How to save money for travelling
Ahhhh saving money for travel – what a topic! Well fellow Explorersaur, this post is laden and jammed and squished and rammed full of a whole heap of tricks and secrets all about saving money for travel. There are so many things in the back of our minds when it comes to saving – a mortgage, rainy day fun, house additions – there is just so much that often take priority and leaves the travel fund on the back burner; along with our lifestyles. If travelling is that one thing that gives you vibes and feelings, I think it definitely deserves it’s place in the saving fund! Today I’m here to tell you all about planning our your savings, and how to action it to pile up that cash. Save or bookmark this post to refer back to, and let’s get into it!
How much do you need?
The first step is always going to be finding out how much the trip will cost; a good ballpark will do. Are you saving for a years worth of hopping around Asia and exploring the great wide unknown? A month road tripping a new country? Perhaps you’re just saving for a weekend away in Winter. Whatever it may be, get those costings.
Where do you want to travel, and what do you want to do there? Check out how much return flights will be, trains and transport within the country, hotel cost per night (times by however many nights you plan to go for,) and so on. This can feel like a long process but the internet is stuffed full of so many helpful costings across countries. Knowing how much you will need to make your dream a reality can help you really action your savings and make it all more tangible. It also makes for a great plan to your travels so you can make sure you get all those things you really wanted to see done!
What I would say on this point, is to consider how much time vs money you will need. I bet most people would love to trek around national parks in America for a year, but if you had to turn this into 6 months and get in all the excursions and extras on your list, it could work out better for you. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it’s always worth considering time vs daily spend to see if you can make your trip even more enjoyable.
When do you need it for?
Set a date of travel so you have a deadline. Even if this is something set to change, it’s a really good way to keep your savings and budgets on track, as you can more easily see your progress whilst counting down. When you’ve set a date, divide however many months there are before travelling, with the rough price of your trip. For instance, if you needed to save £3000 and planned to travel a year and two months away, you would see you need to save £214.28 a month to make this a reality.
To add a note here, if you are planning to travel a year or more away, have a look at the different savings accounts your bank offers. A lot of banks offer a savings account where you cannot access the money for a year (without closing the account and receiving no interest), but the interest rates are a lot better than some of the other saver accounts. You should always create a savings sub-account of your bank so you can keep your travel money separate and not dig into it.
Make lifestyle changes
The first and potentially most important step, is to evaluate your spendings and make relevant lifestyle changes. If you’re not already saving every month – and I don’t think you’d be here if you were! – this will require sacrifice. Be sure to remind yourself what this is all for, and make plans and Pinterest boards about all the things you’ll do on your travels to make it worth it. To keep you going through the sacrifice, set aside a certain amount of money each month to treat yourself with – go for that dinner out and work to still enjoy the months you’re saving. Make more free choices – see friends at the beach or go for a picnic in the park, and if you also love a cocktail make sure you always pre-drink and don’t spend too much money if you go out. (I would just bring cash and not my cards or there is no stopping me!)
If you’re anything like Jack and I, a main outgoing cost will be food. We order takeaways more than I’d like to write online, and definitely aren’t always savvy shoppers when it comes to food shops! Saving money on food usually will entail cooking more and making smarter decisions. A lot of the cheaper things we think of when food shopping are to throw in the oven, but if you take some tinned beans, chopped tomatoes, frozen vegetables and pasta, you have a much better meal that will still cost you less than a pound per serving.
Be aware of your shopping and where you spend your money. Take a look at your debit/credit card statements for the last couple of months and really take note of where everything has gone. This is a really good way to tell where you’re overspending and helps make smarter decisions. Whether that be food, clothes, games or going out, cut that budget right down and stick to it. It will be worth it!
Earn an extra income
Assuming you’re working at the moment, try to pickup some extra shifts or see if you can work any overtime. If you’re not in work, look for a part time job or side hustle to help save some money for your travels. I’ve worked some very UNglamorous positions before, but when you’re saving for something meaningful and you know it has an end date, it helps add to the savings so much. If you’ve been at work for a while and you are deserving of it, see if there are any raise or progression opportunities with your employer. Obviously evaluate what you would day and if you’re in a good position to ask, but there’s no harm in seeing if you can do anything extra to help you on your way up!
Reevaluate your bills
Have a look at all your bills and see if anything can be reduced, or deleted. For instance, do you really need a Netflix, Now TV, and Amazon Prime subscription? (Talking to myself here, take note Emma!) Be ruthless and cull everything that you don’t really seriously need. It’s amazing how we become so used to spending all the money we have – even with a raise or extra income, it seems to just lead to more (sometimes unnecessary) spending and not more saving! When looking at your bills and outgoings, see if anything can be reduced. Ring your mobile phone provider and see if they can arrange a cheaper plan, and so on.
Sell all the things you don’t need
There are so many amazing stories of people selling everything and going on open ended travels in the world. This is obviously a huge extreme and isn’t for everyone, but look through all your things and sell everything you don’t use or need. The general rule is, if it hasn’t been used/worn in a year, you probably don’t need it. I tend to list things on eBay – but look out for the free selling events (where sales fees are capped), as they’ll take a much smaller margin of your sales. Facebook marketplace is a good shout for bulkier items that would need to be collected or delivered close by. There’s also something so zen in having a real de-clutter of everything you own and only keeping the things that actually matter! I know people who also raid car boot sales and buy cheap things to resell for more, which is always an option if you have the time and don’t mind frequent trips to the post office. (I’m on a first name, how’s the wife? basis with my Post Office people haha!)
There are a whole bunch of apps to help set budgets and track your savings too. I haven’t found the perfect one for me yet, but have a Google of all the different options available and see if there’s one to suit you! Let me know if you have any tips to add, and keep an eye on this page for updates and new tricks along the way!