Traveling is a passion shared by people from every country on the planet, but not everyone makes enough money to travel frequently and fulfill their heart’s desire. However, if we change certain practices in our life, it will allow us to build our travel funds much more quickly. It will give us the freedom to explore far-off places and build eternal memories to share with our families and friends.
But often we feel that every time the funds required to go to an expensive destination, is out of our budget. Now, why’s that?
It’s all about priorities. If you want to travel frequently or long-term, you should make saving money your number one priority. This comes above everything else. You need to implement a lot of lifestyle changes.
Many of these changes have to do with discretionary expenses that we indulge in almost on a day-to-day basis. These expenses are so small and frequent, they add up enough to hurt our purses and wallets. This eventually restricts our travels. By cutting down these expenses, you can travel more frequently or even long-term.
Save, Invest and grow your travel funds:
Before I share the ways to save money by cutting down on lifestyle expenses, let me share what you need to do with the savings. Don’t just let it lay in your bank accounts. Rather, invest wisely with a proportionate diversification in equity and debt instruments.
Investing wisely is a great way of building your savings and enjoying foreign travel as a by-product of this indispensable habit. However, to enjoy the benefits of investing in your travels you must start early. By an early start, I mean today! Have a time frame of 12 to 18 months in hand and invest monthly in a blue-chip stock or mutual fund. Use the market gyrations in your favor and keep investing whatever you can comfortably afford. Keep an eye on various financial products like mutual funds or ULIPs.
Of course, investment might not only be for travel goals. You can simultaneously look at other products as well which might not help you for travel, but for other goals like Child’s education, marriage, insurance etc. Diversify your investment portfolio by looking at products like Health Insurance Plan, Child Insurance Plan, IPOs, NFOs, ELSS etc. That way, you would have saved up for your non-travel goals as well. This will help when you have taken a lot of trips like you wanted, and then focus on other goals.
You will thank your stars when you are finally ready to redeem your profits and take that dream vacation you have been planning for so long while you have saved for your future non-travel goals as well.
Now, let’s see various ways to save money to later spend it on travel after making wise investments. Some ways should be adopted when you are booking your travels, while some need to be adhered to as guidelines for your day to day spending habits.
Waking up to a quaint village in Hoi An, Vietnam
Also Read: my Vietnam Trip
Travel on a Credit Card:
One recommended way to save money is using a credit card. Doing all your travel related bookings and other day-to-day expenses with a credit card lets you earn rewards.
These rewards allow you to earn flying miles or free hotel stays. This can greatly reduce your travel expenses. Use this strategy to get all the free goodies for traveling domestically and internationally while saving a lot of money in the process.
For example, I wanted to buy a backpack for a trek. I used my credit card points and in process, saved around Rs 6,000! Another example of the benefits of using credit card is that every year, I can book two free flight tickets by using my miles!
Now, if you are actively using credit cards, make sure you are paying the outstanding amount on a timely basis. Or else, you will spend extra money in penalties and late fees instead of saving money.
Keep a watch on aggregator Sites:
When booking your flight tickets, take advantage of the aggregate sites that list all the discounted airline tickets at one portal and allow you to lay your hands on the cheapest and the best flight. This way you not only avoid paying extra for the travel agent commissions, you also get to be flexible regarding the date and time to fly and pay the least possible money towards your flight.
Find yourself a travel companion:
Booking rooms in a foreign destination can be an expensive proposition, especially when you have planned for a long vacation and are traveling all by yourself. You can greatly cut down this cost by finding yourself a fellow traveler who shares your passion. You can book rooms through Airbnb and stay at a local residence with your travel companion who agrees to share the staying costs with you. If you can find a travel mate for even a few travels, then it will save you enough money to take a few more vacations.
If you don’t have a travel companion, stay in hostels. Most of the hostels facilitate community behavior which lets you find travel companions to travel together and share expenses.
My Hammock hostel – Gili Meno, Indonesia
Also read: My Indonesia Trip
Save on Movies, Eating out & Drinking:
When building your travel funds, even the smallest savings count and add up in due time. Curbing the yearn for watching movies on the silver screen at end of a stressful week is a tall ask. But, we can be judicious when watching movies during the weekends and can use cashback from digital apps that provide discounted tickets while promoting the movies.
Also, personally, I don’t splurge money on watching movies until and unless it has raving reviews. In today’s age of TV and Video streaming services, any movie can be watched for free within the next 3 months!
Same goes for eating out or fine dining. I would rather eat a home cooked meal or invite my friends over for a house party than go out and spend lots of money and pay exorbitant taxes. If your priority is to save more money to travel, these lifestyle expenditures can be easily curbed.
Buy second hand stuff:
There must be a lot of stuff that you use just once like that much hyped book you wanted to read or a temporary fix you need at your workplace. You can always buy refurbished or second-hand items. What’s more, you can sell your used garments, books, accessories, old jewelleries, curtains, furniture, shoes on these sites and make some nifty money to build your travel funds. If not these platforms, you can be a part of many social media groups as well where you can buy second hand stuff.
Basically, all you must do is think creatively and use those funds to explore the world. Apart from savings, you also should consider wise investment. To research about various investment tools, you can consider a company like Aegon Life Insurance.
About Aegon Life:
Aegon Life Insurance Company Limited launched its pan-India operations in July 2008 with a vision to be the most recommended new age life insurance Company. The fulfilment of this vision is based on having a complete product suite, superior technology, providing customized advice and enhancing the overall customer experience. This joint venture adopts a local approach with the power of global expertise to facilitate a direct to customer approach, leveraging digital platforms to bring transparent solutions to customers and to prioritize their needs. Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations, providing life insurance, pensions and asset management and Bennett, Coleman & Company, India’s leading media conglomerate, have come together to launch Aegon Life Insurance.
A life insurance product – ULIP is a great option, if you are looking for insurance and investment. In a Unit Linked Insurance Plan, you get market-linked returns. This means you get access to an array of investment options such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more. Plus, you get the flexibility to manage your funds and decide the level of risk, depending on your financial objectives. A ULIP also lets you choose between active management and pre-defined strategy, as per your needs and comfort level.