Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Prioritizing travel plans

barcelona06For the past three months I’ve been quietly saving money for a potential trip in the fall. Thanks to a bit of freelance income, automatic bi-weekly deductions, and Tangerine Bank referral bonuses, I’ve managed to save just over $2,300 – with a goal to end up with about $3,500 by mid-September.

With my freelancing this year, whenever I receive a cheque in the mail, I’ve been using the Tangerine Bank app to deposit the money via Cheque-In. I’ll put away at least 25% of every cheque towards my Travel Fund, and the rest gets transferred over to my PC Financial account to spend/save like I normally would. It has worked out so well that I think I’ll keep doing this going forward, and that will ensure that I always have a bit of money in my account specifically earmarked for travel.

I’ve also got about $700 in Capital One Travel World Aspire Mastercard points, so I’ll have a total of about $4,200 to play with for this Europe trip. I don’t think I’m going to need that much, but I’d rather plan for it than end up without enough cash to do all of the things I’d like to do.

A flight will be about $1,200. Accommodation for 14-15 nights might come out to around $1,200 as well (estimating $80 per person/night using hotel/b&b/AirBnB). Then there’s food, entertainment, travel, etc. which I don’t think will come out to more than $1,800.

It’s a bit tricky to estimate how much everything besides the flight will cost. All we know is that we’re going to Europe, and we’ll either start or end our journey in Paris. We’ve been talking about heading south and going to Spain, because in the end of September the weather will be nicer there instead of going north to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which was the original plan.

This trip means that I won’t be able to do a few other things that I had wanted to do this year. A tentative trip to Edmonton next month is likely going to fall through. As is our Canada Day long weekend idea of going to the Okanagan. We had also talked about potentially going to Las Vegas with another couple in August, but doubt that will happen either. These axed vacation plans will likely get replaced with more local trips – camping, fishing, hiking, and going back to the island. :)

Do you have summer travel plans that you’re currently saving up for?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. That sounds like a great way to spend your extra income. This summer I will be travelling to Hong Kong and I’m excited about that. I went to Europe a couple summers ago and had a blast. We backpacked for about a month and ended up seeing 6 countries. My favourite city was probably London (tons of interesting things to do there) and Florence, Italy (best pizza ever)

  2. I don’t currently have any travel plans except going to FinCon in September. Travel is really important to me, even though I’m paying off debt. I have a travel savings fund that I throw a little money at each month. I just got back from the Oregon coast, which was pretty frugal and fun! You’ve saved up quite a bit and your travel plans sounds fun.

  3. Cassie says:

    That’s unfortunate that your Edmonton trip is probably going to fall through :( I was looking forward to meeting up with you again.

    I have a trip to Rome and Santorini booked in July. We have to book a couple more hotels, but other than that it’s all ready to go!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Oh I know! Was looking forward to seeing you again too. Who knows, we might still end up going. But it’s a bit hard to justify the cost of the flight if we are only going to be there for a weekend.

      Can’t wait to hear about your Rome/Santorini trip! Never got to Santorini, but it looks just beautiful. :)

  4. Having just done the whole “get married in Maui” this past March, travel further than my commute to work will be nonexistent. That all said, I like your plan to save and set aside money for travel and may copy it. :D

  5. I’m playing with the idea of Australia/NZ next year…

    • Krystal Yee says:

      FUN! I’ve been wanting to go to Australia too, since my cousin moved down there a few years ago. How long would you go for?

  6. Ms. Mintly says:

    I just wrote a post on saving up for a trip in 2015! Very timely – I added a link to this post :)

  7. I think I’m doing Europe with my parents next Fall. Tentative itinerary includes London, Paris, and Italy (Venice, Rome, and Cinque Terre?). Very excited.

  8. CanadianSaver says:

    I am doing Prague, Krakow and Berlin this year… it’s a lot in 15 days but I think they fit well together (4 hour train trip from Prague to Berlin, short flight from Berlin to Krakow). I always have the travel bug, and I get antsy if I don’t have a trip planned………

    Good idea to go to Spain rather than head north… we were in Scandinavia and Estonia late Sept- early October last year and had to buy mittens, it got so cold… brrr. Still fun but not what I expected :)

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