Starting a Next Adventure Travel Fund!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you know we’ve been exploring Chicago this week!

But that doesn’t mean I’m not always thinking about the next adventure! 😉

Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

One of the biggest excuses people make for not traveling (and rightfully so), is it’s expensive. Between flights, hotels, attractions, and eating out…the cost of a vacation can add up quick. Sometimes it seems easier to just say “forget it” and spend that money on tangible things at home.

But please don’t say that…that breaks my heart. Because the older I get (yes, I’m 28, which is very old), the more I realize that the whole “collect moments, not things” saying really does have a lot of truth to it. For us, some of our best memories have been made in a completely new place, when we’ve been pushed outside our comfort zones, experiencing something totally different and unique together.

Enter the adventure fund

While Matt and I were making plans for our trip to Paris and Berlin back in 2012, we cleaned out an empty French wine bottle to serve as our savings jar. We had already bought our plane tickets and booked our Airbnb, but we thought we might be able to at least save up enough money to cover some of our expenses while over there (food, souvenirs, train tickets, etc.). Little by little over the next 9 months, we socked away every spare chunk of cash we came upon. Sold something around the house? In the jar. Bought lunch for a friend and they paid you back in cash? In the jar. Didn’t use all the money you took out of the ATM? In the jar. You get the idea.

Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

It was amazing and exciting to watch it grow before our eyes; even more exciting because we didn’t really know how much would be in there (the advantage of using a wine bottle; you really can’t get the money back out once it’s in there!) At the end of the 9 months, we (carefully) smashed open the wine bottle to find that we had accumulated over $800! $800 of cash that we probably would have otherwise frivolously spent away, not knowing where it had gone. Suddenly we realized maybe we might have more room in our budget for travel than we’d originally thought.

The next adventure

Fast forward 3 years later and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our next big adventure. Evelyn is getting to an age where she’s a bit easier to travel with and doesn’t require quite as much extra stuff, so I’ve started putting a little bug in Matt’s ear about where I think we should go next. And it’s an exciting one. It’s a place we visited not all that long ago for our honeymoon and has been calling us back ever since.

Yes, Mexico! It may sound like a “cliche” destination, but there’s just something about it I love. Maybe it’s the friendly people, the gorgeous landscape, the delicious food…or all of the above. You really can’t go wrong with Mexico. I’ve got my sights set on the Riviera Maya next time around: Tulum and/or Playa del Carmen to be exact. Doesn’t this look amazing??

Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

Putting the plan into action

I’m not quite sure when or if this trip will happen, but I do know that I am feeling pretty excited about the prospect, and that’s what’s most important! So I thought it was about time we got our next adventure fund going!

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Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

I’m not really a crafty person AT ALL, but I put together a cute little savings jar in literally 10 minutes. All you need is:

  • a large jar (preferably wide-mouth, so you don’t have to shatter it later to get your money out!). I found this one at Michael’s for $5!
  • a printer and regular copy paper
  • label maker
  • jute twine

Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

And voila!

I printed a photo of Tulum beach and carefully placed it along the back side of the jar (you can put a little double sided tape on the back if needed to hold it there). Every time I see our adventure fund, that beautiful beach will only be added motivation to make it a reality soon.

Now to start saving!

Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

What do you think? Not too shabby for someone with zero DIY skills, if I do say so myself.

Happy Travels!

Read Next: 10 Realistic Ways to Cut Your Travel Expenses

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Start a DIY travel fund and watch your money grow! // How to Afford Family Travel | Cheap Travel with Kids | Travel Savings | DIY Savings Jar | Save for Travel

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