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4 Easy Ways to Save Money for Traveling

26 October 2017 | Mri Grout

You always hear about people quitting their successful jobs to do what I’ve done. That after so many years of working ‘behind a desk’ they realize there’s more to life than simply filling up their bank account and so they leave on a grand multi-year traveling adventure.

Well I didn’t do that because I didn’t have a ‘successful’ job nor a full bank account. In fact, I was living with a drug dealer and his homeless client (it actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds) while working for $5/hr in a desperate attempt to pay for my college tuition, when I finally decided 'screw this, this is not what I'm going to die doing.'

So I saved up and I saved up and eventually I bought myself that golden ticket to Australia. And so can you.

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1. Cut Back on the Extras

save up money for traveling by cutting back on the extras
Though it does save a lot, I would NOT advise sleeping in your car as a way to save money for traveling.

You might think that you don't have any extras because you can't afford them, but I was living out of my car and I still found things to cut back on. It's all about perspective. What do you want more? To travel the world or enjoy that chocolate cake? To see the mind-blowing pink lake of Torrevieja or to see that new movie at the cinema? To experience something amazing and new or that common hangover you get every Friday?

You see, all that money you put into buying beer, cigarettes, fast-food, snacks, long hot showers, needless petrol, unused electricity, etc. could all be saved up to travel the world. For instance, did you know that a one pack a day smoker in the US spends on average around $2000/year on cigarettes? A kiwi (New Zealander) spends $8500/year. As for alcohol, you're looking at an average of $1200/year - a sum that my husband and I could easily make last for over a month abroad because we travel on a budget.

The little things add up and if you cut back bits and pieces here and there, they will add up to one heck of an adventure.

2. What You Can't Cut Back On, Budget

save up money for traveling by cutting your own hair
On second thought, maybe have a friend cut your hair...especially if you have a job.

So you might not want to give up your morning coffee or walk five miles to save on fuel and that's okay. You just have to budget these things instead. For instance, instead of going to Starbucks, go to McDonalds. Instead of driving that half a mile, walk it. Instead of having that grand, big wedding full of people that you don't really want there but you'd be obliged to invite them anyway, go small. Instead of booking out a wedding specific location, rent a mansion on airbnb for way less or just get married on the beach for free like we did.

Living cheaply does not mean you have to give up all the luxuries of life; rather you just have to shop around and get creative in order to find a cheaper, more affordable deal.

3. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While

save up for traveling by treating yourself every once in a while

So this might seem like the complete opposite of what I've just said, but if you take the average person and deny them every luxury in life, then they're going to go crazy and eventually snap - normally in the form of excess splurging. For instance, my first time traveling with an actual good bit of money, I still lived like I had none. Which was fine for the first year...but then the road gets to you and you want a shower and you want a flat bed and you want some nice freakin' cheese and before you know it you've just blown through $3000 in one month with $500 of that going to some very nice cheese...Yeah, not my proudest budgeting moment...

So learn from my mistakes and treat yourself every once in a while – just remember to count for this extra spending when you make your travel budget!

4. Include Your Friends

save up money for traveling by including your friends
Every x round, have some water. It keeps you hydrated and your wallet bigger.

It's all well and good having the plan to save up money for traveling...until your best mate invites you to a night out in town. Or your partner wants to go out for a date at the movies and then to a nice restaurant after. If it was just you, you could take the budget option of simply staying in to drink or picking a movie off Netflix and making your own meal afterwards. But because someone else you care about wants to do something flashier, it becomes hard to say no and stick to your new budget.

So fill in your friends and family on your goals and ask them for help. You can even bribe them with a future postcard from Thailand. Though true friends won't care where you're drinking as long as it's with them. Invite a few more friends over, get a drinking game going and voila, staying in isn't lame after all. And loving partner won't care if they're holding your hand in a theatre or curled up on the couch - especially if you bribe them with a vacation to the Maldives.

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