When I ask friends if they want to travel, they respond with, “Of course!” If I ask them if they have been traveling they say, “No, I haven’t been able to.” The biggest reason why they don’t travel is because of money. But I think that we can all have the freedom to travel if we know how to budget for travel. Learning how to budget for travel is key for traveling regularly…
How to Budget for Travel
1. Know Your Goal
Budgeting is tough no matter what you are budgeting for. It requires diligence, passion, and self-control. You have to know your goal and desire that goal. Sometimes you may have a lesser budget for going out to eat because you want to have more money for fun stuff or for paying off loans. There is an important end goal when you budget.
Budgeting for travel works the same way. If you are not passionate about travel, your budget will not work for you. But if you truly desire to travel, you will make your budget work for you to accomplish your goal.
2. Be Prepared to Sacrifice
Any time you want to save money for something, you have to sacrifice something else. Maybe it means that you don’t go out to eat as often. Maybe you don’t go on random shopping sprees. For my husband and I, we had to have a very strict budget during our first couple of years of marriage for our life in general and for pursuing our passion for travel. We were committed to barely eating out, finding deals on groceries, and limiting our A/C (in South Florida!). We didn’t go shopping much and tried to live minimalistically.
Because of our sacrifices, we defied the odds and went on a cruise for our first anniversary and then went backpacking through Europe during our second year of marriage. These trips did not happen because we were rich or lucky (we had customer service part-time jobs at the time and were going to college full time)… we got to go because we were intentional and committed to our travel goals!
3. Consistently Search for Deals
To travel inexpensively, you have to be on the lookout for deals. When we fly, we are always looking at and signing up for alerts on Google Flights and Skyscanner. Sign up for emails on all sorts of websites – cruises, flights, hotels, etc. These sites can help so much to find great deals, but they won’t always just come to you. You have to continue to search for yourself!
As you search deals, try your best to be flexible. The more flexible you are on dates, places, and times, the more deals you’ll be able to find. Certain months and times are cheaper in certain places than others.
Another great way to save is by booking a place to stay through Airbnb! Click HERE to find out more!
4. Keep Track of Your Money
You can’t budget if you can’t keep track of your expenses and how you are spending your money. I know it can be time consuming or frustrating, but you just need to write it all out! Make categories, write out your numbers, and add up each category. When you do this, you’ll find out quickly where all of your money is going. You can’t change your bills very much, but you can see your other categories and find out which ones you can spend less money on. If you’re really committed, you may even get rid of your cable, like we did! 🙂
Once you figure out how much you’re spending, add up how much you make. Subtract how much you spend from how much you make. Hopefully this comes out to a positive number. If not, you have some other things to work on before you start thinking about travel!
Click HERE to receive a free printable download to help you with your monthly budget for travel.
5. Open a Travel Fund Savings Account
With that positive number that you got, dedicate it to your Travel Fund every month! Whether that number is $10, $20, $50, or $100, it all adds up! When we were first married, we put $50 into our Travel Fund savings account most of the time, and other times we just put in what we could. We even had a piggy bank where we’d collect all of our change and count it up to put in the Travel Fund.
If you put $50 into your Travel Fund every month, you’ll have $300 every six months or $600 every year! You could travel locally every couple months, domestically every six months, or internationally every 12-24 months! Imagine going to a different state every six months. Now imagine visiting a new country every couple of years!
If you don’t have a good savings account, you should check out the CapitalOne 360 Online Savings accounts. You can open up as many as you’d like for free. A financial advisor recommended it to us and we have loved using CapitalOne for our own Travel Fund!
Need help creating a budget for travel?
Click HERE to receive a printable monthly budget plan!
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a reply below or contact me!
My name is Lindsey Erin and I am a Georgia Peach who loves to travel and explore! I got a B.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies because I love learning about cultures and religion so much. Because I love travel and people so much, I decided to start writing Spread Your Wings Blog!