Want to take a vacation? You should start saving up now. When most people think of saving up money, they think of it like a chore. Saving up money for an international vacation may be a long term goal and not something that can be achieved overnight but with these tips you will save up much faster than you think!
Save a bit each month for a vacation of your dreams
Try to set aside at least 10 percent of your income each month. By setting aside 10 percent of your income each month, you will soon have enough saved for any vacation destination that you choose. It's easier than ever to open an online savings account with your bank that will allow you to make automatic deposits each month. Automating the deposits makes it a lot easier!
Pay yourself first. If you wait until the end of the month to save money for travel, it probably won't happen because something else will have come up and taken priority over saving money.
Find some ways to earn a little extra cash
If you've got your heart set on a vacation, there's no need to wait until your next paycheck. There are plenty of ways to save up for your trip without breaking the bank. Here are some suggestions for where to find extra cash.
1. Get a second job
If you're serious about taking a vacation in the near future, consider getting a second job. It's not easy, but it's an option if you're eager to save money. Consider what you want to do and how much time it will take — working part-time at a retail store doesn't pay as well as waiting tables at a restaurant, for example — and make the decision that fits your schedule best.
2. Sell unused items
If you have stuff lying around the house that you never use, sell it! List old clothes on eBay or Craigslist and see what they'll fetch. You might also consider selling things like unused gift cards or video games on these sites or at trade shows or garage sales.
Find cheap flights to your destination
Finding cheap flights is the most important part of planning a vacation. Here are some tips to help you save up for a vacation:
1. Use reward programs to get cheap flights. Sign up for frequent flyer programs and airlines' rewards programs to earn free flights and upgrades. In addition, travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, CheapTickets and Kayak offer discounts on airline tickets when you book through them.
2. Book your trip during off-peak seasons. You can save up to 40 percent by traveling during the shoulder seasons. If you can't avoid peak season, try booking just one way as a "walk-up" fare -- that is, purchase a ticket only if there are seats available on the flight you want.
3. Be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. Airlines often have unsold seats that they need to sell at discounted prices in order to meet their revenue goals for the month or quarter, so being flexible about when and where you fly will help ensure that you get a good deal on your flight.
4. Bundle your trip with other expenses such as hotels and rental cars. This will allow you to negotiate lower rates on each expense separately.
Use points from a credit card to pay for the flight
Online travel websites usually allow their users to book flights using credit cards instead of cash payment. If you have enough points in your credit card, this is one way to use them and get a free ticket to anywhere in the world.
You just need to see which bank has the best reward program and apply online without any hassle or fuss. You will be able to redeem your points immediately, so there is no waiting period or anything like that. You may even be able to get an upgrade if the seat next to you is empty!
Note: Some travel reward cards also charge annual fees, so make sure you're paying off your balance each month so you don't end up paying for your vacation twice.
Track your spending more closely - and cut out what you can!
There's no way you can know where your money is going unless you keep track of it properly. Use a spreadsheet or app like Mint to help you track your income, expenses and debts – you'll be surprised at how much small changes in your spending can add up over time. Start by listing all of your recurring monthly expenses, then split them into fixed and variable costs (e.g., rent/mortgage, car payments). For each of these make a list of ways you could cut back if necessary (e.g., buying store brand products instead of name brands).
Find free things to do around your city
If you're trying to save up for a vacation, you don't have to do the same old boring routine every weekend. There are free things to do all over the city, and they're more affordable than you think.
Trying out new activities is not only fun, but it's also great for your health. Adding a new hobby or two can help you feel refreshed and reenergized when you're short on cash. For example, you could visit a museum on Mondays. Most museums offer free admission on one day per week: typically Monday or Tuesday. Check out this website to find out which museums in your city are offering free admission.
The main takeaway here is that saving up for a vacation doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right approach (and some determination), it’s absolutely possible to see the world without taking on crippling debt. I hope that this article was helpful, but if you have any questions feel free to reach out using our contact form. We’ll do our best to help you plan your trip and save up money for it at the same time!