In the last six months I've done quite a bit of traveling. It's weird because as a corn kid and living off of very little income, traveling was not in our cards. I always envied the kids in my class who got to take family vacations and see different parts of our country, let alone our world. They'd come back with all their cool souvenirs, t-shirts and exciting stories. One day my Grandmother asked if I wanted to take a trip with her and my Aunt. I was so thrilled, "where are we headed?" I asked. "South Dakota", she said with such exuberance you'd think we were going to Japan. I ventured to good ole South Dakota that year and even though it had nothing to give for an 11 year old girl, the simple opportunity to come back with my Native American corn, drum set and teepee excited me. I finally had something to share.
I've spent numerous times sharing my most recent six months worth of travel with friends and acquaintances. One of the most common reactions, "you're so lucky". While, my specific circumstances may make it easier for me to venture off to random cities, experience the local food, history and cultures...It isn't all about luck. See, I always wanted to travel. I always wanted to pick places and just GO! Whether that may be solo or with loved ones, it has always been up to me to make it happen.
Are you in that space with me? Do you need an adventure, are ready to pack your bags and see the world? It can happen! Don't sit back and wish. Develop a strong action plan, set some goals and off you go!
To get you started I've included three cost savings initiatives to booking your next trip. I'm going to assume money is tight. Well let's see what we can do then. Ready, set, let's go!!
Create a plan. Google can be your best friend. I had to help my daughter do a mock trip to Paris, creating a budget, finding excursions, etc. We Googled every detail. Utilizing this can help you find the best rates. I caution you though when using third party travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. Always plan on paying for the trip insurance. Stuff happens all the time, you don't want to be stuck and lose your money.
Start saving right now. Try the $5.00 savings plan, Take out cash to use each payday, instead of pulling out the plastic. Everytime you are handed a $5.00 bill, stash it away. I took a medium plastic container, painted it so I couldn't see the money inside, cut a small slit in the side and super glued it shut. You should see the excitement each time I may handed my change and there's another bill to throw in my container. A friend did this and at the end of two years he walked away with over $17,000. Now I'm not telling you to wait to vacation for two years, but every little bit counts. I started the beginning of the year and if I had to guess, I have well over $300.
Pre-purchase your vacation items. How many times do you think of all the "stuff" you will need for your trip. New luggage, swimsuits, hats, sunscreen, etc.... Try making a list of the items you foresee requiring when you begin to plan. Keep a list on Amazon and with each pay period, try purchasing one item from your list. This strategy won't hurt your pocketbook as much as buying everything all at once.
Thinking of spending what could be hundreds of dollars may freak you out and back you into a corner. Your heart races and panic rushes in.
One way to reduce the anxiety is to remember one key thing, don't let money control your decisions. At the end of day, it's going to be the memories you have created more then the money you spend or what you have in the bank. Create your vision and hold onto it daily. Manifest the goal into a reality. Don't give up. Everything is with your reach.
Now, go grab your towel and soak in the sun my babes!