money for your vacation is by selling unneeded stuff. It can be anything, from books you don't want to store on your shelves to clothes you don't wear or devices you don't use. Sell them online through the Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, or eBay, or pick a good date for a garage sale. This will help you turn your rarely used items into extra cash.
Each of our money-saving tips can help you get closer to your financial goal and save the needed amount for your next vacation. Just prioritize your expenses and always remember what you're doing it for. Staying motivated will help you save enough to go on a dream vacation you deserve.