So, you’ve decided that you want to travel. Great! Join the booming group of international jetsetters – which reached a record-breaking 1.2 billion in 2015 alone. Just as you’re pinning your 27th stunning beach sunset photo of the day, you think: “Wait, can I even afford to travel?” We’ve all been there and the truth is you’ll need to make a few concessions but saving money for travel isn’t so bad.
So, yes, young, fearless bosses, go explore the world – and do so with respect to your wallet. With an increase in travel, has come an increase in travel hacks and even travel spending.
Here are seven ways to save money to go on your fabulous travel adventure:
Take advantage of loyalty programs.
Most major hotel brands have loyalty membership programs that are free to join but save you anywhere from $10 a night to hundreds of dollars based on the length of your stay. Hotels are just the beginning — cash in your credit card points for anything from flights to new luggage. Airlines also have loyalty programs that you can buy into for a small fee that in turn helps you save hundreds of dollars on flights.
Curb your weekly budget.
You don’t have to get rid of your daily latte fix for good, but how about for a few months? Check your spending budget and see where you can trim the fat. When you think about the benefit of forfeiting a few luxuries to save for vacation, the small sacrifices seem menial.
Here’s the beauty of AirBnB: You can rent out your home to earn money, while renting someone else’s home to save money. This is a no-brainer.
If you have a talent, use it. Pick up freelance photography gigs, event help, writing, dog walking, the opportunities are endless. By the way, did you know you can earn money off your vacation photos? Check out sites like, SmugMug.com, and thank me later.
Get a travel agent.
A lot of people will swear that you do not need a travel agent – and they’re correct – but sometimes an agent will help you save money. Agents have connections with hotels, airlines, tour companies and more. Their knowledge of deals can help you save money if they understand your needs and budget. Believe me, I called my agent for a last-minute trip to Panama and he tied up loose ends and found unbelievable deals in a pinch.
“Our goal is to maximize our clients travel experience,” says Adil Ismaaeel of Greatness Travels. “I’ve redirected clients from spending extra thousands on vacations because it wasn’t necessary for the experience they were looking for. They were astounded.”
Set up an automatic travel savings account at your bank.
Make it easy to save by create a savings account solely for travel. Automate the amount you’d like to add to the account weekly or monthly and – voila! You don’t see it but you’re one step closer to the Seven Wonders of the World (or wherever is one your bucket list).
Stay in the know.
Two words: Error. Fares. Have you heard about the urban legend of non-stop flights from JFK to Dubai for less than $200? Well, that was real in 2015 and it was just a sample of the glitch pricing and deals available when you’re in-the-know. Sign up for flight deals from sites including Secret Flying, The Flight Deal, SkyScanner and Hopper, just to name a few. Also, saving for travel becomes easier when surrounded by others with similar goals, so join a travel group to learn about ever-changing travel hacks.
There we have it. Start your travel saving today with a few simple steps. Have more ideas on how to save money to travel, share them with us below!