If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might know that we occasionally invite other bloggers to share their knowledge and tips. Money is a big topic when preparing a trip: will the destination be the right choice for your budget? If you always wanted to visit Barcelona and need some ideas to help you save for the trip of your life, we get you covered! Today travel blogger Jayson Goetz is sharing with us his personal money travel-planning tips. Enjoy!
There are multiple routes you can take when planning on pinching pennies for an upcoming trip to Barcelona. Most importantly, consider a few easy adjustments like skipping weekly excursions to the bar, packing your own lunch, and cutting back on frivolous spending. Take the time to analyze and itemize your personal spending. In other words, budget fiercely. Where do you spend the most money and is it necessary to pay the extra coin each month for all of your entertainment subscriptions?
Be sure to zero in on the everyday treat yourself expenses that have been cushioned into your lifestyle. It’s always the small, daily spending habits that can prove to make the greatest impact on our wallets, for better or worse. If you live alone, can you take on a roommate or is moving back home an option for you? Take into account your current lifestyle and spending habits to see which areas you can trim or nix completely and target potential areas to earn extra cash. With a little added creativity, you can book your next Spanish vacation in no time.
These are my tips:
Wine & Dine. Instead of going out to dinner with friends, offer to host dinner parties or propose rotating homes and hosts throughout the month. Instead of meeting up for lunch dates, swap them for coffee dates. If going completely sober is not an option for you, make a meal at home before going out and solely stick to drinks. Find deals around your area for prime happy hour specials for more bang for your buck or crack open a cold one at home. If your neighborhood has been blessed with a German grocery chain offering discount everything from produce to freezer meals, pick up a $3 – $5 bottle of wine for a cozy night in.
Make the switch from upscale grocery stores to more budget friendly options. When you find yourself in the middle of Plaça de Catalunya, you will thank yourself for skipping your weekly trip to Whole Foods. Switch to cheaper chains with comparable quality like Trader Joe’s, Aldi, or Lidl for all of your needed food items at low prices. Make a stop by the local farmer’s market on the weekend for bulk produce items. Give back to the community, eat well, and save. If you can, consider investing in your own vegetable garden. Tending to your own indoor or patio garden not only opens a new, low expense hobby, but allows you to be self-sustaining and consumer conscious. Many neighborhoods offer community gardens for residents, if space is an issue for you, consider claiming your own plot as a great way to meet new people and grow your own produce.
Swap out gyms. If fitness is a priority for you, look for alternatives to your fancy gym membership. Instead of paying for a high-end membership, consider switching to joining your local YMCA or discount gyms in your area. Check your local parks to see if they offer outdoor exercise equipment or whip out your yoga mat and look for YouTube instruction-led yoga channels. Take a hike with a friend or join a free local group for cycling, jogging, and meditation. Remember, the joys of nature are free of charge
Shop used. If you have an inclination toward retail therapy, take a step back to review your options. Host a clothing swap with friends for free. Create a Facebook event, invite friends to bring a friend, then get together and dig through each other’s closets. Best of all, this option is entirely waste free. Clear out your wardrobe and replace those items for pieces to fit the new you. Reduce. Reuse. Refurbish. Check out local consignment stores or curated vintage shops. Follow brands you love and hunt for sales or buy discounted items during the off season. Even for more expensive items like furniture and tech, browse sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for second hand items and sites like Gazelle for discounted Macbooks. Swap out driving for public transportation if possible. However, if having a car is a necessity for your morning commute, strongly consider buying a used car for lower monthly payments. If you live alone, think about opting for a budget friendly location instead of the luxury complex, adopt a roommate to cut costs, or move back home if you can.
Be a thrifty lover. Take a siesta from dating apps. Dating is not cheap. Food, entertainment, and adventure can start to add up especially if you grab a drink with a new suitor a few times a week. As an alternative, find events and spaces in your area for discounted fun. Check out the new visiting exhibit at the museum with free admission, romance your lover with a picnic in the park, opt for a matinee showing or research discount movie nights, or hunker down with the always reliable Netflix night in. Saving money does not need to turn you into a hermit, but it will make you more selective with your time and resources. Is there anything sexier than good credit and ample savings?
Adopt a side hustle. Depositing extra earnings into your travel savings account can be the difference between daydreams and reality. Ideally, adopting a side hustle can expedite planning your travel with more cash flow to pocket. Keep in mind that many opportunities for additional income can be linked to relatively low-cost certification programs or none at all. The art of the side hustle is that it not only lines your pockets, but gives you the flexibility to do so with a little time management. A few options include bartending, bookkeeping for small businesses, tutoring, personal training, becoming a yoga instructor, or picking up freelance writing jobs. Of course, you could sign up to drive for Uber or Lyft but be cautious of switching over your car insurance plan. If your space is inviting and attractive, rent it out with AirBnB. If you can bunk with a friend or find yourself going out of town for work, offer your room or apartment for a fee. After you book your flight and stay in Barcelona, relinquish your apartment for your stay abroad and come home to extra cash. To track your progress, open a savings account dedicated strictly for travel and deposit your extra earnings into this account.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: what are your tricks to save for your Barcelona trip?
Jayson Goetz is a strong believer that you don’t have to be wealthy to live a rich and full life and wants to share tips on how to do exactly this. Whether its saving money tips, smart everyday hacks, or budget travel, he hopes to inspire others to do more with less.