Dream vacations can be associated with the high costs. So it happens that those plans and dreams are so distant, that usually it all ends up on scrolling Instagram and looking at the lovely pictures from the foreign travels and wondering “oh, how can they afford it all?”. And even though, of course, there are the ones who buy business class flight tickets without the blink of an eye, most of the travelers use some simple and trusted methods of saving money, so they don’t need to sacrifice too much to afford the holidays. So how to save money for the dream holidays? Here are my 5 tips:
1. Piggy bank – a way of saving money for vacation
Even though piggy bank sounds more like children’s type of money saving – in reality it’s a great tool to save money for our dream holidays. Use a fixed piggy bank or a simple jar. Write your goal on it, for example: “Summer in Italy” and the amount that would satsfy you. Save small amounts every month and remember: what lands in the piggy bank is untouchable until reaching the full amount! The jar that fills itself is a quite satistying view. Throw there some extra coins that you find in your wallet and pockets. That’s the kind of long-term saving, so plan for it let’s say 6-12 months.
2. Save money by reducing eating out and buying take-away coffee
After a long and hard day there’s nothing better than to hear “do we order sushi?”. Just like in any other day, when cooking is the last thing that would please you. But even though that it’s a rather comfortable solution, in a perspective of a month you can spend on take-away food quite big amount of money. Firstly, reducing eating out or ordering will definitely improve your funds; and secondly – while cooking by yourself you make sure what truly lands on your plate. Same thing goes to take-away coffee – here except of obvious financial reasons, you can reduce the usage of plastic cups a bit. But saying no to my favorite oat-milk cappuccino in my favorite coffee place is the hardest thing: but then at least I’m drinking it in there, without carrying the plastic cup with me.
Prepare home-cooked meals for work – buying breakfast and/or lunch every day when you’re at work and you plan on snacking something it’s not only a bad habit, but also financial burden. While saving for your dream vacation you can not only reduce this for the financial reasons, but also improve your healthy habits and stop eating store-bought sandwiches, or worse: fast-food.
3. Make a logical plan of saving money – don’t refuse yourself all the pleasures
Most of the financial calculations look good on a piece of paper, because you only need to pay rent for your flat, fill up the fridge, maybe also fuel the car, and then we can proudly announce that “every month I can save X amount of money! Easy!”. Then it turns out that we didn’t think of some extra expenses, maybe repairments, coffee or eating out with friends, movie theater and other pleasures. That’s why it’s good to consider it all. Analyse how much do you spend on those things monthly. Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to resign from all the things that make you happy – then saving feels like a punishment and that’s not the case of it all. Saving money, always saying “no” to yourself for a few months just to get crazy on your holidays isn’t smart at all. It’s all about the balance. Sure, you can stop eating out every day, replace frequent car usage with your bike – but let’s keep it logical. It’s easier to save a smaller amount every month and be consistent, than to be unhappy and always decline to the best ideas.
4. Organize your dream holidays on your own – don’t get overcharged at the travel agencies
You already know my opinion regarding travel agencies. Depending on the location of the travel, it happens that travel agencies make you pay double of what you’d do while organizing it on your own. While planning the whole travel by yourself
you have the full control over accommodation, food and transportation expenses. Most of the big cities offer free attractions as well (museums are usually free for students and people up to 25-26 years old). It requires some patience and a bit of time, but it’s worth it. You can use the lists of interesting places to see in certain locations from Tripadvisor
. Of course not everybody prefers this kind of sightseeing – but even if your goal is to barely move yourself from the beach, it’s still a good idea to book the flights and the hotel on your own (which can still offer you some nice packages like included food). It’s still cheaper than travel agency!
While paying for your flight tickets with the credit card, you can request money back in case of cancelled or delayed flight; and you’re granted to have funds returned for the money you’re spending for food at the airport (I’ve used this option).
5. Reduce monthly payments and subscriptions
I’m one of those people who has never bought anything on credit and never had phone subscription. Paying for the yearly access to Netflix was the first kind of subscription I’ve ever had in my life (I’m also not watching normal TV). I’m avoiding all kinds of small monthly payments, which in the end of the year sum up to a pretty decent amount. That’s why recently I felt really unhappy with the lack of possibility to buy the standard Photoshop license – it’s only available as subscription now, and even though that’s definitely against my anti-subscription philosophy; the need to edit my travel photos in this program was stronger.
Many people use services which monthly costs are so small, that they can barely feel it. A few euros for Spotify premium, Netflix, maybe HBO GO, phone, sometimes girls order some “Glossy boxes”, in Austria many people pay for the Amazon prime access (faster shipping). Some, just like me, buy the access to the Adobe products, and that itself means over 140+ euros yearly. So in the end of the year, all of those small payments actually would cost you the amount that you could easily spend on your dream holidays. It’s worth to rethink which of the products are truly necessary in our life or for our work. Maybe it’s possible to find cheaper (and even free) replacements, use the standard Spotify access, lower the monthly phone subscription. Instead of ordering the cosmetic “box of the month” find a full product in the store, instead of having nails done every month at the beauty-salon learn to make it on your own (reducing 12 visits would give you more than 420+ euros of yearly savings – having in mind Austrian prices). And if you really decide yourself to subscribe to something, calculate first the total yearly amount, before the tempting vision of “just a few euros more monthly” will tempt you.
What are your ways of saving money for dream holidays? Which ones of mine did you already use?