Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
[ Travel Tips ]

7 Tips to Afford Travel

Happy New Year friends! It’s official, 2017 is underway. The start of a new year always brings the opportunity to reflect on where you are and make new goals/resolutions. High fives if one of your resolutions is to travel more in 2017! Double high five if you work full time and are vowing to make more of your time outside the office! At EatWorkTravel, our sole purpose is finding ways to maximize life outside the office. So now that you set the goal, how do you make it happen? Typically excuses we hear from people who say they want to travel but don’t is that they don’t have enough time or money. You can find tips to maximize your time outside the office here. Today we will address the money part by giving you our 7 tips to afford travel.

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
Spending NYE 2015 in Iceland

#1 Prioritize 

So it may seem cliche but honestly the first step is prioritizing travel as part of your budget versus other “nice to have” expenses. We pack our lunch during the week and make our coffee at home before leaving. It’s amazing how much those little costs add up and could be used to afford travel instead. A few years ago, we stopped exchanging gifts on Christmas. Instead, we have agreed that we will use money we would have spent for an experience while traveling.

#2 Separate Savings Account

Since we prioritize our budget to allow for travel/experience expenses each month, we created a second savings account that we call our travel fund. Each month we have a targeted contribution that we add from our paychecks. Also any money we receive from bonuses or gifts from family are put into this account. This helps us when setting our budget for a trip.

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
Hidden Beach in El Nido, Philippines

#3 Take Advantage of Spousal Business Trips

We are not shy about flying to meet the other person while on business travel. Typically we can save the company money by extending a work trip over the weekend and we save the cost of one airline ticket. It’s really a win-win and allows us to travel more. In 2016 we traveled to Chicago, New Orleans and the Philippines by adding on personal travel to our business trips.

#4 Travel in the Off Season

This can be risky but could help reduce the cost of your trip as rates are typically lower. The off-season normally has the reputation for the worst weather. We’ve sat on our fair share of beaches under an umbrella as it rained. While we may not have seen the blue skies we always see on social media, we still had a break from work and enjoyed our time. This past year we traveled to Costa Rica and the Philippines in the off season and had pretty great weather both places. We went to New Zealand when weather was supposed to be good and it rained nearly everyday. You can’t control the weather so you may as well save a few bucks if you can.

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
Enjoying the hot tub while the rain comes down in Costa Rica

#5 Let the Exchange Rate Guide your Destination

This is something we just started looking into over the past year or so. It really can make a difference and allow you to have more experiences with your budget to afford travel! Our decision to travel to New Zealand in 2016 was largely based on the positive exchange rate. While we had always wanted to travel there, the exchange rate pushed it to the top of the list. Be mindful of companies that still want to charge you in USD. We always request to be billed in local currency to get the full benefit.

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
Aerial view of Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand

#6 Stay with Friends/Relatives

During our first couple years of marriage this guided our travels. We traveled to Australia, Scotland and England because we had family and friends that we could stay with as a base. This really helps to stretch your budget and afford travel. We recently had good friends move to Germany and we are hoping to visit them in 2017 plus see a new country! When people offer us to stay with them, we always warn them to only tell us if they mean it because we definitely take people up on these offers!

#7 Take Advantage of Points & Miles

Since we travel a decent amount for our jobs, we build up points and miles to use during our personal travels. We have a dominant and secondary programs that we use for both hotels and miles. Being loyal really has its benefits! Even if you don’t have the option of gaining business miles/points, you can get credit cards for your everyday expenses to maximize the points and miles. We are currently reading on best travel cards and we will likely switch to an even more lucrative card for 2017. These types of perks really make a difference to help you afford travel! As a bonus, make sure your card doesn’t have any fees for exchange rates, this allows you to get rewards and take full advantage of positive exchange rates noted above!

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.
New Year’s Day toast in Valparaiso, Chile

Cheers to your travel resolutions in 2017! Hope these tips gave you some ideas on how you can afford travel in the new year. What tips do you have that we haven’t considered for affording travel?

Want to find more ways to afford travel? Check out these 7 tips on how we are able to afford travel each year.

 

EatWorkTravel

In constant pursuit of luxury, adventure and romance outside the office. We work hard at the office to support our luxury eating and traveling adventures inspiring others to make the most of their time off.

16 Comments

  1. Great tips! Numbers 1, 4, and 7 really stand out for me. When my friends and coworkers tell me they can’t afford to travel, usually I find that what they are saying is that travel isn’t a priority for them, or that they don’t know how to leverage loyalty programs and the off-season to work in their favour.

    1. Thank you Heather! I completely agree, there are ways to make it work if you prioritize travel over other things.

  2. Wow, some great ideas – I really like numbers 4 and 6. We too always have to warn people that we are very likely to visit if a stay is offered!

    1. Glad to hear we are not the only ones that follow through on offers for a visit.

  3. These are great tips! I especially agree with #1. It’s all about how you want to spend your money. Some people spend it on material things like clothes or furniture and some people spend it on travel. Neither is wrong, it’s just what the individual is more interested in. We decided when we first got married that we wanted to see the world and put more of a priority on travel than things. As a result, we live in a tiny house with really old hand-me-down furniture. But to us, it’s worth it because we spend the money we would use on a bigger house and nice furniture to show our children the world and foster an appreciation in them for it. #weekendwanderlust

    1. Thanks for sharing Allison! Glad to hear that you do what works for your family and makes you most happy.

  4. since we have children, the nr 3 is not possible anymore as I don’t travel abroad. In the past, I was the first volunteering for any travel 🙂 I extended my business trips in India, Boston and LA and had wonderful extra holidays 🙂

    1. I can understand having to change once kids arrive but the perks of business travel are great if you are able to take advantage of it!

  5. Excellent tips! I think making travel a priority totally changes your perspective on things too. When you are willing, focused and determined, you will suddenly recognise areas that you no longer actually need to spend money on – takeaway coffees have always drained my savings! Eating lunch at home makes a real difference too. Sometimes just requires extra planning.

    1. Thank you Juliette! Completely agree! Once you focus on a goal, such as travel, it’s amazing how you can make things work.

  6. Good tips! I know how tricky it can be to travel as much as possible even though you work full time. This year my husband is gaining an additional week of PTO. That is going to help us a lot. I am big on having a separate savings account and traveling in the off season. This year we are traveling in May (before the crowds arrive to the destination we are going).

    1. Awesome that your husband will get an extra week! May and September are both great travel months! The weather tends to still be mild but it’s still within school season so crowds are less.

  7. I’d love to hear more about #7. Considering how much we’ve traveled, we have done a horrible job at maximizing points. It seems like I just pick airfare or hotels based on price/reviews, and then hope that the whole points situation works out.

    1. I’ll keep you posted as we learn more, we have not done as good of a job as many. We meet travelers who have first class airfare for points so we figure there is more for us to learn!

  8. Love this list! It’s amazing how important that first one is – Prioritize! – and how few people do it. If you don’t make it a priority…these things don’t happen by accident, people! Thanks for sharing…we’ve shared with a few folks, too. 🙂 #WeekendWanderlust

    1. Thanks guys! Yes, it is not an accident. Our ability to travel and hold full time jobs takes well thought-out plans 🙂

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