If you’re a Travel enthusiast like me, you’re probably already thinking about where to go on your next trip, even if you’ve just returned from one. But what if your budget isn’t overflowing with extra cash to hit the road on a whim?

Rather than trying to figure out what you can do with the money you have, turn it around. Begin by choosing the type of vacation or travel experience that you really want.

Decide on your destination

If a destination is tugging at your heart, or you’ve always been fascinated by a location or type of holiday, pick the one that you’re going to go after right now. It might be a month in Rome, or a week camping in the mountains—just choose one.

Count the cost

Sit down and figure out how much your prospective trip will cost. If flights are involved, do some research about airfare, taxes, fees, transfers, and stopover costs. If you plan to drive, estimate the cost of gas, lunch stops, overnights on the way to your destination, and unexpected expenses.

Accommodation will probably be your highest cost, but not necessarily. If you plan to camp, find out what the fees are where you want to stay. If you’re planning to stay in hotels, or rent an apartment, you need to know exactly what that will cost. Be sure to estimate on the conservative side, then add another 10%-20% so you are not caught short. Include spending money and meals in your estimates.

Develop your savings plan

Deciding to save for travel means making priority choices. Ask yourself this-or-that questions about incidental expenses. For example, would you rather eat out two nights a week, or eat at home and put the surplus cash into your travel fund? Would you rather buy another pair of shoes, or use that money to travel sooner, and shop at your destination?

Do you really need more cable channels, or magazine subscriptions? Or would you rather see the ruins of Egypt?

Open a separate bank account for your travel fund and set it up so you can transfer money every payday directly into that account.

Earn extra cash

Consider getting a second job temporarily. Wait tables, deliver pizzas, mow lawns.

Have a garage sale, or sell your stuff online. Use your imagination as you keep your travel goals in mind.

Keep track of your progress

As your travel fund grows, celebrate the milestones. Have a glass of wine when you reach each $100 saved. Do a happy dance, or give your sweetheart a big kiss. You’ll soon be celebrating on that tropical beach or dancing on that cruise ship.

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