5 personal finance strategies that will help you to travel more this year
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Are you hoping to travel more this year but not sure how to make it happen? Although regular travel might seem like a luxury only afforded to people with lots of expendable income— we’re here to tell you that’s really not the case.
In fact, you don’t need tons of cash to travel more often; all you really need is to be strategic, both in how you spend your money and how you save it. Here are five personal finance decisions that will allow you to travel more in 2020.
Get a travel rewards credit card
Travel rewards cards are a great way to get the most out of every dollar you spend, by racking up points for your next adventure. The best travel cards require a pretty solid credit score, so it’s worth taking the time to improve yours if it isn’t quite there yet.
Once you qualify for one of the best rewards cards, you’ll be able to choose the one that’s right for you. Whether that’s a card that helps you earn 3x the points on travel purchases, or an everyday card that rewards points on all of your spending— having a top travel rewards card will help you get the points you need to cover things like airfare and hotel stays.
Open a travel savings account
Just the way you would for a retirement or health savings account, having a solid savings plan in place can help you better budget for your next trip. Set up a special savings account with an automatic transfer that happens every time you get paid. Pick an amount of money you can afford to go without— say $50 or even $100. If you have a month where you can afford to save more, go for it. But just by having that automatic transfer in place, you’ll learn to adjust your spending and won’t even notice as your travel fund starts to grow.
Once you're committed to saving money, you should also consider a high-yield savings account. While not offered by all banks, this is starting to become a more prevalent option. High-yield savings accounts generally pay an interest rate 20 to 25 times higher than the national average. You may be required to carry a higher balance in a high-yield savings account. But, the higher interest rate will definitely be worth it while you're saving for vacation.
Cut back on your spending
Another way to travel more, is (obviously) to spend less. But we aren’t just talking about your expensive taste in lattes. This also means planning trips and destinations that are more affordable, and making your money stretch even further. This might mean staying in hostels rather than hotels, or grocery shopping and cooking more while abroad (rather than eating out every single meal).
It might also mean choosing destinations that are known to be affordable, and saving the pricier ones for a later date. If you’re smart and willing to rough it (even just a little bit) you’d be surprised just how far your dollar can take you.
Score the best travel deals
There are a ton of online tools that can help you snag the best deals on travel, and if you have a specific destination in mind and some flexibility with the dates, then it might be worth signing up for a few of them. Once you sign up for one or more of these airfare trackers, you’ll start receiving emails whenever there’s a price drop, and be able to hop on the bargain rate before it expires.
Consider working while you travel
Even if you haven’t found your perfect #digitanomad day job, that doesn’t mean you can’t find work (or at least some free room and board) while abroad. You might consider becoming a pet or house sitter. These jobs won’t make you rich by any means, but they will help you travel more affordably and have the opportunity to spend time in more places.
Like we said earlier, you really don’t need tons of money to start checking destinations off your bucket-list. Get started by setting up your travel fund and finding the right travel rewards card, then brush up on your airfare hunting skills. Traveling cheaply is easier than ever, and the more research you’re willing to put in, the better deals you’ll find.