Before you read this article I really recommend that you read the context for my saving journey in the article How I Afford To Travel: 45 countries at 21 years old. Under the heading ‘Context for my Saving Journey’ I highlight details of my personal financial circumstances and an acknowledgement of important factors such as the minimum wage in Australia that are really important to consider for the articles I write on financing my travels.
So keeping that background information in mind – here are my top 5 tips to save money for travel!
1. Plan a detailed budget for your travels so you have a clear goal in mind
Plan extensively so that when you do eventually depart you no longer have to think or worry about money. By the time I left in 2015 for my year of travels I was really confident in the hours of research and budgeting I did beforehand . Most importantly however, a detailed budget will mean you have a specific goal in mind (mine was $20,000 AUD). This can give you the motivation to start making changes to your habits at home, leading to the next point.
2. Set a realistic budget for your lifestyle at home
Setting a budget leading up to the trip will ensure that your goal saving is realistic and attainable. Something that I did was go through my account statement for the past month and assess all my expenses and whether or not they were necessary. Travelling makes you realise how little you actually need and how rewarding it can be to spend money on experiences rather than things. Basically unless it was an inevitable living cost (groceries, rent, transport, fuel, insurance, staple clothing, occasional social outing, rego or car maintenance) I tried to save the remaining funds.
3. Sacrifice some luxuries
From about 17 years old to 19 years old I think I went out maybe twice a month maximum. This was at a time when my friends were going out clubbing on a weekly basis, sometimes even more haha. Did I feel like I was missing out at the time? Absolutely. Do I think I missed out now? No way! You have to remember that sacrificing expensive outings doesn’t mean sacrificing your social life!! For example, going out to brunch is my favourite ‘eat out’ meal but the sad reality is that in Brisbane eggs, bacon and avo toast plus a drink at a cafe will probably set you back a hefty $25. Inviting people over to catch up is a great way to avoid the surcharge of restaurants because grocery shopping is always a cheaper option! Something my mates and I did a few times was grocery shop on a Saturday arvo before we got ready to go out. We would stay at one of our places that night after our night out and make breaky for ourselves in the morning. I love chatting while cooking breakfast and it turned out to be way cheaper than eating out at a cafe the following morning!
4. Sell the possessions you don’t need
Once again, travel makes you realise how little you actually need. I put everything I wasn’t going to wear or use on my year abroad on Gumtree. It was actually really ‘freeing’ to get rid of all the clutter and possessions I had accrued over the years and see how their monetary value was going to be put toward something so much more rewarding. I kept items of sentimental value at my mums place when I left and the rest of my possessions I fit into my Suitcase, hence the blog name ‘Suitcase And I’ 🙂
5. Work, work, work….
You will feel drained, it will get you down at times and there will be moments that you will question whether it is all worth it. I am back to studying full time, working full time (40 hours a week) and running my blog (20 hours a week) so I can definitely relate to this right now. If this was a permanent situation, working full time, blogging and studying full time would undoubtedly get overwhelming but knowing that eventually I will be travelling permanently again gets me through the rough patches because I am very excited for this travel and where my blog will be by the time I depart again!!
Unfortunately I don’t have a miracle secret as to how I saved for my travels, it was quite simply 4 years of work, saving and budgeting. I hope that my experience is proof though that the hard work can pay off!
For an article that specifically looks at how to reduce the cost of travel in terms of accommodation, transport and expenses, visit the article How to Travel on a Budget.
Feel free to comment any queries or questions below!