Many Filipinos aspire to travel the world but often find that budgets and expenses serve as a roadblock toward achieving these dreams. How can you manage to squeeze in an exotic destination when it seems every Peso has already been allocated well in advance?
The first step to realizing your goals of visiting new destinations is to actively work toward making these a reality. With the growth of low cost carriers and the rise in alternative accommodations, a dream vacation to many places is more achievable than ever.
There’s room in your budget
The common stumbling block is always money. And while it’s probably true that every Peso in your monthly budget is already allocated for, the trick to finding room in your budget isn’t to find more money, but to simply reallocate where some of this money is spent.
In the pursuit of seeing new places, you must also be ready to give up some things that you regularly spend on. Map out your budget and see where you can realign some expenses toward a travel fund. It doesn’t mean having to carve off thousands on one item, but rather a series of small budget cuts in several places. It can mean packing lunch everyday, or attending group get-togethers every other week.
Project costs and map out a financial plan
For every budget level, there are often several places and options to choose from. Take time to research travel forums and gauge how much an entire trip will cost. From there, you can determine how many months you’ll have to save up for. Remember that not all months are made equal — some months you’ll be able to set aside more, and some months will be tight.
Open a separate account
Being disciplined to not touch your travel fund is a tough task. Make it easier by opening a separate bank account dedicated to your travel fund. BPI offers several types of savings accounts that can serve as travel funds, including BPI Save-Up.
Whether you open a passbook or ATM-based account, the most important thing is to not touch this money.
Plan months ahead to maximize your travel-related expenses
The best way to take advantage of deals provided by low-cost carriers is to plan ahead. Remember that travel planning, just like your travel fund, is a year-round commitment. Sign up for newsletters for multiple airlines and hotels, and stay alert. Keep a calendar handy with dates mapped out for your desired travel plans. This helps you fine tune your travel and lets your search websites quickly.
The only time you can touch your travel fund is when you purchase tickets and accommodations in advance. While this will reduce your fund in the short term, you’ll be able to scratch off tickets from the list of expenses, and only work toward daily expenses for your savings goal.
Take advantage of bundled deals
Optimize your expenses by finding ways to bundle items. Booking a hotel? Try to look for one that offers free transfers and breakfast at a rate that’s competitive.
Travel insurance? Why pay for travel insurance when you can get it for free when you book your airplane tickets with select BPI Credit Cards.
You’ll find that several of these deals are there to be found, if you look hard enough. Check membership cards or organizations that you’re already part of — many have partnerships that provide free passes to museums and other sites at your destination.
Whether you’re itching to explore the Philippines, or want to visit an exotic destination, know that are many ways to plan a financially responsible trip. Start your journey toward your next vacation by opening a BPI account at a branch near you and build your travel fund today.
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The views expressed in this report reflect the writer's personal views and not necessarily the Bank of the Philippine Islands'. Furthermore, no part of any of the writer's compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views expressed by the writer in this report.