For most, 2019 started with a long list of exotic locations longing to be made reality getaway destinations in the near future. Separately, but all part of the same New Year’s resolution club, were probably, several well-intentioned vows to shape up finances.
What if we killed two birds with one stone? What if instead of wallowing in a lack of funds, sunshine and annual leave, a mindset of abundance was adopted instead? One of patience, one of determination, one of gratitude. Developing an approach to finances that allowed the ability to save enough money for dream travel plans, thus disciplining attitudes towards saving and ticking off the boxes of 2019 travel goals. Suddenly, saving money doesn’t seem quite so grim when there’s a reward in sight.
If you’re determined to make 2019 the year to travel far and wide across the globe, give these top saving tips a go and start planning your holiday itinerary.
Establish a travel budget your comfortable with
Before planning any part of a trip the first step is to sit down and address the budgeting side of things. There are five main categories to consider including airfare and transport, accommodation, activities, food and drink, local transport, unexpected extras (gifts and souvenirs) and lastly, emergency funds.
Once you’ve reached a number that’s both reasonable and one that you’re comfortable with you can start shopping around for the best deals and make more definite plans.
Take note of peak seasons
While you don’t want to rock up to your dream destination during the depths of their low season, keep your budget in check and avoid landing in the midst of peak season for the area when costs can increase to as much as triple the amount. Ideally plan your trip for somewhere in between these seasons. Check the weather, refer to your guidebook and do a quick Google for reviews on the best time to go. In almost every area Christmas, New Year and Easter will undoubtedly be the most expensive for making travel plans but other than these times of year, negotiating pricing is much easier during the low season.
Break up the saving
While it would be nice to book the holiday and have it coming up in the immediate future, for the sake of your sanity and long term money mindset, there’s something to be said for booking a holiday well in advance. Allowing yourself more time to save means that you can still save for your trip and for your future at the same time. One of the biggest misconceptions with saving for a big trip is that you can only save for one financial goal at a time and after the trip it’s back to square one. Not only will this stress you out more in the run up to the trip but upon your return, the thought of building savings back from zero will make the holiday comedown all the more depressing.
Instead start saving early and consider opening a separate savings account where you can put away a small percentage of your salary each month while still contributing a small amount to your long term savings account. In using a separate savings account you’ll also be able to see clearly and quickly which trips you can or can’t afford to go on. Automate the small savings made to each account each month so as soon that money lands into your travel savings amount you’re less tempted to touch it and it’s deposited before you can notice.
Use your network
The more you travel the more friends you’ll meet along the way and nine times out of ten, someone will know someone with a couch for you to sleep on. It’s worth asking around or sharing post on social media asking friends if they know anyone who lives in one of your 2019 dream destinations.
Most people will be more than willing to offer you a place to stay. Obviously you shouldn’t assume and upon asking, always remain polite. Show gratitude and don’t forget a little thank you token. When this little hack pays off it can save you a fortune in accommodation. The least you can do is buy them a small thank you gift.
Check out these books for more money saving strategies that work.