Everyone wants to travel to some degree or another. You may have dreams of visiting Rome, seeing the Great Wall of China or going all around the world. Of course, travelling takes money, and this can be a major setback for most people. The cost of travel is the number one reason why most people are unable to fulfil their travel goals, and many eventually let those dreams go by the wayside.
But if travel is truly a priority in your life, and you are willing to take some important steps, saving the money to achieve your travel goals is possible for anyone. No matter your income, expenses and current financial situation, you can begin to save enough to see the world in less time than you may think. The following tips are designed to help you do just that, and with a little discipline, some careful planning and a bit of sacrifice, you can literally go anywhere.
1. Define Your Travel Goals
The first step in any plan is to set your goals. You need to clearly lay out and define where you want to go, when you want to go, for how long and other specifics of your travel goals. Do you want to spend a month in Europe? Or do you hope to travel around the world in 90 days? Your goals may be less ambitious than this, if you only want to take a vacation or see one special location.
Whatever your ambitions, define them clearly, including the target amount you need to save. You should also give yourself reminders so you can stick to your savings plan. Simple Post-It notes or photos of exotic locations around your home and office can do the trick.
2. Assess Your Finances
After you know what you hope to achieve, you need to take an honest and thorough look at your current financial situation. This will obviously vary according to each person, but this step is critical in reaching your goals. If you do not already have a clear budget in place, create one using Excel or Google Sheets. Lay out your income and your expenditures and begin to decide what needs to change.
3. Go Out Less
This is one of the simplest—and most difficult—steps in saving money for travel. Especially if you are still young, you likely want to spend most of your weekends out on the town with friends. However, you will find that this is the fastest way to flush your travel money down the drain.
Cover charges, expensive drinks, concert tickets and various party materials can add up to hundreds over one weekend. Especially if you party too hard, you can go ahead and throw away your savings plan if you end up with a DUI or other legal troubles.
4. Cut Expenditures
Going back to the budget you created earlier, there are almost certainly some expenditures which may be cut. You do not have to pay $100 a month for cable TV if you spend most of your time watching Netflix and Hulu. If you are not home during the day, there is no reason to keep the air conditioner/heat running in your home. Pack your own lunch instead of paying $10 every day at a restaurant. Getting your hair cut or coloured every other month, as opposed to once a month, can effectively cut this expenditure in half.
Finding simple ways to save can add up to hundreds over the course of a year, and this is the most important key to saving for travel. Combined with your clearly defined goals, as well as some financial and personal discipline, you may be able to see the world sooner than you thought.