How to remove "I can’t afford to travel" from your vocabulary
EF Ultimate Break note: Want to say a huge thanks to Priya Malani, founder of Stash Wealth, Resident financial expert at Refinery29 for writing this Yogurt post and helping people realize their travel dreams are possible with any budget.
You’d love to see the world - in theory. But in reality, you could never afford to take the trips like the ones you see your friends post about on Instagram, right? Wrong.
For Millennials, anyone really, but definitely Millennials, travel is a big priority. In fact, at Stash Wealth, a financial firm for Millennials, it’s the #1 most common financial goal we see.
“PSA: Your friends appear a lot rich richer on social media than they actually are.”
You want to travel - so why are you putting your goal on the back burner? And how is everyone else jet-setting to capture those perfect Instagrammable moments?
I’m here to tell you that your friends appear a lot richer on social media than they actually are. I know - I see their credit card debt. First and foremost, going into credit card debt (when you can’t pay the bill in full at the end of the month) to pay for your vacation is not the way to see the world and it’s definitely not #adulting to spend money you don’t actually have.
If you think that means that you can’t afford to travel, think again. You don’t need to wait until your next raise or promotion to feel like you can afford to travel. All it requires is letting go of some misconceptions that I hear all the time like, “I don’t make enough money” or “I don’t have enough time”. Let’s take a look at these two a little more closely.
I Don’t Have Enough Time….
Planning a vacation is half the battle.. In order to know what your trip will cost, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. You’ll need to research the flights, the hotel, food, other transportation, tickets and excursions - where does the list end? Did you miss anything? Now that you know what your trip will cost, let’s look at the next reason we put our travel plans on hold.
I Don’t Have Enough Money…
Life is so damn expensive. Between rent, bills, student loan payments, Ubers, Seamless and boozy brunch, where’s the money to save for a trip? If you’re the type of person who tries to watch your expenses all month with the hope that there’s something left over at the end of the month to “save” - you’ve got it all wrong - there’s a better way! While you may not see the money sitting in your bank account to take a vacation at this very moment, I promise you it’s there - or it could be by following these 3 steps!
3 ways to remove ‘I can’t afford to travel’ from your vocabulary:
FREE UP WASTED FUNDS - The first step is to figure out where your money is going. While we all think we know where our money is going - we really don’t. This is why we usually have clients look at their credit card statements or bank accounts to review their purchases for the month, at least once. They almost always come away thinking “I can’t believe how much money I spend on X”. The usual culprits are clothing and delivery..
CONSIDER A COMPANY THAT HANDLES ALL THE DETAILS - A lot of times the hardest part of planning a trip is planning the actual trip (e.g., where to stay? what flight is the cheapest? what are the best activities to do while you’re there?) and knowing what each will cost you.. For this reason among others, many people prefer companies like EF Ultimate Break that include everything you need in one package. Having a clear idea of what your total expenses will be from the beginning is extremely helpful.
SAVE A LITTLE AT A TIME - One of my top tips is to automate your travel savings goal as if it’s a regular monthly bill. Once you have a sense of how much your trip will cost, divide the total amount by the number of months or pay periods until you plan to take your trip and that’s the number to focus on. With this number in mind, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account into your savings account (I like to do this the day after payday so you don’t accidentally spend it) and work towards your goal in smaller chunks - keeping it a lot more manageable.
Our generation is all about experiences, so go out there and get yours. Best of luck and bon voyage. I’ll catch you on Instagram :)