With the new year rolling right around the corner, it’s never too early to start thinking about summer plans. And as many of us dream about traveling someplace exotic for a vacation, it’s widely considered a passing thought, something we can’t afford. However, with the right plan in place for your finances, you might be surprised at where you could travel by this summer. Which, is exactly why I’m providing a few helpful tips to get started with. Check them out below:
Know Where You’re Headed
If you’re going to be heading off on a trip, then one of the first things you need to do is plan where you’re headed. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but iti will also provide an accurate budget to start saving for, because according to CreditDonkey, the average vacation cost approximately $1,145 per person. And while a lot of us have places that might be our dream to travel to, taking the time actually to plan for it will save you a ton of stress in the long run.
Whether it be seeing the Great Wall or the Paris Catacombs, make a list of where you’re trying to head, as well as how you can consolidate your budget. For example, if I wanted to go backpacking around Europe, then I’d list the specific cities I want to include, as well as which one of them is the cheapest to fly into. Even your food, shelter, tourist attractions, and souvenirs should be accounted for, as the overall goal is to have a plan that covers everything. After all, when it comes to traveling, it’s better to be over prepared than under, as it’ll keep you at ease once you’re out and about.
Take Care Of Any Current Debts
Another aspect to keep in consideration is to take care of any current debts you might currently owe. While I’m not suggesting that everything has to be paid off by the time you leave, having a solid plan in place that allows you to make payments while away is going to be crucial, as you don’t want to fall behind; because as noted by Nasdaq, the average person has approximately $5,000 in credit card debt alone. And if you find yourself in a similar category, you’re going to want to give yourself enough financial freedom before you leave, as well as have access to a backup plan.
Take a look at your current debts and see if anything is lingering that you might be able to pay off soon. The more you’re able to boost your credit score, the better off you’ll be in case you need some emergency funds. Additionally, if you find yourself in credit card debt, then consider a balance transfer to pay it off. Not only will this give you practically no interest, but you’ll be able to improve your credit instantly. Finally, always utilize the strategy of paying off what’s the highest interest first, then working your way down, as it will save you quite a bit in fees.
Create A Savings Plan
According to ValuePenguin, the average amount for a 12 day international trip costs around $3,251. And if you don’t have at least half of that, then it might not be a bad idea to start a savings plan. Not only will this maximize the experience you’ll have abroad, but additionally give coverage to any incidentals that come along the way. Get in the habit of putting aside a small percentage of your income to gradually build over time, as this is a habit that you should keep up with for life.
Start Finding Alternatives To Everyday Items
If you’re looking to save money for something like travel, then that unfortunately sometimes means cutting back on the short-term entertainment we love. Make no mistake, this can be a tough pill to swallow, but if you’re serious about traveling, then this might be a necessity. However, while I’m not saying don’t have any fun while you’re building up towards your goal, try to seek out alternatives that can help you save.
Look through some of your monthly expenses and see what you might be able to switch out. For example, if you’re a smoker, then going for a vaping alternative like Juul could be a wise choice, which according to Time, might save you $1 million over your lifetime. Start looking out for the little things, like buying private label over brand name, or even investing in buying in bulk. Because although it may not seem like much, these items can add up to quite a bit.
Be On The Lookout For Last Minute Deals
Finally, during the process of financially building towards this trip, don’t hesitate to take on a last-minute deal if the price is right. These are an incredibly popular travel choice because as noted by IcePortal, 49 percent of millennials take last-minute vacations, which is something to take advantage of. Sign up for a few services that offer last minute travel, as well as follow blogs and social accounts that advertise them as well. Who knows? You might be able to afford the vacation of your dreams for half the price.
Where are you most excited to travel this summer? Comment with your answers below!