Top Tips for Taking Trips
Traveling isn’t easy: you have to save for it, plan it, and still take time out of your day-to-day responsibilities to go on it. But with the right trip, it’s well worth the effort. It may not be safe yet to travel in your area or to specific destinations with the global pandemic, but it’s never too early to start planning your next trip.
To plan the trip of your dreams, follow our top savings tips and take a look at our nine favorite vacation ideas to add to your travel bucket list. When your dream destination opens up again safely, you’ll be ready.
Saving for Travel
Saving for travel should always start with creating a budget (if you don’t already have a budget, check out our five steps for creating one). To do that, you’ll need to estimate how much your travel will cost and determine how much you’ll need to save each month to achieve that amount by your desired time frame. Once you’ve completed these estimations, follow our top three travel savings tips:
- Start a separate travel fund. Set up an account with your bank purely for travel. If you can, deposit a set amount of money into that account each month. Set these deposits to transfer automatically.
- Reduce your “want” expenses. Generally, we can divide our costs into needs vs. wants. Gradually reduce your “wants” and reroute those savings into your travel fund.
- Make your goal visible. If you remind yourself of your travel goal regularly, you’re more likely to make smart money decisions. Write down your destination and display it somewhere you see every day, like your fridge. Stick a post-it note with your goal destination in your wallet to serve as a reminder whenever you make a purchase.
If traveling is what gets you excited, make it a top priority, and that will trickle down to your travel fund.
We all have various places in mind that we hope to see in person someday. But have you ever thought about what kind of trip you want to have? Here are a few types of vacations you should consider adding to your travel bucket list:
We all have different ideas of what “relaxing” means. To some, it’s lounging on a beach with the sun shining. To others, it’s eating out in a new city. No matter what makes you feel relaxed, plan a trip that lets you unplug and escape your day-to-day responsibilities (at least for a little while).
A solo trip may sound intimidating, but the experience can be very empowering and worthwhile. It’s a great opportunity to only be accountable to yourself and doing what you truly want to do when you feel like it. It’s a significant change in pace for many of us who must consider so many others in our daily lives. Plus, navigating a new place by yourself teaches you essential skills to take back to your everyday life, such as communication, problem-solving, and how to handle uncertainty. Remember to do plenty of research about the safety of your chosen location before packing your bags.
Find Your Roots
For many of us, we no longer live in the place where our family is originally from. Taking a journey to a destination connected to your heritage can be an important moment of self-discovery. Talk to your relatives before you go to see if they have any recommendations on what to do or who to see.
A great way to save money on traveling is to exchange your skills and labor to experience a new place. Research volunteer organizations that support a cause you’re interested in, or ones that do work in a place you’ve wanted to visit and apply. Not only will you get to go somewhere unique, but you can have a positive impact on others while doing it.
For some, traveling is all about the food. If there’s a particular cuisine that you love, plan a trip to its birthplace. Center your trip around finding the best restaurants and food experiences your chosen cuisine has to offer.
Last-Minute Ticket Trip
Are you feeling spontaneous? Save money by buying your flight last-minute. Often, last-minute tickets are discounted. Before you buy, though, make sure you can book affordable accommodations in your destination. The best time to try this spur-of-the-moment trip is when you have time off before you start a job, but you can also take a few vacation days ahead of time without knowing where you’ll be going yet.
Explore surrounding cities and vacation spots from the comfort of your car! Road trips are an inexpensive way to tour new places and get hands-on experience with the scenery. You can stick to traveling around your home country, or if you’re feeling especially adventurous, book a flight to a new destination and rent a car there.
If you find trip planning overwhelming, signing up for a group tour is a great option. The touring agency can handle the logistics and provide you with guides along the way to educate you about your destination. You’ll learn a lot about a new place without the anxiety and hassle of figuring out what to do next.
Don’t have the budget or energy for traveling long distances? Try a hometown staycation! We often take our hometown for granted and don’t do all of the fun, touristy things available to us nearby. But you might learn something new about where you live, or find an activity to try. Suppose your hometown is limited in what it has to offer. In that case, you can still have a rewarding staycation by letting go of your responsibilities and relaxing at home with your favorite activities (think movie marathons, reading, resting, and more).
Now it’s your turn! What places are on your travel bucket list?