How to save money for travel
March 20, 2020
All of us love the idea of travelling, but a lot of us also say that travelling is not affordable.
To help you save money for your next trip, I have prepared this blog post hoping that it would inspire you to save money so that you can travel to your dream destinations.
How to lower expenses
Eat out less
Restaurants can be very expensive, especially if you want to order an alcoholic beverage with your meal. Make going out for food more of a once a month thing instead of every Friday.
Eating at home is so much cheaper compared to eating out.
I don’t know about you but this is my biggest unnecessary expense that is so hard to minimize.
When going to a restaurant you also need to leave a tip, which where I live is 15% on average, which can really impact your overall bill.
Focus on grocery shopping and preparing meals at home.
What I try to do is buy a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies and stuff that I enjoy eating so I don’t have to close the fridge door disappointed and think about eating out.
Get your whole family on board to make a real impact. Plan the meals you will make in the week ahead of time and make a list of what you will need to buy.
If you are a horrible cook like me, watch some cooking videos or cook with a partner to make it more fun.
Restaurants can be expensive
Bring your lunch to work/meal prep/make coffee or tea at home
Bring your lunch to work/meal prepping is a huge savor of money even if you do it only a few days a week.
Spend Sundays browsing flyers for deals on groceries (either paper ones or online), buy the groceries, chop and prep them for the upcoming week.
To make it less tedious, listen to some music, podcast or audiobook while you are prepping the food. If you don’t like chopping, there are lots of small appliances that can chop for you.
Also, think about making your coffee/tea at home or use the free one at work. Even though coffee doesn’t cost a lot, it surely adds up in the end.
If that is not possible then treat yourself to coffee once in a while but don’t buy it every day.
If you are a coffee addict like me, invest in a nice coffee maker machine and fill up a thermos so you can take it with you to work.
Tea is one of the things that cost so much for what it is. I never buy tea outside because I am paying for hot water and a tea bag which is not more than 50 cents but you end up paying like 2 dollars for the tea.
In the grocery store, you can get a whole box of tea for a few bucks and use it for months. It’s really not worth it in my opinion.
Meal prep can save you a lot of money
Spend more nights in/enjoy free events
Invite friends over instead of going to an expensive bar. Buy a bunch of snacks and play some board games.
Or make it a movie night with popcorn instead of spending crazy money for it at a movie theater (popcorn is the same as the tea mentioned above – crazy markup).
In the summer there are a lot of free events and fairs that you can enjoy.
Also, going to the park, beach or just taking a walk can be a good option. You can play sports outside – tennis, soccer, baseball, etc.
Most places have community teams you can join (also keeps you active and in shape). Or how about biking, jogging or rollerblading? Invite friends to go with you if possible.
You get my point here; you don’t need to break the bank to have a good time.
If you decide to go out, search the Internet for discounts or coupons.
Check sites like Groupon (or the equivalent in your country) for cheaper tickets on events/entertainment. This alone can save you a lot of money.
Biking in the park can be an awesome, free activity
Cancel not needed services/subscriptions
Do you still need that landline? Nope, I didn’t think so. Cancel it! Are you still signed up for the gym even though you haven’t gone in years?
Either start going or cancel that too.
If you can’t cancel certain services then see if you can lower the amount you have to pay. Call your provider and ask if you can get a cheaper deal.
Shop around for cheaper car insurance (any type of insurance really), Internet provider, cell phone provider, etc.
You will be surprised at how much you can save by bargaining with companies as they do not want to lose your business.
Review your credit cards – cancel ones that charge you Annual Fee or have high interest rates and sign up for once that give you cashback or some sort of points.
Cancel memberships you no longer use or are not worth paying for anymore.
Cancel subscriptions you no longer need
Pamper yourself at home
We spend a lot of money on hair salons, nail salons and all sorts of beauty parlors. In order to save for your travelling plans, it is a good idea to try and do some of those services at home.
Learn how to dye your own hair or ask a friend to do it for you and go to the hair salon once a year to get a haircut.
Do your nails at home, there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube, including how to apply fake nails.
Instead of going for a massage, you can buy a massager from Amazon and you can use it at home every day.
You can save hundreds of dollars by ditching the salons and doing your own pampering at home. You also save money on gas by not driving to appointments.
That is not to say you can’t pamper yourself but to limit the visits, find cheaper salons and to do the most you can by yourself at home.
Ditch the expensive salons
Reevaluate your budget and bills. What are you spending money on? What can you live without? Do you really need the last model iPhone or do you rather backpack through Asia?
Do you need to go clothes shopping even though you can’t even close your closet door?
Do you need 100 pairs of shoes which cost $200 each or are you happy with a pair from a discount store for 20 bucks but being able to visit India?
We can survive with so much less than we think and if travelling is your priority, then avoid unnecessary purchases. Make a strict budget and stick to it.
It will be worth it!
How to make more money
Pick up an extra shift
Pick up an extra shift at work or offer a coworker to take their shift if they are unavailable to work. Tell your boss you are saving for a trip and if s/he can give you more hours.
If you work on salary, offer to do overtime if possible. Save the extra money you made and allocate it to your travel budget.
Pick up a side hustle
There are many options, depending on your abilities and skills. If you’re handy you can open an Etsy store and sell your handmade products there.
If you have a car and drive frequently you can sign up with Uber/Lyft.
Good with English? Sign up to teach children English via Skype. You can babysit, petsit, dog walking, etc.
If you speak other languages you can be a freelance translator on Upwork. If you are a good writer you can do some freelance writing as well.
Many options online for making an extra buck for your travel dream.
Find a side hustle
Sell unwanted stuff
Look around your house and see if you have anything you can sell online. Most of us have a whole bunch of things we don’t use laying around.
This way you are decluttering your home and making some extra cash for your travels.
Ideas for what to sell: books, DVDs/TV shows, brand clothing, unopened gadgets such as headphones, Fitbits, cameras, etc.
Buy a piggybank or travel jar where you can drop your change – you won’t miss the small change and the money will eventually add up and you can use it to buy a day trip or book a hotel.
Also, it is kind of rewarding to watch your travel jar grow with money as you can see yourself closer to your dream destination.
Find a picture of your dream destination and glue it on your piggybank/travel jar to inspire you to constantly donate to the mission.
How to save money on travel-related stuff
Booking a lot in advance
You can save a lot of money, especially on flights and hotels by booking early. Rarely, you can find a last-minute deal but if you are not flexible with the dates then you get stuck paying the higher price.
Use different search engines and websites to compare prices. Search on an incognito tab in your browser!
If you need help with that read more in the article here.
Travel off-peak season or shoulder season
You can find some really cheap deals if you go in the off-peak season.
Recently there has been something called “shoulder season” that became popular.
It means you go between the peak and off-peak season so the price is not as expensive as the peak season and the weather is probably better than if you go in the off-peak season.
Keep in mind that some destinations have off-peak season due to dangerous weather conditions such as hurricanes, floods and so on.
Make sure you research your destination before you decide to travel off-peak season or shoulder season.
Search trips a lot in advance
Depending on where you live, there are different loyalty programs where you can collect points that go towards flights or hotel bookings.
Research different options and see which one best suits your needs. Don’t forget you can get points with certain credit cards as well.
Airbnb instead of hotel
If possible always trying to book Airbnb as it is way cheaper than booking a hotel. Sometimes you can save hundreds of dollars if you book with Airbnb.
Our last trip to Europe we booked only Airbnb and we saved almost $800 so definitely look into other options other than hotels.
Book early and save
Finally, if you’re still struggling with saving money for your dream destination, put a picture of it on your Vision Board or as wallpaper on your computer or cell phone.
That way you will look at it every single day and it will remind you that the most important things in life are not things.