Trying to figure out how to save up for an extended trip or long-term travel can be really overwhelming and often it simply just seems impossible when you have bills to pay and normal human expenses to deal with.
Don’t let that seemingly small budget fool you, there’s some saving power there and it’s just ready for you to harness it so you can head out on your next adventure.
There are a few important steps that will help you create a practical travel stash. You don’t have to be a sponsored travel blogger or professional travel journalist to make long-term travel happen, you simply need a plan and a good amount of discipline.
Saving up for any pricey thing in your life will take some work. The sooner you want to make it happen, the more creative you’ll have to be.
Here are a few ways to get the funds you need to travel more and travel longer.
Identify Your Travel Costs
People who desire long-term travel have an idea where they would like to spend a little extra time. If you’re one of these people, write down that destination and then start researching some basic things about that country that will help you set a travel budget. Some of the things you’ll need to know about your trip in order to save properly are the following:
You can find some of these things on handy sites that do cost of living calculations for you or you can talk to locals or other expats and travelers in those areas. Blogs can be a great resource for finding pricing for things in other countries.
Ultimately, just get a general idea of prices for things you see yourself needing and using while you’re there. Let it be your guide. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Now that you have an idea of how much it costs to get there, eat there, sleep there, play there etc.. you’ll need to figure out how long you want to be there. Long-term travel can mean very different things depending on the person so whether it’s 2 weeks or 2 years, figure out how much (on average) it will cost you per day, multiply that by the number of days you want to stay and then make that your goal.
I would also recommend planning a buffer of at least $1000-$5000 because it is always better to aim for a higher goal. You may discover extra expenses along the way and you don’t want them to set you back from your plans to engage in long-term travel.
Squeeze That Budget
Whether you’re already on a strict budget or not, a major part of the process needs to be finding new ways to squeeze your budget down so that you have more money to save each month. Don’t panic, I know you may feel like your budget is squeezed already but just get in there and take a look. I promise that if you really want to make this happen, you will find something to cut out. Here are some classic examples of a budget squeeze:
Using all or some of these budget squeezing methods, you will be able to find ways to save each month. Set a goal for how much you want to save each month and make it into a game if that helps. When you deprive yourself of something you usually spend with but you see that money going towards your travel fund, it suddenly becomes exciting and worth it.
Commit to a Plan
Once you know what you’re aiming to save and you have an idea of how much you can save per month, set a date. Find a time, whether it is 6 months from now or 4 years, set a date and time that you will leave on that trip and start planning accordingly. Don’t treat it like it might happen, treat it like it is happening because you will find all kinds of excuses to not stick to your saving goals and push back that departure date. Set your goals, set your date and commit to it.
If unforeseen expenses come up one month, don’t freak out.
If you had a weak moment and splurged one month, don’t freak out.
Take the amount that you went over budget and transfer it to the next month to pay off. Hold onto that amount until you pay yourself back. You’re human and will have setbacks or get sidetracked. Your long-term travel goals will be your motivation to get back on track.