Meet your travel fund targets with these tips…
Planning for your next vacation is an exciting time! After creating your ideal travel budget, you’ll want to start saving right away. To help you stay on track, you might want to do the following:
Write down your budget
Physically having a piece of paper with your budget goals written on it is the perfect way to inspire yourself to save money. Place this note on your fridge, by your desk or in the corner of your mirror, so that you see it everyday. This is meant to be motivating but get rid of the paper if you find it makes you anxious.
Work out your monthly savings goals
Take the time to calculate how much you need to save each month. Do this by counting the amount of months you have before you leave home, then divide this by your budget: $1000 budget / 10 months = $100 saving per month.
Tip 1: You might want to adjust your budget for this exercise to include only your “in destination expenses” – as chances are most of your flights and accommodations will be pre-booked!
Tip 2: Increase or decrease your monthly savings goals to include “big items” if you know when they need to be paid. For example, if you know that your final cruise payment is due in September but you’re not travelling until January, make sure that you save a little extra in the months prior to September.
Tip 3: Write down any payment dates on your calendar or in your diary. This means you won’t forget them and can monitor how much you need to pay and when!
Use online budgeting programs
For those of us who hate numbers and/or are disorganised, there are online budgeting programs that can do all the work for you. These apps can manage your expenses and track how much you are spending as well as saving. Why not download one of the following?
Analyse your weekly spending habits
It’s always handy to analyse your current spending habits. Maybe you can cut out that daily coffee, or weekly happy hour session? Do you eat out in the city a lot, or have a gym membership you never use? Can you make your coffee at work, cook dinner for friends or go running instead? Making simple changes might mean you can hit your travel budget sooner!
Set up direct debits or extra bank accounts
To minimise the temptation of dipping into your travel fund whenever you’re low on cash, it’s imperative that you open a separate savings or bank account. Then you should set up direct debit payments from your main bank account to your new “travel” account so that you don’t forget to save. This means that for every pay check, you will definitely be saving something. Your travel fund will increase with little effort from you!
Tip: Don’t rely on credit cards! Credit cards are useful when you need to process large transactions and don’t have the money in your account quite yet BUT make sure you pay the balance off every month. You don’t want to put every travel payment on your credit card and then be in debt when you return home from a trip!
Ask your travel agent for the best rates
Savings can be done whilst planning your travels – this is something that is so easily overlooked! Leaving bookings until the last-minute can often mean you end up paying a lot more than if you had booked months in advance. This is a sure-fire way to ruin your budget! This is where a travel agent comes in. Reserving flights, hotels, packages (and even activities) with a travel agent can save you money from the beginning. Travel agents have access to preferred rates, more flight options and special deals – meaning they can help you meet your travel goals for less!