I have been fortunate enough to travel many times in my twenties, travel which has not occurred on credit. It may not work for everybody, but for those of you who would rather take trips and not come home to whopping big credit card bills, then these are my following tips.
1. Work out how much you need, the ‘B’ word….BUDGET!
Prepare your budget. Get an idea of where you need to go and what you want to do. Start researching flights, hotels, transit and spending money costs. If you are after daily spending tips, then I cannot recommend Lonely Planet enough! Find blogs, connect with people on instagram or Pinterest or Facebook and start asking questions. Overestimate your budget, add another 20% to it and that is a really good starting point.
2. Cut-up your credit cards, buy a jar of coffee to take to work, cancel your social engagements and sign-up to Netflix…GO TO GROUND!
For me, in the last 6-8 months before I go on a large journey, I go to ground. I pretty much use my gym as my social life. Start making sacrifices where you can (and where you are comfortable doing so). The way I save for a holiday is not for everybody, it is strict. I do all of my meal prep on Sunday’s for the week. I stop buying coffee, no more social life. I ask for my family and friends to donate some money to my travel fund for Christmas and Birthday’s – rather than gifts. I sell things I don’t need. For instance, I sold a pair of earrings, the iPod we used once at our wedding and a couple if items of clothing I no longer needed – with that money I bought my husband a GoPro – this was his Christmas present and the perfect present for the trip.
3. Commit to your savings needs, make it work – REMAIN FOCUSSED!
Unless you have pretty rotten work ethic, then showing up to work Monday-Friday is not negotiable. This needs to be the same with your preparation and your savings. This is your commitment. If you have committed to save 30% of your income each time your pay hits your bank, then make it happen. Do not deviate. It is hard, you will get annoyed but when you are on holiday it will all be worth it!
4. Open those Google browsers, get savvy and RESEARCH!
We live in an age where there are multiple irritating (just me?) ads on t.v each day from various travel websites. I won’t name them, but the general idea behind them is they will compare the price of where you are looking at staying and basically this will result in you having the best price. This is fantastic if you are not much into researching for hours (I definitely am, because I am no longer socialising or going out because I am saving all of my cash!). However, if I can – I highly recommend you go one step further. Contact the places you are looking at staying directly, I would say eight times out of ten, I will get it for cheaper.
5. Do not get yourself into years of future trouble with your expenses – BE REALISTIC!
If you are not able to afford 5-star hotels, fine dining, private cars and VIP services when travelling, then you may need to just re-set your expectations. At the end of the day, you have to live within your means. Did you know that 70.19% of Australians currently own a credit card, and that at the end of 2016 there was over $56,000,000 debt in the country from credit cards?! That figure is insane and it quickly becomes unmanageable. It is not realistic to put yourself into further debt, just to travel the world, when you can probably afford your destinations making a few cuts or changes. If you are looking at a quick or cheap getaway and you are not fussed about where you are going then look somewhere locally. If you are on the East Coast of Australia then you have Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand and Noumea. Bali and Thailand are also really popular. These will be your cheapest options (aside from some domestic travel).
Finally – ENJOY YOURSELF! Don’t worry about bringing money home from your trip, spend it! If that is the money you have been saving to treat yourself overseas, then spend it. Buy something you don’t need, go to the restaurant you have been following for six months on Instagram!
If you want any tips or have any comments at all, I would be more than happy to share them with you – please just send me an email, or comment on here, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram as well!
x C x