Let’s be real, budgeting for anything is difficult. But budgeting for travel does have its own set of incentives that can sweeten the deal (daydreams of Venetian canals, French vineyards, and the sweeping Serengeti come to mind). Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of buzz about the benefits of spending your money on experiences instead of things (hint: travel makes you happier!) and we couldn’t agree more. Here are a few ways to make budgeting for travel even easier—and to bring your dream trip closer than ever.
Break it down into monthly goals
Think small to dream big by breaking down your goal into increments. At Go Ahead, we offer an Automatic Payment Plan with interest-free installments. All you need to do it put down your initial deposit ($300 or $450 depending on the destination), and then you can bundle your remaining costs into automatic payments each month.
Booking your trip further in advance means smaller bills. This sounds like a no brainer, but can be a hard rule to follow when wanderlust strikes. Our recommendation? Spend time zeroing in on your dream trip and reserve your spot about a year (or more) in advance for stress-free budgeting. In the meantime, satisfy your curiosity with a few weekends away or days playing tourist in your own home state.
Consider off-season travel
One of the best-kept secrets in our industry is that traveling in the off-season has so much to offer. Think fewer crowds, seasonal festivals, and cheaper price tags, just to name a couple of benefits.
Make budgeting a fun part of your routine
Chances are that if being a traveler (or at least having a traveler’s curiosity) is part of your lifestyle, there are other aspects of your daily life that you’re passionate about too. Try linking a favorite activity to travel savings. Every time you go for a run, try a new recipe, or make it to your favorite yoga class, you put $10 into your travel bank. Before you know it, you’ll be carving out more time for a particular hobby and watching your savings stack—win, win!
There are several ways to save on a Go Ahead tour, including credits for past travelers, referral credits when you share your love of exploring the world, and more.
Be smart on tour
Before you leave for your tour, set a budget for your spending money to use on your trip (if you’re super organized, you can even set a daily budget). Have extra spending money left over at the end? Put it right back into your travel fund for future adventures!
Have any other tips to help budget for travel plans? Share them in the comments below!