45 ways to save money so you can travel the world
To travel and travel often, it helps if you are good at saving money. Having savings means you have options. Without options I personally feel trapped and panicked. I think of it as my secret get-a-way fund.
I’m about to embark on a big life change, a change that requires lots of budgeting, saving and planning. This has forced me to look hard at how I save money and where I ‘leak’ it. Whether you are saving money for travel, a house or a new camera, implementing any of these 45 money saving tips will be sure to have a positive impact on your bank balance.
45 money saving tips on how to save money for travel:
1. Use what you have.
If you’re anything like me, half the toiletry isle of the supermarket lives in your bathroom. Start using what you’ve got including food in the cupboard, toiletries and stored alcohol as opposed to buying new.
2. Quit drinking or significantly cut down.
This is the one that has saved me the most money. And I feel so much better for it (note. you will feel hangovers SO MUCH worse when you cut down on the booze!).
3. Bulk cook your food.
Design your meals so you can spread them out through the week. My go-to is soups and stews. They are cheap to cook and easy to portion and freeze for a later date.
4. Fill up on fuel mid-week when it’s cheaper.
If you’re planning a road trip on the weekend, don’t pay more for petrol by filling up last minute. Keep an eye on the fuel prices through the week.
5. Save fuel money-off vouchers from supermarket receipts.
You might feel like an oldie cutting your coupons but 5 cents off every litre adds up.
6. Look at deal buying sites for hair and salon treatments.
If you have to get your hair done, make sure you don’t pay full price. That’s shit’s expensive! Better yet, go without colouring your hair or cut your hair yourself.
7. Cancel your subscriptions.
Netflix, Spotify etc. You can find so much great content and music online for free.
8. Do your own nails, facials, waxing etc.
Like haircuts and colour, these little luxuries make big dent in your wallet. $45 is few nights stay in a Thai guesthouse or a week’s worth of food in Indonesia!
9. Substitute your $3 coffee for one you made yourself.
Or better yet, replace it with hot water, lemon and honey and enjoy the healthy benefits.
10. Use your bike more, walk or get public transport.
Cut down on using your car or getting cabs. Leave a bit earlier ;-)
11. Open a high interest savings account.
Shop around and move your money (most good interest rates expire after a set time). Name your new high interest savings account something motivational like ‘adventure fund’ and add to it daily, weekly or whenever you can. Enjoy watching it grow.
12. Shop around for a good everyday bank account.
You’ve probably been sitting on your everyday bank account for a while. There are cash-back accounts, accounts that charge no ATM fees and accounts that offer interest for your daily banking. Shop around, you’re sure to get a better moneysaving deal.
13. Camp instead of paying for accommodation.
This winter, camping at the snow each weekend has saved me enormous amounts of cash. It is also the best time with friends, under the stars, by a fire. What’s not to love.
14. Start paying for things with cash.
You’ll be more mindful about your spending and start to value your hard-earned cash more.
15. Sell items you no longer need or use.
Old clothes, handbags, jewellery, electronics, surfboards etc. I am surrounded by toys and items I never use. I’ve managed to turn this into a few extra grand of travel money (or fuel for heli skiing!). I am putting the money from everything I sell into a different account. It motivates me to watch it grow, inspiring me to sell more stuff I just don’t need.
16. Take your own lunches to work.
Bulk cook meals at the beginning of the week or make extra food at dinner. Cutting the $10 a day allowance for lunch is an easy way to save money.
17. Car pool.
Share the cost of petrol if you have to take a long trip. Plus the journey will be more fun with company.
18. Carry a bottle of water with you and a bag of trail mix.
You won’t be tempted to buy bottled water or snacks when out and about. This is a good habit to keep especially when on your travels.
19. Eat out less.
If you have to venture out for a nice dinner, make sure it’s on deal night like $3 taco Tuesday!
20. Actively reduce your utility bills.
Turn off electronics at the wall, remove chargers left plugged in and switch off the lights when you leave. Get a thermostat to control your central heating if you have it. Change your light bulbs to ED bulbs… All of this adds up.
21. Join the library and stop paying for books.
Libraries are really fascinating places with so many opportunities to learn or discovery new stories. Get involved.
22. Stay in more.
Get friends to bring a dish and host a dinner party as opposed to going out drinking. Dust of the old board games or have a movie night. Enjoy staying in.
23. Earn extra money on the side.
Pick up part-time job on weekends. Do online surveys for a bit of extra cash. You may need to shop around for ones that pay you $$$ rather then local retail vouchers but they do exist (these are great to do one your travels for a bit of extra cash too).
24. Buy things second-hand.
Electronics, sports equipment, homewares etc. I recently brought a refurbished apple Macbook Pro for $1,000 cheaper then a brand new one AND it came with a year’s warranty. No brainer.
25. Repair clothes or other items instead of replacing them.
It just takes a little time and thought, but you will be stoked that you managed to sort it without getting out your wallet. Another string to your bow.
26. Drink more water.
When you would normally reach for a can of Diet Coke, have water. Same goes for a drink at the pub. Not only will save cash but you’ll be healthier and more focused (snowboarder Travis Rice says good hydration is key to his focus and amazing snowboard skills).
27. Ensure your car is operating efficiently.
Make sure you have the correct tyre pressure and your filters are clean. This will increase your fuel consumption. Try to drive less using cruise control or with the air conditioning blasting as this also increases fuel consumption.
28. Declutter your space.
Not only will you be less stressed not being surrounded by stuff, but some of this clutter you may decide to sell and make extra cash on.
29. Go through your wardrobe with your girlfriends and be brutal.
Get them over and sort out what you don’t wear anymore, or have never worn! Either give it away or arrange a yard sale or stall at a local market. Make an event of it and enjoy the process as well as the extra cash. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
30. Create a visual reminder of what you are saving for.
Put it in your wallet. Put it by your mirror. Put it in your car. Put it anywhere you will see it often. It will help you determine what is more important, your dream travels/ adventure/ home/ life or that new $16 OPI nail varnish. Yeah, put the nail varnish down!
31. Pack your own food for road trips.
This is a huge one. Not only is your food likely to be more healthy then what’s available at service stations, but you’ll be less likely to buy snacks if you already have them. Make sure you always have enough drinking water in the car as bottled water is just ridiculously overpriced.
32. Make your own cleaning supplies.
I use tea-tree oil and white vinegar mixed with water, in a spray bottle for my surfaces. It smells way better then the chemical crap and cleans just as good. Bicarb of soda can also clean pretty much anything.
33. Eat less meat.
Try to get protein from beans and pulses while increasing your vegetable intake. Meat is expensive. Just by cutting down your intake, you will save a tonne of cash.
35. Read more.
Get lost in a book. There are so many great stories you haven’t discovered yet (find them at the library). Simply taking time to read will do wonders for your stress levels as well taking you away from the TV or going out which diverts your bank balance or runs up utility bills.
36. Consolidate your loans.
If you have dept from several different sources, try to consolidate it to one payment. You may be able to save a large sum each month. Work to pay off your debts first.
37. Do your research.
Look for online deals, shop around for the best flight price (may need to fly a different route or take a stop over), check out second hand options. Spending this extra bit of time researching rather then buying the first thing you see, is worth it’s weight in gold.
38. When purchasing a flight, use an incognito web browser.
Airline booking sites cookie your browser and creep the price up every time you go back to their web page. Go incognito so they don’t know you are returning.
39. Set yourself a weekly allowance and take it out at the beginning of the week IN CASH.
This is a big one for anyone in a routine like a 9-5 week day job. It forces you to budget your week, inspiring you to forego that morning coffee or bring your own lunch.
40. Set up a direct debit to your (high interest) savings account.
As soon as you get paid each month/week have your savings transfer out of your account immediately. That way you will never know you had it and you’ll get used to budgeting on your new balance.
41. Sign up for a rewards credit card or loyalty scheme.
If you have the discipline to put all your expenses on a credit card each month, you can rack up the points to later spend on a flight or hotel. Cards often come with huge sign-up bonuses, so shop around as to what suits. I have travelled the world for free using frequent flyer points, you can to!
42. Do a true budget.
Putting pen to paper or a formula in an excel sheet helps you focus on what you really need to save and by when. Having a visual reference and a budget tracker will help plan your savings.
43. Downgrade your phone plan.
Negotiate your mobile phone plan and try to reduce your monthly bill. If possible, move off the monthly contract as soon as you can and go on a pay-as-you-go set up.
44. Get a room or house mate.
If you have a spare room or space in your home, consider renting it out on AirBNB, especially over holiday periods.
45. Stay focused and don’t give up.
This is the biggest one. Remember why you are saving and what it means to you. Try to enjoy the process and become more outcome focused as the outcome of saving all this cash will mean you have options to do whatever the hell you like!
Super inspired to travel? Read the following great travel articles:
Editor’s note: If you are after travel insurance for your next adventures, Still Stoked recommends World Nomads. Prices are really reasonable and they insure actions sports (including heliskiing!) without charging a mega premium. You can also purchase the insurance after you have left home for your trip and extend the trip online during your trip; something that is quite unique to World Nomads and really helpful if your plans change as you travel.
How do you save money for travel? Have I missed some great bits of advice in this article that you can share? Go on, tell us in the comments below. Let’s make our next trip the best yet!