Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel has always been one of our favourite ways to not only explore the world but as a way to detox from our busy lifestyles. While travel is considered a privilege it doesn’t mean you have to be rich to enjoy the benefits a holiday destination can afford you.

We have been fortunate to explore various parts of the world while working full-time. But this wasn’t without forward planning to dip into our travel savings which helped to fund our trips.

Saving doesn’t always come naturally for many of us and it can be struggle to get the cash together for a big trip if you’re not used to being careful with your money. While we don’t suggest you have to be overly frugal we have listed our best tips and tricks to get closer to your travel savings goal!

So get out your pen and pad and jot down our savings hacks which will get you closer to your holiday destination and on the next flight out.

Set up a separate bank account

First thing first! Set yourself up a savings account that is separate from all of your other accounts. It is easy to set up an account online with pretty much any and every bank provider. This way your travel fund is totally separate from your regular money and you’ll be less inclined to dip into your travel pot. Many banks will give you rewards for opening a new account, which can include a monthly bonus or you could receive a gadget for showing loyalty. In addition, we would recommend an account which limits the number of withdrawals you can make throughout the year so you’re not tempted to touch your savings.

Set up automatic transfers

To build up your travel savings faster it would be a good idea to set up a standard order into your new account. Put a set amount from your monthly pay cheque into your new savings account. The easiest way to do this is to have cash automatically transferred from your ‘regular’ checking account each payday. For example, you could set up a £50 standard order (depending on your budget) to set aside for your travel goals. It is also a good idea to boost your savings fund with any extra cash you have leftover – whether daily, weekly or monthly – rather than buy that latte put that extra £5 into your travel account.

Get a money jar

Why not go old school and put your loose change into a money jar. We love doing this. It’s always a surprise to see how much you have accumulated over a few months. We both used to put £5 aside and saved over £150 between us in just a couple of months. Setting up a savings jar is an easy way to put money aside.

Use budgeting apps

A great way to keep your expenses low and see how much extra money you have available to boost your savings is to download a budget app. They allow you to keep track of your spending habits which can you give a clue of where to cut back on your spending. Apps like Mint are perfect to use for this. Mint allows you to keep track of and categorise your expenses, as well as set maximum spending limits for yourself.

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Cancel your Direct Debits

Remember that gym membership you started in January but have yet to step inside – cancel it. Or that magazine subscription you probably don’t need, cancel that too.

Now, take a closer a look at areas that you can negotiate a better deal and pay a lower rate. For instance, do you pay a monthly fee for your bank account? Think about switching to another provider and earning a cash bonus of up to £100. Or you can check what upgrades your current provider offers and decide whether you actually need it. For example, if they offer mobile and travel insurance this can be a great asset for when you’re ready to travel. If you’re paying too much shop around and compare prices on comparison websites.

What about your Netflix account? Check out how much you’re paying each month and if you’re paying for premium consider going back to the basic plan which costs about £5.99 per month.

Don’t Give Up

While it may seem like a challenge it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer and we should all get a chance to get a discover the world. Whether you’re craving new experiences or challenges by following these easy steps you’ll be on your next flight in no time!

Shelley & Michelle xx

WINE TASTING WEEKEND

WINE TASTING WEEKEND

If you are looking for something a bit different to do in London, we would definitely recommend a wine tasting experience. We had an entertaining and tipsy Saturday afternoon spent wine tasting at London’s Wine Cottage. The day was held at The Oval cricket ground which has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845.

We kicked our day off with tequila.. yes tequila! If you really want to let your hair down definitely go for it. You have the option to choose if you would like to have a session tequila tasting before the actual wine tasting and we chose to do just that lol.

Now, for the wines. We enjoyed luxury Wine, Champagne & Port, paired with Cheese and Truffles. Each wine complimented the cheeses so well and not forgetting the port and truffles. We drank Port from a chocolate cup which went down very well. The wines and port were finely selected by our wine connoisseurs. The wines are exclusively selected and imported directly from some of the best châteaux and award winning vineyards from around the world.

Our wine tasting experience was not only fun and entertaining. The day was also educational and informative. You will not only be leaving the venue tipsy, but with your new found wine knowledge you will become a wine connoisseur in your own right.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

While much of the globe is currently on hold with travel restrictions being imposed following the coronavirus pandemic there has been no better time for us to make some personal finance changes so we can get back to globetrotting!

Are you planning a dream getaway, package holiday, a solo trip or a budget trip and are stuck on ways to save for your epic journey?

In this guide, you’ll find our simple and most effective tips to save for money and embark on your latest travel adventure.

By making small changes today, before you know it you’ll be on your next flight out on a dream holiday.

Before we get started there are a few things you must consider before you begin saving money for travel.

How much are you looking to save and what is your travel budget?

Do you have any outstanding debts?

Are you currently sticking to a budget?

Do you have any ways to make some extra money?

Paying off debt

Paying off any loans or credit cards are one of the first steps you can take to make your travel goals. By freeing yourself of debts gives you more control over your money. While it can be a long journey to be completely debt-free, once you reach that goal it will give you peace of mind.

One option for borrowers is to transfer your credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card where you will not be charged any interest. For example, if you owe £2,000 on your card you’ll only have to pay off the balance only. It’s important to note that some providers charge a fee on balance transfers.

If you have debt on more than one credit card it is worth paying off the most expensive card first. If, for example, you owe £1,000 on a card charging 15% interest and another £1,000 on one charging 30% concentrate on the card charging 30% and pay as much as you can. But make sure you continue to pay the minimum amounts on both credit cards because any missed payments can negatively impact your credit score.

We would also recommend that you set up a direct debit payment for all your credit cards so that you never miss a payment.

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Set a travel savings goal

Before you begin stashing away cash for your dream destination, it is important to set yourself a savings goal. Think about your budget and how much you will need for the trip and how much money you need to save.

Have a look at your finances by creating a spreadsheet where you can clearly see how much you earn each month and the amount you spend. Or you can download a free monthly budget app onto your phone which can track your spending habits. There are also various online calculators that can help you plan a budget.

Are there any areas where you can cut back spending or subscriptions you can cancel like your current gym membership?

Once you have decided how much you need to save set up a limited access savings account and automate payments into your holiday fund each month. This way you can commit to saving for your dream trip and by using a limited savings account you’ll be less tempted to dip into your travel fund.

Let’s imagine that your budget for your trip is £1,000 and you want to save up for your dream getaway in the next four, six or 12 months. Over the next four months you’ll need to save £250, over six months roughly around £167 and in 12 months £83.

By setting realistic money saving goals you will get closer to reaching your target.

Sell your stuff

It’s amazing the amount of things we accumulate over the years that we no longer use but hold on to for whatever reason. Unless it holds sentimental value to you just get rid of it!

There are numerous websites online where you can sell unwanted clothes, furniture or sports equipment online – pretty much anything! With sites like Ebay to Amazon and Depop there are easy ways to sell your old items and make some extra cash along the way.

If you have creative talents you could even turn your handcrafted unique pieces into cash by selling on Etsy. It’s a great way to turn your hobby into something profitable and have some extra funds to add to your travel account.

Start a side hustle

Being in lockdown has given many of us a lot of time on our hands to start being a bit more creative. Maybe you wanted to start a blog or write a book but there are many different opportunities to earn extra money if you have a full-time job.

Find a side hustle that could be working from home or a second job as an Uber or Amazon driver or you could set up an online business. It doesn’t have to be something that makes you loads of money. Just something to help boost your income.

Do some research and find something which matches your talents or skill set. By doing this it will be easier for you to reach your goals and make some extra money.

Watch your savings grow

It is not an easy task but with determination and discipline you can reach your travel savings goal in no time. Check your account every couple of months to see how you’re doing.

Set yourself small targets and treat yourself as you hit each milestone.

When you reach your goal for this year’s holiday, set a new higher target for next year – maybe you could increase the number of destinations that you visit and more holidays.

Do you have any other tips to help others save for travel. Let us know in the comments!

Shelley & Michelle xx

ULTIMATE GETAWAY GUIDE FOR YOUR STAY IN AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam, The Netherlands capital and one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Home to painter Van Gogh and Anne Frank. Known for its historic canals, museums, coffee shops, narrow houses, cyclists, bike paths and not forgetting the red-light district. We have to say one of our favourite long weekends away was spent in this city. There is so much history in Amsterdam with the most stunning buildings.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Corendon Vitality Hotel which has easy transport links and is very handy when exploring Amsterdam. The rooms are small, cosy and chic, the hotel restaurant is based on the ground floor and serves a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with the chefs cooking in your eye view. Our favourite part of the Corendon is the spa. We enjoyed a 60-minute hot stone massage side by side which was so relaxing! We then took advantage of the sauna and steam room after our massage. The spa also has a chill out area that comes with cushioned lounge beds where you can enjoy a quick nap. To add the extra zen there’s mood lighting that creates a soothing tranquility effect. We honestly didn’t want to leave!

Things to do

Canal Cruise: We boarded the boat in the heart of the city and chose the cruise as it’s a nice way to see Amsterdam from the water. You are given disposable earphones when seated where you then sit back and listen to a recorded tour guide. Amsterdam is so picturesque the canals and bridges are so beautiful. We chose a great day for the cruise, the sun was shining which made the cruise that extra special. The cruise is a great way to learn about Amsterdam’s history. Some of the houses built alongside the canal were built during the Dutch Golden Age and there are different stop off points. We exited the boat outside Anne Frank’s house.

Anne Frank House: Located on the Prinsengracht canal in central Amsterdam stands the house of Anne Frank along with her family and four people who hid from the Nazi persecution during World War II. We booked tickets to visit Anne Frank’s House before we left London and highly recommend booking this way to prevent queuing for ages and to avoid disappointment. Anne Frank’s House should definitely be on your to do list. The museum is full of pictures of Anne, her family and the people who lived with them. You see quotations from Anne’s diary, family photographs and film images. It’s as if you’re stepping into her mind, everything she wrote, her thought’s and how she felt at that time was quoted in the museum. You will also see original objects belonging to those in hiding. It truly was a memorable part of our trip.

Ice Bar: We wanted to experience something a little different and one evening while walking along the streets of Amsterdam we came across Amsterdam’s Ice Bar. On arrival you are given three tokens where you can treat yourself to free drinks. There are two bars, the first bar called ‘the lounge’ where you sit and enjoy some music (in the warmth) whilst sipping on a cocktail. The Ice bar is located at the back of the lounge. Before entering the -10 degree bar you are given a thermal coat and gloves. It was all fun and games before we entered lol! The Ice bar is colourfully lit with an amazing ice sculptured bar made up of 60 tons of natural ice. Even the walls were made out of ice. When ordering your drink at the bar the glasses you drink out of are also made up of ice. Even down to the seats!

Dining Experience

Supperclub: If you want a night out combined with good cuisine then look no further than Supperclub. When you arrive at the low-key venue be prepared to enter a night filled with magical festivities. It’s more than a restaurant but a place that will blow your mind from beginning until the end. On arrival guests have the option to dine at a table or can lounge on a crisp white bed and we opted for the latter. Kicking off your shoes you can lay back and await your seven-course meal before the entertainment begins. Another twist to the evening was all the dishes were a surprise, so you didn’t actually know what was on the menu. You have no idea what you are about to eat until you are served your meal. Be sure to wear your favourite socks when sat on the beds as you will be asked to remove your shoes. When booking the experience they do ask for your dietary requirements and allergies beforehand and will make a note on your reservation. The entertainment was stellar – from acrobats, to ballerinas and people in drag singing and dancing. To wrap up the evening there is an in-house DJ who keeps the night going well into the early hours.

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Shelley & Michelle xx