As much as I enjoy the luxury of travel, I understand that one of the main obstacles of traveling is money. After reading Glinda Bridgforth’s Girl Get Your Money Straight, I realized that it just would not be right for me to promote traveling and living lavishly at the (literal) expense of your financial well being. From here on out it is my mission to also share ways to enjoy the joys of travel in a financially responsible way.
- Take advantage of rewards programs on debit and credit cards but don’t let them take advantage of you. Even though Bridgforth encourages them, she warns to not let the reward of a free flight lure you into a credit card agreement you can’t keep up with. It would be wiser to set up a rewards program with debit cards and get rewards for what you’re already doing without taking the on the risk of creating more debt.
-Being loyal can pay off, literally. Using frequent flier programs, you can earn free flights. A free flight made my most recent trip to Chicago that much sweeter. It’s a good idea to sign up with a few different airlines to give yourself options when looking for flights.
-Saving makes cents. Keeping your leftover change can really add up, and instead of the old school way of wrapping coins, TD Bank’s Penny Arcade is a fun little treat (you don't even have to have an account with them!). Bank of America’s Keep the Change program also allows you to do the same thing with debit card purchases. You can even take your savings strategy a step further, and make it a personal challenge like The Glam Globetrotter's $20-A-Day Vacay. If you need a little extra help, look into vacation savings accounts that only allow deposits.
-Give a little, get a little. With voluntourism on the rise, travel can be even more rewarding. For example, Sage Hospitality’s Give a Day, Get a Night promotion: “Give 8 hours of community service and get a complimentary night stay or 50% discount on hotel rooms at all 53 Sage hotels across the country; AND Disney's Give a Day, Get A Day promotion. You can even get paid to work abroad (more on that later).
Give me your two cents. What other ways do you overcome the financial obstacle of travel?
Image found at The Fabulous Giver, a great philanthropic blog. Check them out!