Traveling is expensive! I’ve been leading my frugal, money saving life for quite sometime now, yet I still don’t have quite enough. My dream is to see the world – not just the usual Thailand and southeast Asia, I want to see everything!
The first goal is to travel round Europe. Then in the future I will travel to Africa, Asia and Australia, Antarctica,and then finish up somewhere in North or South America. But first Europe!
So how on earth do you start saving and preparing to travel? Unlike a holiday, in which you save for a few months of the year. Traveling is like ALL the holidays rolled into one long
Here are my 14 top tips for saving enough money to travel!
Earn, Earn, Earn!!
Look online at ways to make money! There are tons! You can start a blog, become a mystery shopper, sell your stuff on ebay. There are loads of ways to make money online. I’ve recently started Matched Betting and you can read all about how to get started on my review.
However, don’t just think about making money online. Take up a second job, maybe a supermarket? That way you not only get paid, you get awesome discounts, and reduced produce at the end of your shifts, meaning you also save money on grocery shopping. WIN WIN!
Leafleting is another way to make money, yes it’s an annoying job! But it will keep you fit & active, you can manages your own time, enjoy the sunshine, and you can EARN EARN EARN!!
At times when you’re struggling to remember why you’re working so hard…. Why you’re staying up so late….. Why you’re grocery shopping consists of mismatched yellow stickers…. It’s easy to give up saving and get some instant gratification.
A clothes shopping binge, a weekend getaway, a spa day. But these “instant gratifications” will ultimately make you feel worse. You will feel like you’ve failed at saving for your ULTIMATE dream for just 5 minutes of satisfaction.
Keep yourself motivated!
Above my computer I have a giant map which I’ve coloured & highlighted! And around my map I have beautiful photos from all the places I really want to visit.
THAT is my motivation. At 2am when I’ve spent all night working, and typing away! I look up at my collage and I realise one day it will all be worth it!
Set Your Goals
Setting Saving goals is another way to keep yourself motivated and on target. Start with your long term goal and break it down into small, easily manageable goals.
For example: My long term goal is to save enough money to travel around the world and visit every country. But if I break it down my short term goal is to save enough money to travel around europe. You could even break it down further – “I want to save enough money to book my flights to Paris” you catch my drift?
Once you start achieving your small goals you will feel a sense of achievement and realisation that you are on the right track to hit your long term goals!
Separate Your Income
You don’t want all the money you’ve been saving to get mixed up with your normal current account and then realise you’ve actually cut into your savings quite significantly.
Create a savings account! A lot of banks will let you create an online account within your usual online banking specifically for savings! Give it a cool name. Top it up often (weekly or monthly) and DO NOT EVER TOUCH IT! Unless it’s travel related of course!
Luxury Food And Coffee
When I see my friends, who tell me they are always so poor and can’t afford to live drinking a starbucks coffee, it really infuriates me! Coffee shops are a luxury and should not be entered when trying to save. Think about how much money you would save if you put your coffee fund into savings. A lot right?
The same goes for shop bought lunches. A Marks and Spencer lunch may look more appealing than your tupperware’d salad but the price tag is not always so appealing.
Pick up some reduced fruit and salad at the end of the shopping day and make your own frugal salad for work instead.
Cut Down On Utility Bills
Do you really need the heating on every morning at 5? No! Turn it off, save the environment (and your bank balance). If it gets cold in the day add a few more layers on.
Do you need to use the oven and the hob every night? Could you have a cold meat & salad meal for tea instead?
Do you need 6 cups of coffee? Boiling the kettle that amount of times isn’t ideal for your electric bill.
How about lights? Do you leave any on? TV’s on standby?
Shut it down!! Try and cut your gas and electricity bills in half.
Give Up Things
It’s rare that I ever tell people to give up things they enjoy. However, if that thing is smoking then 1000000% give it up!
I gave up a few years ago and realised it’s possibly the biggest money drain I ever had, It smells, it’s dirty and it’s just not that classy!
You can give up other things to. Drinking, the gym, eating out. All these things cost extortionate amounts of money and it’s really not necessary. You can enjoy yourself without drinking, you can cook a great meal at home and you can exercise in the park instead of the gym.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
Do you really need a car? Does the cost of insurance, MOT, fuel and tax work out cheaper than buying a bike, or getting the bus to work?
Of course if you live in a rural area with 2 buses a day then having a car is a bit of a necessity but if you live in a town or city with great public transport links you should really consider ditching the car and the unnecessary costs which come with it.
The same goes for your TV subscription. Are you paying for Sky? Virgin? BT? Do you even watch the TV that much, could you stream the TV you want to watch instead?
Think about your expenses hard and think about what you can eliminate. Then use the money you save to add to your savings account!
No “New Look” For Your New Look
I understand that you’re going to want a new wardrobe for your travels. But, saving money and new clothes don’t really go hand in hand. I actually dread clothes shopping these days because I spend hours roaming shops, looking at price tags and then shrieking in horror! £35 for high street label is just absurd!
Head to your local charity shop. When I was younger charity shops had such a bad rep for only having “old lady clothes” but these days more and more younger people are jumping on the charity shop hype. With the new “Vintage Chic” phase everyone will want to know where you bought your new dress….you don’t have to tell them….if you’re really that embarrassed.
However, I find being able to brag about my £3 coat that no one else will be able to find pretty GREAT
Keeping Bad Company
You may have been friends since primary school. That doesn’t mean she’s a good friend. A friend who doesn’t support you and tries to convince you to go out every weekend is not the kind of person you want to associate yourself with.
Try and distance yourself from the negative influencers in your life. People that try and convince you that you’re boring and lame are the people that will be looking at photos of your trip wishing they were smart enough to save and do something like that.
Instead they were the people who tried to convince you to spend your money with them!
Looking For A New Backpack?
Try looking online at places like Freecycle, Ebay and Gumtree. Ex backpackers will be just as frugal as you and if they’re not planning on going traveling again for a while they will be selling out their old stuff! Keep your eye in the game.
It may also be worth joining a through travelers chats, reading a few blogs, joining twitter. Sometimes there will be giveaways and competitions for you to pick up some traveling gold!
Plan Plan Plan:
It’s easy while you’re away to get carried away, drink and party every night but without a strict plan and budget you’ll soon have to return home, skint and hungover! Make sure before you go, you’ve got all your finances in gear, you don’t want any unexpected bills to bankrupt you while you’re away.
Plan your daily budget AND DON’T GO OVER IT! Of course, there’s always going to be unexpected expenses, and they always crop up when you least expect it, but if you have an awsome plan and budget then you will have emergency money to cover these.
So before you start spending, make sure you know how much you need to save! Plan Your itinerary and add up ALL the costs.
Book WELL In Advance!
Now that you’ve written your plan, you should know exactly where you’re heading, and if you’ve already got a money pot filled then you should know when! Booking in advance is a VITAL money saving technique! Train’s, Buses, Ferries, Planes are all guilty of increasing their prices the closer a date gets. A recent study says the best time to buy a plane ticket is 47 days before and for Train tickets, they advise 12 weeks in advance.
It’s also worth looking into splitting your journey and buying separate tickets. A lot of the time it’s cheaper to sit and wait at a train station for 30 minutes than it is to get a direct train. Check it out. You could save loads. I’ve also found that traveling half way by coach and another half by train can also save loads.
Dodgy Exchange Rate
Exchanging your hard earned cash at the airport, train station, hotel, on your ferry is ALWAYS a no go. You WILL 100000% get ripped off! Of course the exchange rate fluctuates soo much these days, sometimes you don’t know when the best time to convert will be.
My advice is to get yourself a Travel exchange card like Caxton. These cards are easy to top up and you can view the exchange rate on your phone or online before you do.
I top mine up before I go anywhere and I don’t take cash with me. Most airports have cash points these days and almost everybody takes plastic (it might be worth checking this if you’re going to somewhere that isn’t so up to date).
There’s really no need to cue at the post office for your euros anymore. Plus it’s so convenient to refill if you run out of money (This won’t happen if your plan and budget are on point!)
So these are the top 14 money saving tips I’m currently following myself! Hopefully it won’t be long till I can achieve my dream and travel the world!
Have I missed anything? Let me know if you have any other money saving tips, you think I should add to the list!