Surely, any aspiring traveler wouldn't want their "show money" to literally be just "for show."

We've heard this story before: a bakasyonista blinded by the words "Piso fare" who impulsively booked a seat sale to somewhere abroad, only to run out of cash so close to the trip. 

To make sure you can go on the trip you planned, let Sun Life Financial Advisor Patricia Lucero teach you the basics of pinching your pesos while preparing to satisfy your wanderlust.

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Set definite goals

Everything will begin with determining the specific travel destination and purpose of the trip. Patricia cited a number of chief considerations that will give you an estimate of the expenses, plus how much extra is needed: "Airfare, accommodation, and attractions (how much), not to mention sustenance, stay (how long), and shopping."

The budget also varies with your reason—to shop or tour—and the number of people flying out (if you're alone or going as a group). Try to read up on DIY travel blog entries to know where to go for cheap foods and finds.

Set a timeline

Just like in those viral challenges, a calendar to record your savings up to the date of departure will be quite useful. "Para malaman mo kung magkano 'yung kailangang itabi every cutoff or payday," she says. Starting near the finish line will require double the effort in being thrifty. (Like living off of P100 a day, perhaps?)

Preparing in advance and sticking to a schedule also highlights the importance of setting up an emergency fund, so you don't have to resort to making deductions from your travel allocation in case of an unexpected crossroad.

Practice delayed gratification

At the end of the day, financial willpower is key when setting money aside for anything. Lucero explains, "Isipin mo delayed gratification. Tipid muna ngayon para sa trip o kung ano man 'yung pinaglalaanan ng pera."


Control the urge to spend lavishly on food, clothes, luxuries, and even trends—stuff that you can most likely enjoy on foreign soil. There's nothing wrong with settling for packed lunch and coffee packets to get by in the office.

The same concept applies when it comes to saving up whether for travel, a house, car, business, or retirement. "Basta dapat goal-oriented at disciplined ka," she ends.

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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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