A long vacation is perhaps on the dream list of most of Indians. However, chances are that this dream list never comes true because, as we all know, travelling is really expensive. I know the statement can be argued, but right now I am talking about the average Indian family consisting of 5 to 7 members, of which, only one or two are earning. However big the temptation, arranging money for a trip every year can be a pain in the neck.
So let us find out some creative and innovative ways to arrange money which will make your dream trip possible.
1. How about opening a separate savings account?
There is no fee for opening a savings account and you can easily keep a track on your money. So, open a savings account, which is going to be your travel fund account for the time to come. Keep on depositing money into it whenever you possibly can. I have seen people waiting for the month-end to put the extra money left after all the expenses. Do you know how much it amounts to ? ZERO. So, do not fool yourself, submit an amount on the very 1st of every month and see the numbers on your bank notebook rising in no time. Also, apply for online banking and ATM service only when you are ready to go on a vacation, because, another card in your wallet is a temptation hard to resist.
2. Cut back on all of your extra expenses
If you want to save a good amount of money for your vacation, you must be ready to make small sacrifices. Use electricity, cooking gas, and your vehicle judiciously, so that you can cut back on these expenses. Go green, save some money and add it to your bank account, already created in step 1.
3. It’s time to liquidate your stuff
No, I’m not asking you to sell your jewelry to arrange money for the trip. Instead, I’m asking you to have a look around your house and locate any unused item, catching dust. It may be an old TV, a transistor, an old harmonium, even your old books. Take their pictures, put them online on websites like Ebay, OLX, Quickr, etc. and see your old stuff convert into some easy money in a matter of days. Now you know where would this money go, yes, your savings account.
4. Use coupons and discounts as much as you can
There are many websites which offer free coupons for other retail stores, if you use their services. Why not use it to your advantage? You can also buy a part of household stuff and clothing on sale. There is no shame in that, you’re saving money for a good cause. Also, use the discount days at malls or movie halls to your full advantage. This way, you will save some considerable amount of money.
5. Use a change jar:
Until now, only a kid knew the power of a change jar (called gullak in Hindi). But today, I give you a fabulous way to save money, which doesn’t pinch your pocket. All you have to do is buy an inexpensive, earthen change jar from a local market (please do not buy the designer, more expensive ones, because it defeats the cause) and keep it on a table where everyone can see it. Now, write “TRAVEL FUND” boldly on a chit of paper and stick it on the change jar. Now ask all the members, especially children (if you have any) to gather around the jar and make an oath, like- “We promise to put some coins in this jar every day.” The more dramatic the oath, the faster the jar will fill.
6. “Unbrand” yourself
I know the word doesn’t exist, but I hope the meaning is clear. Today, Indians are head over heels in love with brands. Be it clothing, jewelry, accessories or even traditional things like jute bags and ‘Chappals’, they want the tag of a cool brand on everything. I am not against such people, but I do think, things can be a way cheaper if we buy things from local markets. Considering the whopping amount these brands charge, your savings would be considerably higher and the step to “unbrand” yourself would be worth the effort.
7. Use DIY to your advantage
The Do It Yourself revolution has taken over the west and it is time that we get swept away too. Personally, I love making things at home and this is the reason why I get to save a lot of money to spend somewhere else. From bags to envelops, cards, candles, cakes, clothes, table cloth, sweaters, soap, detergent, etc. the list of what can be made at home is endless. If you love to host parties and dinners, cook at home and save money on a catering service. However, be sure that you take on a work which you can handle easily. Start small and evolve your skills from there. Internet can be a resourceful place and you don’t even need to go to any cookery class anymore.
If you have been planning a vacation for a very long time and not been able to save money, why not use these methods to start saving? We all know that after working so hard, we deserve to walk around lazily on a beach or drive through the mountains at least once a year. Do not cut back on this luxury, save money in creative ways so that you don’t have excuses when your friends or worse, children, ask “where are we going this year?” Do you have more suggestions? Have you creatively saved money for a dream vacation? Share your story with us and inspire travelers.