Today I wanted to share my tips and experience on the importance of saving for travel. In 2018 I had just started to work for an amazing company that paid me well (for my experience that is) and I was excited that I would be getting a payslip every month. I could now start traveling internationally with my OWN money.
Travel has always been in my blood. From the endless road trips to KwaZulu-Natal and my parents always narrating stories along the way, to my dad being part of a few holiday timeshare companies - during my childhood we almost always had a holiday to look forward to. Obviously that all changes when you become an adult.
When 2018 came around that was my chance to really start traveling and document it. After my 2nd or 3rd month working for this amazing company, impulsive Thobi and my sister decided we were going to just buy tickets to Bali - bearing in mind that the ticket at the time was about half of my salary as a junior content producer.
When I bought that ticket, I didn’t take into account extra costs that pop up when you travel, other than accommodation and flights. I basically lived off that famous acronym #YOLO (You only live once). To cut a long story short, most of my money went into other costs that I didn’t factor in such as transport, food, experiences. By day five of our trip, my money was running dry - bad decisions had been made, but I was having a blast, so I tried not to let that concern me. It was only when we sat at Ngurah Rai International Airport with NO funds to even buy a cup of coffee that I started to get a sinking feeling.
As I landed back in SA, my phone was rudely bombarded by a string of bank sms’s of money I had spent abroad. That’s when I realised that I had made some really bad decisions when planning this trip. This experience is something that has helped me in how I plan my trips now whether big or small.
Here are 3 simple tips on how to actually save and plan for your next travel trip:
1. Set a goal every year
It’s all great and fun to be someone who loves to be spontaneous, but that can really affect your year. So decide at the start of the year the number of trips you will take, then break it down to the budget goal. This helps keep you accountable when you are planning out your travel goals. I usually plan 1 international trip and two local trips a year. Be practical in your goals and start small. Luckily with the Franc App you are able to set your goals when it comes to saving for your travel goals and the app will easily breakdown how much you would need to save either monthly or weekly to reach that goal. It’s then up to you to stick to it.
2. Save / invest smartly
As a content creator I have started to save 10% of every job that I get - whether it’s a monthly job or weekly job. This has helped me push and see where my money is going. Since travel is a priority for me, I also put aside a percentage every month for my travel plans. Using Franc has been a great help, because you can choose the goal you are saving for and you don't have to have any investment experience. You can start investing with as little as R10 and the app does all the work for you - splitting your money according to how you answer the easy questions in their risk assessment profile. Imagine saving for your travel goals and seeing your money grow? Now that’s amazing!
When planning your travel trips you need to use multiple sources to make sure that you are getting the best deals from accommodation, activities and transport. Travel does not have to be expensive, especially when you’ve done your research and have all the information you need. Here are a few sources I use to make sure I have done enough research for my next destination and save at the same time:
- Skyscanner (Great for finding cheap flights and finding out which destination is the cheapest to travel to at a specific time
- Hopper (Great for finding cheap flights)
- Airbnb (The best place to look for alternative accommodations such as a room, villa, home etc.)
- Instagram (Follow your favourite travel creators and search places they have been, read comments and also follow hashtags that correspond with your destination)
- Waze (makes it easier for you to avoid congestion, blocked roads, police and accidents when on your road trip)
- Trip It (Organizes all your itineraries in one place and creates a master document for each trip)
- TripAdvisor (Best for finding recommendations with over 700 million reviews of over 8 million destinations)
Don’t be like me, make sure you save for travel so that you have some extra money for that coffee at the airport :)