How can you make your travel dreams come through? My answer is straightforward: Create a travel fund. How can you do that? I’m discussing that in today’s post. Stay with me.
What is a travel fund?
A travel fund is quite simply a savings or investment account that is dedicated solely to funding your travels. If travel is a priority for you, you should get intentional and tactical about how to make it a reality. The truth is, we all have different financial goals, bills and responsibilities and if you leave your travel dreams to chance, life will happen and travel will not.
So my advice is that you get intentional today about building your travel fund by diligently saving money monthly into a separate savings account and watching it grow.
Important things to know when creating and building a travel fund
When choosing specific savings account for your travels, here are the most important things to look out for.
1.) Make sure there are zero fees involved. The more you can limit your monthly charges, the more money you have available. So go for a savings account with no monthly charges. Just do a quick google search for one available in your country.
2.) Automate your savings for the best result possible. The more you can set up your savings on autopilot, the better the results. Whether you earn a paycheck weekly or monthly, allocate a percentage of your income and send it straight to your travel savings. Whether it is $50 or $500 per paycheck, know that it all adds up. And when you see that account start growing, you will be even more motivated to continue.
3.) Attach a credit card that helps you build travel points to that account. Travel credit cards can help you build points that can eventually save you money and help fund your future travels. Research some options available in your country and start building those points today. The good thing is that for some, you don’t necessarily need to travel the build the point – you can build the points from your everyday purchases like grocery, gas, food etc.
Now that you’ve started your travel fund, here’s how you can go from travel dreaming to travel reality.
Pick a dream destination
Where have you always wanted to go? What’s your dream destination? Perhaps you have gathered ideas from the internet, travel sites, National Geographic channel, wherever it is. Write it down, do some research and find a rough estimate. Not the time to be wishy-washy, pick ONE specific location that you think you are able to go to in the nearest future. We all want to go to several places but narrowing the list down is a lot more realistic.
What’s your dream destination?
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Start with a goal in mind
We have all heard about SMART goals, right? It applies to everything. Fitness, Finances, Travel, and so on. Start with a financial target in mind. You have chosen your dream vacation, do your research and you are able to come up with a figure on how much it costs. Is it realistic? Of course, it is measurable. Is there a time frame attached? This way, you know you are saving towards something tangible. Tangibility is everything and it brings the goal into perspective.
Set SMART, realistic goals.
So you have picked a financial goal for your travel, the obvious next step is to get to work. I always advise opening a separate savings account. A savings account that generates interest with very minimal monthly charges is always the best bet. Can you find a Recurrent Deposit account just like the one Sterling Bank offers? Or a High-Interest Savings account like Royal Bank of Canada’s? Even better. They give you more value for your money. Figure out how much you need to put away per month towards your dream vacation and start diligently doing it. Stop wishing, start doing. Make it happen.
Stop wishing, start doing. Make it happen.
I like this one a lot and I use it all the time. What are triggers? They basically invoke action. Have a few bad habits? Instead of beating yourself up when you slip up, “punish” yourself by putting a specific amount into your travel fund. It’s not really a punishment anyway if it is going towards something positive like a dream vacation. Set triggers for yourself. They can be anything. Does your favourite football team win a game? Trigger. Did you eat healthy all week? Trigger. Did you complete the 30-day water challenge? Trigger. Don’t worry about the amount, it could be little but you guys know, that little drops of water, make a mighty ocean.
Little drops of water, make a mighty ocean.
Treat extra money as if it’s not yours
So you get some extra money. Perhaps a kind Uncle decided to give you some money, perhaps, you made more profit than you were expecting on a particular business deal, or perhaps you won cash gifts (wish I could get that lucky!) Be blind to extra money, turn the other cheek, don’t treat it as your own, and put it in your travel fund.
Be blind to extra money, turn the other cheek, don’t treat it as your own, put it in your travel fund.
Treat your travel fund as a separate entity
When you treat your travel fund as a separate entity, it gives little room for indiscipline. Do not view it as if it were your money. Technically, it is but it is not available for you to spend. You and your travel fund are not a couple, in fact, you have a terrible relationship. Set it aside and don’t touch it. In a case where you feel tempted, just think about being in the place you’ve always wanted to be and how incredibly happy it will make you and shrug off the thought of spending it. Easier said than done of course but it’s worth the try.
You and your travel fund are not a couple, in fact, you have a terrible relationship. Set it aside and don’t touch it.
Be willing to make sacrifices
You may have to make some small sacrifices to make your travel dreams possible. If you have a working budget, try to cut back on a few expenses; eating out, frequent barbers appointment (thinking about it, an Afro isn’t too bad, you know? lol), partying, etc. Guys, there is rice at home. Put that extra money into your travel fund.
There is rice at home.
You may have already known these things but a reminder never hurt anyone, we all need it every now and then. Also, remember, the money adds up. If you disagree with me, calculate all the money you spent on your Starbucks coffee, or ordering fast food. Not saying you shouldn’t do all these things but be mindful and try to cut back on that a bit. Discipline is key. You have to be intentional about your travel goals. Be willing to put in the work. At the end of the day, only you can make it happen 🙂
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. -Walt Disney