“I don’t need an article telling me that I should travel, I need the funds to travel.”
Listen darling, before you start complaining about not having the money to travel, but have a new car, flat screen, or are going on the same six weekenders you went to in college, re-evaluate your lifestyle. They say “travel is the only thing you buy that actually makes you richer,” so here are some tips on how to re-direct your investment. After all, traveling is just that—an investment in bettering yourself.
1. Set a financial goal and timeline.
Write it down, add it to your calendar, and check progress weekly or monthly. Discuss it with family and friends for support. Treat it like a weight loss/gain goal or an academic/career goal.
2. Take 15% (or x – amount) from your paycheck that goes straight into a new travel savings account.
Mint.com lets you combine your bank accounts and manage your budget by category on one platform.
3. Pick something that you purchase daily and could live without… and live without it.
Spending $4 for Starbucks 365 days per year comes out to $1,460. That’s a round-trip flight to Europe! Over-achiever? Pick two things.
4. Take a break from purchasing brands.
Do you really need another Tory Burch purse? Another pair of Raybans? Another cologne? Every time you are tempted to buy something, take the exact cost and put it into your travel savings account.
5. For several months: no big weekends.
A weekend trip to San Francisco plus a weekend trip to Las Vegas plus a weekend at Coachella plus 12 weekends of bar hopping in Santa Monica can also equal two months in Southeast Asia.
6. Seriously, when you get invited to go out, guess how much you would have spent on drinks and add it to you travel savings account.
Wine and Netflix doesn’t sound that bad anyways.
7. Ask for gift cards related to travel for your birthday, graduation, and Christmas.
Heck, the Easter Bunny might throw in a few bucks towards your trip or Grandma may have some air mileage she’s not going to use.
8. Do a “job on the side” which strictly funds your travel goal.
Something like baby-sitting, photography, freelance work, tutoring, or yard-work, for instance.
9. Save your pennies.
Put commissions, tips, and bonuses straight into your travel savings account.
10. Make real sacrifices.
Move in with your parents or get a roommate to cut your rent in half. It’s just for a few months and will be totally worth it.
11. Move walking distance from where you work.
Do you know how much money you could save on gas if you just rode your bike?
12. Try a crowd funding website.
Once you’ve saved up a little and showed some effort, try crowd funding your travels with a website like Trevolta so family and friends can pitch in to help you finance the rest of your voyage. In a perfect world, we would have everything in our 20′s. (But then again, look at what happened to Miley, Lohan, and Bynes). If we have to choose one luxury over another, the benefits of traveling definitely outweigh the costs. To dream of seeing the world and to be able to finance it yourself in your 20s is an absolutely phenomenal feeling. With a little discipline and organization, you too can make your “dreams” into “goals.” Psss… you might also like my posts 14 Ways to Finance your Travels While Abroad and 12 Travel Tips to Ballin’ on a Budget.