It’s about hurrying and setting priorities.
- Many people want to go out and travel more in 2022.
- I hope to free up more money to travel by working more, spending less on non-essentials, and maximizing credit card rewards.
In early 2020, my husband and I booked an amazing vacation to Alaska for that summer, a vacation we never got to take due to the pandemic. Last summer, we took a couple of shorter trips with our kids. But we weren’t comfortable with the idea of boarding multiple planes and going on a two-week cruise, so we didn’t reschedule that trip.
I hope things have improved enough by the summer of 2022 that that dream trip is a possibility. If not, I hope to at least travel a little more next year than in 2021. But to achieve that, I need to start saving money from the beginning of the year. This is how I plan to increase my travel budget.
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1. More work
As a freelance writer, I have the option to take on additional tasks and increase my income. Right now, all of my extra earnings go toward replenishing a withdrawal I made from my emergency fund when my air conditioner broke and needed to be completely replaced. But I’ve made good progress there, thankfully, so once the money is paid back, any extra money I make is cash that I hope I can put towards travel.
2. Budget more frugal
There are a number of things I regularly spend money on that aren’t considered essential expenses, like takeout and entertainment, to name a few. I don’t plan to eliminate those expense categories this year, but I may reduce them to free up more cash for travel.
That said, if I can increase my income enough, I may not cut back too drastically on the things that bring me joy on a day-to-day basis. I like to prioritize travel, but I also don’t want to deprive myself too much of those modest indulgences.
3. Smart credit card usage
While I use credit cards for almost every purchase I make, or at least every purchase where paying with a credit card is an option, I’m not always that good at maximizing credit card rewards. I have an access card that has a pretty generous base rewards program, so I tend to charge most of my purchases to it. Doing so makes it easier to keep track of my spending and rewards.
But because I’m looking forward to traveling more this year, I’m willing to put in the time to better maximize my credit card rewards. That means I can spread my purchases across different cards depending on the specific incentives involved. I may also look to capitalize on at least a generous signup bonus, as a lump sum of cash could offset my travel expenses.
Finally, I plan to apply for a travel rewards credit card. I actually closed one of these cards during the pandemic because it charged an annual fee and I wasn’t really using it. Having a travel rewards card could make flying to any destination you choose less expensive, especially if that card comes with perks like free checked bags.
Will you travel more in 2022?
Many people stayed close to home in 2020 and put travel plans on hold for 2021 as the delta variant reared its ugly head. But now that COVID-19 vaccines are available to a larger portion of the population (younger children) and booster shots offer greater protection, more people may be eager to map out schedules for 2022.
If that’s your plan, do yourself a favor and start saving for your trips now. That way, money doesn’t have to be the thing that keeps you from seeing the places on your list.
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