09/17/2014 03:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Travel Like a Pro Without Bankrupting Your Savings


Travel is the doorway to learning about other cultures and yourself. It can even change your point-of-view on certain topics, from politics to social issues. You could even discover places in your own city, state, province, or country that you never knew existed. However, you may not travel because you think it costs too much. True, you have the option to spend thousands of dollars on a luxury vacation, and there's nothing wrong with that. Or, you could travel on a budget. Either way, learn how to save for travel and take a vacation each year.

5 Simple Ways to Save for a Yearly Vacation

1. Deposit $100 from your monthly income into a travel savings account.

Decide where you want to vacation and start saving $100 from your monthly income by opening a travel savings account. If you can, direct deposit the $100 into your travel savings account. This way you won't be tempted to spend it. If you can save more than $100 each month for travel, do it. It's a good idea to have a cushion for travel as you never know what may happen, i.e., you may decide to extend your vacation.

2. Review your monthly budget and cut back on expenses.

Do you really need to buy a double latte each morning? Is it necessary to eat out for lunch and dinner every day? If you cut back on these and other expenses, you can easily save for a vacation. Look at your car insurance and see if you're paying too much. Review your monthly expenses and cut back where you can.

3. Clean out your attic, basement, closet or garage and sell your stuff.

If it's been a while since you've cleaned out your house or apartment, you may want to pick a weekend and go through your stuff. Toss out anything that's old and worn out and sell the rest. If you happen to find valuables, like antiques, get them appraised, and consider selling the items. Or, put them in a safe place so they don't get broken or stolen.

4. Freelance on the side.

You could earn extra money by freelancing on the side. If you're a graphic or web designer, writer, assistant, or whatever it is you do, you could offer your services on the side. Make sure you're realistic about the work you can handle. If you can only handle 10-15 hours per week, it's better than nothing. Deposit the extra money into your travel savings account.

5. Start a Crowd Fund.

Crowd funds are popular and you may consider starting one for your vacation. However, you may have to give donors something in return for contributing to your fund. You could promise a t-shirt or other souvenirs. If you're an artist, you could offer a painting of your travels. If you're a photographer, you could offer framed photos from your travel. Whatever you decide, make it worth a donor's time and money to contribute to your travel crowd fund.

Save for a Vacation Today, Travel Tomorrow

Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

If you want to grow and learn, then get out of your comfort zone and travel. Keep in mind that you don't have to stay in a 5-star hotel, unless it's your heart's desire. Stay in a hostel, budget hotel or motel, rent an apartment, couch surf or swap homes. Life is an adventure! Don't stay home. Grab your backpack or suitcase and travel today.

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