Next 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!