When it comes to financial guilty pleasures, travelling definitely tops my list. I used to spend all my free money on the latest fashions, but once I got the travel bug, that quickly changed. Suddenly all I wanted to do was travel, I had a list of how many countries I wanted to get to, and I started ticking off my list one at a time. Booking a flight here, a luxe hotel there, the fanciest cocktails at a high-end restaurant, spa time in an exotic locale… not to mention the shopping I now did while travelling. It all started to add up and take a toll on my credit cards and overall credit. I quickly realized I needed a travel funding plan if I wanted to continue to fix this guilty pleasure, as most people do with any guilty pleasure they have when it comes to money (did you know that Canadians overwhelmingly admit that dining out is their biggest guilty pleasure?).
Here’s how I curbed my overspending on travel in favour of smart spending, saving and still getting to do all the major travel things I wanted to do.
1. Travel Plus Balance
I quickly realized that if I wanted to spend so much on travel, I needed to adjust my spending in other areas of my life. No more $7 lattes (or they became more of a treat) and I cut my shopping habits down big time, especially while travelling. Suddenly I had more funds to put aside to one thing I was passionate about. Balancing your guilty pleasure with the rest of the expenses in your life might be tricky at first, but it’s well worth it in the end.
2. Getting a Handle on Your Travel Funds
Getting an overall picture or view of your financial situation makes you take a step back and assess where you’re spending your money and how you could do so more wisely on travel. Once you know your overall situation, suddenly where you spend your money (those luxe hotels don’t really matter that much if you’re really only spending time there to sleep) is put into perspective.
3. Build a Travel Budget
Travel budgets come in handy so you’re not coming back from a trip to a load of surprises on your credit card. There are apps to help you keep track of your funds while on the road, but getting your budget set and in order before a trip is key so you’re not worried while you’re away. Capital One Canada and Credit Canada have amazing tools to get not just your travel budget in check, but your overall budget too with a budget calculator and budget tracker to keep an eye on your spending and saving (your dream vacation might be closer than you think!). If you need more help, check out Credit Education Week (Nov. 6-10) with Capital One and Credit Canada to learn more about managing your finances (you can even watch TV stars Colin and Justin dish their guilty pleasure spending secrets and how they save for travel here and in the video below).
4. Plan Out Your Trip
One major way you can keep to your travel budget is to have a plan while travelling. Having a good sense of what museums you want to visit, activities you want to do, and even restaurants you want to try will help you decipher how much money you will be spending while travelling. Make sure to always have extra funds set aside for last-minute ideas or emergencies.
This post was sponsored by Capital One Canada, but views and opinions are that of the author and Travel & Style Magazine.