Updated: Jan 18
Welcome to my first travel post EVER!!! It’s I realized I haven’t written a travel post before its just been about clothes and etc. So sorry I was late to the party. In this post I want to tell you guys how I plan my travels of course this will vary depending how you want to travel… weather its luxury travel, budget travel or whatever is in between.
I know I talk a great deal about clothes, shoes, handbags etc but in case you didn’t know I love traveling. Traveling is half of my soul and if I don’t travel at least a few times a year I most definitely don’t feel like myself. If you are like me you want to travel but sometimes don’t have much money. If that is true… Then this article is for you. I will be giving you tips that I have found to help me not only stay traveling on a budget but also helps my overall process of traveling in general. I will have an actual Budget Travel post coming up soon this is just a general article about my travel process.
1) Do your research – Figure out where you want to go and for how long. For example, I am now planning a trip to Colorado and I would like to go for about 4 – 5 days. Once you figure that out you can start budgeting and figure out how much money you would need to take with you. If you are struggling with trying to find a place to go I would suggest Pinterest or Instagram is where you compare and contrast. You can decide if you want to vacation on a beach, or vacation in a big city or wherever it is you would like to go.
2) Now you know where you want to go now let’s get that money right boo! you truly cant travel without the coins, plane tickets cost money, room and board cost money, food cost money, and fun cost money. You get my point, everything cost mullahhhh. You don’t even need that much money (depending on where you go) I have traveled with less than $500 at one point. (Canada Trip Here) So if I can do it so can you.
2a) Ok now you know where you want to go and started researching things like room & board, average flights (transportation), average car rentals cost you will need to know those things before you start saving. Of course, this will vary depending on when you want to go throughout the year (tourist times/peak times etc) If you go during peak season to any destination you will be paying more. My rule of thumb is to go a month or two before or after peak season. This will ensure that the time that you spend at the destination you utilize every experience and enjoy it and not have to worry about not getting into an attraction because there are so many tourists.
London Circa 2010 (Look at how young I look??)
3) Ok so now you know where you want to go, you figured out the average amount to save its time that you go over your budget. I have a post on how I budget (here) Once you go over your budget you can figure out how much money you can set aside each paycheck/month and start your saving process to take that trip.
One of my rules that I use when saving for traveling is to over save. I know it sounds crazy but you never know what could happen. For example, If my trip to Colorado is going to cost 1,000$ including everything food, Air B&B, transportation, rental car, shopping etc, then I need to save 500$ extra as a buffer so in total 1,500$. This is just in case the Air B&B I choose I might not like, or I might miss my flight out to come back home and need to pay extra to get the next flight things like that need to be taken account while saving for travel. My whole point is that you just need a safe buffer whether that be money or a friend to call on. I tend travel on my own so sometimes that friend to call on is myself.
(The farther out I go from Chicago the more I save for a buffer. (I am going back to London at the end of next year the average I need to save is 3,000$ so this means I need to save at least an extra 1,000 -1,500$ extra just to be super safe because ya girl don’t want to get stranded across the country) (even though I have been to Europe before)
4) Perfect, you figured out where you want to go and for how long, and even how much to save plus your buffer. Now its time to get serious about it. Saving is hard, let me repeat saving is hard especially when we are in a culture were spending and getting instant gratification is much better at the moment than having something to save for.
Flatiron Building, New York, New York Circa 2015
Another rule I use to battle being tempted by the Joneses is sometimes I leave my debit card/credit card at home when I’m going somewhere, other times I make meals for the day at home and carry them with me everything including lunch, snacks and dinner depending on what time I am getting home. I also just go straight to work and then home, no going out etc things like that. I also stop buying coffees out, I use the coffee maker at home and sometimes, to be honest, I really don’t taste a difference between the coffee I brew at home from the coffee I like to get at coffee shops.
By doing these steps not only are you going to save money for your vacation quicker you may even adapt these tips and tricks to your everyday life so you are saving consistently even after your vacation.
5) Perfect you’ve made it this far! who hoo! now its time to book that flight and room and do more research on the place you are going… (I know I bet you thought you were done with that research part)
It’s important to do as much research as possible when it comes to traveling because you don’t want to do anything disrespectful to the culture or place you are going. You don’t want to do things that you normally wouldn’t do even though you are on vacation. For example, I had a friend who went to India and she said being covered as a woman 80% of the time is mandatory of course it depended on where she went. Thats due to the culture, and she didn’t know and she got into trouble for not being covered up. Before going anywhere you need to be cautious and pay extra attention to the things that you do because you don’t want to get into trouble in another state better yet another country.
Eiffel Tower Circa 2010
6) Final Freaking LY you can go on vacation! You’ve saved them coins, (worked hard to save them actually) did your research, booked your flights and place to stay, now its time to enjoy your time that you deserve to take a break, oh and make sure you bring me back a souvenir from where ever you went.
The next travel article will be about what I use to find the best deals on airfare, Lodging and activities..
Until Next Time