Everyone needs a summer vacation and some time to get away from it all. However, with an economic recession, high unemployment, and people struggling financially, vacations and travel plans may not be a big priority. Now is the time to learn how to save money for travel.
11 tips on how to save money for travel
Vacations don’t have to be expensive nor do you have to go far to get away. So if you are looking for a family vacation or just a long weekend, here are some tips on how to save money for travel.
1. Decide on your next vacation – How can you save money for travel if you don’t know where you are going? Find a place, set a date, and strive towards it. “Vacation” is what you define it to be.
2. Track your expenses - Spend the next month writing down where you spend your money. At the end of the month, total it up by category. Note any trends in your spending habits.
3. Create a budget - Saving money is nearly impossible if you don’t know where it is going. So start a budget to track your expenses every month. Need a guide on how to budget? Check out how this post on how to create a budget spreadsheet – budgeting 101.
4. Pick one item per week and eliminate it- Do you go out to lunch every day? Do you buy coffee every morning at Starbucks? Do you splurge by shopping online for clothes or buying the newest gadgets? Eliminate one or more of these things once a week or once a month and put that money aside. Here are some tips to help you get out of debt so you can travel more.
5. Pay yourself - No matter how little it is, set aside money each month to pay yourself for that trip. It cant be as little as $5 or $10 but reaching your goal means taking action, even with little steps or small amounts. Set that money aside in an account or a place where it will not be spent.
6. Staying within your budget? Pay yourself more! – Did you spend $20 less on groceries this month than you expected? Did you not spend as much on gas as you expected? Rather than spend it, take the extra money that you budgeted but didn’t spend for each category and save it for your trip as well. Put it in that savings account so you won’t spend it.
As the trip gets closer, here are ways to save when planning your trip:
7. Research your trip - As the vacation draws closer, begin to plan a few months in advance. Where do you want to stay? When do you want to leave (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday have the cheapest airfares)? Choose a budget option for hotels to save money. Look for package deals. Travel offseason. Know when to buy your airfares (Tuesday afternoons have the best deals). Know when peak travel days are.
8. Create a budget for your trip - Just like home, plan a budget for your trip. Decide how much you want to spend each day on meals, sights, souvenirs, and plan in advance. You might save money by eating picnic lunches from food at the grocery store rather than eating at a restaurant. Budgeting your trip lets you save money before you even leave.
9. Sign up for Twitter and on social media sites - Sites like Twitter and Facebook are great at finding deals. Some airlines have even announced airfare sales on Twitter only. Connecting with others on Twitter and Facebook can help you plan your trip as well – saving you money.
10. Plan and track your trip online - If you want to put together an itinerary online, you can do that. If you want to track prices of flights and hotels after you book, you can do that as well. Follow these tips on how to get money back when you travel.
11. Packing for your trip - Packing light can be a great way to save on airline fees. If you’re traveling by car, fewer bags mean better gas mileage.
As we look ahead, there is a lot of speculation on what is going to happen in travel. Will there be great travel deals ahead? There is never certainty when it comes to travel.
At least you know how to save money for travel so you can plan that next trip.