So you’ve made up your mind. You want to visit (insert your dream destination here). Maybe you’ve even decided to go on a round-the-world tour. There’s just that tiny problem of needing cash for the airfare, visa application (case to case basis), lodging, tours, and basically everything you need to spend on for this trip. What to do, what to do?
The good news is, traveling is so much easier to do now than in the past. Airline seats frequently go on sale, lodging options now include Airbnb and Couchsurfing, and you can easily find attractive travel deals. But if you’re eyeing an out-of-the-country trip, chances are you still need a huge sum of money.
Fret not. If you’re a firm believer of the saying, “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” you won’t have a hard time following these tips on how to save moolah for that travel dream of yours.
Write down your expenses to keep track of where your money goes.
The most basic rule of budgeting is to document your spending. Keep track of your expenses and check which item(s) you spend the most on. You can either write it using he good ol’ paper and pen or you can use a mobile app. Figure out along the way how you can trim down your expenses.
Limit the coffee shop visits, mani-pedis, and the movie night outs.
If you’ve tracked your expenses and saw that you’re spending too much on cafes, eating out, shopping, and whatnot, then it’s time to cut back on said things. Depending on the amount you need for the trip and the amount of time you have to save up, you can be either harsh or a little bit kinder to yourself. If you have little time and need a really huge amount, I suggest totally foregoing the frappe and just brewing coffee at home. If you’re not as pressed for time, you can still get your expensive coffee fix maybe at least once or twice a month. The same goes for mani-pedis, movie night outs, eating out, and yes, even book shopping (I used to spend a lot on books, fFYI). Endure the little sacrifices for the big dream; it will be so worth it.
Cut back on those minor trips.
Traveling is fun but it’s not cheap. While saving up for that big trip, learn to say no to other trips. It can be hard if you’re a frequent traveler but if you RSVP to every invitation your travel buddies extend to you, or if you grab every seat sale that comes your way, you will end up not saving anything in time for your big trip. So be patient and save, save, save.
You don’t need that bag / shoes / top.
Shopaholic? Your big trip will put you in serious rehab. Avoid sales, no matter how tempting it seems. Stay at home during weekends, if you can, and try not to go to malls where everything is shiny and new and looks good on you. It can all wait when you have enough funds for your trip.
Walking is free. If you live close to your work, walk instead of bringing your car or taking public transportation. You save money, you help the environment in your own little way, and you get to exercise. If walking is not an option, consider commuting — and I’m not talking about cabs or Grab or Uber here, which are not cheap options either. Unless you’re in a hurry and don’t mind getting on and off 2 or more vehicles, PUVs should be fine.
In cases where you’ll be gone for a long time (i.e. RTW trip, work outside the country), selling big ticket items (such as your car) is a wise decision. For short-term travels, you don’t have to go that far. You can sell stuff you’re not using anymore (those ill-fitting clothes that you use to motivate you to lose weight). Love making scrapbooks and bookmarks and other artsy stuff? Sell those! Can you bake on your free time? Sell those cakes and cookies to your friends, neighbors and co-workers. If you know how to code or design websites, write press releases or edit videos, offer your services. Figure out what you have and what you can do and look for ways to market and sell it.
When saving up for anything, not just travels, remember this: every little thing counts. Your efforts may seem trivial at first but you’ll notice a difference- in your mindset and in your savings- when you continue doing it. Be determined, act on it, and prepare to enjoy the fruit of your hard work. Happy travels!