It is a big hurtle. Money. Unless you are independently wealthy (in which case I would like you to go directly to my “plan your trip” page), it is probably the biggest downside to travelling. With some planning and budgeting it can be overcome. With the right perspective it can become a game.
Lets just say right off that I am not a fan of debt. Even house or car debt make my lip curl, even though they are pretty safe and very common. Travel is best done with money you have though. Because while the memories and life changing fun you will have last a lifetime, you actually have no tangible assets at the end.
When I ask, most people say they would travel more if they had the money. If you would like to travel, then it is likely that you can find a way. If you can find $25/person/month extra in your budget you can do a European trip in less then five years. Here’s the key, you have to want to make a change. Even if it is small, change is always hard. Find a picture of where you want to go and print it out, put it on your mirror and remind yourself why it is worth it.
First thing to figure out is a way to put that $25 somewhere that you will not be tempted to spend it. This can mean opening a separate bank account with auto transfers or if you have budgeting software it can designate that money as separate without actually moving it (if this works for you, you are probably good at saving and budgeting on your own and you to can proceed straight to my “let’s book a trip” button). You could also put cash in a jar if you are very old school. The point is to start saving now.
Families are more expensive. I know. So that $25 is $100 for a family of four. It might be harder to find that money so you can stretch out your time frame or find other ways to contribute to the fund. Everyone contributes birthday money or any kind of windfall money (Think bonuses,unexpected tax refunds or some other over payment refund).
I am in a Women’s Group that is planning a 20th anniversary trip where everyone is contributing monthly. We set up a bank account and wrote up some simple rules to govern the money in the event that someone wants to withdraw. We are one year into the saving and it is getting exciting to think about where we will go. I love to plan a trip!
Here is the equation for savings (if you did not know it already). Take the number of months until you want to travel (T = time). The estimated minimum cost (C = Cost). Your cost estimate can be for one person or for the whole family. If you do for one person then remember to multiply that back in at the end. I am here to help with this estimate if you would like.
C / T = How much to save per month
This will get you started. Travel is for everybody who wants it.