How do you save money to travel?


I get asked this a lot, especially from co-workers. I am in no way a trust fund baby, and I am in no way rich. I make a fair living and I do spend money.

Truth is I take advantage of trips courtesy of family.

I will get to what I do for saving money in a moment, but let me throw this story out there.

One of my best friends in the world (she will remain nameless but will clearly know it is her when she reads this) always says we need to plan a trip. So we start planning trips and then she tells me she can’t afford that. Ok.

Not even five minutes later she is talking about going shopping because she needs pants, she is getting her hair done and her nails done. Price tag $250.

This is a true story.

NOW before you get all huffy and say “You have to live life Jen, and she has the right to spend the money she wants to”

Duh. I know that, but that is the first thing I have to point out, me going on a trip is no different then splurging on these things. I splurge on trips, others may splurge on pants.

and you know what there is nothing wrong with that. It is just not for me.

Here are some simple truths.

I do not buy a lot of new clothes. I am an avid crafter and will often buy vintagy and thrifted clothes and make them new.

I KNOW this is not for everyone, but believe me when I tell you this saves me a LOT of money.

I also bring my lunch to work.

I spend my nights at home, when my friends want to go out.

I go to dollar movie Tuesdays, so I don’t always see the movies when they first come out.

I am “trying” to kick the caffeine habit.

I wear my library card out.

All these things add up to saving money.

Another money saving factor? My trips are not very spontaneous. I can’t afford that. I plan my trips a year or sometimes more in advance. Make a rough budget, determine how much I need to save a week, and put it in savings. The minute I decide on a trip, dates and I am able to I pay the deposit and make payments. Because payments are hell of a lot easier than dropping a grand all at once.

As far as my dream trip around the world? I know it is a few years away.  I put a small amount of money in a small bank account I do not have easy access to. 

Another truth in this post? I do not save anything additional for retirement except the 6% my company matches for my 401k. I tell myself that my 80 year old self rather have memories than money. We will see if that is truth or not.

So I am posting this for all my friends & co-workers. Because truth is saving money is work, I would love to go grab a glass of vino after work but that glass of vino equals the cost of two Christmas ornaments in Cozumel.

I would LOVE to go shopping with you, but the $200 I spend with you is a flight to NYC.

My priorities are different. I rather live minimally so I can travel globally.

Let me say this has taken years for me to learn and understand. Travel DID NOT become a HUGE priority for me until about 4 years ago. Now it is all I think about. instead of thinking of dollars I think of accommodation in South America.

So if you want to save money for travel you have to realistically understand that if you prefer instant gratification or if you want to prolong that gratification. If you prefer instant gratification like I do…. it will be hard to change the mindset. YOU CAN DO IT THOUGH

If you are like my friend and prefers to spend the $250 on clothes, hair dye & nails? Good for you. Seriously I mean it.

Life is all about what makes you happy, and you have to do whatever makes you happy.

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