How to Save for a Trip


save-moneyNext summer Christopher and I are planning to visit the Azores, in Portugal. Particularly São Miguel, and possible Lisbon for 3 days. We are going for two weeks so we will see how the Lisbon part goes. I may have mentioned this on Twitter, but I am not entirely sure. I wanted to talk about at some point saving for a trip.

We have already figured out the hotel we are going to be staying at, and the cheapest day to fly, which happens to be a Wednesday. It is half price compared to traveling on any other day. Since we cannot fly directly from where we are, we have to take a plane to Toronto and then take SATA Airline to the island. If you were not aware, TAP is going through some issues, and so SATA is the safer choice.

The first thing to note when planning is to try and get a rough estimate (and by rough I mean the most expensive estimate) of how much the flight, hotel, and transportation will cost. I say plan for higher costs, because you always want to save over and not under your target number. Once you have these basics covered, it will be easier to determine a daily budget for food, museum/activity fees, and spending money.

To save up and have our tickets, hotel, and transportation already saved up by December, we are setting aside 70-75% of our earnings. This will guarantee we will have the money for the biggest chunk of trip expenses. From January onward, we will be saving for the secondary group, which includes extra food, activities, and spending money.

My number one tip to everyone is to try and track your spending habits. Once you can target areas in your “spending diet” that you can minimize, the next set is to set budgets or try to cut these areas out completely. This will really help you save money quickly and easily.

Another tips is to always keep your chequing account low. Keep money in there, enough so that when you get your next cheque you will be fine. Put the rest of your money in an e-savings. You won’t have any access in stores to it, and at the ATM you will get charged for a transaction, so it will really help to deter you from pulling money out at an ATM.

Here are a few other ways you can save money:

  • Set up automatic transfers to your savings account. Every time your pay comes in you can automatically save.
  • Let someone else manage it for you. Sometimes when you do not have control it makes it easier to save. Use a parent, or someone you trust to make sure you stick to your budget.
  • Keep a change jar. It can easily add up and can be used to add to your trip, or even be used for gas money instead of wasting it on something useless.
  • Have things you need to get rid of? Sell them to add the cash to your travel fund. Those pairs of jeans you only wore once will quickly add up to a night stay in a hotel.

Hopefully the tips I have listed here will help you. If you have any tips on saving money for a trip, or just saving money in general please let me know in the comments below!

  1. September 14, 2015 by Georgie

    Nick and I are planning for our trip to Europe, too. We already knocked about $7000 off our business class flights by trading in credit card points! We just had to think smart and consider eating at restaurants that had triple points, as well as trying to use credit cards as much as possible.

    Another way we will be saving is by avoiding expensive hotels and renting, so we’ll be trying to use Airbnb for our entire trip. We’ve also been watching travel videos that have some tips, too. One of them mentioned that you should pay attention to when certain landmarks are open and to try and buy in advance. It’s also good to consider saving time.

    I usually save about 90% of my pay each time. It’s a bit zealous but I don’t spend much as it is. I also stash a lot of it away so that I can’t physically withdraw or pay with a card, and that way it pulls in some interest too.

    • October 05, 2015 by Domenica

      Currently I have a card with points because as a student I qualified. However I do not work that much so collecting points when you don’t spend a lot of money is hard. We have been trying to get a lot of side gigs with the business, and cutting back on a lot of habits in order to get our dream trip for next year. It is a tight timeline to save for but if things go our way this winter it will be easier. Either way we have a game plan. Making the game plan is the most important thing really!

      I looked into Airbnb. I found a couple of places for when we go to Vancouver and then Italy (within the next five years). As for Portugal its hard to find one for the amount of time we staying in each place but because we are there for certain nights I found discounts! And Christopher’s cousin is a realtor out there and knows some great hotels with some discounts he can get us so for that we are set! In Italy I stayed with family. Though I do know some great homes to rent down south!

      I save like you do. People say I am odd, but I would rather save now that be stuck living pay check to pay check later on in life.

  2. September 20, 2015 by Becca

    Oooh, I am so jealous! You will love Portugal! My parents traveled there a few years ago and visited Lisbon. Even though we took a trip this year to the Caribbean I think we will be saving for a trip next summer. We will see 😉

    Great tips! Tracking your spending is so huge! It can really be a pain, but it really can show you areas you are spending excessively that you weren’t even aware of. We save by setting up a budget. September has been our “test” month as we try to figure out our combined income/expenses so I’m looking forward to October to really minimize our spending so we can save to pay off our loans.

    • October 05, 2015 by Domenica

      I am so excited for Portugal you do not even know. Chris has never been to Europe and I have never been there specifically so it will be cool to do our first overseas trip to somewhere we have both never been. It takes a while to figure out a good budget but I find there are a few ways to do it. One of those ways is really using the reports in online banking. There are a ton of graphs and such on mine, perfect to see trends and make predictions/changes to our spending habits. To pay your loans off faster I suggest doubling up at the end of the year. Ask you bank about it. I know my mom did it on the mortgage and it sped up the process a lot.

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