Are you looking for tips on how to save money for travel? Do you want to travel to your dream destination but don’t know how you can afford it?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be rich to travel the world! I used to think just that but throughout the years I’ve learned some tips and tricks to save money to travel more. It’s all about setting priorities in order to achieve your goals and be mindful of your spending habits.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 20 easy money-saving travel tips! So, keep reading if you want to know exactly how to save money for your next trip!
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20 Easy Ways to Save Money for Travel
Track your expenses
The first and foremost rule when it comes to saving money for travel is to track all your expenses – no matter how small they may seem!
When I first started traveling, I tracked all my expenses in an excel sheet and set a strict budget for each month.
Start by writing down how much you absolutely need to spend on essentials such as food, rent, etc. Also, don’t forget to have a separate budget for activities.
Finally, choose a realistic amount that you aim to save every month.
For example, if your essential expenses count as 50% of your salary, aim to spend around 10% on activities and save the remaining 40% to your travel savings account.
If you ever notice that you’re going over budget during certain months, take a look at your expenses and see where you can cut down and adjust your saving goals accordingly.
Don’t buy a fancy car
Nowadays, having a fancy car is somewhat synonymous with high status. The fancier the car, the higher the insurance costs and don’t get me started about maintenance costs, repairs, monthly loan payments, gas, the list goes on!
What’s the point of having a brand-new car and an excessive amount of expenses when an older model can perform pretty much the same?
So, do yourself a favor by buying a cheaper second-hand car or better yet make use of public transportation – which brings me to the next money-saving tip.
Make use of public transportation
Not only will this help you save money for your next trip but you’ll also help preserve the planet! Using public transportation like trains will prevent you from getting stuck in traffic and you end up spending less! This means more money left for travel! It’s a win-win!
Move back in with your parents
If you’re not married or don’t have kids then why not move back in with your parents? In less than six months you’ll be able to save enough for an epic trip around Southeast Asia!
While you’re living with your parents, don’t forget to help out with the daily house chores, contribute to buy groceries or anything else that your parents might need.
Trust me, it’s way better living with your parents than renting a crappy apartment for a couple thousand dollars every month.
Find a roommate
If for whatever reason you can’t stay at your parents’ house, find yourself a trusty roommate with whom you can split your rental costs. It’s more fun and cheaper than having to live on your own.
Try to cut back on coffee
I know it can be hard to completely give up on coffee but if you do the math, one cup of coffee costs about US$ 4, which is US$ 120 per month or US$ 1,440 per year! Crazy right!?
In most Southeast Asian countries, you can easily get a hearty meal for less than US$ 4! So, you decide whether you want to spend that much money on coffee or use it to fund your dream vacation!
If you can’t give up on coffee completely (I can’t either!), make your very own at home!
Related post: Exactly how to budget for a trip?
Avoid eating out
Eating out every day can quickly add up. Why spend a huge amount of money on restaurants when there are literally millions of free YouTube videos about how to cook a quick and easy meal.
Take some time to learn how to cook and prep your meal for the week. This will help you save time trying to figure out what to cook after a long day at work. Plus, you’ll be able to afford to travel more!
I only eat out maybe once or twice a week – it’s all about balance and always keeping your budget in mind.
Eat street food
If on some days you can’t find the time to cook, a cheaper alternative is to eat at street food stalls or food courts. In Singapore, for example, eating at food courts will set you back less than US$ 4-5 per meal!
Reduce your shopping expenses
I used to buy new clothes and shoes almost every month and at one point my wardrobe was overflowing with stuff I rarely use! If you’re guilty of this as well, try to cut your shopping expenses to the basic necessities.
I take inspiration from Miss Louie on YouTube who shares lots of tips on how to create a capsule wardrobe. You clearly don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on clothes!
Ditch cable TV
Who even watches TV in the age of Netflix and YouTube? There’s absolutely no point in spending a big chunk of your salary on cable TV when you can watch free videos online or pay much less for Netflix! Or better yet, read a book!
Get rid of your gym membership
I remember the time when someone tried to convince me to work out at a gym – I hated every minute of it! Not only was it expensive, I didn’t enjoy being in a closed room trying to figure out how to use all of these fancy equipment!
Unless you do prefer to work out at a gym and plan on going regularly, there’s no point in shelling out hundreds of dollars every month on a gym membership. Instead, head outdoors for a hike or workout at home by watching free videos on YouTube.
Cassey Ho has lots of quick and easy workout videos. If you’re more into yoga, I highly recommend Yoga with Kassandra. She created a 30-day Morning Yoga Movement which is super easy and fun. Thanks to her, I finally found the motivation to practice almost every day and it’s totally free!
Avoid going out to the movies
Movie theaters are getting more and more expensive. I know it might feel great to watch the new Blockbuster movie on a big screen but going out to the movies every week won’t help you save money for your next trip.
Don’t use credit cards (use a prepaid card instead)
Raise your hands if you’ve come across advice about signing up for a credit card that will enable you to collect travel points! I keep seeing this everywhere but I don’t believe this is such a good idea.
First of all, you’ll need to spend quite a lot of money to accumulate enough points and there’s a great chance that you might feel overwhelmed when it’s finally time to pay your bills. If for some reason, you were not able to pay on time, you might even end up with hefty interest rates!
Do your best to pay in cash or use your debit card as much as possible. If you need to shop online, use a prepaid card that you can load up with a set amount of money. This will prevent you from spending more than you can actually afford.
Don’t get your hair and nails done every month
I know that it feels great to get a brand new haircut or get your nails done, but these can actually be very expensive, especially in big cities.
Choose a haircut or hair color that isn’t too high maintenance. You’ll thus avoid having to go to the hair salon regularly to get touch ups.
Same goes with getting your nails done. Buy a few nail polish and paint your nails at home! Simple as that!
Be mindful of your electricity use
Electricity bills tend to be very expensive. There’s no need to light up your whole house when you’re hanging out in one room. Or, if you’re reading a book at night, only turn on your nightstand lamp instead of lightning up the whole room.
Always make sure to take advantage of natural light, open your windows if it’s too hot and turn off the lights or AC when you leave the house. Trust me, this will help you save a lot of money in the long run!
Compare prices when grocery shopping
If the grocery stores in your town have a website or give out sales brochures, be sure to look out for those and compare prices. Very often, some grocery stores will sell similar items for much cheaper.
Another tip is to make a grocery list by writing down only the necessities. Try to stick to it and avoid buying junk food or any other random snacks.
You’re going to need a lot of willpower but you’ll feel better when you’ll be able to afford your dream vacation!
Do free activities
Having fun doesn’t need to cost an arm or leg. Instead of going out for a drink, invite your friends at home and organize a bring and share party. You can also pack a picnic and head out to the park or go on a hike for free!
We live in a consumable society where we are constantly pressured to buy the latest things – whether it’s clothes, phone, car, etc.
I’ve been using my Samsung phone since 2017 and you know what, it still works fine. As long as I’m able to make calls and take photos, I don’t feel the need to upgrade to the latest model.
So, if something isn’t broken, there’s really no need to upgrade!
Live beneath your means
Just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Will buying a new US$ 1,000 phone really make you happy or will it be more worthwhile if you use that money to pay for your trip to Bali?
Always put things into perspective, consider your priorities and think about what you really need to be happy.
Smoking kills – enough said!
There you have it – 20 easy ways to save money for travel! I used to think that I needed to be rich to travel but once I started implementing these money-saving tips, I was able to travel more and you can too! Don’t forget to also check out my guide to creating a travel budget which will show you 13 things to need to consider when budgeting for a trip!