Embark on a financial plan to make your travel dreams to Paris, or any corner of the globe, a reality!
Travel magazines and Hollywood films that show women eating and loving in faraway places can make us long for our own adventures abroad. But let's face it - it takes money to travel the world and many of us don't have the means to jet set on a whim. However, don't let your finances derail your dream of exploring the world. Travel is one of the most important gifts that we can give ourselves. With a little strategic planning, by this time next year you could be sipping a café au lait in Paris or shaking to samba in Rio.
1. Put Your Piggy Bank to Work
Open a savings account that serves exclusively as the piggy bank for your vacation. Add $25 a week to your vacation account and within a year you'll have $1300 towards your trip.
2. Put That Trip on "Layaway"
Shelling out a few thousand dollars all at once can be pretty daunting but what if you could pay for your dream trip with a small deposit and monthly payments? Gate1 is one of the largest tour operators to offer this option and STG Tours is a boutique agency that also provides this service. A friend of mine recently used the layaway option for her dream trip to Greece and Turkey - the smile on her face when she made the final payment towards her adventure was a sight to behold!
3. Rack Up Miles Without Leaving the Ground
Do you have a favorite airline? Most major carriers offer credit cards that allow you to accumulate miles with your purchases. I used to be confused by people who whipped out their credit cards for even the smallest transaction but now I realize that they were racking up miles. Most cards even give you some bonus miles with your new account. And contact your bank about the credit cards that you already have - you might be missing out on rewards programs that include miles that can be redeemed with various airlines.
4. No Hotel, No Problem
Hotel expenses can add up quickly but renting a home can save you big money. Websites like Airbnb make it easy to find everything from tiny studio apartments to spacious homes. There really is something for every budget. Not only will your rental charge be significantly cheaper than a hotel stay but you'll feel more immersed in the local culture. I did this on my trip to Paris last year and loved it. Travel with a friend and save even more by splitting the expenses. To really save money, you can register with HomeExchange and swap your home with someone else.
Do you have some vacation savings strategies that you would like to share? Let me know!