4 Ways to Budget for Travel

by Nov 17, 2019budget2 comments

At the age of 25, I took my very first international trip to Italy in 2016 became Zane’s addicted and haven’t been able to sit still since. Traveling became very healing, therapeutic, and my escape from the daily stressors that come with having 9-5 burnout and massive student loan debt.

Despite the adrenaline rush, non-stop traveling also came with its own set of challenges, sacrifices, and going for broke moments. With age comes an acquired sense of wisdom. Now in my late 20s, I have learned very valuable lessons, proper budgeting, and money management skills along the way so you won’t have to make the same costly mistakes. 

See traveling isn’t expensive, it’s all about the art of being strategic, mastering budgeting, and planning way ahead. Here are 4 practical ways on how to budget for travel: 

Open a Travel/Just for fun Account

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If you aspire to travel and do so frequently, the secret is that you must make it a priority! Prioritize travel like you prioritize those monthly subscription services. It is imperative to open a travel/just for fun savings account that is separate from your checking account, bills, and long term savings. Ensure that it’s located in a completely different bank and not easily accessible or transferable to you. Basically, you will need an account that will take up to at least 3 days to even obtain your funds. The goal is to set aside at least 5 percent of your income (or any amount that you can comfortably afford to start with) and have it automatically deposited into your travel savings every pay period. 

Obtain a travel credit card

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I know what you’re thinking, I have a love/hate relationship with credit cards too. They can be the best or worst thing to happen to you depending on your level of control. There are pros and cons to obtaining a travel credit card but the pros certainly outweigh the bad if utilized responsibly. Qualifying purchases made on a travel credit card will allow you to earn miles or rewards towards any future travel.  This will ultimately allow you to save on flight or hotel expenses and apply these extra funds towards food, liquor, tours or excursions. However, the goal is to never maximize more than 30 percent of your credit line as this will potentially affect your credit score. You should always pay more than the minimum monthly amount required. This statement can’t be stressed enough, please utilize responsibly.

Spend within your limits, don’t go for broke 

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Any financial guru or expert will tell you to find, list, and write out your monthly expenses for everything. Be sure to always set a budget for your monthly expenses including student loans, eating out, transportation, rent, bills, etc. and leave room for any emergency situations that may arise. Monitor your spending habits and further evaluate the non-essential items, you may need to cut back on. This can easily look like morning coffee runs, eating out at lunch every day or even dry cleaning. At times it’s tempting to overspend and be reckless but the overall goal is to never go for broke and live within your means no matter what. Jay-Z said it best, if you can’t buy it twice then you can’t afford it. So always think twice when it comes to making unnecessary purchases, those small numbers add up over time.

Sacrifice, Sacrifice, Sacrifice 

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The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real but practicing and learning the art of saying NO is essential and the key to budgeting for travel. You will have to hit folks with the “sorry but I can’t come” line a few times.  As much as you would like, you can’t be everywhere doing everything. Unfortunately, there may come a time when you have to temporarily cut back on the non-essential luxuries that you love. Sometimes traveling requires a level of sacrifice that may require you to miss out on brunch, concerts, happy hour, and even nail/hair appointments. This does not mean that you have to cut back forever. This is only a method used to get you on track to accomplish your travel goals. Temporarily sacrifice so that you can reap the benefits in the long run.

Have you tried any of these methods? 

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