Gasp. I know. The finance travel gurus are cursing me to high heaven. But hear me out.
Dictionary.com defines "budget" as "an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period" or "the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose." In the true definition of what budgeting means, I wholeheartedly agree it should apply to travel. However, I believe that we need to stop thinking of budgeting as a hardship or sacrifice when really we are putting money aside for something we want and even more, experiences that will expand our minds and hearts for the better. Priceless!
So how can you take that vacation you've been dying to go on without breaking the bank?
1. Change your mindset.
As I mentioned above, we need to stop thinking about all of the things we're unable to buy by sitting aside money and instead, think about everything we're gaining by saving for our next trip. Jet-setting to three European countries instead of one. Skydiving in Rio, Brazil. Having a fancy 5-star dinner in Paris. You should have whatever your little heart desires. It'll make your trip that much sweeter when you're able to pay for whatever you want - in cash.
I love luxury designer items like the next girl, but I know I'd rather spend $500 on a flight than a pair of shoes. That's my choice and one I'd make over and over again...and have. But if your budget doesn't allow for both, you'll need to make some tough choices.
One of my big priorities during travel is having great experience through food and drink. Eating at a top restaurant and splurging on cocktails is important to me so I plan ahead for those expenses. I will cut corners on many other things (ok maybe not 'many' but some. I like nice things. Sue me.), but I know I want at least 1-2 delicious 5-star meals when I'm visiting a destination.
Travel is one of those things that once it gets in you, you realize how valuable it is and something you can't live without. You'll start wanting to do it more and more but unfortunately, that comes with costs. Be smarter about your decisions and begin looking at budgeting in a different way to accomplish your goals. It'll seem like you're trying to reach a goal instead of detracting from one.
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