how to fund your travel habit

How to Fund Your Travel Habit

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I love to travel.  If I could I would travel full-time. I love exploring new places and meeting new people.  Unfortunately, my budget and responsibilities don’t allow for me to be a full time explorer, but I take advantage of the time and resources I do have. Follow these 9 ways to fund your travel habit and you’ll be taking your next adventure in no time at all.

We are planning almost 3 weeks in Costa Rica at the end of December/beginning of January.  We don’t normally travel for this length of time, nor do we normally travel out of country as a family. We are not wealthy. I consider us to be your average lower-mid class income earners.

However, I truly believe that anyone is able to travel if it’s a priority.  That is a very important concept to understand.  If travel is low on your priority list it’s not going to happen.

Going to Costa Rica became a top priority for us. Our son graduated from High School in June and our daughter is in 9th grade.  This will probably be one of the last family trips we take.  I hope not, but the reality is that our children eventually move out and live their own lives~~~traveling with mom and dad isn’t usually at the top of their “to-do” list. Think about the last time you travelled with your parents.  I don’t think I travelled with mine at all during my 20’s.

Finding money for this trip has been interesting.  It’s not like we have excess cash just laying around waiting to be spent.  I know some people have wondered how the heck we can afford a family trip to Costa Rica.  I thought I would share some tips and tricks that are working for us. (your mileage may vary)


  • Start planning early.  The sooner you plan the longer you have to save money. I bought our airline tickets back in back in the middle of June.  I stayed flexible with our departure date, we are leaving just after Christmas, and scored the tickets for the all time low price of $238 plus tax.   It was approx $300 per ticket after tax and insurance. Oh, we were also flexible about our departure airport. We live in the middle of nowhere so we are used to having to drive to catch a flight. Normally, we go out of Detroit which is about a 4 hour drive. It will take us about 5 hours to drive to Chicago airport. (Bonus: we can park our car at my sister-in-laws, so no parking fees)
  • Learn to say NO. This is so hard, but we’ve learned to say no to a lot of things (ie: dinners, concerts, movies, weekend getaways, etc). Every dollar counts. It is important that you learn how to do this and be able to do it long term.  We were looking at  months and months of telling ourselves, and the kids, no.  At first it was difficult because December seemed so far off, but now that it is closer it is becoming a little easier. We just remind ourselves that it’s for the greater good and it seems to ease the pain a bit.
  • Pay your vacation account first. This has really helped.  Right after buying our tickets I opened a separate savings account at the bank.  Then I set up an automatic transfer from my checking to my vacation savings to occur every payday.  I put in an amount that would cause us to be a bit more cautious with money, but didn’t leave us penniless.  This has been a huge step towards saving enough money. I hear some of you saving “but I don’t have any extra money.”  Yes you do…you just have to find it. Write down where you spend every one of your dollars and then look for what can be eliminated. Start small, maybe you only put away $10 a week, but as you reduce your excess spending you will be able to increase your savings.


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