It is no riddle to many of us that overseas travel is one of the most enriching personal goals anyone can have. There’s nothing more gratifying than being able to step your foot on another land, absorbing their way of life, and appreciating how beautiful the rest of the world is. Whether it’s in finding awe in the grand architecture of Europe or exploring the beautiful beaches of Maldives, there always seems to be something for everyone when it comes to travel.
However, there are challenges that occur in achieving this personal goal. One of the major hurdles on trying to travel overseas is financial constraints. What do you do when you live paycheck to paycheck and yet you still want to pursue your wanderlust dream?
Xcela Wealth, a company that helps clients take control of their finances, gives us advice on how we can maximize our earnings to pursue our goal of traveling overseas.
5 Personal Finance Hacks for Overseas Travel
1. Create a travel savings plan
Money is less spent when you allocate a specific place for it. If you are serious about your overseas travel goals, it will be helpful to open up a bank account where you can place your travel fund. This will lessen the chances of you taking that money away for other reasons. The problem with joining your travel fund in the same account you use for your regular expenses is that it’s very difficult to track which ones are kept and which ones are spent. If opening a bank account seems too complicated for you, perhaps creating an envelope system will help you keep track of your travel savings. Make sure to set your travel savings as specific as possible. You can set a goal of making $200-300 a month for a trip you’re planning for the next year.
2. Schedule flights and accommodations during strategic periods
A wise way to save money when it comes to booking flights and hotels is by finding specific off-season prices. In general, winter prices for western countries are cheaper than summer ones. Long holidays are peak seasons as well, so make sure you avoid them. As a rule of thumb, flights that depart on Tuesday are generally cheaper than those that depart during weekends. Hotels also go by the same rules, although some exceptions apply. You can also look into private lodging which is generally cheaper than finding accommodations in fancy hotels. These can help you save hundreds of dollars when it comes to your travel expenses. It can also leave you more budget to try other activities at your destination.
3. Adapt small saving habits
A small change that is very effective for any financial goal is by adapting thrifty habits. For example, instead of eating out, which will cost you an average of $10-20 per meal, you can save by bringing your own lunch which will probably only cost you $2-3 on average. You can bank these small savings in your travel fund, which adds more to your budget and helps you speed up to your goal. Skip the Starbucks, say ‘pass’ to that tempting iPhone X release, and avoid mindless snacking by the vending machine. These small daily changes will not only help you save money but can possibly help you improve your overall well-being.
4. Read blogs on ‘worth it’ sites to see on your destination
Don’t just rely on general information. If you have time, make sure to visit blogs of travelers who have gone to your country of choice. This information can help you gain insight into the recommended places to visit. These are first-hand experiences, so do your research on what your preferences are. If you plan to have a culinary-filled experience, find blogs that talk about the best restaurants in your destination. If you’re into nature, find a travel explorer blog to know which are the best trails to discover on your next trip. Reading reviews can also help, but be wary on some of them. After you have done your research, make an itinerary of things you should do during each day of your trip. This way, you can save time and money by having a definite plan.
5. Take advantage of travel promotions
Travel promotions are always available when you search for information online. For example, websites such as Groupon offer destination packages which are all-inclusive of flight and hotels. There are many countries to choose from such as Mexico, China, and Dubai. These travel promotions often come with tour guides to help you explore your destination better. In some instances, these travel promotions can be discounted for as big as 50-70% off, so make before booking anything by yourself, look into these options and see which one fits your budget and preference.
Keep in mind these simple tips, and you’re on you to packing your bags for a wonderful vacation. Xcela Wealthbelieves that the right skills and knowledge can help you achieve any personal financial goal you have.