Saving, Travel

How to Save Money and Budget for Travel

June 29, 2022

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I'm Tori!

After successfully saving $100,000 at age 25, I quit my corporate job in marketing to fight for your financial rights. I’ve helped over three million badass women make more, spend less, and feel financially confident.


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With longer days and warmer temperatures, summer is the perfect time to travel to new places, try new things, and maybe even strike up a hot summer fling (you didn’t think you were the only one fantasizing about living out your best Mamma Mia summer, did you??).

But with a backlog of passport applications, the cost of flights increasing, and having to navigate different Covid restrictions from country to country, traveling this summer may sound totally complicated and totally expensive…

…but it doesn’t have to be!

Sound too good to be true? Trust us, we get it. After all, the team here at Her First $100K™ is made up of a bunch of travel fanatics who have their fair share of experience with overpriced Airbnbs, canceled flights, lost luggage, and everything in between.

Our fully-remote team has lived, worked, vacationed, and flown all over the world. In fact, right now our COO, Karina, is working from London while our Marketing Lead and SEO Specialist and all-around amazing husband and wife team, Olivia and Jack, are clocking in from Italy. Oh, and HFK’s founder, Tori? She’s been living as a digital nomad for over a year!

Needless to say, the HFK team has been around the block a time or two…literally. So we have a ton of experience in planning travel in a way that is budget-friendly and stress-free, and we have all worked together to to compile our favorite tips, tricks, tools, and best-kept secrets for all things travel planning so that YOU too can see the world stress-free and on a travel budget!

We just launched our brand new mini-course, Worry-Free Wanderlust, which is the ultimate resource for planning travel without breaking the bank and wanting to pull your hair out. From budgeting for a trip and traveling on the cheap (without missing out on the fun) to travel hacking with credit card points and traveling safely solo, this course combines all of our knowledge and expertise to help you plan your next adventure.

Today we are sharing a snippet of our travel course, Worry-Free Wanderlust so that you can get a sneak peek at the value contained within the course and start planning and saving for the trip of a lifetime!

Ready to jet-set and go? We are damn happy to help!

How to save for your trip

So you’ve created a comprehensive travel budget (we go into serious detail about how to do that in the full Worry-Free Wanderlust course, don’t worry) and you’re feeling ready to book some flights and start planning your perfect Mamma Mia summer!

But before you hit “book now”, we gotta break some bad news.

We hate to be the one to tell you this but…creating your travel budget is just step one of a very important two-step travel-planning process.

That’s right, now that we know how much money you need to cover your travel expenses, we need to create a plan to figure out how to save all of that money.

Break down your budget

The first step to creating a savings plan is figuring out how much time you have to reach your savings goal and how much you will have to save each month to reach that goal.

This savings trick is SO SIMPLE but incredibly valuable – so listen up!

Write down how many months you have before your trip and then evenly break down your total trip budget across those months to see how much money you will have to save each month to afford your trip.

Example: You have a budget of $3,500 for a two-week European adventure and four months to save. Breaking down $3,500 across four months means you will have to save $875 a month to reach your goal.

If it is helpful for you, you can even go further and break your savings goal down by weeks to get super-specific.

Example: Using the numbers from the example above, you would have to set aside $218.75 each week to reach your savings goal.

Create a specific savings account for your travel fund

We highly recommend creating a separate savings account specifically for your travel fund. Because that money is separated from your general checking or savings account, you will be less likely to spend that money since it is “out of sight” and thus much more likely to be “out of mind.”

Title this savings account something fun so that every time you open your banking app you will get excited and stay motivated. Saving up for a vacation with your friend? Title the account “Italy with the bestie!”. Every time you deposit another chunk of money and see the title, you can take a second to imagine you and your BFF sipping a spritz on the beach and remember why you’re happy to adjust your spending to prioritize this experience.

Set up automatic transfers

Listen, if you want your travel fund to grow on “auto-pilot” before your very eyes, then this is the savings tip you CANNOT skip!

Once you have created a savings account for your travel fund, you can set up automatic transfers to the account to make sure that you are staying on track with your savings timeline.

Set these automatic transfers up to deposit the exact dollar amount you need to reach your savings goal each pay period. Not only will this make it as easy as possible to stay on track with your savings goal, but it will also reduce the temptation to spend the money that should be going to your travel fund as it is automatically removed from your regular account and moved into your travel savings account.

Seriously, automatic transfers will be the MVP of your travel fund! Set them up right away and watch that money grow!

Consider putting your travel fund in an HYSA

If you have a bit of time before your trip (three months or more) you may consider putting your travel fund into a High Yield Savings Account (HYSA). 

A HYSA allows you to earn significantly more interest on your investments than a traditional savings account (up to 20x more in many cases) which can be particularly beneficial when you are saving for large expenses like a wedding, a home, or – you guessed it – a vacation.

Find ways to stay motivated

Saving for a trip can be incredibly exciting…at first. As weeks and months pass, setting aside money for a trip far off on the calendar can feel unfulfilling and even annoying.

Finding ways to stay motivated while on your travel budgeting journey will keep you on the straight and narrow of your savings plan and will make the whole saving process that much more enjoyable.

Consider coloring in a chart or using stickers to visually track your savings progress. Place this visual reminder somewhere that you can view it frequently so that it serves as a reminder of your goal and keeps you motivated.

You could also consider creating a reward system for when you hit certain savings milestones. Did you finally save enough to reserve a cabana in Santorini? Well, now you get to go start a Pinterest board for all of your beachside photo inspo!

What images, music, or smells can you use to help you vividly hype yourself up about your upcoming trip? Sophia, from team HFK, likes making playlists to get her in the mood for a future destination. It could be anything from a song in the local language to something that just ~gives off the right vibe~. Whenever she’s feeling like taking some money out of her HYSA to quench a thirst for impulse spending, she can pop on the playlist, imagine the wind in her hair as Bossanova plays, and remember that the trip matters more to her than $200 worth of clothes she doesn’t need anyway. 

Find ways to cut costs

Whether you need to lower the cost to meet your budget or you just can’t resist a good deal, there are plenty of strategies for saving a bit of cash.

Here at Team HFK, we love using Going to find affordable and heavily discounted flights so that you can book your air travel at the lowest possible price. We love that Going not only helps us find travel options that work with our budget but also ensures that our flights are safe and dependable.

It is important to be flexible when using these resources. Rather than focusing on flying directly to your destination, try to find flights on these discount sites that will get you closer to your final destination. You may have to book some round-about travel, but you may just do so at a HUGE discount than a direct flight booked through an airline.

For example, when HFK founder, Tori Dunlap, was planning a Friendmoon to Italy last year, rather than looking for flights directly to Italy that were going for over $1,000, she set her search to flights to Europe. She was able to find a flight from Seattle to London on Going for $500 and caught a RyanAir flight from London to Italy for $60.

Total amount spent? $560 – half of what direct flights to Italy cost! Can’t beat that!

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*This was an excerpt from Her First $100K’s new travel mini-course, Worry-Free Wanderlust! You can snag the full course for only $27 for the first 27 days— start planning for your most adventurous, budget-friendly, and totally stress-free summer EVER!

Take our FREE quiz for a personalized, step-by-step money plan 🤑



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