Traveling can sometimes feel like an unattainable luxury. Expensive hotels and ever-increasing plane tickets can put most desired destinations out of reach. Many people end up forgoing their trips altogether. Creating a travel fund months or, preferably, years in advance can make the seemingly impossible dream vacation possible. So, if travelling was apart of your New Year’s resolutions, maybe it’s time for you to start a travel fund.
The Benefits of Traveling and Starting a Travel Fund
Saving money for retirement and emergency funds is hard enough for many American families, so creating a travel fund may not be high on your list of concerns. But it should be.
Whether it’s a day trip to the city or an international adventure, traveling can be a benefit to your life. It can change your perspective, clear your mind, and help reduce stress. It’s also an educational opportunity—you can learn so much by immersing yourself in different cultures and talking with different people. You learn more about yourself in the process as well.
Starting a travel fund can help you reach your goals. Without a specific plan your dream vacation will stay just that, a dream. A dedicated fund will motivate you and make your plans more concrete.
Even if you can only spare a few bucks a month, all the life experiences you’ll gain from your travels will be worth it.
How to Start a Travel Fund
There are no right or wrong ways to start a travel fund. Some people prefer tucking away some spare cash in their home, while others open dedicated savings or investment accounts. Listed below are a few tips that may be helpful for you.
- Open a special account. Some people find it helpful to open a savings account or a special investment account specifically for traveling. This can be helpful. If you plan to set aside $100 a month for your fund, you can easily step up a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to your travel account. Plus, your travel fund can earn interest and grow as you save.
- Collect your change. If your dream vacation is more modest, maybe you won’t need a savings account. Maybe you would prefer putting your spare cash and change in a “travel fund” jar at home. Just make sure that your money is secure—not just from burglars but from you as well. Create a rule for yourself that once money goes into the jar it doesn’t come out until you’re ready to book your vacation. Otherwise, your jar will consistently be empty.
- Think about your travel fund often. When you get your tax refund, when get that bonus from work, or when you find a $20 bill in your pocket, don’t rush to shop! Think about your various funds first. Split the money among your special funds: retirement, emergency, travel, and any other saving plans you may have. It’ll be tough, but just picturing yourself on vacation can help.