Travel Hack: Set Up A Travel Fund

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXShnT15Wf4

What’s the first move to push yourself to explore the world? It’s creating a travel fund.

We will get into what this is and how to set up an automated travel fund.

But real quick, I want to set the scene of why you need to save money before you go for an extensive trip on your own dime.

Rolf Potts, author of one of the best travel books Vagabonding, has a knack for travel (what he calls vagabonding) and inspiring others to visit new places.

Read this quote from Mr. Potts:

Thus, the question of how and when to start vagabonding is not really a question at all. Vagabonding starts now. Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises.

There are a lot of gems in that excerpt, but I’m going to focus on this: “vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money.” Because he’s absolutely right!

Now I believe that you can travel for cheap and get scrappy. I’m all for that. But unless your daddy is bankrolling your trip, you still need to have some money saved—whether that’s a few hundred dollars for a short road trip or a few thousand for a three month stay abroad.

This is just basic supply and demand: If you want to travel, then you need to pay for the transportation and cost of living to do it.

And that’s where the travel fund comes in to save the day.

What’s A Travel Fund?

What’s a travel fund? Good question. It’s just a separate savings account that is dedicated solely to travel.

It stores every single penny that you’re eventually going to use for transportation and living expenses. And by keeping this travel money in a separate account, you protect it from being spent on regular day-to-day expenses.

That means you’re not mixing your checking account balance with your travel fund. You’re not mixing your regular savings with your travel savings.

No, the travel fund is its own savings account that’s only purpose is to save money for travel.

Now as much as this travel fund is used for function (which we’ll get into in the next section), it’s also a powerful symbol of your adventure. The more money in there, the closer you are to takeoff.

This symbolism will inspire you to save more money because you’re in control now of how soon you get to leave. For example, that expensive dinner won’t be as appealing anymore, because you’ll want to eat at home to save money and leave for your trip sooner.

Maybe most important, a travel fund gives you the freedom to have a great time overseas without going in debt or regretting your spending.

It’s much more enjoyable to spend an extra two weeks in Portugal to do more sightseeing than end your stay early because you don’t have the money.

I hope by now you see how powerful it is to set up a travel fund.

All that’s left to do is check out the best way to set up your own travel fund.

How To Save And Set Up A Travel Fund

travel-hack-fund

Like I wrote in my post titled Best Savings Account for 2017, if you want to get serious about saving your money, then you need to set up an automated system.

Nothing can compete with its efficiency. Set it up once, and then it’s a 100% hands off system that guarantees you’re making progress to save money.

Plus, it requires no willpower—where manually saving money is decision-heavy and often ineffective.

And here’s how this automated system specifically works for you and your travel fund. Once it’s set up, it goes like this:

  1. Your checking account receives income.
  2. The next day, your checking account automatically transfers money to a separate (different bank) savings account—aka your travel fund.
  3. Transfers repeat every month.
  4. You end up with a big, fat travel fund to see the world.

To get this automated travel fund set up, I personally use and recommend you set up a savings account through Capital One 360.

What I love about Capital One 360 is they have the highest quality customer service I’ve ever experienced with a bank. Plus, there are no fees or minimum balance required, their 0.75% interest rate is higher than most bank interest rates, and you can name your account.

The screenshot below shows my Capital One 360 travel fund and other funds.

capital-one-savings-account

Click here to set up your Travel Fund with Capital One 360.

Once you have an account and name it Travel, the next step is to go check the calendar date you normally receive your paycheck. Then schedule an automatic transfer for the day after you get paid (or two days after to be safe). And that’s it! You’re all set up.

Final Words

I think too many people overthink travel and take some enjoyment out of it in the process leading up to and during it.

Let’s make your life easier. This is all you need to do.

Do some research to figure out where you want to go and for how long (could take as little as 30 minutes). Roughly estimate how much you have to save to get there and live there (could take 30 more minutes). Save money (could take a few months or more). Go travel!

As a final send off, I’m going to highlight three more quotes that will get you to fall in love with travel:

  • “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
  • “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
  • “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

Related: My personal finance interview on SuperMoney.com

Brian Robben

Brian Robben is the founder of Take Your Success, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs grow a profitable business and reach freedom. His business lessons have helped hundreds of thousands of people transform their business and their lives.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I completely agree with the first quote you have Brian. I try to have at least 1 new experience a day and look to push myself to learn something new.

    Can you suggest a few locations for me to consider traveling to? I’ve never been outside the country.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I’ve only been out of the country for a few times, but I spent 6 weeks in Fiji and learned a ton.

      Anyway, I’d suggest you first visit the safest, friendliest, and cheapest countries, like Portugal, Morocco, or Thailand.

      If you go to places like Berlin, Paris, or London, it’s just like any other American city in my opinion. So you won’t grow much, if at all.

    2. Hey Eric!

      I am very glad that you are considering traveling for the first tie, it is the best thing money can buy 🙂 I lived in Europe until the age of 10 and go back regularly with a 4 month long stint in Eastern Europe coming up this year 🙂 🙂

      The best location depends on what you are looking to get out of traveling. I totally agree with Brian that you should go somewhere that is different than what you are familiar with, that is how you will grow the most and that’s what traveling is all about 🙂 Personally I would suggest Spain and Czech republic along with the suggestions that Brian made because they are cheap (beer is less than a $1 in Prague) and offer amazing sightseeing opportunities. I would suggest checking out Europe first because everything there is super close together and with one trip of 2-3 weeks you can see a whole bunch of places.

      Safe travels and if you need any other tips feel free to contact me, always love talking travel with people 🙂

      Cheers!

      1. Mitko is far more well-traveled compared to me, so I’m glad he introduced himself.

        Here’s his contact form if you have specific questions: http://www.mitkokarshovski.com/hi/

      2. Mitko, have you been to Prague? I’m going there this summer for study abroad. Do you have any tips or recommendations on what I should do?

        1. Hey Mark, I went to Prague for the first time last summer. It is an amazing place and has gone down as one of my favorite cities.

          If you like beer (like I do) then you have to check out U Fleku which one of the oldest breweries in Czechia…established in 1499. Even if you are not a beer fan I suggest going since the brewery is very charming and they serve great food 🙂

          The old town of Prague is gorgeous and very picturesque. For some amazing views of the city head up to the roof of the Kotva Department Store. You also have to check out the Karlov Bridge but be prepared for shoulder to shoulder traffic since it is one of the most popular destinations.

          Over my favorite thing about Prague is just the ambiance. The ability to stroll down the medieval streets and grab a beer or a coffee from a small cafe that just enough seating for 6 people…thats the Prague I fell in love with.

          Oh and its very cheap 🙂 If you would like more detailed tips and recommendations on where to stay etc. feel free to contact me 🙂

          Safe Travels!

  2. Its been a while since I’ve commented; hope you didn’t miss me too much Brian! I just opened a money market account with sallie mae bank to save up money for my study abroad trip to Prague this summer. I send 90% of my paycheck to that account and only 10% for current spending. Money market accounts make more interest than savings accounts, but your money is less accessible. My account makes 1.05% interest; however, you can only make 6 withdraws a month. I’m going to empty the account once I leave for Prague though. If you can, travel for extended periods of time. I spent 8 weeks in Tahiti for a summer, and my best memories were making and spending time with all my friends there.

    1. Roughly how much did you spend for the 8 weeks in Tahiti? That sounds like a blast!

      1. I can’t give you an accurate estimate. I lived on my uncle’s sail boat and ate his food; in return, I watched and played with his kids when he would go surfing and cycling. So my food, plane ticket, and lodging were all payed for.

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