One of the biggest reasons I started this blog was to share budget travel tips and options. Both Eric and I work full-time jobs in ministry. Between our monthly expenses, saving for a home, and other miscellaneous (sometimes unexpected) costs, there is not always a lot of money leftover for travel.
However, travel is one our top priorities as far as time and money goes. So, we’re learning to be creative both with how we save up for trips as well as how to have great adventures without breaking the bank. Today I’m going to share a few of our tips for the former.
1. Save loose cash in a Travel Fund Jar.
While Eric and I were still dating, I started a little “Honeymoon Fund.” I grabbed a large glass jar from my Mom’s collection and dedicated myself to putting any loose cash I had in that jar. From that point on, once the cash went in the jar, I wouldn’t allow myself to take any out and the amount grew. By the time Eric and I were leaving for our honeymoon I had over $1,000 in the jar. That certainly didn’t pay for our honeymoon but it acted as all of our spending money while we were in California and we didn’t have to return home to a huge credit card bill.
Since then we’ve started saving our loose cash again for a trip we are planning next year. For sure it won’t pay for the whole trip, but it helps a great deal!
2. Find ways to hustle on the side.
My backpacking trip to Europe was the first trip where I had to save for a lot of the costs. I was a student at the time, earning money through babysitting and private piano lessons. To save up faster for the trip I did a little side hustling. Mostly I’d wash my parents’ cars, trim the palms in our yard, or rake the lawn. In addition to this, I applied to work with Rev.com transcribing audio in my free time. There are so many other ways to make extra money on the side. Odd jobs around the neighborhood, sell your crafts on Etsy, have a garage sale…be creative! Every little bit counts.
3. Go “Off Brand” and put those saving towards your travel.
One of the easiest ways Eric and I save cash is by purchasing off brand products. This particularly is accomplished when I grocery shop. The price difference from a brand name cereal to an off brand cereal may only be $1.50, but when you multiply those savings each time you buy off brand, it adds up. Keep track of how much you save and then set that amount of cash aside for travel. You’re still spending the same amount of money in total, but part of it will help you get to your next great adventure.
4. Save up cash in the form of airline points.
A lot of the places I’d like to travel to require a flight or two. To optimize our savings on travel Eric and I use a Capital One Venture Card (“What’s in you’re wallet?”). With every dollar we spend we earn 2X points that can be traded in for air travel. When we originally signed up, there was a bonus 40,000 points we could earn after $3,000 of purchases in 3 months. Now, they’ve increased the bonus to 50,000 points. I’m pretty sure that’s equivalent to $500 dollars towards flights. This isn’t mean’t to be an ad for the Venture Card. There are several credit cards out there similar to this one, we just found that this suited us. The best part is there is no annual fee.
Anyway, my point is, you can save drastically for your trips just by having a credit card that earns you travel points. There are so many out there, do some research and find what works best for you. Eric and I have about $1,000 in flight points that we are saving for a big trip next year. It’s going to help tremendously!
I know this was a lot of information. Definitely don’t feel like you have to use all of these tips to be successful in saving for your trips. These are just what have worked for Eric and I. Hopefully they can be helpful to you in some way. If you have any great money saving tips for travel, please share! I’m all ears.
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