As someone who travels frequently, I often get asked questions about how I save money for travel and how I’m able to afford so much travel. First and foremost, a major reason for that for me is I have 3 sources of income, which I’ll discuss below but by no means am I wealthy or have a trust fund I’m drawing from to fund my travel. I work hard but I’m still able to save for travel and today we’ll discuss how to set up your life to save for travel, to prepare yourself for the realities of how much travel costs and how to set goals to actually make it happen. So if you want to travel, here’s how to start financially!
Have multiple sources of income.
I still have a day job, actually I have 3 to be honest with you. Something that maybe not everyone who reads of Land of Marvels is aware of, I work as an Interior Designer by day. I work for an architecture firm, have my own side business as well and teach part time at my alma mater. In short, I’m busy. But having multiple sources of income also allows me to save more money for travel so I call it a win.
Nick and I both believe in working hard for what you want and both of us have multiple sources of income which really helps us save for travel and other things in our life. If you are wondering how to get more income, get another job to start. It can be a great way to make connections as well as bring in some more money to spend on the things you want!
Set up a separate savings account for travel funds.
One of the things we did really early on when we got married was set up a separate savings account for travel and it’s been one of the most helpful things we did. This way, when we put money in this account, we don’t touch it for anything other than travel. This is a great way to keep the money in there for only travel and not be tempted to pull from it for other scenarios.
We also find it’s easier for this account to put larger lump sums in at a time, instead of monthly transfers so it builds up quicker. So whenever we have larger sums of money, like birthday money or bonuses from work – those usually go straight into the travel account.
Be organized and plan in advance.
One of the reasons we are able to travel so economically is because we plan way in advance. For example, right now in October we have our travel booked and paid for through July of next year. By booking a year or so in advance, you not only get better prices on a lot of travel like flights, you also have that entire time to pay it off. By the time our trips roll around, we don’t owe anything on them other than daily expenses while there which makes it a lot less stressful!
Cut out the unnecessary items and try to lower your bills.
I know a lot of people turn their noses up at this and say that the small amounts you might cut from things like this don’t really add up to that much. But let me give you an example: We just refinanced our townhouse, bringing our mortgage down by about $400 a month. On top of that, I called Comcast (our internet and cable TV provider) and told them I was quitting unless they could drop my bill by $80 – they did. Then we checked our ATT cell phone bill and found a better plan that was $40 a month cheaper. With those 3 things, our bills came down $520 a month! That’s a huge amount that now can go to travel!
On top of that, I clean out my closet every couple months and take my clothes to resale or put things on Craigslist or Ebay that many people would just throw away. The moral of the story is that if you make an effort to lower your bills or cut out unnecessary items, it’s amazing how much money you can save and then in turn, how much can go to travel.