Embarking on new adventures doesn't have to remain a distant dream. Contrary to the glamorous images of full-time digital nomads flooding social media, you don't need to uproot your entire life in order to satiate your wanderlust. The key to prioritizing travel is to start a travel fund - a personalized savings plan that turns your travel aspirations into achievable goals.
This blog will serve as your step-by-step guide on how to start a travel fund, but first, let's talk about what a travel fund is and why it's such a game-changer.
What is a Travel Fund?
A travel fund is a pool of money that is specifically dedicated towards spending on travel. Anyone can start a travel fund! You just have to make sure you not only have a plan in place, but that you stay consistent.
Why Start a Travel Fund?
Imagine your friends inviting you on an unforgettable trip, but you can't afford it. You bite the bullet and put it on a credit card, but the stress and guilt is all- consuming. This makes it difficult to even enjoy yourself while you're there! Much less when you come home and realize you have to now deal with the looming debt.
With a well established travel fund, you eliminate the need to rely on credit cards. Instead, you can confidently say 'yes' to adventures without the worry of accumulating debt or compromising your financial well-being. Plus, starting a travel fund is a game-changer when you're ready to plan a trip. You'll know exactly what your budget is based on what you have in your travel fund, making travel planning not only stress-free, but enjoyable!
How to Start a Travel Fund (Step-by-Step)
1) Decide on how much you can contribute towards your travel fund.
Start by subtracting all of your necessary expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, savings, etc.) from your total income. Once you have identified the surplus, decide on how much of that you would like to contribute to a travel fund on a monthly, biweekly, or weekly basis! If you can, treat this contribution like a bill. Automating this process ensures that you're consistent.
If your surplus fluctuates from week to week or month to month, that's okay! Contribute what you can. It's a common misconception that you need a substantial amount of extra cash to keep up with your travel fund. The truth is, you can contribute any amount - big or small. Waiting until you "think" you can afford it might mean postponing your travel dreams indefinitely. Every contribution, no matter how modest, propels you closer to your desired destination.
Besides, not all travel requires a large sum of money to book. At Cherish, we only require $500 to reserve your trip! Most travel companies require 50% or more.
2) Open a Separate Savings Account
Whether it's a savings account, envelope in your underwear drawer, or a piggy bank, you need to establish a dedicated location specifically for your travel fund. Not only does this help you to prioritize your travel savings, but also ensures that this money remains untouched. Plus, having a separate place for your savings means that you can easily track your progress toward your goals. Watching your savings grow is incredibly motivating and brings you even closer to fulfilling your travel dreams.
3) Set a Goal
You've figured out exactly how much money you can save each month, you just opened your brand new savings account, and you set a goal - now it's time for one of the most important steps.
Yep, you guessed it! Setting a goal.
This part is important because it not only allows you to track your progress regularly, but also provides you with moments of celebration and adjustment when needed! Make setting a goal fun by planning out your dream trip or even choosing a Cherish trip to join in 2024. Write your goal down and put it somewhere where you can see it. Whether that's on your fridge or on your bathroom mirror, seeing your goal every day is gong to help you keep your eye on the prize!
4) Start saving
You have everything set in place, now it's time to watch your travel fund grow! Remember to stay consistent and have fun! Whether it's celebrating milestones, visualizing your dream destinations, or sharing the excitement with friends, turn this process into a delightful habit.
Now that you know the steps you need to take in order to start and maintain your travel fund, I want to give you a few other tips that you may find helpful. These tips will not only fine-tune your approach to saving, but also add an extra layer of efficiency and enjoyment to your journey!
Utilize a "Flex Spend" Budget
Budgeting is important for many aspects of our lives, but most people have never heard of a Flex Spend Budget. This is a budgeting method where you set a budget for a certain amount of money that you can spend on the items in your life that are considered "non-essential". Budgeting is not always easy but when using this method you can create more flexibility in how you spend what is left over after you've paid all of your bills.
One of the easiest ways to help you stick to a flex spend budget is by creating a separate checking account attached to a debit card and giving yourself an allowance for things like Starbucks, new clothes, going out to eat, etc.
When you're more diligent about how you spend your non-essential expenses, it creates a lot more space for money savings goals. Including savings goals for your Travel Fund.
Find a Travel Fund Accountability Buddy
When you're setting a new goal for yourself it can be easier to get there when you have someone holding you accountable. Whether you decide with a friend or loved one to commit to taking a trip together by a specific date or someone you can simply check in with about your goals, having an accountability buddy adds a layer of motivation and commitment to your budget. You can set some shared goals, have regular check-ins, and celebrate saving milestones together.
The biggest pay off will be when you get on that plane realizing you reached your travel savings goal knowing how hard you worked to get there.
Maintain Your Travel Fund, Even Without Immediate Plans
Maintaining your travel fund is a strategic move that will pay off in flexibility and peace of mind. You never know what opportunity may present itself, or what exciting plans you may want to make in the future. Having this money available when you're ready not only allows you to plan stress-free, but also positions you to seize any adventure that may come your way!
Your Journey Begins Now
Starting a travel fund is the key to turning your wanderlust into reality. It's a personalized savings plan that puts you in control of your travel goals. So, whether you're eyeing the exotic landscapes of Costa Rica or the historic district of Istanbul, your travel fund will unlock so many opportunities for adventure! Just remember to contribute what you can, stay consistent, and have FUN!
P.S. At Cherish, we believe that financial flexibility should be a part of your adventure. Therefore, not only do we offer payment plans at no additional cost, but our booking platform also allows you to accept contributions from others. Your friends and family can join hands to make your travel dreams come true!
To learn more about upcoming trips with Cherish, fill out the form below!