You don't need to be the head of the Federal Reserve to know that the simplest ways to save money is to just spend less of it, so one of the best ways to save up for your dream vacation is to, well, spend less! But you also don't need to hibernate at your parent’s house and eat 2-minute noodles for 6 months to work your way towards your dream vacation. Here are 8 creative ways to save up for your dream vacation in no time!
1. Start with a 'Staycation'
One of the best ways to save up for your dream vacation is to do the opposite – stay home! Get comfy and cozy in your own space and avoid the costs of bars, clubs and restaurants by planning fun activities and delicious meals with your friends at home. A glass of wine at a bar is almost half of what a whole bottle costs. Sharing meals you’ve cooked and your home can be a lot more memorable than noisy clubs.
While DIY might drum up ideas of cheap home improvements, when you apply the DIY concept to manicures, hair colouring and even massages – you’re saving tonnes of money AND learning or improving a skill. Add a DIY afternoon to your staycation.
If you’re going to stay ‘in’ then why not give others the opportunity to go out!? Friends and friends of friends with kids are regularly on the hunt for reliable trustworthy people to babysit and not charge a fortune per hour. Hanging out with small humans is also a great way to channel that free-spirit travelling energy.
4. Crowdsource It!
Did you hear about the fashion blogger who crowdsourced paying her rent? Ok, well that’s pretty extreme, but perhaps you could suggest to friends and family that instead of random Christmas and Birthday presents that they make a contribution to your Vacation Fund? That way they’re contributing to an experience you’ll remember forever, and not to your collection of ‘things you don't really like but someone bought you and it’s rude to throw out’.
5. Hold a Garage Sale
You can spring clean any time of year. Your trash is another person’s treasure. There are a range of ways you can make money out of the things you no longer need – try eBay for bigger items, or holding a garage, yard or car boot sale, or have a stall at your local craft markets.
6. Put Your Couch on Airbnb
This is good travelling karma! Offering your spare room or couch to a traveller makes you a bit of spare cash, while providing a decent place for a fellow traveller to stay. Hearing their stories and being around someone who is ‘passing through’ might inspire you to accelerate your savings and hit the road faster.
7. Think in the Destination's Currency
Dreaming of heading overseas? to Vietnam? Work out what the exchange rate is and the costs of expenses like dinners and a night's accommodation. Each time you’re tempted to make a non-essential purchase just work out what it’s ‘costing’ you in terms of your trip. That extra pair of shoes could be the same as three nights accommodation right on the beach in Thailand! For example: Thinking of journeying through Vietnam? As at Oct 2013, $1US buys about 21000 Vietnamese Dong – you’re immediately rich! Meals there are just $5 from local street vendors and restaurants and accommodation can start as cheap as $25 a night.
8. Pack Your Own Lunch
Ok so technically a DIY activity, but this one is a lot more of a necessity than that shellac mani! With some great menu planning and organisation you can have a delicious home made lunch for a fraction of the cost of eating at the food court or cafeteria. Bets on it’d be healthier too.
Every cent adds up, so every opportunity to have to save can be made into a game. Get creative and being frugal can be very rewarding, help you value your experiences more and appreciate the good times, not just the nice things. Got other ideas for how to implement ‘austerity measures’ as you save for a vacation fun? Share them in the comments!