If you have ever wondered how your colleagues, cousins or Instagram-famous students get to travel the world without breaking the bank, here is the answer. They do not starve themselves, they do not always go for Couchsurfing, and in most cases, they also do not hitchhike around. They travel just like anyone would, and they splurge a little.
But where is the secret, you would ask? Just like with most things we do, it is hidden behind the scenes. No miracles, no large parent funding, just simple calculations, and modest saving before going on your longed-for holiday getaway.
Here we are sharing the best tips on how to save without a pain, not compromising on tickets to Louvre or Italian handstitched bag on your Europe trip. A little consideration, strategy, and planning can go great lengths when it comes to saving. So here you go, our experienced travelers’ best tips traveling on a little more that shoestring budget. Going for the lowest expense may not be what you want on your few weeks out of the office.
To Save Money For the Trip, Know Your Expenses
Travel budget calculator, app or even ready-made template may be tempting to start with, but to truly save, you must first identify your expenses. It may sound like a citation from an old finance textbook, but for a good reason. According to Forbes finance expert Rob Berger, to start out, you must first evaluate your net worth. How much do you spend on travel? How much do you save for retirement? All those metrics come into play when budgeting and saving for your next trip. The better you assess the cost distribution, the easier it will be to identify and cut down on those areas. So, get your paper, an old-school calculator and put it all down there for a scrutinization.
Now, Get your Budget together
When you have a clear picture where does your money go, you are all set to see how much you can save on a yearly basis. By how much you are likely to cut your spendings? Starting from this, set your new budget for every area of your current spending. If you are running out of ideas, we are here to help – just read further and save for the next upcoming trip.
Pay Yourself First
If you are like us, then you always have a million things in your head and even more on your to-do list. As in many cases, you are unlikely to make effort on monthly basis to pay yourself first and set part of your salary aside – it simply will be forgotten, postponed or ignored till another time. To save money without any additional effort, just go to your online bank and set up a savings fund to automatically transfer from your checking account. For one, it will save your time. For two, you will save much more when automating your financial operations.
Necessities versus Social Spending
You know that some spending is a necessity. Generally speaking, one must pay the rent, buy some groceries and in some cases, also cover necessary transportation expenses. You can still find ways to spend less on all those necessary items or services, but for most of us, the actual black sheep is the social occasions. Those drinks add up, as well as those dinners out with your friends every Friday. There are some expenses you would still like to account for, such as friends’ birthday gifts and other social spending, but much of that you can limit by mindful spending or cost-cutting with fun home parties, potluck dinners or free events.
Waste zero – travel more
Newspapers, magazines, and the trendy zines are killing trees, and you know it. Even more, they are considerably slashing your vacation budget. If you still want to be updated on the industry trends, or gain some intellectual stimuli, consider going digital. Put aside an hour and research the most interesting online blogs, writers or online magazines to subscribe to. If you do miss the content you are accustomed to, check for your beloved magazines’ digital versions. A great publishing platform is Issu – here you can find a magazine, zines, and other stuff for free. And do not forget the oh-so-well-known Kindle store with low prices. However, if all the options are lacking the real, analog grip of the book, the touch of the paper and the repetitive motion of turning pages – if you too are missing those, along the smell of freshly printed magazines, make a trip to your local library or spend your lazy Sunday afternoons in a cafe that is known for its updated newspaper and zine supply.
Make every coffee count
Make less garbage and save more for your travels by adopting small changes in your daily routines. For starters, buy a thermos and quit your coffees for good. The same goes for packed store-bought lunches, snacks, prepared vegetables, smoothies, you name it. Do it yourself, pack your lunches and enjoy the financial freedom on your travels!
If you already do all those things, yet the budget is not sufficient for your next travel, switch your mindset!
As you have probably heard already, you can live below your means, but you can also expand your means. The choice is yours.
You may not have enough financial resources, but maybe you are not short on time. Chances are, your current income can be increased if you take up a freelancer role, set up an online business or get cash flowing into your bank account in another way. Look at those options – some of them even allows you to travel full time and make your home base in Bali or other exotic digital nomad locations!