In previous posts, I’ve discussed a few travel hacks that can help you save; the explore tool of Kayak being one of the best kept secrets! There are also other sites like Hopper, FLYR, and The Flight Deal that make it easier than ever to find affordable airfare.
Today, I’ll cover a few other methods that have worked well for me – some may seem like obvious approaches and others that are more specific to my situation and lifestyle:
Visualize the trip
It’s incredibly easy to plan a dream trip out in your head – but to actually manifest it and make it happen, you need to truly visualize it. Our day-to-day lives can often be consumed by responsibilities and disorder, making it far easier for a goal to remain stifled.
Visualization is a powerful tool that can be used to reach your goals and make important changes. You’re also shifting your consciousness to recognize and feel what it would be like to attain a specific goal.
The repetition of viewing the destination will compel you to be far more proactive about booking the trip. So whether you want to go all out and create a visual mood board, look at Pinterest, or carry a physical print around with you – allow yourself to look at the destination daily, even if only for a fleeting moment.
Tell your friends and family
There are some studies that have shown that publicly sharing an objective can actually assist in further motivating you to achieve your goals. For the last few years, I’ve made a ‘Travel Goal List’ of at least 5-10 new places I’d like to visit. This year, my list includes: Chile, Bali, Prague, Sweden, South Korea, Cuba, and Lake Tahoe.
Instead of simply sharing it with my personal inner-circle, I decided that I would display it on my Social Media Platforms. I was really surprised by the level of positive response that it received. It’s really easy to put off tasks and goals, but when we put a list out there for others to see, it holds us accountable. Five months into the year and I’ve already completed 2/7 on my list. Last year I completed 4/5: Japan, Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro. I suppose I could be ambitious and allow the Maldives to roll over to this year’s list!
Save, Save, Save!
Saving is a key component to buying the things that we want in life but it doesn’t need to be as challenging as we make it out to be. Many of us have sudden unexpected expenses that require our immediate attention but, in some cases, it can be the impulsive purchases that hinder us from buying that dream trip! In addition to having a standard savings account, I’ve designated a separate savings account all together for my travel fund. I treat my income as an entirely different amount than I actually receive because a certain percentage of it goes directly into the travel account each month. Money that’s out of sight won’t be missed, and you’ll adjust your budget accordingly. If you put $150-$200 away each month for a year, you’ll be able to orchestrate an amazing trip on a considerable budget. If we drop cash mindlessly on little things and memberships we never use, why shouldn’t we be able to put away $150 a month?
Between flights, hotels, transportation, food, and spending money – traveling requires careful planning. Wandering comfortably is such an important aspect of truly enjoying a destination.
Instead of eating out 3x a day, maybe going out once or twice per day and cooking in an Airbnb some nights is, perhaps, a better plan. Do plenty of research beforehand: discover where there are affordable restaurants near the Airbnb. Set money aside to really splurge on a dining experience that is unique to the location, that you can’t “just get anywhere.” Another tip: don’t forget to look up plenty of outings and museums that you can do for free in the area!
Earn Extra Income!
This is a great opportunity to capitalize on your creative side. Selling handmade articles, vintage goods, or old belongings on Etsy and/or Ebay could be a great way of producing extra income. Picking up freelance gigs on the side can also be quite lucrative. Cutting expenses and adding some extra income will certainly serve as a catalyst for achieving that dream trip!