The best piece of advice I can give that will help you save for travel is to, simply…
Don’t just think about the vacation while you are in the planning stages, after you have booked the flight. Think about how you can lower your monthly expenses to help you save. Some examples of this are:
- Canceling Netflix, or Hulu, or Prime (or any of the other monthly subscriptions that you have several similar subscriptions to).
- Making coffee at home vs. stopping on your way to work everyday.
- Call your internet/phone provider and ask about cheaper plans.
- Be mindful of the water and electricity usage in your home (this is better for the planet too! win-win!)
If everytime you think about purchasing something you ask yourself “will this bring me closer or further away from my goal of travel?”, you will be more likely to keep on track for saving.
I remember as a child, my mom (bless her organized mind) had a three-ring binder that she pulled out weekly if not daily. In it she kept a spreadsheet of our expenses, a paper keeping track of our savings along with the goals they intended to hit each month, and lots of information about the countries we were to visit on our next vacation. Inside the plastic of the cover, she kept a map of the world with the saying “Keep your eye on the goal”.
I have something similar in my home office and to this day, use it as a tangible reminder not to dip into my travel savings for silly things I think I want from the mall. The ability to hold a physical representation of prioritizing travel really does help you keep your eye on the goal and makes it easier to save.
A few more quick and easy ideas to help you prioritize travel:
- Keeping a photo of your dream destination as your phone and computer backgrounds is a great daily reminder of what you really want.
- Not going shopping in your downtime. Instead use this free time to look up photos of the place you are saving up to see IRL.
- Anticipating how much fun you will have and how much life experience and growth you will gain from your adventure, will help you continue to choose travel over everything else.