Ballin’ On A Budget: How To Fund Your First International Trip

February 13, 2014  |  

Budgeting for any bucket list vacation abroad can be discouraging if you don’t plan wisely. Luckily for you, there’s no need to beg, borrow, or steal to indulge in your wanderlust fantasies! MadameNoire Business has practical suggestions for saving and budgeting for your dream vacation. Trust us: with proper planning it’s more affordable than you think!

Here are 5 tips to begin funding your next trip:

Start planning early. Want to go to Greece? Paris? Istanbul? The first thing to do when planning your first trip abroad is to determine an exact location and date to begin planning your itinerary. It’s important to do your research. The only way to know the full cost of your trip is to be as specific as possible when mapping out exactly what you want to see and do. Also, if you want to save a few coins, consider traveling during off peak season or staying in a hostel to reduce costs. These are all things to consider in the initial planning process for your trip.

Save a portion of every check and put into a vacation savings account. Once you have a destination or date picked, calculate how much you’ll need, and then start a separate savings account to fund the trip. Be realistic. Set a goal to put aside a certain percentage or set amount of your paycheck each month towards your travel fund. Create or revise your monthly budget to identify where your money is going each month and identify how much money is available after paying for bills and cost of living.

In order for this to be effective, it has to be a savings fund that’s completely separate from your other checking accounts. You don’t want to be tempted to withdraw or make purchases from your travel fund. Make sure the account won’t face any minimum balance penalties once you start spending what you’ve saved.

Need additional help with budgeting? Mint.com, Budget Tracker and Budget Pulse are great (free) online tools to track transactions and create your monthly financial plan.

Live without excess. Has budgeting helped you keep your finances in order? If you have any funds left over after paying all of your bills and living expenses, do not succumb to your monthly fashion addiction! Why not put those additional funds into your travel fund? Every penny counts. This will put you one step closer to your travel dreams, and you may even be able to add an extra excursion to your itinerary.

Fund your trip through freelance work. Are you a writer? Social media savvy? Are you good at making jewelry and or working on DIY projects? Play an instrument? You can utilize your talents to work on side projects that can fund your travels. If you can’t kick start freelance gigs on your own, Elance, ODesk and Craigslist offer great listings for jobs nationwide. Doing part- time work or short-term projects is a feasible way to fund your travels if it’s not possible solely on your current income.

Still don’t think your first trip is feasible? Teach English abroad! For native English speakers, teaching English abroad is an excellent way to see the world and share your native tongue. Some teaching gigs are not paid and are geared towards those interested in volunteering for a shorter period of time. However, schools, universities and even foreign governments are interested in paying native English speakers a decent wage on a renewable or longer-term contract. A few organizations and resources for interested teachers are TEFL.com, TeachAbroad.com, Transitions Abroad and World Teach.

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