Many romanticize travel by adding destinations to their bucket list in hopes of one day getting somewhere. Travel relieves stress, increases happiness, and lets you experience new and exciting things. However, it’s easy to think of travel dreams as just that — a dream. When crunching the numbers, going on a trip might feel like an impossible quest.
Travel doesn’t have to be something you chalk up as unattainable. With some planning, budgeting, and creativity, anyone can explore the world. Whether it’s a trip two hours away or on the other side of the globe, you can travel. Keep reading for a list of six tips to make your next trip more affordable.
1. Choose Your Destination
Dream about your ideal trip. It’s easy to say, ‘Oh that would be nice, but won’t happen for me.’ Think about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to experience if money and time weren’t a factor.
Once you know the trips you’d like to take, you can start making a plan to reach that goal. No trip or idea is too silly. Most of the time traveling is about the experience anyway.
For some, the trip on their bucket list might be camping at Yellowstone. Others might want a seven-day, all-inclusive cruise. After you decide your trip type, you can work on ways to fund it.
2. Save Up and Budget
Look at your budget and start saving. If money is tight, even small amounts can add up. There are piggy banks that say “Vacation Fund.” Starting with pennies is still starting, and that’s the most important step.
If you want to make travel a priority, add it to your budget as a line item. While you probably already have a line item for your savings account, you can add another that simply says travel. You could even open up a new savings account just for travel expenses.
Some bank accounts make it easy to round up and save by automating the process. For example, for every swipe of your debit card, some banks will round up and then deposit the change into your savings account. Others move a designated amount into your savings at the end of the month based on your transaction numbers.
3. Find a Side Hustle
It might be a challenge to find extra funds in your budget to save. If you want to save up even faster, you could get a side hustle. Consider the money you make with this endeavor as “travel money,” and put it all into your travel savings.
There are many options available to make a little money on the side. You could drive for Uber or Lift. You could deliver food for Postmates or Dominos a few days a week. You could even get cash for taking surveys online.
4. Volunteer to Travel
Do you want to make a difference while also seeing the world? There are many options for longer travel opportunities while volunteering. You can give your time and help others in exchange for food and lodging.
One of the most well-known examples of one of these types of opportunities is the Peace Corps. Don’t think of joining the Peace Corps as a vacation though. If you join, you are trained and deployed as a volunteer to provide international development assistance. The length of service is between three months to a year.
Volunteers are given a stipend for living and housing that provides a similar lifestyle to the people they are helping. The Peace Corps also provides travel costs to get you to and from the country you’d be helping. They also take care of medical and dental care for active volunteers.
5. Backpack and Camp
If you are a nature lover, one way to experience beauty on a budget is through camping. Campsites often offer lower rates of stay than hotels, and the outdoor views are a bonus. Camping your way through the National Parks in the United States is a low-cost way to enjoy the outdoors.
If you’re an avid hiker, you could hike the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Both allow you to hike a long distance, backpack, and camp. These trails are not for the faint of heart though.
You could also backpack your way through Europe by camping and staying at hostels. However, this lifestyle and way of travel isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like the outdoors and enjoy nice hotels, you might want to look for another low-budget option.
6. Shop All-Inclusive Deals
If you are looking for nice accommodations and luxuries, an all-inclusive cruise or resort might be up your alley. These types of vacations can be easy to budget for because many of the travel costs are included. Think lodging, food, drinks, and some entertainment. Some trips even include airfare. You know exactly the amount you need to book the trip.
These packages often will offer sales as well. Look for BOGO sales and money off around Black Friday and other holidays. If you book far enough in advance, you can also make smaller payments on your trip.
These all-inclusive options offer many destination choices as well as varied durations. Say you’ve been wanting to try a cruise but aren’t sure if you’d like it. Why not start with a four-day cruise in the Bahamas?
Your dream trip can become a reality with some planning. Choose your dream, save, and find creative ways to get out there. You can earn extra funding through side hustles or save big by shopping deals and looking at all-inclusives. You can also volunteer or camp for big savings!
Exploration and travel is possible — you just have to set your sights and know the type of trips that will work for you.