We all daydream of traveling the world, don’t we? From relaxing on Bora Bora’s or Phi Phi Islands’ pristine shores, to beach-partying in Ibiza, and shopping till we drop in Dubai or New York City during their mega sales, from riding a gondola in Venice with our significant other, to discovering the sand dunes of Siwa Oasis, and doing all sorts of adrenalin pumping activities in South Africa.
Do we really get to realize our dream? Mmm, some do, others don’t. And those who do hardly travel once a year, you know why? Money talks! But those who don’t whether keep dreaming without taking any positive action, or complaining about how expensive, and unrealistic it is. (Photo courtesy: Dan Moyle)
Good news, the problem is not about the amount of money you earn, it’s all about the way you irresponsibly spend, and how badly you have to change your unhealthy spending patterns. (Photo courtesy: @Mike Photo Art)
1. Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. ~ Warren Buffet
That’s the rule of thumb! If you want to travel you have to commit to this quote. After doing your counts, knowing what your financial commitments are, define a certain amount of your salary, and set it aside on a monthly basis to save it for your future travels. (Photo courtesy: Tax Credits)
2. Set a clear travel plan
Nothing is as efficient as having a plan -be it in your head, or put into paper-, and moving according to it. Try to make your plans as specific as possible i.e. “This year I want to travel to Paris on the 14th of July to attend the Independence Day Celebrations with my husband and 2 kids”, as 1. the more you are specific the more it gets exciting, 2. you roughly know how much you need to save, and be aware once you have fulfilled your target. (Photo courtesy: Johannes Lundberg)
3. Get rid of your credit cards
Though credit cards make our lives way easier, those are EVIL, so evil. Whenever we run out of cash, we have them as the only resort to get what we need then pay later, which can destroy any saving plan of ours. Therefore only use it for online purchases, and during your trip “if needed”, and don’t forget to closely monitor what you have spent -don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Photo courtesy: Frankieleon)
Bonus Tip: you’d better subscribe to a credit card that gives you air miles.
4. Monitor your spendings
It’s not as difficult as it used to be; now you can monitor your credit and debit cards activity through internet banking, there is an array of mobile apps that would also help; a few to name are GoodBudget and Expensify. If you are not tech-savvy you can always rely on a notebook, or create excel sheets to put everything together, and compare your financial commitments versus your spendings and what you can save.
5. Create a travel funds box or bank account
Another way to keep you excited and committed to your plans is creating a travel funds box, a saving money jar, or open a bank account for that purpose. You could name it after the trip you are saving for, or just call it “Travel Funds”, you could insert coins on a daily basis, or just add the sum of money you should be saving each month (check #1). (Photo courtesy: ebay.co.uk)
6. Stop buying what you want go instead for what you need
We all go shopping for the sake of shopping, we consider it a mood-enhancer, the easiest way to kill boredom. We go to the mall needing to buy a pair of sneakers to workout with, then end up spending lots of money on buying a bunch of other stuff that we feel like “come on, why not”. Even worse, when we own an iPhone 5, once 6 is out we are totally ready to buy it though the 5 works great. Sales & promotions, hell no! Remember “you are strong”. (Photo courtesy: Gerard Stolk)
7. Cut down unnecessary expenses
Instead of parking your car right infront of your desired destination and paying for vallet, park it slightly further so you won’t have to pay parking fees, if you can’t open your eyes without gulping a cup of freshly brewed coffee from the coffee place next door consider buying a coffee machine to save tons of money, instead of calling your friends over the phone for hours, then having to pay a ridiculously expensive bill meet them over the weekend. Only for the sake of “I have to go to the gym” if you are not willing to commit yourself to go regularly then subscribing for a year is a total waste of resources. (Photo courtesy: (401K) 2012)
8. Don’t go out every single day
Unless you go for koshary, foul, ta3meya, and hang out in 2ahawy baladi spending quality time in Egypt comes expensive, you will at least spend 40 to 80 pounds if you go for a drink, a salad, or a desert. Seriously you don’t have to go out every single night as it’s a major waste of money, you could go instead for cheaper alternatives, even better if you only go out over the weekend, and not to the most expensive places -you can still go to these but once or twice a month max. (Photo courtesy: Hamed Saber)
9. No more delivery or eating out time to cook your own food
Have you noticed that you run out of money sooner than you should? Surprise! Ordering food at work, or eating out definitely exhaust your funds, let alone unhealthy, no matter how healthy they pretend to be! So save your health and money, and cook your own food at home, you have no idea how much you are going to save. (Photo courtesy: California Bakery)
10. Subscribe to Mileage or any Loyalty Program that would give you benefits
That’s something that we don’t pay too much attention to while it actually works overtime! Haven’t you ever used your points to get a laptop case, a phone, or even a charger? The same works for Mileage Programs, and Loyalty Programs, keep looking for them. (Photo courtesy: Nick Webb)
It’s quite simple, not requiring any kind of expertise, you easily compare rates, and see which better works for you, and you won’t have to worry about paying any extra charges to a travel agent.
12. Don’t be too lazy to read saving tips
Even if you are as savvy as Uncle Scrooge, and no matter how repetitive the information might get, eventually someone will come up with an idea that has never occurred to your mind. Personally, when I was making my research regarding this article, I learned a couple of new things that I am keen to put into action. (Photo courtesy: Patrick Gensel)
And most of all
13. Do not commit yourself to an unrealistic plan
While applying all of the above, do not turn your life into a living nightmare, this whole thing shouldn’t be a burden, but it should be something exciting, & fun to do, looking forward to accomplish, and can hardly wait to make your trip happen. So whenever you feel like this “affordable pair of jeans suits me perfectly, and purchasing it would lift my mood” immediately buy it, if you feel like “I can’t anymore”, or like “breaking the rules you have set” break them without causing considerable damage. (Photo courtesy: AP Photographie)
Now that you know how to save for your next trip, have you got any other suggestions? Share them in the comments below along with your travel plans for this year, the next, or in a ten years time :).