15 Practical Ways to Save for a Vacation without Becoming a Hermit, Social Bore, or miss out on Life’s Pleasures. Its about you Having Money for Travel! No. 12 is our Favorite!
Do you think you need to be rich or have a well-paying job to travel? Really, we got news for you…
Travel is more than money or income. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle choice. If you decide to put your heart and mind into saving up and envisioning your life as a traveller, then travel will become your lifestyle along with its mega benefits and joy that you get as you see more of this beautiful planet. Words can’t even begin to describe! And…
You don’t have to give up your Social Life forever to save for a vacation…
Many people we know or talk to are notorious for thinking vacations are for the well off and they literally waste their time off work doing mundane, unexciting and often exhausting things that leave them feeling even more morose! The excuses they give themselves are — well I can’t afford it, or work pressures so I gotta work some more, I am saving up for bigger things…! See we know coz we used to think the same way!
Yet we also read so many success stories of people who have saved up for their world travels and so its no excuse for anyone who dreams of travelling to keep putting that dream on ice until…whatever your excuse is!
We always had a vision and a desire to see more of this planet and show our children the world…So following years of travel sometimes at great cost we share how we have been able to save and afford our trips, or simply have money for travel!
While being members of a Travel Club is a major help, we all know that travel has other things we gotta pay for! And no one likes to be a cheapskate on holiday, but if you have no clue how to maximize your dollar in your Travel Planning, by the way read our article on that here, it can stay a dream for someday…
So how did we learn to save for our trips from the get go? Grab a sit & the popcorn. In this post we share the creative, effectively simple ways to cut your expenses, make money, and travel much more, create more memories and See, Do & Be more…Dive in below, number 12 is our Favorite…find out why!
#1 How to save for a vacation- First let’s address the “I Can’t Afford it, I have no money” excuses…
When was the last time you actually sat down and tallied up your weekly/monthly expenses, As in a No excuses Personal Audit? If you don’t know what you spend your money on, how can you know whether you can afford a trip abroad, a staycation or simply no travel at all? When we first decided we were going to travel at least 3 times a year as a family, we sat down and tracked every penny we spent on groceries, drinks, clothes, entertainment, lunches at work & snacks, magazines, membership subscriptions, utilities, rent or mortgage. The quarterly expenditures and the annual ones like car insurance, service, MOT etc.
So here is our advice, watch what you spend for the next 4-6 weeks and you will have a general idea where you are bleeding cash and where you can cut back to save so you can afford your next vacation. Start putting your expenses in 2 categories:
- Wants – Luxuries, Don’t really need now
- Needs – Essentials, Must haves, Necessities
Trust us you’ll find there are things you don’t need right now…that you can live without for a bit! As Tesco says “every little helps.” Save a fiver per week off groceries, find a better utilities provider at a lower price, cut out what Nomadic Matt calls “Phantom costs” and you will start to collect a lil nest egg for at least one awesome trip per year! And while you are cutting down and saving up….
#2 How to save for a vacation – Sign up for travel newsletters.
These could be, like travel companies, airlines, cruise lines etc. They’ll send you updates on all special deals, giveaways, last-minute sales and much more. We got an amazing deal in a Salou Hotel that would have cost us over $2500 USD if it wasn’t for being on the Booking.com mailing list…It was our first Spanish trip. Never forgot it! You don’t want to be signing up for all these mailings without…
#3 How to save for a vacation- Set your next Vacation Budget.
The catch word here is being able to “afford your next Vacation” not getting you into even more debt. So if you do your maths and homework aka research, you’ll know what you wish to spend beforehand. You must purpose to add vacation money as an annual expenditure. One of the important things you wish to spend your funds on, that way you know it’s something you value and wish to achieve, save up for it and be in a position to pay for at the time you chose. With some spending money to boot, cash to pay for those vacation activities, spas, some trinkets, all the things you tend to pay for on vacation beyond your meals, accommodation and transportation in and around the destination! The best way to save up and afford a vacation is by….
#4 Creating a Separate Vacation Savings Account or Fund.
It’s truly very simple to spend that vacation money if it’s bagged up with your normal weekly grocery spends account or savings account which you dip in whenever there is an emergency, real or imagined. So avoid that by setting up a separate way to set aside and save that cash. You could set up a direct debit to that “vacation account” or have one of those piggy banks that you gotta smash to get into. This is your special family or personal self-love and reward account! Be strict for a while, its so worth it!
Now that you have saved up some, you gotta find the right destination for your budget
#5 How to save for a vacation – Find the right trip for your budget!
First you gotta know what kind or type of vacation you like and the available price range. For instance do you like adventure trips, beach vacations, city escapes, self-catering holidays, Log cabin stays, Skiing etc. What do you desire? Calculate your expected expenditure per day in that category or type vacation in different locations! Before we joined a travel club and even today for comparison purposes, we calculate:
- the typical cost of a night in a 3-5 star hotel,
- 5-6 medium cost meals,
- 2x Airport taxi rides.
- 1 Excursion or activity – Better if free.
We then search online using various tools to find out what a “Package Holiday” would cost dividing the typical cost to less than £100/day x 7 – 14 days. In them days, we managed to find budget vacations to 3-4 star family resorts for less than $1000 for a family of 3. Then later 4 people 2 adults 2 children and usually half or full board including flights! Such Package deals are a lot harder to find today with the carbon footprint tax that most airlines that fly to & from UK have to pay, and pass on to the customer. Yet when you plan your vacation yourself following Martin Lewis Tips on budget airlines…you can still get them!
#6 How to save for a vacation– Declutter your home.
Now before you say how will this help you save up & afford your next vacation, consider this. How’s the clutter helping you live a better quality of life, those things you don’t need or use? Clutter is also one of the causes of stress and allergies. Check out your local car boot sale for a booth. How about you try online for sites for selling your stuff, or eBay, Craigslist, your local listings as well (we have Loot in Liverpool). Get all that unused, unwanted gifts, gathering dust stuff and go sell it. Have a spring clean, a clear out and get the cash, someone out there really needs that stuff and is happy to pay a reasonable price for it. If you haven’t had a vacation in years, you got one coming now. Start being creative.
#7 How to save for a vacation– This is a toughie…
If you are a smoker or love to eat out, Skip the meal out- cook and eat in, ditch the Pub Crawling, maybe once a month. Let that movie go, try DVDs and definitely for your health drop those death sticks — smoking. You may not realize it, but every excess expenditure simply adds up. Release it for a few good months, you could afford a nice lil vacay to your desired destination. Very true for alcohol and smoking! If you must have that tipple, buy your liquor by the pack in Stores rather than pubs. You’ll also save on cab fares back home…no drink driving mate! 🙁 We made friends with our local Bargain Booze owner and they show us similar drinks esp. wines that cost much less. Great when we are buying in bulk for a party. He also tends to give us a great deal on inventory that’s been on the shelf for ages…Make friends in the right places and you could afford your next trip without becoming a hermit lol!
#8 Consider Car share or Cycling to work to Save for a Vacation
Yup needs must and this one is great for your carbon footprint too. Save the Pandas and all that Jazz, by parking your car and sharing! Buddy up with someone who works in same general direction, and grab a ride to work. It doesn’t have to be same work place. It’s not just saving you money for a vacation its saving your car wear and tear too! How about for purposes of saving up for your family vacations you start weighing everything in ‘travel’ dollars. E.g. it costs my friend Pat £129.99 a month in parking fees at her workplace…That’s a return flight to lots of places in Europe! Buddying up – Car share or cycling to work could save her a sweet pot. She works just short of 7 miles away in the city!
How about negotiating with your workplace to work some days from home…You gotta have the stats to prove you are even more productive this way; and you could end up working from home more days, Sweet. (Only if your job isn’t a hands on, factory or office-centric one!)
We are not ones to say sell your car, esp. if you have a busy active family and work a distance away. It just may not be practical. Unless you wish to do so for long term savings. If you do work at least within 2-5 miles of your home, cycling to work may be a great way to get your exercise in, get fit while also saving a pretty penny for vacations or whatever to be honest. So do it.
#9 How to save for a vacation – Reduce Meat Esp. Red Meat on your Menu…
He he another left center one, but so true. Have you seen the cost of meat lately? It’s ridiculous how 500 gms of lean beef costs almost £4, Lamb chops are like £3.99 etc. It’s not just the cost of meat that you will be saving on, its your health too. Save a few cows, sheep and chickens. Meat is an expense that giving it up for a while, or greatly reducing its intake will not only reduce your spending, you’ll also eat healthier. Replace meat with healthier veg and fish, You will feel & look much better before your vacation. Your skin will glow with less meat putrefying in your body for days before it’s eliminated…! How cool is that! Make sure whatever you spend on meat weekly is put in your Special Vacation Fund! Don’t worry if you are a red blooded meat eater. It’s not forever, it’s a small sacrifice for that wonderful time you’re gonna have.
#10 You can Afford your next Vacation- Have a Stay-cation.
Yes, who told you that just because its in your current State or Region its not a vacation? And if you live in London, Switzerland, New York, Paris or most major Cities, costs are like you took a foreign trip…seriously! So often times and with the deals we get, we commit to a staycation each year esp. kids half terms. To make it special, we treat it like an out-of-town vacation. We go to the local attractions (there is always a new one), we visit our local museums (they always have a new show). Many people never get to visit their local tourist spots. Also ensure you stay away from your PC and emails, even social media. Don’t do your normal home errands, Make it quality time, take this as an opportunity to really enjoy your home, you pay enough for it!
#11 How to save for a vacation – Rediscover your Wardrobe!
You don’t need any new clothes for the next 6 months, last summer’s outfits are still good, Vintage is so in, and unless you have lost a couple of dress sizes and can’t afford a seamstress to adjust your wardrobe, you can live in your current outfits no sweat! We know people who cant even allow themselves to wear an outfit out twice ever…yet they buy them on Credit cards. What!
And these very same people look you in the face and say
“I so want to but can’t afford to travel…you are so lucky”
The idea here is to help you change your mindset. Every time you want to buy that cheap Primark outfit for a night out or party with people you don’t even know or like. Think ‘what could I buy in Bora Bora, Egypt, Disneyland, Blackpool etc. for this cash instead.’ This really helps you reduce or even stop your unessential, unnecessary spending and work towards your travel or life goals.
#12 How to save for a vacation– Join a Community of world Travellers!
Now this is our favorite because when we were introduced to this concept and community of world travellers, we were made to feel so welcome we wondered why it had taken so long to come to us. This community is one big family of families, couples, young people, retirees, a whole mix of wonderful people with one aim, to travel more and live life more. We love to have more Fun, Freedom and Fulfillment and show the younger ones what is possible out there! Yes some members are entrepreneurs, but the majority are Simply travel lovers and product users. We too joined as such at the start, I could say so much or let you decide whether this community could be for you here.
#13 How to save for a vacation– You don’t have to give up your Social Life!
Instead of hanging out in pubs and restaurants with mates, why not invite them to yours for a meal, ask them to bring own drinks and maybe a salad or dessert. And have a cozy catch up night in. Watch your fav movie or soap, crack bad jokes and bond even more. They could even sleep over and save cab fare. Obviously you can’t do this if space is an issue nor every weekend. But we assume you don’t go out every weekend either. If you do…absolutely cut way back and put that cash in your “Special Vacation Fund.” You see learning to save, being a lil frugal is a great way to save money, and you don’t have to become a billy no mates, or go socially AWOL!
#14 Get a Cash Back Card instead of a Credit or Travel Points Card.
We used to get so much more from Travel point credit cards, not anymore, And of course you know o ensure you keep within the Free interest period and then move to a better deal or pay it all off in that period. Now, between increasing fees and restricted access to flights, they aren’t as attractive and you can barely get the flights you want! So our Tip here is why not grab a good cash-back card with low fees and save for that next trip & can use the cash-back for any travel deal, not just flights.
Bonus Tip- How to save for a vacation:
We like to think that after you have made all this effort to save for your trip, you don’t want to pilfer away your fund on some unnecessary extras when you do travel. So one of the things we do is ensure we don’t incur roaming charges. If you are traveling to Europe like Spain, UK, Italy, order local sim cards and use them in those countries and you can enjoy local calls, including calls to your mates back home. Try Prepaymania a site that offers Tourists, UK SIM Cards FREE, you just pay £1 GBP postage anywhere in the world inc. your home. A much cheaper option for a frequent traveller esp. in Europe.
Remember it’s not just about saving to travel, but saving as you travel!
As long as you’re able to move your personal “Inhibitions” expand your borders and seek new adventures, how to save for a vacation and travelling is doable!
One of the reasons we decided that Travel would be part of out lifestyle, not a WANT was that we both do believe that Life is a Gift. Tomorrow is not promised so we gotta enjoy what we have today. Panning for when you retire to travel the world is one of the most absurd things. When one is older one has all kinds of age related restrictions; health, even financial! And you miss out on seeing new shores through the eyes of your little ones. It’s amazing. We may all be different, but by gosh most people we know: would love to travel more.
So if you are reading this post on how to save for a vacation, we encourage you to decide from today, you purpose to make every effort to travel more — you could chose a destination, set a budget and even reserve/book it. Many sites do allow you to do that!
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See, Do, and Be more!
Julie Syl Kalungi
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