A travel fund is money saved completely to cover both major and minor expenses your next travel might cost.
There are three major reasons you need to establish your own travel fund:
1. To prepare you financially;
2. To eliminate the feeling of guilt and
3. To serve as backup for any unexpected expenses.
To travel on a budget is pure hard work.
There is a constant hunt for the best flight deals to take, the cheapest hotel and accommodations to book and the best way to enjoy the whole trip without losing your resources.
With a travel fund ready, you are financially prepared to make sound decision.
With a travel fund ready, you won’t feel that much guilty to spend.
With a travel fund ready, you will are secured that if something unexpected happens you have a spare money to use.
One of the biggest excuse people make for not travelling is it’s so expensive. Actually money is the main reason why it had always remained as part of my wish list for years. But the idea of stepping out my comfort zone, trying something new are enough reasons for me to accomplish this goal.
In my 24 Life and Money Lessons Learned in 24 Years I mentioned how much getting outside and experiencing life made me happier.
Isn’t it nice to once a year go somewhere you’ve never been before?
How To Establish Your Own Travel Fund
Emergency fund is a must-have. There are no ifs, ands or buts to have one. A travel fund, on the other hand is different you have a choice whether you will build one or not.
But just like building an emergency fund, saving money for travel takes financial discipline and commitment. You need to exercise willpower in doing any decisions that may affect your savings.
Today I manage to come up with four simple steps to help you establish your own travel fund as well. The four steps are:
2. Take Action
3. Track Your Progress
4. Spend and repeat
Step 1. Planning
The very first step in saving money for travelling is to plan.
This step involves looking inside your current financial state and mapping out your entire monthly budget to know where you could save for a travel fund.
Assess your monthly expenses
Now that you have your travel fund goal set aside, you can now map out your monthly income and expenses. This is important because you want to have an idea whether a Php 100,000 travel fund goal in the next six months is feasible or not.
Budgets are essential tools used to know where your money goes. It can be as simple as pen and paper, a downloadable template or free apps. Whatever budget works for you.
In your budget, simply write down how much money comes in along with everything you spend your money on in a month.
Here’s a closer look on how I budget my money:
- I use the 50-20-30 Budget Rule to allocate my income per payday.
- I divide the total to three main categories – bills (essential expenses), savings and investments (financial goals) and miscellaneous (lifestyle fund).
- With a clear picture on where my money should go, I can now start spending. I see to it that save and invest first before paying any bills due or shopping for toiletries, a new book, etc.
Looking in your budget, highlight areas where you are spending a little extra than normal. It can be credit card expenses, phone plans or electricity bill. You might also want to evaluate whether your current income is still enough to cover your monthly expenses. Maybe it is time to start a side hustle.
A budget can reveal a lot about your current financial status. Without it, you will remain blindsided on how much money you would be able to save if you just try.
Set your travel fund goal
How much money do you want to save for travelling?
Unlike an emergency fund that has a recommended amount of 3 to 6 months worth of your current income, how much your travel fund is will solely depend on you.
When I had a Pampanga Trip in 2015 with my eldest sister my goal is to save at least Php 3500 for hotel, eating out, ticket for the balloon festival and miscellaneous expenses. I thought about the trip in November and with a clear end-goal I started leaving small amounts here and there on my payroll account every month as savings.
In three months of doing this, I had more than enough money to cover the whole trip. Cool. So what’s your travel fund goal? Php 10,000? Php 25,000? Or Php 50,000?
Be specific with the amount. Only then could you really psyche yourself in saving for one.
Step 2. Taking Action
The next step to establish your own travel fund is to take action.
And this step is what you need to focus your attention for. No matter how much planning you do, if you missed taking action you will definitely fail your travel fund goal.
Here easy and effective ways you can save for a travel fund and make your dream vacation come true.
1. Change your money mindset
Working on a big goal requires a change of your mindset. You want to manifest your goal and turn it to reality, right?
So, it all begins with having a meaningful relationship with money.
- Believe in yourself. Believe that you have the ability to earn and to save that travel fund goal you have.
- Before making any purchases think about what traveling to your dream place would make you feel. Does buying a new makeup make you feel happier than buying a plane ticket to Palawan?
2. Open a separate savings account
Knowing how much you need to save is important, but having a dedicated place to put those money is equally necessary too.
Why have a separate savings account for your travel fund?
You can automate your savings
Automating your savings is the best and the easiest way to assure that your money goals are accomplished. These automation can be done through online banking facility of your preferred bank.
You can designate your money better
Having both your salary, savings, emergency fund and others in one account is CHAOS. What more if you will add up your travel fund, right? A second savings account works best in saving money because you can easily designate where your money go. If you only have your payroll account to rely then you will easily lose track of your savings.
My best tip is to find the best travel bank account for you. Learn more about the best travel bank cards in the Philippines – Prepaid and Debit Visa/Mastercard from A Mary Road.
3. Allot a percentage of your income to save
I mentioned earlier how I manage to save up for my Pampanga trip by allocating a percentage of my salary as a travel fund. This tip is effective and you can implement easily this coming payday.
With your monthly expenses assessed and your travel fund goal already set, find out how much you need to be saving.
If your end goal is Php 10,000 and you need this amount by February 2018, then saving at least Php 3,000 a month is a must. See if this fits in your budget. If yes, then save that percentage immediately!
If no, then adjust other areas of your budget that can make this saving goal possible. Maybe you can have a no-spend December and January (although this would be very hard to do as it the holiday season). But, you get the point.
You can go as little as 10% of your salary a month or 20% or 30%. As long as you still prioritize your emergency fund, investments and essential items. Put those percentages on your dedicated travel fund account right away.
4. Use your bonus
Take note of any bonus coming and/or extra income you have. These additional money can help you a lot! Use your bonus to establish your travel fund fast instead of buying new gadget, new clothes, etc.
5. Sell unused stuff
If you are really committed in traveling then try selling your unused stuff. You can start a garage sale or an ukay-ukay instagram shop. Put “I want to establish a travel fund” as the reason why you are selling your stuff away. People will surely support the cause.
6. Cut down on your spending
If you are living from paycheck to paycheck and there’s literally no way you can support travel fund in your current finances then it’s time to be some extreme frugality.
The thing is you need to cut down on your spending and live as frugal as possible if you want to establish your own travel fund. List down the your expenses in a month and determine any item you can cut down like movie nights, dinners or subscription from magazine etc.
Below are other doable frugality examples you can try.
- Bring lunch to work
- Have a no-spend week or month
- Stop unnecessary restaurant or fast food meals and drinks
- If you do need to dine out, maximize the free water instead of ordering soft drinks to save
- Let go of any subscription for a moment – Netflix, Spotify, Cable and/or Gym
I’ve been very frugal when it comes to my food consumption. My lunch is about Php 50-75 a day compared to before when I spend Php 100 – 120 eating on fast food chains. I try as hard as I can to go out of the house at 6:30am so I can have a leisure time to walk the street going to the FX Terminal instead of paying Php 8 for the pedicab.
I even cut major expense on my commute. I found out a new way to go home from work which allows me to save 8pesos on jeepney ride. This means I’m saving almost 320pesos a month on transportation allowance. Not only that, my new found ride is point-to-point so it decreases my chance of having impulse dining out instead of having dinner at home. I am so amazed by how it dramatically changed my day to day expenses.
There are different ways you can save money and establish your own travel fund! Trust me. It’s all about commitment.
7. Save your spare change
Another cool way to save money on travel is to put your spare change or coins in a piggy bank. Every piso counts. A piggy bank maybe old school but still one of the most effective way to save for your travel.
8. Plan your trip in advance
This has got to be the most important action you ought to be doing.
Plan your trip in advance!!!
Proper planning will help you find ways to save for your travel expenses.
- Booking your flight in advance will guarantee you the best price possible.
- Get your desired dates on your flight and accommodation
- Take advantage of hotel and accommodation deals, promos and discounts especially now that it is holiday season. Enjoy massive discounts for your trips and tours next year if you book today.
- Outline a better itinerary for your travel so you don’t stress out during the whole trip.
If you have any travel plans before the year ends check out TravelBook! They provide the latest budget-friendly hotel and accommodation and offer no credit card needed, pay at hotel stays for conscious travelers. Don’t forget to use my friend code 0225 upon check out.
9. Start a side hustle
Ultimately, my favorite way to establish a travel fund is to hustle. Find gigs you can do on the side that will help you earn extra income. Again, it doesn’t have to be big side hustle right away.
Answering online surveys, tutoring, writing freelance, taking photos for events, etc. anything that you enjoy doing and that you are considered an expert about!
There are a ton reasons why a side hustle is a must. And a travel fund could be one.
Check this 21 Best Side Hustles To Start in 2017 for ideas.
Step 3. Track Your Progress and Adjust
As you go in the process of saving up you might as well track your progress. Always check your savings account to see whether you are still on the course of your travel fund goal. Check what part of your action list is going sideways. Are you overspending lately?
If your goal to establish your own travel fund is not working then you might want to adjust accordingly.
A good way to track the progress of your travel fund is to create a simple chart. I’ve done this in my bullet journal and it is satisfying to have a sort of visual aid on how much my different saving goals is doing.
Step 4. Spend and Repeat
Once you hit your goal it’s time to spend and make the most of your travel fund. There are more money-saving tricks you can do to not ruin your finances.
As mentioned earlier my best tip here is to book in advance. If you already decided where to go and when to go, then book your flight online. It is also great to follow the top airline in the country in their social media accounts so will be updated in case seat sales happen.
Hotels and Accommodation
There are three main things you want to consider in booking your hotel and accommodation.
Location. It should be in the center or near of where most of your itineraries are. take note of its proximity to public transit.
During my Pampanga trip with my eldest sister we were able to book a hotel at downtown proper situated right in the middle of where we will watch the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival and visit other attractions. We were able to save ton of money because of it.
This was a complete opposite of what happened on my Tagaytay trip with my best friend Nica where in the hotel we booked was too far from the places in our itinerary. In the end we spent more time, money and effort going back and forth rather than exploring.
Price. Personally, there’s no way I will spend much on hotel and accommodation if I will be on the road most the time. As much as possible I want a budget-friendly place to stay.
This is the reason why I love partnering with online travel agent such as TravelBook. They provide the best rates and discounts ever! Plus they have partner hotels and tour all over the Philippines. Also for someone like me who don’t have a credit card they recently launched a Pay-at-Hotel, No Credit Card needed option which is A-MAZ-ING by the way.
One of the unforgettable accommodation I had in my life is Al Del Rio Villa Resort booked through TravelBook. If you are planning to spend days in Caramoan Islands I suggest booking this home-stay inn. You will not regret following my suggesting. Here’s a complete review with their prices for reference.
Rating and Review. I try to find time and read the online reviews to find out more information about the hotel or accommodation I’m staying. I believe it is best to hear from others who have already stayed or experienced the hotel. Blog reviews are helpful too especially because you are already provided with photos to get the whole picture.
Budget tours are the way to go if you want to save a ton of money but still enjoy your travel. Tours and packages are helpful because they mostly inclusive of the transportation, accommodation, tours, meals and other costs you’ll have if you do it your own.
Staying in touch with your family is important when traveling. It is good to take advantage of call, text and internet promos from your telco provider. Try to also use free WiFi available in the hotel or hostel you are staying.
I found that the best and the cheapest way of preserving the memories of your trip is to keep a journal or in my case a blog.
It is so satisfying to keep a diary, take photos and recap what happened during the day or night. You can always go back to your entries and reminisce your memorable events and special moments for free.
You spent months establishing your own travel fund, so it’s only fitting to preserve the memories of your trip, right?
If you want to start a blog, this tutorial may help you. I condensed everything I know on how to start a blog for beginners.
After checking off one of your places to go just repeat the steps 1 to 4 for your next travel.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
There are plenty of ways you can do to establish your own travel fund. You can open a new savings account here or use your existing account that is not in use. You can also create a jar at home to physically save the amount though you might want to hide it in a safe place.
As for me, all of my extra income from hosting events and freelance writing goes my travel fund. It’s good to have extra money to allot but if you are in a situation where you only rely on one source of income below are my tips:
- If traveling is something you really want to do then prioritize it over any other expenses. Treat your travel fund as a bill that you need to pay on a monthly bill.
- You can also try saving method like the 52-Week Money Challenge which will make saving a large amount easier.
- Use your talent and your spare time to earn more. If you will just research then you’ll surely find other means to fund your travel.
Thank you for reading this post.
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Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org