One of my biggest regrets in college was not studying abroad. I was so scared I didn't have the money to survive, that I ended up doing a couple of paid internships in places in the US I had never lived before. But while these were great experiences that helped me grow as a person, I was still super wanderlust. So once I graduated and started working full time, I promised myself I would travel to Europe before I turned 25. And even though I am one year late, I'm finally on my way to accomplish my goal! I will be going on a three week Europe vacation this next summer. I honestly need to pinch myself every time I think about it.
I can imagine many of you have a dream trip you haven't been able to make yet, so I thought I would share with you guys all the steps I followed to finally pay-off my dream vacation:
1. Book your trip in advance
I know this sounds like an obvious one because everybody knows air fairs can be lower months in advance, but check this out: If you book your trip early on, you will have more time to save up for your upcoming trip! I've been thinking twice about checking out my Sephora cart these days and I just KNOW I won't be keeping my VIB Rouge Status this year. But you know what? I couldn't give a f**k! I would much rather spend that money at French pharmacies once I'm there.
2. Prioritize Traveling
If you have a little extra cash laying around, put it aside for your dream vacation. Don't just go shopping to buy things! I know it's so tempting and I've done it more times than I should've. Just remember: Traveling is an investment that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
I was privileged enough to have a christmas bonus at my job this past December and even though I was really tempted to buy one of my dream bags, I knew I had made a compromise with myself to make my dream of traveling to Europe come true ASAP. So I used that money as a deposit so I could pay off the rest in comfortable monthly payments.
But if you're going to spend your money, spend it on one of these pretty little piggy banks. Be smart, girl!
3. Travel with someone else
I know it's tempting to go on a solo trip. I've flirted with the idea several times and I highly encourage you to do it at least once in your life. But if you're on a budget and planning on going on an intercontinental adventure, a vacation package with someone else will lower the rates of your hotel. Plus, you can share expenses once you're there!
And no, these are not alternative facts.
4. Save up sample size beauty products
If you're a beauty addict like I am, part of the excitement of traveling is finding travel size beauty and hair products to take in your carry-on. You can also finally give some use to all those hand creams you received over christmas to save you from the horrible air at airplanes.
Another trick is to save up your rewards points until you find something you can actually use during your trip! That way you don't have to run to the drugstore the day before your flight. I talk a little bit more about similar tricks and how to save on beauty products in this post.
Here are some of my favorite carry-on friendly (and cruelty-free, duh!) products:
5. Plan the places you want to eat at beforehand.
Before my Chicago trip last year, I literally created a Google Sheets with all the places I wanted to eat at with the price range of each restaurant. That way, I lost no time looking for places to eat that could've been too expensive or too average. I even made reservations month in advance.
When you're on vacation, specially on a place you've never been before, you definetly don't want to waste time. Time is money!
6. Drink your coffee at home
I repeat: DRINK YOUR COFFEE AT HOME.
I know I know, coffee is so good these days. So many fancy coffee shops that know exactly the amount of froth your coffee needs to be a decadent treat to make your work afternoons better. But look at this: $3.50 x 5 days a week = $17.50. This means that by the end of the month you could be saving $70!!!! I don't know about you, but I would much rather spend $70 drinking coffee at a Roman cafe.
Here are some beautiful thermal coffee mugs so you can bring your coffee from home, with style!:
What are your tricks to save up for a vacation?
Until next time,