5 Ways to Save for Frequent Travel
A Guide for the Wanderlust Soul
Time to answer the quintessential question: How can we afford to travel so frequently? I mean, after all, we’ve got full-time jobs, busy schedules, families, and various other responsibilities that may hinder us from booking that flight, taking that trip, and putting in that request for time off of work.
I’ve yet to find an antidote to soothe my vacation blues, but right now I want to focus on unraveling the formula for five ways to travel affordably and frequently.
Let’s tackle the most prominent excuse: money.
We all have money problems. Sometimes these problems may stem from some financial priorities that may take precedence over money we wish to spend elsewhere... completely understandable. Here’s the kicker though.
Money, as I’ve mentioned in my former pieces, is an acquired means which means that what we earn, will eventually be spent. We are the pilots of how that money is to be spent. At the same time, we’re also the directors in dictating what percentage of our earnings we wish to put away or perhaps invest and allow to grow.
Here are five efficient ways in which everyone, regardless of travel destination or personal preferences, can afford to travel more frequently.
1. Consistent biweekly saving
There was a time in my life where I believed that this particular concept of biweekly saving was absolutely impossible to do. However, people do it all the time and now it was time to figure out exactly how they were able to do that. My secret formula for this, no matter how rich or poor you are, start small by putting away ten percent of each paycheck. Ten percent is so little and yet it can amount to so much. The sooner you start, the more money you'll have.
2. Mobile Apps
Earlier I had shared an article on some of the most raddest apps that reward me financially for daily tasks such as walking, taking Ubers, ordering food or grocery shopping. These are things we do simply out of routine without thinking that it could be a potential penny saver. I have made $3k and counting off of mobile apps. To get a better idea of some of the best apps that have made a financial impact in my life, click here
3. Prioritize responsibilities
Keep your credit card bills low or at 0 balance (if possible). There are a myriad of ways in which credit card companies can lure us in to keep spending, but before we know it, we're drowning in credit card debt. Marc Cuban of the infamous ABC show Shark Tank has once advised to hold no more than two credit card accounts.
I know. I rolled my eyes too, but seriously. Credit cards can easily spur an annoying shopping habit. Even if you're not prone to shopping, you'll find yourself overspending. Do not, under any circumstances, get into the mindset of "Oh, I'll pay it back later." Prioritize your most sacred responsibilities such as rent, electric, gas, water, internet and go from there. Pay your savings account first (remember that 10 percent) and set your bills on auto-pay.
4. Hospitality: AirBnB or Bust
Hotels and resorts can add up to hundreds of dollars, especially if you plan on staying longer than two days. Instead of paying that for a bed and a roof over your head, consider browsing through AirBnB. You'll pay a set price per night and get rewards points if you book through iBotta or Rakuten. Certain AirBnB hosts will implement amenities, complimentary breakfast and entertainment. You pick what neighborhood in a given city you want to stay in and customize various preferences to your liking. For some, the main concern is safety, but rest assured all hosts undergo a thorough background check. Previous reviews of these hosts can also come in handy prior to booking your stay. I have had some of the best experiences on AirBnB (shoutout to Matt from Buschwick, Brooklyn, New York). For any business entrepreneurs or freelancers, if you book a business trip, AirBnB will oftentimes award you credits towards your next stay.
Bonus: If you loved the hospitality of your AirBnB host, not only have you made a friend, but oftentimes can rebook them for your next stay.
5. Mark your next vacation and go!
Finally, the key to frequent and affordable travel is planning. Recognize when you need a vacation. Figure out where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do there. Do you need to cleanse the mind? Climb some trees? Sight see? Get some good grub? Figure out what you want and what you need. Your body, mind and soul need a break too. Budget accordingly and intelligently. Vacations should not be incentivized only for the rich and famous. Us working folks are hustling just as much for a lot less money... which is why we are in need of a break from reality more than anybody. Just as you would set the date for a birthday party, a wedding, or any other important event, you should set aside a date for yourself and your leisure.