When it comes to travel, you may find yourself making excuses to find the most convenient destinations rather than the most exciting or memorable ones. This year, I want to challenge you to take a look at your budget and travel abroad.
54.5 million Americans traveled internationally in 2018, don’t pass up the opportunity to be one of the millions in 2019. Other countries have so much to offer that domestic trips may not have.
Don’t let your budget keep you from escaping the mundane and experiencing adventure abroad.
1. Knowledge is Power: Examine Your Spending
One mistake many people make is not knowing how much they spend or how much they can save. This can make budgeting and planning for travel difficult. Knowing how you spend your money and how much you spend on what is always a great practice, but by paying careful attention to your spending habits, you can figure out where you can reduce spending to save for a trip overseas.
Some expenses are unavoidable: rent or mortgage, electricity water, internet, food, childcare, transportation. But you should know what you’re spending on these. If you have a nanny or babysitter, use a service that allows you to keep track of how much you’re paying them. This will help you with your taxes and manage your budget.
There are apps for tracking your overall spending, too, that will help you figure out what unnecessary expenditures you can cut from. You may not realize how much you’re spending on soda or candy at convenience stores until you see it listed on an app.
2. Save Now So You Can Experience More Later
Or find creative ways to still enjoy those little luxuries like using coupons for name brand products or going to a matinee instead of a weekend evening showing of the latest movie. Better yet, can you wait to watch the movie with friends from home once it’s released from theaters?
It’s important to weigh how much something is worth in the present versus how much the experience is worth to you in the future. I much rather only eat our twice per month instead of weekly than pass up The British Museum.
As you go out with your friends or go out shopping, ask yourself if the amount you’re willing to spend now is worth not going to France or Spain.
3. Find Flight Deals
The Internet practically invented travel deals. It’s amazing to think about how you used to have to call an airline or go to the airport to book a flight. With all the flight deal websites, there’s no excuse to not check from time to time to find some of the best destinations or best times of year to travel.
Keep in mind that your flight will probably be the most expensive part of your vacation. One way you can find less expensive flights, even on the discount sites, is to use Chrome’s incognito mode, according to Forbes Magazine.
4. Travel with Friends, Family, and Loved Ones
Traveling on a budget can be stressful. One way to reduce the stress (and the cost) is to invite friends and family. This tip is straightforward. It’s less expensive to pay for half of a hotel room rather than the entire room.
Sometimes it easier to find great travel packages when you’re going as a group, too. Most packages you’ll find will save you money on more than just your hotel. You can save on tours, car rentals, hotels, and airfare.
Not only will you save money by inviting your best friends, but you will also create memories you will talk about for years to come.
5. Work While You’re Abroad
When you think of vacation, you probably don’t think about working. Well, you can extend your vacation and stretch your budget by finding temporary gigs or working remotely. Working abroad, you can meet more people and immerse yourself deeper into the culture.
Freelancing is an option for writers and most computer-based jobs. But if that doesn’t apply to you, you can try out a house-swapping service or even pet sit. Try checking out internships in your industry. Some travelers even arrange to help out by working a bit at the hostels they stay at.
Of course, if you have a career that allows it, you can work out a way to keep working your current position by arranging a work schedule with your employer. Even working full time, you will still have plenty of time to go out and have fun.
Stop making excusing. It’s time to get your budget in order and start making travel plans. Say “Bon Voyage!” to those boring road trips and get a few stamps on your passport by going abroad this year.
To find more tips to help you save for your dream vacation, check out our 26 week money challenge that will help you save $5,000 next year.