There are so many cliches about how travel will change your life. It’s what people dream of, makes up the bulk of all bucket lists, and inspires countless stories. But most of us can’t afford to travel very often. Flights and accommodation are prohibitively expensive, and you have to take spending money into account as well. It sometimes seems that if we don’t want to break the bank, travel must remain a pipe dream.
However, if you look at the countless travel blogs online, you’ll see that many people make plans to get around the world despite not having all that much money to spare. I’m not talking about the infamous begpackers. There are people, young and old, who find legitimate ways to fund themselves as they go on incredible adventures.
Here’s what you need to do.
Get a travel credit card
The first and easiest step is to get a credit card that gives you travel rewards. You spend thousands each month anyway. You might as well make something out of that spending.
Travel reward cards are available from many different providers, especially in the US and Canada. These travel rewards cards can subsidize everything from flights to accommodation for your entire stay. Take a look at these travel rewards credit cards in the US.
Some are really ideal for big earners, offering luxury rewards for those with big balances. But there are plenty for those of us trying to save money too. You can opt for the basic options that provide you with miles for your total spend, or go with more specific rewards, similar to these Canadian hotel credit cards that come with a free night. Ultimately, if you are careful to keep to the reward rules, you’ll come out with a good amount of travel savings at the end of each month.
This is not to say you should take on extra credit to go traveling. That may well be a destructive impulse. Rather, move your regular spending to a credit card that gives you the rewards you need to get around the world.
Open a savings account
No one is naturally good at saving money. In the moment, the urge to spend is usually stronger than the urge to save. However, if you want to travel, you’re going to need to be particularly strict with yourself. That does not mean you need to change your lifestyle, though. There are many ways to save money without compromising on the way you live your life.
Your first step will be to open a savings account. There are many different types of savings accounts, and you must choose according to your personality. For example, some people will happily put their savings in an account that requires thirty days notice before withdrawing money. Others are more likely to think twice before locking their money up in that way.
Once you are ready to save, you’ll need to make a few small changes to how you manage your money. Budgeting is proven to help you save, and there are many apps to help you do that. Also, try putting your savings away the moment you get paid, rather than waiting until the end of the month. This way, you are naturally more careful with how you spend, knowing you only have so much available.
Scour budget travel blogs
Another way of ensuring you have the cash to spend on a good vacation is by scouring budget travel blogs for all the best tips to save on traveling. No one is better placed than a perennial traveler to share tips and hacks for saving on flights, accommodation, and spending money. They can tell you what day is the cheapest to fly, the best time to go to certain destinations (spending less without compromising on good weather), and more.
Budget Traveller, Solo Traveler, and Hand Luggage Only, are all excellent blogs that can help you save hundreds of dollars while getting more out of your trip.
Make your money work
You should be saving regardless of whether you want to travel the world. If you already have some savings, you can use that money to make money. Trading and investing is not for everyone, but anyone can benefit from some safe unit trusts and interest bearing accounts.
Learning about investing your money can be quite exhilarating. There is a lot of information out there to help you with all the ins-and-outs. But you don’t need to become an expert to start seeing the dividends of your investments. Even the most risk averse investment options will ensure that your money continues to grow.
After a few months, you will be better-placed to make decisions regarding where next to travel. This way, you can save towards your future without neglecting your present.