How to Boost Your Travel Budget for 2022

Traveler with credit card in mountains

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Want to travel more in the coming year? Here's how to swing it financially.

Key points

  • Setting priorities and getting a second job could leave you with more money to travel.
  • It also pays to use the right credit cards when booking your travel.

A lot of people traveled more in 2021 than they did in 2020. That made sense given the trajectory of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

But you may have the goal of traveling even more in 2022 than you did this year. Maybe you've been waiting for your children to get vaccinated to do more traveling. Or maybe you needed to wait out the shaky economy. Either way, if you want to scrounge up more money for travel in the new year, here are three tips worth following.

1. Rework your general budget

Ideally, you should be following a budget that maps out your various expenses during the year, from rent to car payments to utilities and grocery bills. If you want to eke out more travel funds in the new year, you may need to revise your budget and reduce your spending in certain categories.

Imagine you currently spend $300 a month on entertainment and leisure, including gym classes, concerts, cable, and streaming services. Cut down on spending by $80 a month, and you'll have almost $1,000 more to work with when you're ready to book your trips.

2. Pick up a side hustle

The great thing about getting a side hustle is that the money you earn will be extra. As such, you probably won't need it to pay your rent or auto loan -- that's what your regular paycheck is there for. And so, you may have a pretty easy time allocating the bulk of your side hustle earnings to travel.

Of course, that begs the question -- what side gig should you get? To figure that out, research the travel destinations on your list and try to figure out what your various trips will cost. Once you have that information, you can set some income goals and then explore side hustles that are likely to help you meet them.

3. Use credit cards strategically

The more money your credit cards are able to help you save, the more cash you'll be able to put toward travel in 2022. First, make sure you're using the right cards for everyday purchases. If there's a card that offers extra cash back for things like groceries and fill-ups at the pump, that's a card worth utilizing often because you can use that cash back for travel purposes.

Next, once you're ready to start booking trips, see what perks you'll enjoy by using your travel rewards card. And if you don't have one of these cards already but plan to do a lot of traveling in the new year, consider applying for one. Travel cards tend to come with money-saving benefits like free checked luggage on flights.

Though it did get easier for some people to travel in 2021, the hope is that things will improve even more in 2022. If you're planning to hit the road or take to the skies a lot in the new year, make these moves to boost your travel budget -- and buy yourself the freedom to explore the places you've always dreamed of.

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