I’ve spoken to so many people about traveling and the main excuses I hear for staying home all the time are: I’m too busy at work, I don’t have anyone to go with, and the BIGGEST, I don’t have money–it’s too expensive. I agree, traveling can get quite pricey, and if you think about the total cost in one single shot, it can overwhelm you. Instead, let’s think about saving over time. As we learned from The Tortoise and the Hare, “slow and steady wins the race.” Follow my travel saving formula and other tips below!
If you are working…
What you need:
- Amount of money you can rely on earning per week
- End goal amount to make your trip happen
- Number of weeks you have until you quit your job…ahem, you go on your vacation
Now calculate everything:
Travel Saving Formula
End Goal ÷ weeks until your trip = amount of money to save per week
I plan to backpack Cuba for a month. Yes! I am so excited and trust me I’ll be okay if I’m not allowed back in the country. (The first direct charter flight from New York to Cuba did take off last month though! There’s progression.) My goal is to save $3,000 in 19 weeks. If I plug it into the formula, it would be:
$3,000 ÷ 19 weeks = $157 per week
I would need to save $157 per week to meet my goal. If you subtract this amount from your average paycheck weekly, the money left over will be for your usual living expenses. If your end goal amount is unrealistic, then either adjust it to fit your reality OR keep reading below.
Okay, so the above information is for people who have a job! Let’s say you don’t, you’re in between jobs, or maybe you don’t earn enough money in your current job. We can brainstorm:
Sell unwanted things on eBay: You know those old college books, expensive shoes, and luxury handbags you have laying around that you don’t use? Sell them! But wait, unless you have ten Louie Vuittons to sell, the items you have may not be enough to fund your trip. Continue reading!
Start an Indiegogo or Go Fund Me campaign: While this may be a great way to have family members, friends, and strangers support your travel journey, you would have to think of a real and convincing campaign story to get people to donate. It may be because you want to visit your grandparents in your home country that you haven’t seen in ten years—NOT because you want to lay out on the beach with a cocktail and catch a tan! Be reasonable!
Work an odd job: Baby-sitting, dog walking, or house cleaning. There is no time to be prideful; you’re on a mission to save travel money!
Limit your usual unnecessary expenses: I get it, you have to eat. We’re humans, we need food in our bodies…but how about eating breakfast at home, making lunch to go, and eating dinner when you return, versus eating out all the time? While you’re at it, cut down on that caffeine addiction. You don’t need a large soy latte with an extra expresso shot every single day. Decaffeinate yourself, it’s good for you—but if you must have a daily coffee, make it at home. Oh, and how could I forget—drop the cable bill! Most of the shows you see are online or on Apple TV anyway.
We want to hear your thoughts. Let us know how you save money!
Damaly Gonzalez, Travel Contributor