How to finance your trips

Okay, as I wrote in earlier post, I will write about the tips & tricks to finance your trip.

For those who expect a new trick, I’m sorry to disappoint you because the first tip is just plain old saving. Yup, saving.

If you’re an employee, like me, you get regular paycheck every month. The only way to accumulate enough money for a trip is saving.

You see, for me, travelling is a luxury. I can only satisfy my thirst for it only after I paid my debts (always pay the credit card bill in full amount on time and pay other debts – for example, mortgage – on time too) and after I put away enough amount of saving for retirement.

So every month, after I received my paycheck, I always do those two things first. After that, I save same amount each month for my travelling budget.

I put the travelling budget in money market mutual fund for 3 reasons:
1. There’s no subscription fee and there’s no redemption fee.
2. There’s no penalty or fee for redeeming the fund before 1 year.
3. The return is bigger than plain account saving.

Another trick is by arranging the cashflow. My usual cashflow arrangment is like this:
1. A year to 10 months before the trip: buy the plane tickets
2. 6 months before the trip: book accomodations
3. 3 months before the trip: book other transportation tickets – domestic flight & train.
4. 1 month before the trip: apply for visa
5. 1 week before the trip: redeem the mutual fund to buy foreign money for daily expenses during the trip.

So, there’s no instant way to finance my trips. The first time I was able to have a trip to Bali was after I work and save money for 3 years. The first time I was able to see Europe was after working and saving for 10 years.

There may be people who will disagree with me, it’s okay. After all, every one has their own style in travelling and managing their money.



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