Charles Williams's Posts
“Live your best life by deciding what you want, writing down those desires as goals, creating a plan for achieving them, and refusing to stop until you reach your intended destination.”
– Marelisa Fabrega, lawyer and entrepreneur / source
These days, saving money for the travel destination of your dreams might seem so daunting, that your grand excursion takes place only in your mind. For years, you’ve imagined standing before monumental Egyptian pyramids, going on an African safari, visiting the Eiffel Tower in France or holding your loved one’s hand while slowly gliding down Venice’s Grand Canal aboard an elegantly crafted gondola.
“Someday”, you think to yourself.
But, “somedays” never just come. You know that. Goals demand plans, and plans require actions. Luckily, for would-be travelers, little actions can quickly add up to meeting goals sooner than you might expect.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
– John Wooden, legendary basketball coach / source
As we mentioned in an earlier post, one easy action you can take to get closer to your travel goals is to get a good travel credit card and use it for most purchases, and then pay off the balance monthly. The perks from this one, single action can make the different between having just enough funds for the basics and traveling in style!
Another action we previously discussed was opening a vacation / travel savings account. This has the benefit of allow you to quickly see account balances, track your progress and pay yourself first via auto transfers. Of course, segregating these funds makes it easier to keep them untouched from other types of financial activity.
So far, the actions we’ve discussed have been powerful, but there are little actions you can do every day to help save money for travel. As you construct a financial strategy that works for you, consider some of these ideas used by savvy, travel-hungry souls who save money by cutting back in the following areas:
- Stop buying morning coffee and brew it at home
- Use and stick to shopping lists to resist impulse buying.
- Cut back drastically on fast food. Avoid temptation by making tasty meals at home, and with the left-overs, you can…
- …Stop buying lunch every day.
- Eliminate buying mid-day snacks by making treats at home and taking them with you to work.
- Fill up bottled water at home, instead of buying. Consider purchasing a water filter or filtration system.
- Say no to alcoholic drinks to save your money and your liver.
- Eat at restaurants sparingly.
- Buy food and other items in bulk at Costco and other similar stores
Entertainment / Memberships / Subscriptions
- Get movies from the library
- Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions
- Gym memberships
- Sporting Events
Clothing / Goods / Services / Associations
- Buy Second-hand clothing and other items from stores, such as Goodwill.
- Make gifts instead of purchasing them.
- Use Groupon and other sites that offer good deals.
- Take advantage of any available discounts of the organizations you belong to, like the military or teacher organizations.
- Go generic as much as possible.
- Pay bills on time to stop paying late fees.
- Bring back the beloved Piggy Bank! Put in any loose change you have at the end of the day.
- Get everyone in the family involved by making it a project in which they can participate. Consider a family meeting to strategize meeting your goals, so that everyone is excited and supportive.
Of course, the above list is only a starting point to generate ideas you can use in your unique situation. And, I’d love to share any money-saving travel ideas you might have with the SeaTacPark family. Please send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another”
– Dan Poynter, author / source
Want to know what to expect when you park with us at SeaTacPark? Take our virtual tour here – https://www.seatacpark.com/virtual-tour/
In our last post, “An Easy Strategy to Save Money for Travel”, we focused on the benefits of opening a dedicated saving account as the first step in executing your travel budgeting strategy. In fact, this is the foundation for all the money-saving strategies executed by Kim, my eternally wandering friend who’s travel exploits are the stuff of legend in my circle.
So, with a travel savings account as the foundation, what comes next?
Grab a Good Travel Credit Card
Something I’ve noticed about Kim is that she uses her travel credit card for every purchase she makes, from gas to groceries to utilities, then pays off the balance monthly. She told me she would spend the money anyway, but doing it this way racks up perks faster than you might expect.
Types of Cards
Finding the right credit card that works for your unique lifestyle, financial needs and travel goals can be a little challenging, but the rewards and perks are well worth the effort. There are:
- General Travel Cards – Every purchase earns points to use for many airlines and various travel-related services.
- Airline Credit Cards – Good for earning points and perks on your favorite airline, such as priority check-in, and companion tickets.
- Hotel Credit Cards – Good for earning points and bonuses at your favorite hotel, like free nights, room upgrades and more.
Read Kari Bodnarchuk’s article, “Tips for choosing a credit card for travel benefits” for more info on selecting the type of card suitable for your needs.
Read NerdWallet’s “Best Airline Credit Cards of 2017”. They compare travel cards, helping you make a selection based on flexibility, budget, airline preference, international travel considerations and more.
Find out how you can earn free parking at SeatacPark! https://www.seatacpark.com/free-parking/
Last year, I wrote about Kim, a creative, financially savvy traveler who tours the world enriching her life with the kind of experiences most people only dream of. I mentioned that despite her middle-class status, Kim’s budgetary strategies have afforded her voyages across the globe to Europe, Turkey, Greece, Australia and more. And, each excursion crossed off her bucket list is replaced with fresh ideas of exciting, new destinations along with plans of how to get there.
Of course, Kim’s financial tactics won’t fit every situation, so I’ve explored a multiplicity of ideas and approaches people use to save money for their travel dreams, as well as tips to spend money wisely and to keep it secure during the journey.
It’s Time to Get Started
Open a Vacation / Travel Savings Account
When I was in high school I saw an incredible road bike that I wanted badly. Problem was, the bike was an expensive purchase for a young person who bagged groceries for tips. Nevertheless, I wanted that bike so much, that I opened a savings account. And, after every shift, I diligently walked over to the bank and deposited most of what I made that day. I worked hard every shift just for the opportunity to proudly make that deposit.
Two months later, that bike was mine.
This early experience taught me that a dedicated savings account actually made it easier to focus energy toward my goal by paying directly into the fund before I used the money for anything else – a strategy called, “Paying Yourself First”. A dedicated savings account also makes it easier to see balances, track your progress, and to make withdraws when the time is right.
Read “Easy And Practical Ways To Save For A Vacation” to discover more ways to plan for your vacation.
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As I begin this post, my friend Kim is somewhere on a tour traveling through Morocco, Spain, Greece and Turkey. On Facebook, she’s posted pics of herself riding camels through deserts, standing on colossal monuments and relaxing poolside sipping tasty drinks in some exotic locale. Incredible.
Over the years, Kim has visited Australia a couple of times, backpacked through Europe and skied in Whistler, Canada. She leads an exciting life, enriched by experiences most people only dream of.
On the surface, Kim might appear to be wealthy, but that is far from the truth. She comes from and is, currently, middle-class. What Kim has going for her are traits and habits that would benefit anyone desiring the experiences she’s had, but think they can’t afford.
Early in her life, Kim decided that a lifestyle of travel would be a top priority, so she began working numerous positions in the tourism industry. She works very hard at saving money, while taking advantage of specials and deals that she finds. At times, she meets her travel goals by working two jobs at a time or sharing expenses with like-minded friends and family. And Kim always keeps her priorities straight during the hard times when money, motivation – or both – is in short supply. All of this isn’t to say that Kim doesn’t have fun when she’s not traveling. She just keeps her overall goals in the forefront of her day to day decisions. And, she’d be the first to tell you it’s worth the effort.
Kim’s simple, straight forward approach works for her, allowing a major excursion every couple of years. Still, knowing her approach wouldn’t fit every situation, I decided to examine what other travelers do to afford their wayfaring dreams.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
As with most ventures in life, the approach to financing your dream trip depends on your unique situation. Some people have a great credit card with a decent rate and lots of rewards. They find a good deal to their desired location, make the purchase and go, and then pay the balance off over time. Other people begin a general travel fund and pay into it monthly. As the balance grows, they keep an eye open for deals and specials they find on the internet, along with signing up to receive notices via e-mail from online agencies. Then, when the right deal comes at the right time, they pounce. Still, some will make an initial purchase with a travel credit card and work to pay it off before they travel, which might make sense if the savings and rewards of an early purchase are just too good to pass up. Of course, many travelers use a variety of flexible methods to meet their goals.
What’s Your Approach?
In the future, we’ll explore ways to save money that may benefit your travel goals, no matter what approach you decide to take. But for now, I’d like to know what works for you and your family. No doubt, your approach could benefit someone in our SeaTac Park family. We welcome your thoughts and ideas today!