All too often travel dreamers complain that they can’t afford to travel. I can understand this complaint, however, there are many different ways to afford travel.
You just have to decide that you want it and follow certain steps to achieve it. Yes, it might take you longer to achieve your travel dream than the average person, but what does that really matter as long as you outcome is living your travel dreams?
Here are 8 ways how to make your travel dreams come true:
1. Disney Vacation Account.
Did you know that Disney has a site dedicated to creating your dream Disney vacation and setting up a Disney Vacation Account to fund it? First you plan out your Disney vacation on the site and calculate your estimated funds.
Once you have your vacation estimate, you’re ready to create your savings plan and start saving at your own pace, up to 5 years in advance of your Disney vacation date. You can make automatic contributions using your debit or credit card, and schedule contributions to take place every week, every month or every 2 weeks.
There are no fees to set up and maintain your account, and you can withdraw the money you’ve contributed and have it fully refunded at any time! (Source: DisneyVacationAccount)
Go to: Disney Vacation Accounts to check it out.
SmartyPig is an online piggy bank for people saving for specific financial goals with a 1.0% APY. It’s completely free. No fees. No catches. No “buying clubs.” It’s an FDIC-insured savings account — and so much more. SmartyPig’s goal planning system helps you map out long-term goals like your dream vacation.
A minimum deposit of $10 is required to start and maintain a savings goal. The minimum recurring contribution is $10.00 so you must be able to afford $10.00 each monthly recurring contribution.
Go to: SmartyPig to check it out.
3. Money Coffee Can.
Put every pound or dollar that you get back in change in a coffee can. Once a month deposit this amount in a travel savings account. When it reaches a certain point, begin to plan your dream vacation. You can do this with pocket change as well.
A great travel budget calculator is here.
4. Yard Sales.
Get rid of everything you don’t use and have a vacation fund yard sale. Make your signs say “Vacation Fund Yard Sale” and you’ll be surprised at how much people donate. If you can’t have a Yard Sale consider placing the priced items on Craigslist or placing them at a local consignment shop.
5. All Inclusive Deals.
Look for all-inclusive packages and travel to destinations in their off season. The more flexible you are with the time of year, the better deals you can find. Mid-week flying is usually the cheapest.
Off-season travel to Europe starts in November and runs through the end of March. Avoid the holidays as prices tend to jump during holiday travel times. Fall is a good time to travel to South Africa. Watch your exchange rates to make sure that you are really getting the bargain you think you are getting.
About.com Travel has a great little article on the Cheapest Months to Travel, outlining when it’s the best time to travel to certain destinations. Check it out here.
6. Ask for Donations
You can ask people to donate to your vacation fund. If your family is big into holiday gift giving ask them to donate to your vacation fund in lieu of a gift.
Use BoostUp.com. Boost is an exclusive savings incentive that doubles a portion of your savings to help you score on purchases such as travel. BoostUp functions like a public savings account where others can contribute and companies offer incentives to match your funding.
Check out BoostUp’s travel section here.
7. Travel Channel Sweepstakes.
The Travel Channel has a sweepstakes central page that features their latest travel giveaways. Entering sweepstakes is strictly a numbers game. Be sure to enter the maximum number of times allowed. Real people do win these and you have nothing to lose by entering while you plan your vacation spending account.
8. Oprah Magazine Dream Vacation Sweepstakes.
Periodically, Oprah gives away trips of a lifetime. It’s part of subscribing to her magazine online, but you don’t have to subscribe to her magazine to enter to win.
What is important here is that you do SOMETHING to get your travel dreams going. Buy a travel book about where you want to go. Make a travel vision board about your travel dream. Decorate a coffee can or a jar to start throwing all your loose change in – BUT DO SOMETHING to move you forward with your travel dream.
Remember the words of Lao Tzu:
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Do you have your own ideas on how to make your travel dreams come true? Share your tips!
Natasha von Geldern
Wander the World!