Yes, my answer to that question is always yes.
However, you need to make sure you are ready before you head out on an adventure. Just like you book your flights and pack your bags, you also need to prepare your finances for your trip!
So, how do you go about preparing your bank account for a trip?
Start with a plan
If you are anything like me, then you have an endless list of places that you are going to make it to someday. That makes the easy part is deciding where to go.
Create a rough budget
Next, start looking at prices for essentials like flights, rentals, lodging, experiences you absolutely cannot live without, and food.
Souvenirs are another thing that you might want to budget for. Some people cannot go without buying souvenirs, others are content with their pictures. Personally, I love to buy postcards everywhere I go because my photos never look that good! If you know you will want a souvenir, then factor that in.
Also, make sure to factor in some extra cash for emergencies and random stuff that will happen on your trip. Things happen, you don’t want to be stressed out about not being able to afford the situations that arise.
Add up the numbers and see if the total cost is something you are willing to pay for this trip. There is no right or wrong answer to how much money you want to spend on a trip because that really depends on your own situation and desires. Just remember, you will likely want to go on many more trips.
Take a closer look at your budget
If you look at the total price and have sticker shock, that’s okay. Just go back through your plans and see where you can easily cut costs without diminishing your experience.
I have two go-to ways to cut trip costs easily.
The first is to look for cheaper transportation. That could mean driving instead of flying. Or using credit card reward to score almost free flights. Or finding a deal on metro travel instead of relying on taxis to get around.
The second is to find more affordable lodging. Let’s face it, as much as I want to spend my nights in a five-star resort style hotel, that is just not going to happen. It’s just not worth it to me because I literally only spend enough time to sleep and shower at my hotel. If you can relate to that feeling, then I recommend looking into Airbnb, hostels and other options. Personally, I use Airbnb to find a good place, but plenty of people I know stay in hostels. Just do what makes you comfortable.
In my own travels, I attempt to spend the least amount of money possible while maximizing my experience. I make an effort to make my trips affordable for a few reasons.
One is that I want to go to many places, so I can’t spend all my money on one trip. The second reason is that I just feel better about traveling if I know that I can definitely afford the trip that I am taking, otherwise I feel a little bit weird about the whole situation.
With all of that in mind, I would recommend looking for ways to cut costs on your trips. The smaller amount of money you need, the easier it is to prepare for the trip.
Check your current finances
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how much the trip will cost you, start looking at your bank account. If you have already set up a travel-specific savings account and you have enough money there, then you are good to go. That is the easiest way.
If you don’t have a savings account just for your traveling, then you will need to take a closer look at your bank balances.
You should not use your emergency fund for travel, so that is off limits.
If you are looking for your current income to pay for the trip, make sure that you aren’t blowing your entire monthly budget. You will probably still need to cover your normal expenses like rent, car payments, insurances and more even if you are out of town.
If you can’t afford to pay for the trip with your current income, then look in your savings account. Just remember your other long-term goals like retirement, financial freedom, future house, new car and other dreams that you do not want to sacrifice.
You might be able to afford the trip already, in that case, skip to step 6 😊
If you have looked through those options and don’t think you can afford to go, that’s okay! There are a few other options!
Start your own payment plan
That does not mean borrowing any money. You should never have to go into debt in order to go vacation. Even if you have the ability to put the entire trip on your credit card, don’t. Debt is a scary thing that can have a hugely negative impact on your life.
Instead of going into debt, set up a savings plan for yourself. You know how much the trip will cost, next decide when you want to go. With that information, you can discover how much you will need to save each month, or week until you go on your trip. If the amount seems unrealistic, then you can push back your departure date by a reasonable amount or find a way to meet the goal.
You can start earning extra money to meet your goal. Personally, I do freelance writing to meet my own savings and travel goals. I cannot even imagine a life without side hustling anymore. I still have a real job, but it is always nice to have extra cash rolling in.
Believe me, if I can earn enough money to go on trips so can you. It will just take a little bit of hard work and determination. Oh, and you will have to believe you can do it because “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” The wise words of Henry Ford.
Book the Trip!
It is much more fun to book the trip after you know you can afford it!
As you book it, don’t be afraid to maximize your money by jumping on deals that appear.
If you have travels rewards available, then use them!
Most importantly, ENJOY YOUR ADVENTURE!!!
Let me know if you found this helpful! Feel free to leave a comment or email me, I’d love to hear about your trip 😊