How to save for your 2020 vacation and still have money to live

Nov 25 2019, 6:56 am

Now that we’re settled into autumn, it’s dark outside when we’re waking up in the morning and possibly when we leave work. We can all agree that a vacation somewhere sun-drenched would be heavenly.

When we start dreaming of the places we’d like to visit (St. Lucia, Belize, or perhaps travelling through Europe for a month), it’s easy to sigh and say “I wish.” However, with a little advance planning, your wishes can come true, dear friends.

This starts with getting smarter with your money because nobody wants to go on the trip of a lifetime if it means they’re going to be completely broke when they get home. For example, know that flying on the holiday, be it Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, saves you money on airfare!

To get you ready to explore the world in 2020, we’ve partnered up with the world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK, to list six more tips for saving for your next vacation.

Create a travel fund

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This may sound like we’re stating the obvious, but we can tell you from experience that starting a dedicated travel fund is a major help. If you don’t put away money into a separate fund, weeks and months can pass by and you will have saved nothing — and suddenly your travel plans turn into a “maybe next year” fantasy.

Opening a dedicated savings account lets you have a place to watch your funds grow. If you have an online account and choose not to get a debit card for it, even better. It’s tough love, but you’ll be thankful in the long run!

Take a hard look at your spending

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We’re about to sound like your parents for a moment, but hear us out (please?). Examining your finances, particularly your spending, is an excellent way to streamline your money management and get focused on your vacation fund.

You don’t have to do it alone because there are a bunch of handy apps that can help, notably Wally, Mint, and YNAB. Download the app that suits your needs and get ready to channel your inner accountant. Signing up for a rewards program like Paytm is another fun way to be rewarded and get free stuff for paying your bills.

Set a goal

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When we set goals for both the short and long term, they give us something to work towards while we save money. If you don’t have a destination in mind just yet, that’s not a problem. You can check out KAYAK Explore to find trips and then set your budget.

Of course, doing some research ahead of time will help you set a financial goal that will cover your trip  — inclusive of on-the-ground costs. Leaving a note on your wall or desk at work will help remind you of your objective as you gear up to crush it!

Meal prep each week

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Do you buy lunch every day? Let’s say for example you get a $10 superfood salad from your go-to spot near work, five days per week; that’s $50 a week, or $200 a month just on your midday meal. And this doesn’t even take morning coffees into consideration (jeez).

By meal prepping ahead of time, you can buy the ingredients you need and even make your lunches and dinners for the week at a fraction of that price. You could then add any money left over to your travel fund. It’s simple, right?

Use a travel credit card

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Chances are you’re already using a standard credit card to pay for your phone or WiFi bill, or perhaps your groceries. But are you getting any rewards in return? Switching to a more travel-orientated credit card can help you rack up points which you can later use to pay for travel — flights, hotels, you name it.

KAYAK gives the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite* Credit Card a special mention because it lets cardholders collect up to 40K Aeroplan Miles. Wondering what that gets you IRL? Well, it’s enough for two short-haul round-trip flights to pretty much anywhere in North America.

Remember, everything takes time

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Unless you win the lottery or get a generous raise at work, you’re probably not going to see your bank balance triple overnight. When it comes to saving for that dream trip and achieving your goals, it’s important to remember that the best things in life often take some time.

Saving enough to travel in 2020 is about being more responsible with your money, saying “no” to getting takeout even if you really want it, and forgoing impulse buys of clothing online, among other things. When you’re living your best life on the other side of the world, you’ll be so happy that you did. Keeping in mind the advice of American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, “It’s not about the journey, it’s about the destination.”

For more travel inspiration and to start planning your 2020 trip, visit KAYAK now.