If your New Year’s resolution is to spend more traveling over the next 12 months, the best way to make that happen is to plan ahead. By taking a few tips to heart, you can make it possible to spend more time away from home. While traveling does represent an additional expense in your budget, a few changes can help you stick to this resolution.
Scratch a Destination Off Your Bucket List
We all have those travel destinations we’ve always wanted to visit. Each year, you should pick one of these spots and make that your big trip for the year. Once you decide where you’re going, examine your income versus expenses. Your goal should be to create a revised budget that dedicates a specific amount to save each pay period for your trip. This way, you’ll be able to afford the vacation without stretching yourself too thin.
Set Up a Separate Savings Account
You should set up an interest-bearing savings account that’s solely dedicated to financing your travel goals. A good idea is to have your contributions from each pay period diverted to this account via direct deposit. This ensures you’ll be keeping up with your plan.
Save Your Change
In addition to saving a little money from each pay period, also look for other ways you can tighten your spending. For instance, ask yourself whether you want to buy your premium latte every morning or whether you would rather add that money to your travel savings. By recording your spending habits, you’ll likely find many ways to trim your spending and put more money toward traveling.
Sign Up for an Awards Credit Card
If you’re going to use a credit card regularly anyway, why not sign up for a card that gives you travel perks. You may have to pay a slightly higher interest rate, but many companies offer cards that reward you for your spending habits. You can earn rewards or points that can be redeemed for free or discounted airfare, hotel accommodations, and dining. In the long run, these rewards can really save you a bundle as you travel. To maximize your points each year, take advantage of special offers, use your card to pay your monthly bills, and make the most of bonus categories (i.e. dining, travel, shopping).
Use All Your Vacation Days
You don’t necessarily have to wait for that big vacation to roll around each year. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to hit the road for a day or a long weekend. Driving down to the coast or to a neighboring town can give you a nice, stress-relieving experience and you may discover new attractions to enjoy in your area. Also a great way to make the most of every vacation days is by planning your biggest trip of the year far in advance. Plan one big vacation early in advance and that way you have one long trip to look forward to, and you will be able to use your other vacation days as new travel ideas arise and you will know the exact amount of days you have left.