Here at The Darling Design Co we’re always keen to travel! I love a holiday as much as the next person but can totally relate when it comes to crunching the numbers and saving pennies for a big trip. In 2018 Travis and I are headed back abroad to Ireland and Europe for 3 weeks! It’ll be my third time to Europe so we’re planning some fun stuff this time around but firstly I need to set some goals. Today our contributor and travel guru Angie Nielbles of travel blog Catch my Drift is sharing 5 easy ways to stick to your new year travel resolutions and I’m on board with each one!
1. Make a Vision Board.
I don’t know exactly what is it about vision boards that work so well. But the theory behind them is similar to the law of attraction: Visualization. So, when you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you’ll end up doing little visualization exercises throughout the day without ever knowing it.
Photo by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete
Yes, this can all sound very new age, and admittedly I don’t know the laws behind the visualization method – whether it works on your subconscious, if it puts tons of good vibes out in the universe for you, or if it just a visual reminder to keep you aligned with your dreams. All I know is I swear by vision boards. I built my first vision board a little over three years ago, and ever since then, I’ve seen my life unfold, imitating my board. I’m continuously taking down the things that I’ve accomplished and keep updating my board. Plus, is super fun to do.
2. Avoid Overspending.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but most of us do it, all the time! It’s just so easy because no one likes to put their bank account on a diet, but with little changes, we can make the most of it. I know, what a drag. But just hear me out.
The key is to prioritize the little things. But first, establish your goal! In this case, it is to keep and accomplish our New Year travel resolutions. Good! How do we do it? Well, one of the ways is by saving money in a way that won’t stop you from living your everyday life. It’s hard to stick to a diet when you feel deprived. Which takes us to our second step: prioritize your expenses.
It’s the little things that add up. The good thing is that these are the easiest to eliminate because they’re not necessities. I’m not going to tell you to cut down on your cable bill. Although it’s a good idea, you probably wouldn’t want to do it anyway. So, grab your monthly statement, give it a quick look, and chances are you’ll discover expenses that are quite ridiculous and some you could cut back on. I did it and realized I was spending $50 a month just on baked goods. Not even real groceries. Oh, but can you blame me?
Photo via Pinterest
The point is it’s not too hard to do simple things like saving the night/dining out for one day out of the week, and that also goes for takeout! Groceries are not a place where I like to be cheap but making a budget for your weekly shop certainly helps keep spending under control and I find this way I buy what I “really” need for the week. I figured, cutting down on those baked goods on my grocery list was okay by me when I could stuff my face with eclairs in Paris. Plus, I’ll look way better in the pictures. 😉
You can also do things like cut down on unnecessary retail shopping. As hard as it may be, at least for me, I like to take my time before making a purchase. Think twice, even four times, before you buy that new pair of shoes that although are remarkably cute, you could most likely live without. It helps to remember why you’re doing it, think ‘Summer in Greece! Summer in Greece!’
It may sound obvious, but it took me a while to figure out why I never had extra cash. So going through statements and prioritizing expenses may not benot the most fun activities, but they surely pay off.
3. Automate Your Savings.
You know the saying: there’s an app for that? Well, did you know that there are apps that will help you save money without even thinking about it? Saving money is about as much fun as a root canal, so why not get some help by using the available resources?
Acorns, Money Box: Saving goals, Clarity Money, Qapital & Digit are some of the best ones. These can help you save money seamlessly by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar or by analyzing your spending habits to help you save extra cash without you knowing it. But, my personal favorite is Qapital because I can set it up with the IFTTT app to automate my habits, turning them into savings.
One of the ways that I use it is by entering my fitness and business goals into the app. For example, I make it a goal to work out for an hour every day, then I sync my IFTTT with my Fitbit to track my work out, and every time I reach that goal, the app transfers $5 to my savings account, which puts me closer to accomplishing my travel goals! You can do this with all kinds of activities and productivity goals, as well as setting up the amount you’d like to reward yourself. Wouldn’t it be great to work towards your travel goals by doing the things you do every day? This is why I love the Qapital app.
4. Turn your everyday purchases into travel miles and points.
For the longest time I thought earning miles was pointless, that the only way of doing it was by flying the same airline every time, which implied spending a lot of money to see the benefits. I mean, how could anyone be attracted to a concept with so many limitations? And, if there’s one thing I’m well-known for among my friends, it’s how much I dislike limitations.
Photo by Meg of Style’d Avenue via instagram
However, I finally gave in; I wanted to keep traveling but sadly had no way to afford all my travels without any help. So, I did my research; I began reading tons of blogs like The Points Guy, which helped understand the benefits of signing up for reward programs and how to do it. I realized that earning miles or frequent flyer points is the most cost-effective way of saving up for a trip, because done right, it does not have to cost you extra. The entire concept is based on making the most out of your everyday expenses by making decisions that will benefit your mileage account, like using the right credit cards or dining at restaurants with loyalty programs.
So, do your research, see what loyalty and reward programs fit you best and sign up for them.
5. Join travel related mailing lists.
Let the deals come to you! The search for cheap airfares is an ongoing, very repetitive task that very few of us in our busy lives have time to do. Think about all the travel deals you don’t even know about, because: who has the time to be surfing the web all day?
The solution? Simple, join different travel related mailing lists. Sign up for the newsletters of your favourite airline, travel search websites and travel blogs. There are even some, like DealRay or Next Vacay, that you can pay for to make sure that you only receive the travel deals most relevant to you.
Mailing lists are an excellent source of relevant information. This way you’ll get all the latest deals and flash sales delivered right to your inbox, so you don’t have to be looking deals up all day long. Just be smart about which newsletter you sign up for. Look for ones that only offer curated deals and won’t promote other irrelevant content. Besides, sometimes airline websites have mistake fares or glitches they won’t send you thru their newsletter. Here are I few I recommend:
I hope that you have found this post useful! If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop them below and share this content with someone you think may find it helpful too.