Many of us have quite long travel bucket lists - probably from the shores of Maldives all the way to the souks of Marrakesh. We dream of traveling to these destinations for a variety of reasons. But as our interests may vary, one thing is certain - travels are, to some extent, costly.
Lucky are those who can daydream of an exotic place in the morning and be on the plane bound for that destination in the afternoon of the same day. But, unfortunately, not everyone is born with a silver spoon - especially that big of a silver spoon. But there are actually effective ways to save up for that dream Parisian getaway or that Trans-Siberian escapade.
Think of travel as a regular monthly expense
Just like your utility bills or your monthly rent, train your mind to treat travel expenses as regular monthly costs that you allocate your income into. In doing your monthly, quarterly or annual personal budget (which I hope we all do), make sure to create a separate item type for travel expenses. In doing so, you are able to set aside a decent amount of money on a regular basis rather than blowing off your performance or yearend bonus all in one go.
Set aside as much amount as you are willing to allot. This peso or dollar value will highly depend on your income, other priorities and, of course, the destinations on your bucket list. Just like with your monthly personal savings, make sure you don't feel deprived with the amount you set aside. You should still be able to live comfortably within your means on a daily basis.
Set up a separate travel fund account
Aside from your payroll and savings accounts, I recommend to set up a separate travel fund account to properly segregate your travel savings from your retirement or education savings. Choose a bank account type that would not require a maintaining balance so you can freely exhaust the balance of the account as you may wish.
This separate account will allow you to properly monitor exactly how much money you have for travel so that you can plan and go on your trips accordingly and strictly only to the extent you have set aside. Plus, you wouldn't want to jeopardize your life's savings in the event you overspend on a single trip - which we "accidentally" do once in a while.
Make regular automated deposits
You now have a monthly travel budget and you've set up your travel fund account. To make things seamless, schedule an automatic transfer from your payroll account to your travel fund account. Talk to your banker and give specific instructions on the frequency and schedule of transfer, preferably on the same day you expect to receive your salary. This banking innovation will ease you the task of manually transferring funds from one bank account to another.
Not seeing that amount of money on your disposable payroll account actually eliminates the temptation or just mere negligence of spending it on other stuff.
Cut on your daily fancy coffee
Are you the type who spends ₱150 ($3) daily on a Starbucks brew? In case you may not have noticed, this seemingly minimal daily spend actually costs you ₱4,500 ($90) monthly or ₱54,750 ($1,095) annually! That money can actually cover your round-trip ticket to Amsterdam!
Ask yourself if you really need to spend that amount on coffee. If you can't survive a day without your daily dose of caffeine, turn to cheaper alternatives such as making your own coffee at home or availing of free coffee at your office pantry that you never knew actually existed. This trick can actually be applicable to your other expenses such as your gourmet meals or your fancy gym membership.
As a go-getter myself, I am a firm believer that if there's a will, there will always be a way. If you have that constant itch to travel and hope to experience a lot of things in your lifetime, there are a number of ways to achieve your goal even if there are things that seem to get in the way. It is always up to you on how to deal with hindrances in your life.
Do you have some travel saving hacks that you want to impart? Share them in the comment section below!