A lot of people dream of travelling the world, but what holds most of us back is the daunting price tag associated with that dream. Travelling can certainly be expensive, so it’s important to start saving whatever you can as soon as you can in order to achieve that dream. Whether you’re saving for a weekend-getaway to Miami, or a several-month-long backpacking trip through Asia, I’m going to show you some tips to help you achieve your travel goals.
Firstly, you need to have a monetary goal in mind. How much money do you need to save up in order to get where you’d like to go? If a two-week vacation in Greece is what you’re aiming for, start creating a budget for it. Price out your expenses. Use search engines like Webjet and Expedia to estimate the approximate cost of a round trip flight. Do the same thing for accommodations, travel insurance, and how much you think you’d like for spending money.
Now that you’ve Created a Travel Budget and priced out an approximate monetary goal, you need to start saving.
1) Open up a separate bank account specifically for travel. If for whatever reason you are unable or unwilling to create a new bank account, you can simple use a glass jar (acting as a sort of adult piggy bank), to put all your savings into. Label it “Greece Trip” (or wherever you’re going) and glue a picture of a beautiful Greek landscape onto it to help create a visual for your goal. Any money you save for your trip will go into this jar (or bank account) and you will not take any money out of it unless specifically to pay for your travel expenses.
2) Cut costs anywhere and everywhere you can. This can be as little as cutting out your morning take-away coffee ($2-$6/day), or as drastic as finding a cheaper place to live ($200-$1,000/month). Again, even if you’re not willing to make sacrifices as big as, say, selling your car and taking public transit instead, there’s still lots of little things you can do to save money; shave off some extra channels from your cable bill, do your manicures/pedicures from home, opt for exercising outdoors instead of that costly gym membership. In my previous article How I Saved $10,000 in Six Months For Travel I mention that the reason why I’m able to save so much is because I have so few expenses. This is the ultimate goal. The fewer expenses you have, the more money you have leftover to save.
3) Increase your income. If you’re finding it hard to cut expenses, or you’re simply finding that way isn’t saving you money fast enough, the next obvious thing to do would be to increase your income. There are many ways you can make more money without having to get a promotion or go out and get a new job. Try to increase your hours at your current job. Even if you only work one extra shift a month, that’s all extra money you can put into your travel savings. If you can’t pick up additional hours at work, look for other ways to increase your income; mow lawns, babysit for a friend, walk your neighbours dog. When I lived in Australia, for extra money, I cleaned a gentleman’s apartment every week. It only took me 2-3 hours, but I raked in an extra $220 in cash every month (that’s over $2,500 a year!).
4) Purge your possessions. Sell anything you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t like anymore. Take all your old clothes into a consignment store and turn them into extra cash for your trip. Sell old furniture, electronics, jewellery, anything that can earn you a few extra bucks. Plus, if you’re looking to travel for long periods of time anyway, why do you need all that extra stuff? You can’t exactly fit it all in your backpack.
5) Limit yourself when buying new possessions. Every dollar you spend on materialistic items now, limits your ability to have new experiences in the future. Seriously. What is a new pair of shoes in comparison to going sky-diving in New Zealand? Try to think about that every time you find yourself craving the next hottest thing.
And, if you must go shopping, do it abroad instead! Over half my wardrobe is filled with goodies that I bought on my travels. Every piece has a cool story and a happy memory behind it. You can’t get that from your local mall.
What do you find helps you most to save?