creative tips for travel budgeting & savings

when we were growing up, my mom always had a huge yard sale before a trip. we gathered all of our old toys, misfit clothing, kitchen gadgets & more...this pile would soon become the cash to fuel our annual beach vacation!

i am so thankful for my mom's example of turning trash into treasure. she constantly serves as an inspiration for my wanderlust spirit & need for adventure.

some may find it frivolous that we would spend several weeks in europe, but we have quickly learned that life is short & we crave adventure. with a whole lot of planning, a bit of creativity & a modest income, we were able to save enough to travel throughout europe (no credit card debt here)!

today i want to share our own creative tips for travel budgeting & saving!


when budgeting for any adventure, do your research. we opted to fly turkish airlines because it's prices were much more competitive. we also saved money choosing apartments via airbnb instead of hotels or hostels. also, the benefit of a full kitchen for cooking in quaint part of town was a major plus for our family. 

we used an excel sheet to track our spending & savings. we paid for flights, lodging & rail passes throughout the year as we saved money. we also budgeted a specific amount of money for food & extras. because we are using a credit card throughout our trip, we plan to track our spending via so that we make sure not to overspend. having an idea of how much you can spend each day rather than the entire time you're vacationing is key to staying on track.


we did not pull any money from our regular income or alter our monthly budget for our vacation. using a handful of creative revenue streams, we saved the entire sum of our trip expenses. i want to share a handful of ways we saved for our trip throughout the year...

1. creative teamwork: during our trip budgeting meeting, luke & i brainstormed ways to team up & provide a new product that was representative of our family & provide a profit for our adventure fund. we immediately thought up the planting calendar & perpetual planting poster. with a $100 starting point, we produced our calendar. over the year, we sold 250 copies. we used a portion of that profit to then fund our perpetual planting poster, which was also very successful. we are so proud of these two products & will continue working together in this capacity (yay!)

idea- team up with those around you & create something new that you can sell. maybe you're an excellent photographer who would love to take family portraits for your community or you love baking for others? dream up something big & go for it!

- yard sale: just like my momma, we gathered up all of our goods & had a yard sale. to maximize profits, i asked my girlfriends if they had anything to sell. i sold their items for them & kept 25% of the profits as commission. we walked away with a little over $400 for our trip!

- craft show: we also participated in a handful of craft shows & made a significant profit. this was an excellent way to meet potential customers & spend time with other artists while making a little cash.

- credit card benefits: we are very intentional about how & when we use our credit cards. that being said, for safety purposes, we are using only our credit cards on the trip. an added benefit of using our credit card for such a large sum is the points earned from your spending. we can earn air miles, free books & more. this, in return, saves us money! we plan to track our spending so we can pay our credit card in full when we return.

i'd love to read how you creatively budget & save for travel! please share your tips & ideas!


Michaela Harris said...

Thanks for sharing! We're on a limited budget too but LOVE to travel. We might start selling thrift store finds if we can manage time- wise. This winter my husband took my brother on a snowboarding trip with money they saved from scrapping metal!

Marina said...

Thankyou for being so open Natalie about how you've been able to save for this wonderful trip... your discipline, determination and dedication are proof that anyone can have an adventure if they put their hands to work. Enjoy your lovely journey! Xx

megan said...

what a fantastic helpful post, nat! you're the wisest 20-something i know. 😉

meecindy said...

loved your post! great ideas on how to create a travel budget with ideas i hadn't seen before. i'm wanting to do more traveling and i'm hoping these ideas will help me with that plan. :)

Kayla Dawn Thomas said...

Love that you are enjoying your trip debt free! Thanks for sharing your tips!

amstincan said...

Great post! Reading this provided some further inspiration for me to get busy on some of the projects I have planned for exactly this reason. Thanks.

Jackie said...

Thanks for all the tips!

01 09 10 11 12
Blogging tips