*All of these suggestions are legal! No holding up a bank, folks.
I’m leading my first international yoga retreat EVER to Bali, Indonesia this October 10-17, in partnership with The Travel Yogi! This is very exciting. It also costs money. Approximately $3k will cover everything on this 8-day trip to the other side of the world except for your flight, travel insurance, and incidentals. See details on this truly fabulous trip, Elevate and Connect in Bali here.
Payment in full for this trip is due in July. A $500 deposit secures your spot now. So, how can you afford this trip? Here are eight tips.
Start With the Basics.
Tip 1: Big Picture – Create a spreadsheet of all anticipated costs and look at current savings
- Costs include the trip package itself, plus flights, travel insurance, souvenirs, snacks, and any items you’d need to purchase prior to the trip in your country of departure. (I’ll publish a suggested packing list in one of my next posts!) I then suggest budgeting $500 extra for any unexpected situations.
- Check how much money you currently have in savings and how much you can or already are comfortably putting aside each month for general travel this year.
Tip 2: Airfare – Set up a Google Flight Email alert to find the best value flight
- https://www.google.com/flights. If you live in Atlanta, you would search ATL (Atlanta airport) to DPS (Denpasar airport in Bali). Things to keep in mind:
- You’ll need a minimum of $1,100 for the flights. Booking sooner is generally more cost-effective than waiting to book. Luckily, we are not traveling during peak season.
- Choose your travel dates wisely, remember you are going to lose at least one day to travel; we are going to the other side of the world!
- Select “Track Prices” to get an email alerting you when flight prices change.
- Do you prefer flying a certain airline, such as Delta? Check “Skyteam” from the Airline dropdown to get a Delta or partner flight.
- Decide which direction around the world you want to go and whether you’d like to stop in any other cities or countries on your trip. Going west? Most routes will have 1-2 stops either on the west coast of the U.S. and/or in South Korea, Hong Kong, or Japan. Going east? You might have a layover in Doha, Qatar.
Tip 3: Use your tax refund
- Do you expect to receive a tax refund? Put that right into your savings account as soon as it arrives. Did you know that you can file your taxes for free online? 70% of Americans qualify and thanks to a new IRS rule tax sites have to show you how!
Tip 4: Use credit cards to earn points (or use existing points)
- There are so many options these days when it comes to earning points and miles via credit cards. I have several personal cards (AMEX, Chase) and just got approved for a small business Chase credit card.
- Use the best credit card for a given purchase. Do you know if you are getting the best rewards from your purchases? Cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 1.5% back on all purchases but you could be missing out on more rewards if you are booking travel or restaurants. Check out https://onemileatatime.com/best-travel-credit-cards/ to see if you are maximizing your cards.
Tip 5: Check out cashback/online portals
- Sites like https://www.cashbackmonitor.com/ allow you to get rewards for making purchases at your favorite stores through a shopping portal. Many airlines and credit cards reward top points for using visiting their site first, like https://www.skymilesshopping.com/ for Delta.
Revisit tried-and-true methods.
Tip 6: Pay yourself first – in this case, your savings account
- You know this, but when you get paid each month, pay yourself first. Then tackle the bills. Then whatever is left over, use as you see fit!
- Create a budget and see where your money goes, or at least sign up for mint.com and let the site track it for you. You might be surprised to learn where some of your money is going (I sure was, when I started seriously budgeting for trips a few years ago!).
Tip 7: Pare down
- What subscription and streaming services are you not using, or use infrequently? Could they be cancelled or paused for a few months? Pausing and taking turns with those subscriptions you keep active at any given time can save you real money.
- Save on food, eat quality. Pack your lunch, cook at home, make a coffee with your favorite toppings that you buy at the store or market in advance or in bulk, rather than eating out on the regular or going to the coffeeshop. My husband and I are late to the Costco game, but it has really saved us a lot of money in the last seven months since we got our membership in preparation for a trip to Hawaii, where we cooked and ate almost exclusively at our AirBnB. Even though we’re just a household of two people, buying in bulk for certain items really makes sense for us, from hummus to frozen veggie burgers to tissues.
Tip 8: Do something you love to earn $ on the side
- For example, I work a full time job, teach three regular yoga classes per week on the side, and have several other gigs at any given time (tutoring kids, translating documents, leading workshops and retreats, etc.). I choose to do things that allow for flexibility in scheduling and that don’t add to my level of stress – they’re certainly work (time + energy), but I enjoy doing them. This allows me not only to make my student loan payments that are leftover from grad school on time, but to get way ahead of them. It also allows me to travel on one “big” trip per year and several weekend trips. I can even occasionally shop at Whole Foods. 😛
I hope some of these tips are helpful! This yoga retreat in Bali will truly be the experience of a lifetime (itinerary here). I would absolutely love for you to join me on this authentic retreat to Bali this October! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.