How to save money for travelling

 

That dream trip that you've been thinking of taking can in some cases feel like just a dream BUT it doesn't have to.  We all want to have enough money in the bank to go on a long haul holiday, or to travel around the world, but more often than not we think we need more money than we actually do.  We also have this way of spending way beyond our means in our everyday lives. That old saying of "living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget" isn't far away for a lot of us - but what that does mean is that there are so many simple and easy ways to cut spending where it isn't necessary, and really start to see your bank balance climb closer to being able to book those flights, and that dream holiday.

driving a power boat on lake como

Let's start saving for the dream trip
 
To start saving money to go on a trip, the first thing you need to do is to list ALL the expenses you have in the month. How much you spend in rent or on your mortgage payment, the expense of running your car, insurances (life, accident, car, home etc), telephone/mobile bill, internet/cable TV, travel, nights out, trips, clothes, food etc. Nothing can be left out. The best way to do this is to sift through the last month on your bank statement (I do this online) and add up everything to get your total monthly spend.
 
Doing this often results in a shock realisation at how much you actually spend on the things you do not need. With that list, you should then make a new one with two columns. One column should be titled "Needs" - that is everything that you need to live on, such as spending on food. Basically necessities to live your life. The other column should be headed up, extras/ additional/ supplementary, however you best understand a word to mean to you; "I don't need to spend money on this now".  This column will consist of all those things you can do without, like a subscription to Netflix for example. 
 
After this you will have a true reflection of how much money you need to live on over a monthly basis. And let's not fool ourselves; mobile phones, TV and Cable etc are not necessary expenses. Not if you want to manage your spending to travel the world anyway.   I need those things, but you may be able to do without them for a period of time, and with that save a hell of a lot of money in the process.

valencia beach in Spain

Having this list will mean that you can really discipline yourself, and give yourself that focus to manage your expenditure not just for flights and accommodation, but also for spending money once you arrive in your destination/s.  It'll also mean that you wont have to borrow from the bank of Mum & Dad and can be truly independent and free of any bank loans or credit cards.
 
With the list, only you can study it and know what expenses to cut. Many people would rather make savings with their food bill, as opposed to cutting out monthly subscriptions for example. The key here is to test yourself to really try and make what savings you can make, as this can ultimately go a long way towards taking and having that dream trip.

Fountain display in Vietiene, Laos, South East Asia

Cut Your Expenses and Travel Around the World 

Here are a couple of other ideas to help save money for travelling:

Flat Share  - One of the biggest expenses we each have is in the rental or mortgage payment of our houses or flats. If you have a free room in your home you can always get someone to share the expenses; a friend, family member or acquaintance.  There is always someone looking for a place to live and this can be a great solution and save up to 50% of your living expenses, because they'll be contributing to your biggest outgoing.

Houses on Inle lake in Myanmar, South East Asia

Cooking  - Some love it, some simply don't have enough time to do it.  Nevertheless it is an excellent way to save money and to take better care of your health too. Look out for recipes and tips on the internet/social media instead of heading for the nearest takeaway or sushi bar. It is a great feeling to eat well, healthy and save money all at the same time. 
 
Saving through Food strategies
 
1. Every Sunday of each week, make a plan of what you intend to eat at lunch and dinner for the rest of the week ahead. With that information you then know exactly what ingredients you’ll need. And thanks to that, you should only need to go to the supermarket once a week.  Hopefully. 
 
2. On weekends when you have more time, you can make enough food and freeze it. For example, sauces to accompany pasta dishes, then it's just a matter of taking them out and in 10 or 15 min you have what is essentially a tasty home cooked ready meal. 

 3.  Don’t be afraid to shop around, check out other supermarkets, look for deals, reduced items and generally be more savvy with your food budget. 
 
The Main Areas you can Save
 
Electricity  - Replace bulbs with low consumption ones, if they are LED, then all the better. Lower the temperature of your boiler and turn it on only when you are going to use it. Do not leave lights and appliances on if you are not using them. Bingo. Money saved on electricity bill.
 
SKY TV and other services  - Is this really necessary? Could you manage with Freeview and the internet/youtube? Perhaps in the weeks leading up to a holiday or travelling more longterm, you could put these kinds of subscriptions on hold. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll save. 
 
Phone  - Do you still have a landline? This is another item that can be cancelled, and replaced with just a mobile. That way you avoid having to pay two phone bills. Who uses a landline these days anyway?!
 
Mobile  - Look for the best plans out there that suit your usage style. Compare all offers and see if you can get a more cost effective one, than your current plan. Remember to make the most of apps like whatsapp for free messages & calls over wifi. 
 
Car  - Maintaining a car is quite expensive. There’s taxes, petrol, insurance, maintenance, repair, among others. A good tip is to try to avoid using your car as much as you can, to save on petrol.  Who knows, maybe you can sell it to boost your bank balance and take the bus.  Sacrifices have to be made.
 
Shopping  - If you can avoid being in shopping areas than this will massively help you in your quest to save money to travel.  Remember anything that you spend in the shops could have been used towards your travels and experiences, and lets face it experiences are SO much better than material things. If you absolutely need to shop and there is no way to resist temptation, then look at internet shopping with free delivery for some of the best deals on the market.
 
You can also buy from discount sites that are fashionable like Groupon, or purchase second hand products through the classifieds, Gumtree or Ebay
 
Credit Card - There are many credit cards that allow you to generate air miles or points which can then be exchanged for tickets, hotel nights or other discounts.  Try to pay all your bills and expenses using your card. That way you will accumulate points quickly and they can be used on flights.  Win win. 
 
Subscribe to newsletters  - While receiving lots of emails with deals we usually aren’t interested in is annoying, it can prove to be a good option when saving. Sign up for airline newsletters, hotel chains, and travel related businesses and destinations you want to visit. That way you will be aware of the best offers first-hand, and find out about all the flight & hotel error fares,saving you tons of cash.  
 
Couchsurfing  - The best way to save on accommodation. Create and complete a profile on the network, make the payment so that your profile is verified and from there you can participate in meetings and forums to create a network of contacts within the site. When it's time to travel you will have accommodation in practically any city you wish to visit for free.   Just be mindful of the process and remember to always read reviews to keep safe when travelling.
 
Nights out with friends - In the months leading up to a trip, one of the things to cut is nights out to bars/pubs, restaurants, cinema, etc. There are people who inadvertently spend well over £200 on these kinds of outings every month. Imagine that in three months you would have an extra £600+ in your pocket, which in places like South America and Asia is A LOT - you could travel for a month in South East Asia with that money.
 
Quitting Smoking  - Beyond countless health benefits, quitting smoking will greatly relieve your pocket.  
 
Selling stuff you do not need - Like buying secondhand stuff? You can also sell things on sites like Gumtree or Ebay. Check your drawers, wardrobes, and boxes - you will always find something that is no longer useful that can be sold to someone else.  
 
Open an account to generate interest - Although the interest generated in a bank account is currently very low, it is an income from doing nothing. Even if you only generate £50-100, this is enough to give you 5-7 days worth of travel in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and some South American countries. 
 
With these tips, hopefully you can save enough money to spend time relaxing on a dream holiday or adventuring round the world on a bigger trip. It’s really important to fulfill your dreams of travel, and the worry of not having enough money is always something that tries to stop us all in our tracks.  What you need is all of the above elements to plan your strategy to save over a period of time, and before you know it your bank balance will be bursting with the travel funds you need to live a life of adventure.

Paragliding in Lefkada, Greece