Today I am sharing with you an easy printable travel savings plan. This super simple process is what we use when planning a trip and figuring out not only how much it will cost, but how we will save for it. Besides What to Pack When Backpacking, What to Eat When Backpacking and How to Stay Safe in Bear Country, one of the things people ask me about the most is how much our road trips cost and how do we pay for them. Since Dave and I weren’t born with a trust fund (I wish!) and we don’t want to go into debt either, we have to save in order to travel. It’s hard being an adult sometimes, right? When planning an upcoming trip, the first thing we do is figure out how much it will cost using this super helpful budget planning tool. Once we know the cost of the trip, we can then figure out how to save the amount needed in order to go.
Easy Travel Savings Plan
We first determine how many weeks we have left to save. Then we look at how much we already have in our travel savings account and subtract that from the planned trip budget. The amount left is the amount we need for our trip. We divide that number by the number of weeks we have before our planned departure, and now we know how much we need to save each week. I told you it was simple, right? If you’re doing this for the first time, then I recommend you make a list of expenses for before and during the trip so you can know how much you will need to save. The things you need to spend on can vary from trip to trip and from season to season. For a backpacking trip, you will have to spend on camping gear, clothing, first aid, and more. For a skiing trip, you will have to spend on ski apparel, gloves, goggles, mips skiing helmets, and more. You should be taking all of this into account for your budget. But it’ll all be fairly simple once you get to it. Making a travel savings plan is simple math. The only hard part is having the discipline to actually save the money.
Travel Savings Plan and Actually Saving the Money
Once I know how much I need to save each week, I set up a direct deposit withdrawal from my paycheck each pay period that goes into a checking account we use solely for travel. I don’t connect this account with our main checking and savings accounts and unless some kind of major emergency were to happen, I never touch this money unless making a purchase for our trip in our planned travel budget. This keeps us from using our travel money for other expenses and ensures that the money is there for us when our adventures begin. For me, out of sight, out of mind and by using direct deposit into an account I don’t regularly access, I am not tempted to siphon our travel money away.
Making Changes to Your Travel Savings Plan
I’ve learned over the years, that even with the most careful planning, sometimes additional costs come up. Maybe the budget hotel you had planned on staying at is already booked, so you have to book a more expensive alternative. Or maybe you have an unexpected car repair on the vehicle you plan to travel in. These things sometimes happen. In fact, in my experience, you can count on it. When these increased expenses come up, I simply revise our travel budget and then revise our travel savings plan accordingly. When divided into smaller chunks over several weeks, budget changes are often easy to absorb.