Traveling the world is the ultimate goal for many of us. I’ve been saving for travel for years and had the chance to live many incredible experiences. I’ve climbed mountains in New Zealand, lazed on beautiful beaches in Malaysia, biked in Amsterdam, and drank out of a coconut in Fiji. If that’s what you want to do, read on.
Whether you want to save money to backpack for a year or simply visit Europe for a couple of weeks, you’ll definitely need some savings before you head to your big adventure. There are many ways to save money in your everyday life, but I know changing your habits isn’t always easy. In this post, you’ll find my best tips to achieve your saving goals without drastically changing your lifestyle. Here are 20 easy ways to save money for travel.
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1. Track your expenses
I know nobody really likes looking at their bank balance, but tracking your spending is the first thing you need to do. I personally hate wasting money, so I like to know where it goes. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the little things don’t cost much. If you add them up, they can end up costing you loads of money.
The best thing to do is to keep track of your day-to-day spending to make sure you don’t live beyond your means. Take a day this weekend to track your expenses to the dollar. Write down everything you spend, and make a difference between what you need and what you want. Find out what you could cut out, and save this money towards travel instead.
2. Set saving goals
Start setting saving goals. It doesn’t have to be huge savings, even if it’s just $50 a week, as long as you reach your goal and are committed to it. Even if it doesn’t look like much, when you think about it, $50 dollars can get you 2-3 nights accommodation in South East Asia.
So set aside some cash every week and put it in a piggy bank. Or you could also set up an automatic transfer to your savings account every month.
3. Commit to your dream
How much do you want to travel the world? To succeed in your saving mission, you have to be committed to your dream. Saving money does involve making sacrifices (like giving up shopping, bad habits…). It’s hard at the beginning, but honestly, it’s just a question of switching your priorities.
You’ll probably get tired of not spending money at some point. When that happens, just think about your dream destination, your goal. Think about all the beautiful experiences you will live, all the amazing people you’ll meet, and the memories you’ll come home with. These are priceless, trust me.
4. Use a budget planner
The best way to keep track of your budget is to use a budget planner. It personally helped me a lot see clearly where my money went and how I was spending it. With a budget planner, you can determine in advance whether you will have money to save at the end of the month or not. Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income. I have created a printable budget planner just for you, which you can download for FREE here.
5. Control impulse spending with the 30-day rule
Spending money has never been so easy, and we often feel the urge to buy things we don’t need simply because they are under our nose. By learning self-control when you go shopping, you will be able to save money towards your next trip.
Have you ever heard of the 30-day rule? It’s a simple method many people use to control impulse spending. If you feel the urge to splurge on something, stop yourself from doing it and wait for 30 days. If at the end of the month, you still want the item, consider buying it.
I personally use this rule every time I go shopping and I also ask myself « do I really need this? ». Honestly 99% of the time, the answer is no. I also think about what the item could get me in another country, which really helps put things into perspective.
For example, $90 can get you a pair of sneakers in western countries, but for this price, you can also get: 4 or 5 island hopping tours in Thailand, a visit to Hobbiton in New Zealand and some souvenirs, or 3 nights in a hostel in Paris.
6. Quit bad habits
Do you smoke? Drink alcohol or coffee every day? It might not look like big expenses but when you add them up, at the end of the year it’s a few hundred dollars gone in coffee… I know quitting bad habits is the ultimate sacrifice, but when you think about it you’ll help your health, and your wallet. I’m personally not a creature of habits so for me this part was easy.
The hardest part will be to deal with peer pressure. Your friends will most likely tell you “come on, just one drink!”. But we all know it’s never just ONE drink. Explain to your friends why you decided to switch your priorities, share with them your dream of traveling the world and who knows, maybe they’ll want to join you!
7. Cook and prepare your lunch
Cooking your own meals is a great way to save money, and it can be fun. Learn new recipes and try new foods to mix it up a little bit. I personally eat out only once a week, as a treat. Cook your lunch and take it to work, it’ll be healthier and you’ll save money at the same time.
8. Use public transportation
Ditch your car and use public transportation if you can. A car can quickly cost a fortune. Between the gas, insurances, and repairs, it’s one of the biggest expense for many households. I have lived perfectly well without a car my whole life but I know some people just can’t go anywhere without a car. If you like in a big city with good transport system, try using it as much as you can. Or if you don’t like public transportation, try rideshares to go to work.
9. Ditch cable TV
Ditching cable tv and turning off the tv are great ways to lower your electric bill and to focus on more important things. I never watch TV, but I do enjoy watching Tv shows so I invested in a Netflix account. Netflix is a great alternative to cable tv in my opinion and it’s way cheaper. The basic account starts at 7,99 per month.
10. Reduce your utility bill
There are many ways to reduce your utility bill. All you need to do is change your habits a little bit. For example, you can take a shower instead of a bath, wash your clothes on cold, turn off the lights, or hang dry your clothes. Remember, little things can make a big difference.
11. Airbnb your place
Are you going somewhere? Make the most of it by renting your place on Airbnb. Airbnb is a very famous platform among travelers, and you could make extra income just by renting the extra space in your house. Becoming an Airbnb host is really easy, and if you do it on a regular basis it’ can also become a great way to pay off your mortgage quicker.
12. Cashback with Ebates
Ebates is a platform that offers promotional codes, discounts for online stores, and you can earn cash back on your online purchases, which Ebates then will pay out to you quarterly. In other words, every time you buy something through Ebates, you will get some of the money you spent back! This amazing platform will help you passively save hundreds of dollars every year. Ebates is associated with big retailers like Apple, Walmart, Macy’s, Expedia and more.
What I love the most about Ebates is that I can book my travels and make money at the same time. Isn’t that fantastic? If you’re not using Ebates yet, sign up here to receive an extra $10 after you make your first $25 purchase through Ebates. This program is 100% legitimate and works in North America.
13. Save your change
I know it doesn’t look like much, but if you put all your small change in a jar every week, you could end up with at least $100 at the end of the year. Once you have a good amount of coins, you can swap them for notes at the bank or in small shops.
14. Sign up to Swagbucks
Swagbucks is the definition of easy money. With Swagbucks, you can earn points for surfing the web, watching videos, playing games, shopping, and doing easy surveys. You are basically earning points (and money) for doing things you already do. Once you’ve collected enough Swagbucks points, you can redeem them for gift cards or exchange them for money.
They offer gift cards from over 1,500 retailers, including Amazon, Starbucks, and Itunes. Swagbucks is one of the most well-known and popular surveys and cash rewards program in North America. It’s absolutely free and takes less than 5 seconds to sign up.
Swagbucks is 100% legitimate! So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and start saving now!
15. Make a list and stick to it
Having a list when you go grocery shopping is one of the best ways to save money. With a list, you’ll only buy things that you need and that fit to your meal plans. Going to the store without a list often leads to unplanned purchases and extra spending. Also, try to avoid spending a lot of time in the supermarket, you’ll be less likely to spend.
16. Become a pet sitter
Pet sitting is becoming more and more popular. If you love animals, pet sitting is a fantastic way to make some extra cash and save it for your future travels. Looking after pets while their owner is away is one of the most enjoyable jobs around. You can also look for dog walking jobs. Who doesn’t enjoy spending some time outside with furry friends? Dog walkers usually charge around $20 per walk (20-30 minutes) so the earning potentials are quite interesting especially if you live in a big city.
17. Teach English
If you’re a native speaker, the opportunities to teach English are endless. You could drop an ad in your local shops or online and offer your services. If you have a degree, you can try teaching English online like Nic from See Nic Wander does. She managed to become location independent and is house-sitting her way around the world. Nic was kind enough to share her experience, here is what she says about teaching English online:
“If you enjoy working with kids and flexible working conditions, teaching English online is a great way to save money for travel! I stumbled into online teaching by accident. A few months before I was planning to move abroad, I got a job teaching English online to make some extra money. I ended up loving it so much I decided to take my online teaching job with me around the world!
Most online English teachers make around $20/hour and you can choose to work as much or as little as you like. This makes teaching online an awesome option for people who are saving up for travel or who want to transition to the digital nomad lifestyle.
Online English teachers make their own schedule and can work anywhere with good WiFi. Most companies provide lesson plans and materials so there isn’t any prep work, you simply open your laptop and teach adorable kiddos around the world! To teach online with most companies, you must be a native English speaker with eligibility to work in a native English speaking country.
You must also have a bachelors degree or higher and at least one year of experience working with children.”
Do you want more info about teaching English online while traveling? Check out Nic’s blog.
18. Complete surveys online
Taking surveys online is a popular way to make extra income nowadays. Some survey companies make more than others, so look around. You could make up to $5 just by answering a few questions. If you committed to taking just a few surveys per day you could easily make an extra $100 per month.
19. Start a blog
Nowadays making money blogging is definitely possible. Many bloggers make money online, with patience and hard work you could too. For example, Penelope Louise is a blogger and Instagram influencer. She started as a photographer and is now a full-time travel blogger and content creator. Of course, making money blogging isn’t a quick fix but a way to achieve location independence in the long run.
Babysitting is probably most people’s very first job and it’s a job that’s always in high demand. Ask your friends around, and put ads in the local shops for babysitting opportunities. Babysitters usually make around $15 an hour. So you could make extra income just by spending your evenings with kids.
Saving money for travel can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort. Remember, the most important is to keep your goal in mind. Do you want to know even more ways to save money for travel? Sign up to my blog and discover 80 more ways to help make your dream come true.
Are you going traveling soon? Don’t forget your travel insurance!
Travel insurance is the only thing I don’t go anywhere without. Your travel insurance covers you against travel risks such as lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, and most importantly, unexpected medical costs abroad. I like WorldNomads because they are backed by reputable insurers, have 24h assistance providers, and are affordable. Get a quote and read the policy details to ensure that it’s right for you. For more information, read my travel insurance page.
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