How To Make This The Year You Take Your Dream Trip

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Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

New Year’s resolutions are the holiday tradition that comes with the most eye rolls. I mean, who hasn’t promised themselves to eat healthier, get to the gym more, or cut down on social media starting January 1st – and then failed at it by Feb 1st.

But, if part of your list this year, includes finally taking that exotic vacation you have been dreaming about… well I’ve got some tips for you to turn that into a reality!

Pick a Specific Place & Date

Too often we tell ourselves; I resolve to travel more this year! Because that is so vague, and the world is so wide, we never actually book a trip and follow through.

This year instead, pick an actual spot and date. Been dreaming about Thailand, or maybe Japan? Pick a specific city (or island) and a month – or better yet an exact week – you aim to take your trip. This tiny bit of solid planning makes that dream resolution one step closer to reality. An actual city and date will give you a real deadline to work towards.

Saving For Your Big Trip

Start Saving Now

If you haven’t already, you’re going to need to create a plan of action to save for your trip. This will most likely include taking a hard look at your finances. Since this isn’t the most fun activity – especially after the holiday season – grab a big glass of wine and watch this budgeting video of mine to get started.

Open a Travel Bank Account

I’ve talked before on why I love multiple bank accounts. Having a physical wall between your bill paying money and your dream vacation money can help even the most novice saver.

This also helps you visualize an actual budget for your trip so you can plan smart and avoid overspending on your trip.

Read Click-Bait Money Saving Tip Articles

Yes, you read that right. You know all those annoying articles you see… 10 ways to save you probably never thought of… 8 spending habits that keep you from your financial goals. Read them all.

While some tips are going to be strange, or obvious, there will probably be quite a few that you could apply to your own life. Keep a notepad handy and physically write down the tips you can see yourself implementing.

Hang that list anywhere that is highly visible – your fridge, bathroom mirror, anywhere.

Apply Your Money Saving Tips to Your Life

No one woke up one day and decided, you know what, I’m going to change everything about myself… today! So, DON’T apply every tip on your list to your life at once. This is just asking for failure.

Instead, try implementing one tip a week for a month. At the end of the month, assess which changes were easy to add to your life and saved you money. And which were stupid, unnecessary, or impossible to do. Keep the good ones and cross out that bad. Next month start adding one tip in a week again. Keep going until you find the best budgeting style that works for you!

Planning Your Big Trip

Consider Cheap Vacation Packages

Epic destinations are sometimes synonymous with exotic. They can be overwhelming, or headache-inducing to plan. To counter this, don’t forget about sites like Groupon, Travel Zoo, and other cheap vacation package websites. These packages are sometimes great money savers with the added benefit that they will get you there faster!

Alerts, Alerts, Alerts

If you have been following along with my budget series, you know I love alerts. I use them for flights and hotels because they do all the work for you.

Finding a cheap flight will be your top priority. Since a flight is one of your biggest expenses, it’s also your biggest money-saving possibility. I personally love Skyscanner and Kayak since they send specific flight alerts straight to your inbox.

The most important thing of course, is once you get that email, you click the buy button! This should be easier to do with alerts in place because you know you are getting the best deal out there.

Don’t Rule out Luxury

Remember, if you save money on your flight, you can splurge on some luxury hotels. I like to set price alerts for hotels, especially luxury hotels that I dream about. You never know when a sale might happen and a hotel alert will quickly alert you to it! Also, don’t forget that luxury hotels can also help you save money. Check out my articles here and here for help planning luxury vacations.

Coming up

Ever dreamed of quitting your day job and traveling the world? I’m going to break down how normal people do that every day in my next article.

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Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further