You’ve probably set some travel goals for the new year. But, with hectic work schedules and bills to be paid, actually sticking to your travel dreams can be a bit tricky. Whether your goal is to go to that luxury destination you’ve always wanted to visit, or just take a small family trip you’ve been meaning to take for years, we’ve rounded up five tips to help keep you on track for travel.
(1) Realize the importance of travel:
One of the biggest reasons people don’t get a chance to visit the destinations they hope to is that they often hold on to the idea that travel isn’t a necessity. With mortgages and children and everyday stress, the first thing to get deleted from people’s “to-do” lists is often travel. The best advice we can offer is to make travel a priority. There are so many things people are willing to take debt on for--school, clothes, shoes, dinner out--yet travel rarely makes the list. Realize that travel, in many ways, is just as important as education. In fact, we would argue that travel is education. Treat travel like any other item on your to-do list: something that has to be done no matter what. When you approach it with that mindset, you’ll find it’s much easier to follow through with making that dream trip happen.
(2) Leave yourself reminders:
A great way to encourage saving for your trip and proper budgeting is to leave yourself visual reminders. Have you always wanted to go to Napa but haven’t been able to save up to do so? Change your phone background to a picturesque image of wine country--it’ll encourage you to think twice before spending that extra $5 everyday on a latte.
(3) Don’t just save, put away
Saving isn’t really saving unless you move money that was meant to be spent out of your checking account. Let us explain: if, in your efforts to take that dream trip this year, you forego your $5 morning coffee, but still keep that $5 in your checking account for other uses, you’re not really benefiting from your sacrifice. Make sure you’re moving that $5 per day out of your checking into your travel savings account. Otherwise, it will likely just get spent elsewhere.
(4) Keep the travel wheels turning, no matter what
You know what your income and work schedule allows for, so set your 2016 travel goals based on that. If the Amalfi Coast simply isn’t feasible this year, that’s completely fine, but that doesn’t mean you should forego all travel until you hit the lottery and can finally make it there. Choose a more accessible destination--one that will give you a taste of the dream trip you’ll one day take, ultimately tiding you over. A trip to a spot 30 minutes outside of your hometown is much better than no trip at all. Travel is rewarding in so many ways, so just remember to give yourself a small taste of it however and whenever you can. It doesn’t have to be an overseas affair every time.
(5) Spend strategically:
The thought of cutting off all expenses in order to save for a trip can be daunting. After all, retail therapy is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. So, a great way to get your shopping fix without blowing your travel budget is to spend money on items for your trip. Dreaming of a vacation in snowy Lake Tahoe this winter? Buy yourself a great coat next time you feel the need to spend. Not only is it better than spending money on something that doesn’t relate to your trip, it also will force you to make that trip happen. In other words, you’ll want to make sure you follow through on the Tahoe trip, because what else are you going to do with that great coat?
Have any encouragement for people who want to travel in the new year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.