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Practical Savings Hacks to Save Money for Travel

And no, I won't be telling you to stop buying lattes.


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Ok my traveling friends! Travel savings. Vacation budgets. Let’s hit it.


I’m going to be honest and say that the biggest hurdle that most of us face (all generations but especially Millennials and Gen Z) when it comes to saving for travel is that none of us are getting paid enough. Cost of living, inflation, wage stagnation, capitalist overlords… If you know you know. 


But ANYWAY, I had to rewrite this post a couple of times before it wasn’t just me yearning for the fall of capitalism. (ok it was a lot of times.) But here’s a few things that I can recommend to help you stash those travel extra bucks that are, dare I say, actually actionable.



#1 - Keep Your Travel Savings Separate from the Rest of your Money


If I keep all my dollars in the same place, I invariably end up using my travel savings for things that are, you know, not travel. You can decide what this looks like for you, but I highly highly recommend having a travel fund that you set aside and use only for booking trips. 


For me, this looks like the spreadsheet I keep for my savings account. I break my account down into categories, like my emergency fund, expenses related to my car, and of course, my travel fund, so I know how much of the money in my savings account is available for which purposes. And I don’t touch my travel fund for anything other than travel unless I ABSOLUTELY have to. 


That’s what works for me. For you it might look like a jar for saving physical cash, or a whole separate savings account, or anything in between. Regardless of how you do it, separating out your travel money makes sure that a) you know exactly how much budget you have to work with, and b) your travel money stays your travel money.


#2 - Spread Out the Cost of the Trip


a traveler on an excursion boat in Mexico

If you plan your trip far enough in advance, you can often spread out the expenses so they aren’t all hitting your accounts all in the same month. 


Book your flight and hotel first, but find a room or rental that lets you pay when you stay rather than at booking. Some hotels and rental sites even let you pay in installments! 


If you have any major excursions planned, or certain ticketed landmarks you want to visit, (museums, historic sites, etc…) buy those tickets in advance too. But do it a month or two after you book your flight, so the expenses aren't all coming out of the same paycheck. Space out the costs as much as you need to get everything you want out of your vacation while still making ends meet.



#3 - Make Your Money Go Where You Want it to Go


Most savings blog posts, no matter what you’re saving for, have a section along the lines of “ooooo your daily coffee costs you a bazillion dollars once you add it all up!!” That’s not what this is. That mentality frustrates me. A lot of us are already limiting our “frivolous” spending just so we can buy groceries and make rent. (Shakes fist at capitalism.) 


I’m not here to tell you to give up your everyday joys so that you can travel. But there’s a big difference between operating in that kind of scarcity mindset and simply paying attention to where your money is going. 


It’s really easy to get caught in a trap of mindless spending. (Thanks again capitalism!) Mindful spending, where you take a second to assess why you want something, is sometimes all it takes to talk yourself out of a purchase that you truly don’t need, and won’t even really bring you joy in the long run. Sometimes you want that Shiny New Thing(™) just because it’s shiny and new and exciting. If you pause long enough to realize that, you can funnel that money straight into your travel fund instead! It’ll bring so much more joy! Try this out and watch your adventure fund grow!




#4 - Shop the Sales


Yes, travel goes on sale! Set flight alerts for destinations you want to visit so you know when they’re cheapest. (Click here to learn how!) Sign up for email lists for resorts, airlines, adventure travel companies, sites like Kayak and Booking.com… I promise they’ll tell you when they’re running sales. Research the shoulder season in those pricey destinations and see if they’ll work out for you. 


If you keep your eyes open for the sales, you’ll be ready to pounce when the opportunity comes to put those carefully stashed travel dollars to the best possible use.


Do I wish I could snap my fingers and make travel accessible for everyone? Absolutely. Honestly I might be putting that on my list of wishes for if I ever encounter a genie. But since that reality is pretty unreasonable this side of (shakes fist) CAPITALISM, these tips can help you bridge the gap in the meantime. 


We’re all in this together my friends. Good luck.


How about some free stuff to further stick it to capitalism!? Subscribe to Arts and Adventures today and you'll receive a FREE Packing Light List: the ultimate guide to packing everything you need and nothing you don't!



Love and Shenanigans,


Andi


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