Many people take vacations each year that leave their friends and neighbors wondering exactly how they could afford to do so. Trips to the Florida Keys, the Grand Canyon, and even cruises that reach well outside of the United States are just a sampling of the amazing experiences travelers are having each year, often on a shoestring budget.
How can I travel when I have a tight budget?
Traveling when you have a tight budget is not out of your reach. While, yes, there are steps you need to take to make it work, you’re perfectly capable of making it happen. For example, there are plenty of people who trek across Ireland on a shoestring budget simply by taking note of the many private homes offering lodging beforehand.
Below we have outlined five steps that you should take to plan ahead when you are on a budget. We hope you take the time to look over these steps and implement them into your plans as soon as possible. Not only will they help you to save for a much-needed vacation, but they will also help to make your budget that much more friendly.
Cutting the Fat Out of Your Spending
- Be sure to turn off lights when leaving a room. Excess electricity usage occurs more often than ever due to this one simple thing.
- Turn your thermostat up two degrees in summer and lower it two degrees in cooler months. By making this small adjustment, you will be saving on electricity usage, as well as heating fuel for those homes who are still outfitted for propane or natural gas.
- Only pump what you need. When you are fueling your vehicle, estimate the distance you will be traveling. Add on 20 miles (about 1 gallon of fuel for more efficient vehicles, 2 gallons for older or less fuel efficient ones) and only pump what you need plus the additional 1 or 2 gallons. This will help to curb unnecessary spending and make you more mindful of the fuel you are consuming throughout the week.
- Purchase groceries in bulk. This does not mean you should fill the freezer to bursting. By purchasing a family pack of ground beef and portioning it into freezer bags you can reduce the waste created during meals. This will reduce your overall grocery spending as well.
- Finally, take a good look at your spending habits. For example, do you really need a Hulu, Vudu, and Netflix account?
By taking the time to implement these simple practices, you can easily start to put away money towards a vacation, emergency fund, or even a newer vehicle. The possible uses for your surplus cash are quite endless.
Once you’ve taken the time to change things around and saved enough for a vacation (which won’t take long now that you are spending less) you can start checking out flights, discounts, hostels, and sights that you have always wanted to see. After all, hard work deserves a great vacation!