Travel can be expensive. Here’s how to carve out more money to make it happen.
- The money you spend on travel will have to come from somewhere.
- If you’re able to prioritize your spending, boost your income, and maximize credit card rewards, you might open the door to traveling more in the new year.
If travel is a big goal of yours for 2023, you’re no doubt in good company. But the unfortunate reality is that travel costs have soared in recent years, largely due to an uptick in demand. And so a trip that might’ve cost you $2,000 in 2019 might cost $2,500 or more in 2023.
The good news, though, is that there are steps you can take to boost your 2023 travel budget. Here are three worth focusing on.
1. Cut back on expenses that are less important to you
Maybe you currently spend $40 a month on streaming services and $80 a month on takeout. And maybe you spend another $100 a month on rideshares on top of that.
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There’s nothing wrong with spending money on conveniences and entertainment if they make you happy and you can afford them. But if travel is more important to you than any of those things, then you may want to cut back and divert more of your money to saving for the trips you have on your list.
2. Get yourself a side hustle
Living costs are still very high due to inflation, so your paycheck may not be going as far as it used to. If you’re hoping to carve out more money for travel in 2023, a side hustle could be your ticket to making it happen.
The beauty of that second gig is that your earnings won’t be earmarked for bills like utilities and rent payments. So you may have the option to take all of your extra money (minus what you owe the IRS in taxes) and use it to pad your travel budget.
3. Use your credit cards strategically
The everyday purchases you make on your credit cards, like groceries and gas, could put a fair amount of cash back in your pocket. And that’s money you may be able to use to take more trips.
In fact, a good bet is to review your various credit cards’ rewards programs at the start of the year to see which ones you should be using for which types of purchases. Accidentally using a card that only gives you 2% back at the pump could leave you with less money if you have a card that offers 3% cash back for fill-ups.
Also, if you think you’ll be doing a lot of air travel in 2023, it could pay to apply for a travel rewards credit card if you don’t have one already. These cards commonly come loaded with money-saving benefits like free checked bags, which you normally get charged for on domestic flights. Knowing you won’t have to cover the cost of baggage could leave you with more wiggle room to spend money on other aspects of travel — for example, upgrading your hotel room for a night or paying for an extra tour.
Getting out and traveling can be a wonderful, eye-opening experience. Employ these tips so money, or a lack thereof, doesn’t stop you from seeing the top places on your list in 2023.
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