Its resolutions season, and you may have decided to travel more this new year, which means you should start saving now. While most vacations will only happen in six or more months from now, budgeting as early as possible is your best bet for efficient and affordable travel.   


1. Cash Diet

The best way to save for traveling is by allocating a monthly amount that is put aside for it. Depending on how much and how far you plan on traveling will affect your monthly allowance. It is essential to estimate how much your trip, or trips, will cost. Simple ways to save include spending less on eating out, cutting back on fancy coffee drinks, or selling some unnecessary items.


2. Use Points

Another great way to save is by opening up a travel credit card. With specific cards, you can accrue points and miles that can be used for travel. It’s important to research which travel credit card is best for you because they often have restrictions. However, if you find a card that fits your needs, you’ll be able to earn travel points for everyday expenses. A few travel credit cards even offer enough bonus points to cover an international round-trip flight!


3. Be Flexible

Traveling during the off-season is the easiest way to save money and avoid crowds. Again, research is critical when budgeting to travel. If you’re looking to go to a popular destination over the summers months, you will likely pay more. However, if you are willing to travel later in the year, some destinations will be cheaper.


4. Set Flight Alerts

If you do want to travel during prime vacation season, set alerts for flights. This will allow you to be the first to know when the price drops. These warnings also help you stay on budget because it encourages booking only if the price is right.


5. Alternative Housing

Hotels are expensive, and if you find a great destination spot, you won’t be in the hotel room much anyway. Instead of paying for a five-star hotel, check Airbnbs or hostels that offer less expensive rates. You could end up saying in an Airbnb for $40 a night, compared to a $200 hotel.


Traveling more in the new year is possible, as long as you research and save now. Traveling is essentially buying memories and experiences, and you can do so affordably with research and a budget.

Paul Deloughery is an law insurance dispute consultant and avid traveler. Check out his latest Travel blog or visit his Twitter!