A few years ago, I set an ambitious goal to travel at least once a month, with 3-4 of those trips being international. It required some significant life changes that have not only allowed me to travel more often, but have increased my overall quality of life. If you are looking for ways to save money and increase your traveling in 2019, keep reading.
Spend less money at home and more when you are traveling.
One of the best aspects of traveling is the opportunity to experience daily activities in a different country. Eating out, visiting coffee shops, and shopping in general can be so much more fun when it’s done in a foreign environment. However, if constantly doing these things when you’re home limits your ability to do it while traveling, you should strongly reconsider your priorities. Instead of going out for Italian food, make spaghetti at home and eat the real thing in Italy; save $6 coffee drinks for a cute bistro in Paris; buy new clothes abroad and enhance your closet with unique pieces instead of making monthly visits to your local mall. Spending less at home and more when traveling can overall enhance your traveling and give you more money to spend on your trip.
Stop buying new outfits to wear while traveling, “for the gram.”
Remember the days when we used to only purchase necessary items for our travels? Gloves for a winter destination, a swim suit for a summer destination, clothing that respected the culture of the country or maybe a new pair of walking shoes. However, the concept of buying a completely new wardrobe to have a personal fashion show in a country full of people who don’t care or to take photos for the instagram, has blown people’s budgets out of proportion.
If you shop in your closet before a trip, you’d be surprised by the variety of outfits you can create. Additionally, placing less emphasis on your wardrobe can contribute to a more enjoyable trip. Besides, what’s the purpose of a getaway if you have to spend energy on picking an outfit each morning. No thank you!
*Sidenote: Shopping abroad, particularly in Europe, is much better than in the states. Luxury items are much less expensive and it’s very easy to find unique pieces.*
Take advantage of loyalty reward programs.
Most airline and hotel chains offer a rewards program that allow you to save up points to use towards future travel. Picking one or two and staying loyal to them can have amazing long term benefits, in addition to perks while traveling. I personally prefer Marriott for my lodging and Delta/Southwest for flying, but there are a variety of choices to fit everyone’s budget and location. Reaching status with an airline or hotel chain also has benefits such as free upgrades, checked bags, drinks, breakfast and priority access to customer care when things go wrong.
Stop buying Starbucks (and any other daily, luxury that we can easily supplement with grocery store products).
A Starbucks drink averages $4 which equates to $20 a week. While this isn’t a lot of money on it’s own, if you add that to the amount that you spend on lunch, dinner, happy hour and transportation, saving $20 a week helps! In addition to being healthier, replacing Starbucks with tea or simply water can significantly cut your budget each month.
Also, while Starbucks is not the only luxury item that we should spend less money on, its a great example of areas in our lives where we can make beneficial cuts.
Stop using uber/lyft unnecessarily.
Rideshare apps are luxuries that everyone overuses in 2019! If you use lyft and uber less and alternative methods such as walking or public transportation more, you can save a significant amount of money towards travel. If you can’t live without rideshare, check with your rewards program to see if it’s possible to accumulate points for each ride you take.
While this isn’t 100% accurate, starting your travel plans early is almost guaranteed to save money. Whether it’s finding a flight deal or simply having more time to save, the earlier you finalize your travel plans the longer you have to make payments on tours, hotels, train tickets, etc.