It seem that the excuse used most often by people who want to travel but say they can’t is that they don’t have enough money. And yes, while travel can be expensive (VERY expensive once you add up all the flight, insurance and accommodation costs), it can often actually work out cheaper than if you were to just stay at home. I spend far less while I’m travelling than I do living it up in London, and I’m not really a particularly frugal backpacker either! So enough with the excuses, if you want to travel, get your thinking cap on and start working on ways to save. It might take you 6 months, or it might take you 6 years to save up what you think you’ll need, but if travelling is truly what you want to do, then I can assure you that it’ll be worth it. To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to save money for travel, or at least, the ways that have worked for me!
1. Set a Goal. Work out how long you want to travel for, where you’re going to go and when you want to leave. I would suggest that the average amount you’ll spend is about £1000 per month, but this will vary massively depending on what countries you’re visiting. In SE Asia you can probably halve that, but in Europe or Australia you might need a bit more. So try to add up all your possible costs (it doesn’t have to be exact) and then add a couple of grand to that for a nice cushion for when you want to do that skydive or hot air balloon ride!
2. Open a savings account. This sounds like a very boring, grown up thing do to but I assure you that it’s a better way to save than just keeping all your money in you main account – it’s just far too easy to spend if it’s grouped with the rest of your money. Set up an online savings account with your bank (most banks have one that will give you more interest then longer you don’t withdraw anything from it) and set up a weekly or monthly deposit of whatever you feel you can afford. It could merely be £20 per month to start with… it all adds up in the end! Or if banks are too boring, why not start a travel jar fund too? Put all your small change in there and after a year see how much you’ve saved!
3. Set yourself a budget. You might be surprised at how strict you’ll get with yourself once you’ve set a spending limit for the week or month. Work out how much you earn vs how much your usual outgoings are and then each week try to spend a little less than the week before.
4. Stick to that budget! Obviously there might be the occasional week where it’s hard to stick to a budget – you’ve got to go to a birthday party which means buying a present and a new outfit and wine etc etc etc, but for the most part, try to be super strict and keep reminding yourself why you’re saving.
5. Stop eating/drinking/partying out. Yes, this saving malarkey might seem like it’s going to turn you into a friendless boring person who never ventures outside your house except to go to work, but there are other ways to enjoy yourself. Stay in and watch a movie, pre-drink with your friends so you don’t spend as much in the bars or have a dinner party and cook at home. Also just be aware of the small spending on things like coffees or water while you’re out (just take a thermos of coffee or a water bottle out with you from home)…it all adds up rather quickly!
6. Stop buying things you don’t need. You won’t be able to fit most of them in your backpack anyway! If you absolutely have to buy things, then stave off your shopping cravings by making purchases that will help you on your travels. Buy a new backpack, or a great camera for your travel memories, but no, you don’t need another handbag or that really lovely pair of shoes. You’ll be carrying loose change in your pocket and walking barefoot on the sand soon enough!
7. Sell your stuff. Most likely you’re going away for a while so you can probably get rid of A LOT of your stuff. Do a car boot fair or have a yard sale, and get rid of the rest on eBay… you’d be surprised how much people will pay for all your old crap!
8. Keep your eye on the prize. Get brochures or do some online research about the places you’re going to be visiting and use all that extra time spent at home to start preparing and just get excited!
Do you have a hard time saving for your travels? What are some other tried and tested methods of save money for an upcoming trip?