How To: Budget for Travel

#FinancialFebruary is sponsored by StateFarm™

Traveling is probably my most favorite hobby. It enriches the soul, it allows you to see amazing things, meet wonderful people, and capture unforgettable moments. But one thing that seems to draw people away from traveling is the financial aspect. I’ve heard many people say to me, “I wish I could travel but I don’t have the money.” While there’s no doubt that traveling costs money, there are easy ways to prepare for and budget for your travels so you can end up spending less, and get to have an experience of a lifetime. I usually use the same 3 tactics when it comes to saving money and budgeting for travel. Those 3 things are:

1. Ditch/reduce day to day purchases. By this I mean do things like sacrifice your $5 coffee and make some at home. Not only are you saving money, but you’re also giving yourself the option to make a healthier choice. Sub the expensive shampoo for something a bit more generic. Cancel your manicure for a few weeks. Maybe even consider downsizing things in your home! Go through your closet and sell things you don’t wear. Might not be a lot of money, but it’s some extra pocket money. Every little bit counts and in the end, it’ll add up!

2. Plan your trip. Figure out where it is you want to go, the route you’re taking, and what’s around as far as hotels, food places, and attractions. As far as where you’re going: if you aren’t in a rush, then an option like a bus might be cheaper. While it might not be the most convenient as far as luxury, we’re talking about ways to budget and save money and sometimes that means putting aside luxury and convenience for something more affordable. In terms of places to stay, maybe you have family friends you can stay with, or look into getting a host family or staying in a hostel. There are plenty of forums and websites that are legitimate, safe, and can save you a ton of money! For food places, something that has saved me is to bring food with me. This is especially ideal for road trips, bus/train trips. I usually will bulk shop before a trip and pack a ton of stuff ranging from PB&J sandwiches to trail mix, fruit, beans, and possibly a few perishables. This way you aren’t spending all of your money on food, and once again you are opting for healthier choices as well. This is also a smart move to do because it allows you to spend your money wisely if there is a specific eatery you want to go to that an area is particularly known for.

3. Travel Jar. I got this idea from Pinterest and I’m sure many of you have seen/heard of it before. Get a mason jar (or something similar) and any extra change you have lying around, throw it in there! Maybe even tell yourself that every time you find yourself with a 5 dollar bill, it’ll go in the jar. Be mindful and don’t take from the jar till you’re ready to embark on your trip! That coffee can wait!!

In the end, traveling is worth the finances you put into it simply because any experience is what you make of it. If you plan ahead of time, budget well, and are willing to make sacrifices then you can easily make an affordable travel trip successful!

About the Author:

Meg is a 25 year old East Coaster. She is currently studying Human Development and Psychology at a New York State University. Her ultimate goal is to become a Sports Psychologist and work in a college setting. In her spare time, Meg loves to travel and has been to over half of the United States so far; her favorite places being Rockland, Maine and Portland, Oregon! She also loves spending time with her girlfriend, friends, and family, hiking in the mountains, playing guitar, and yoga.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @meggmott