Do you ever see your friends and family going on vacation and having fun and you can’t join because the budget just isn’t there? Or you just desperately need to get away and need advice to go anywhere on a budget? Well this is the place for you! There are so many options out there to take when you need a vacation. I’m going to share some of the things I have done this year to be able to afford to travel.
Set a Budget
A budget is a plan that you make for yourself that will help spend your money wisely. Having a budget set in place is so important in life whether you plan to travel with the budget or not. This is the best way to ensure you will have money for all your living expenses. I recommend making a Excel spreadsheet with your income listed along with all of your expenses. This is a good way to visually see the flow of your money. If Excel is something you don’t want to do, then you can look at all the free apps out there that help with budgeting. Anything is better than nothing! Next, you need to look at your expenses. Are there bills you can cut down on? I recently saved $40 a month by taking off cable. I noticed I stay on Netflix anyway so why spend the extra $40 a month, that’s $480 a year!
If you’re the person who puts money into their savings and takes it right back out at the end of the week then you need STASH. This is a good way to save money and invest in stock at the same time. For $1 a month, you can have your personal investment account, debit account access, earn stock-back at places you already spend money, and you get to learn financial education in the process.
If you travel somewhere that you need to fly to then you need to take advantage of flight discounts and rewards. Southwest is my favorite. Your carry on and checked baggage is included with your flight. No extra charges! You can also apply to have a credit card with Southwest to earn points. These points can give you big discounts on already cheap flights. The best deal they have is after getting so many points, you can fly with a companion for FREE. Now, you and friend will be able to split the cost of the flight saving you so much right there. Every month or so Southwest sends out an email about their low far calendar. Check out the calendar to get the best rates and decide when the best time to travel is.
Need a credit card? Apply for Discover now and receive $50!
Discounts on Stay
There are some discounts out there for hotels such as if you have insurance through Farm Bureau on the back of the card you will find how to get discounts on hotels. I still prefer Airbnb. It’s the best way to go in most places you decide to visit because the cost can be at a greater discount then most hotels. Airbnb also allows you to refer friends that will give you a discount on your next booking as well as for the person who signs up. The cool thing about Airbnb is that you can also list your place to be rented when you go on your trip. It’s a good opportunity to make extra money on the side!
I traveled to Costa Rica for 5 days this past July. The flight from Orlando, FL to San Jose, Costa Rica was going to charge $50 to bring a checked baggage each way. I was not having this! $100 to bring a bag of clothes to and from Costa Rica was ridiculous to me. I decided to pack ONLY the essentials in a backpack. This hiking backpack was the best thing I decided to invest in when I went on this trip. I also knew I needed my hiking shoes so I ended up wearing those on the plane and taking a pair of chacos in my backpack. There are ways to travel light. I took advantage of the Airbnb rentals we had. They had a washer/dryer in the rentals so I brought tide pods to be able to wash my clothes. Since I had just a backpack, that meant I couldn’t buy many souvenirs because I simply didn’t have the room in my backpack for it. I saved money by just admiring the country then buying a bunch of over priced goodies. My advice is to take only the things you need when you travel. We tend to over pack and that can be costly when flying.
Travel Smart and Safe
Traveling can be affordable to anyone. Start by making yourself a budget and cut out those expenses. Do your research find the perfect place to travel on the perfect budget. Travel lightly and enjoy your destination. Be smart and you can save so much. I hope you take advantage of all the discounts and rewards programs that are out there. YOU deserve to travel!