How to save money to travel with Trek America

As I write this post its the 16th of April, my 25th Birthday, and just 64 days until I travel to the USA for an epic road trip around several of America’s eastern states with Trek America.  I’m incredibly excited to visit so many amazing places such as The White House in Washington DC, The Country and Western Bars in Nashville, the world’s biggest theme park – Cedar Point and the thundering Niagara Falls.

Nashville panorama Kaldari 01

The Nashville skyline.

One thing I’ve been reading about recently is how to save money to travel.  A recent blog post I’ve read about this was from

When I first took the plunge and decided I wanted to travel to the USA, I wanted to make sure the trip was affordable as possible.  I’m no longer a student, and I’m lucky enough to have a decent income from my job, but with a total trip cost of almost £3000 including extra nights in the pre and post tour hotels, insurance, flights and spending money, theirs no denying that taking on a trip like this doesn’t come cheap.

How to make this affordable!

My number one piece of advice to manage the cost of traveling is to plan!  Book your trek well in advance – I committed to the trip over a year before departure.  Trek America let you book trips a year ahead.  This is great for planning and spreading the cost.  Choose your trip, pay the deposit (about £125), and commit!  This will give you something to look forward to and enable you to start to pay of the trek gradually instead of being stuck with a big lump sum.

Once you have booked your Trek,  once a month make a payment.  Trek America’s online booking system lets you pay in installments.  I paid up about £100 – £200 each month on pay day until the balance was paid.  Using this method of paying in installments, I had the Trek, and flights, paid in full about 6 months prior to the Trek!  Paying in installments means the money is safely paid up on the trek and your not tempted to spend it on other things!

With regards to flights, I booked mines direct through Trek America, who can organize flights as part of a package for UK residents.  Trek America’s flights are good value.  Although mines came in at about £50 more expensive than my cheapest flight on SkyScanner, you only have to pay a deposit, and again can pay the flights up.  If you really want to watch the budget, book the cheapest flight you can find, but bear in mind you will probably need to pay in full and probably wont be able to change your dates.   Scheduled flights are typically released 10 months in advance.

With 6 months between the point of paying off the trip and departure, my next goal became (and still is) to save approximately £1000 spending money to cover costs while away, such as the food kitty, optional activities and general day to day costs.

In order to do this, I ordered a dollar currency card from FairFX which Trek America recommend.  When you order through this link you will get a free card (usual cost £9.95). I have been topping up this card with about £200 per month to achieve my target.  I find that the moneys better in the account as it means I can’t get tempted to spend it on other stuff.

That’s essentially how I’ve managed the costs of traveling, planning in advance and paying monthly installments on pay day.  With this method, it doesn’t seem that overwhelming a cost and hasn’t left me stressed wondering how I’m going to afford it.  Of course, you could offload the money into a savings account, save up and book a late deal, but that requires will power not to spend the money your saving! – at least with my way theirs no chance of that happening.  If you do have the will power, Trek often have good late deals, and I’ve seen sales at spring and Christmas.

I’m already thinking about my next Trek and I haven’t even completed my first… I think I’ve caught the travel bug!

 

 

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