How to save for travel. The cold, hard truth.

How to save for travel?

Let’s rewind to January 2016, over dinner with James I had a minor melt down about my future. In my final year of university, I was surrounded by talk of Grad Schemes, Post-Graduate and the real world. So, I was doing what was expected of me. Making myself miserable applying for grad schemes I didn’t really want to do. Corporate world? Not for me. I knew that much but I was still applying for schemes I did not want. Naturally, my applications sucked and I got a string of rejections. My heart just wasn’t in it. After the aforementioned melt down, I made a rash decision. “let’s go traveling” I said. A week later a one-way ticket to Sri Lanka and then onward to Hong Kong had been booked.

At this point we realised we needed to save and save hard. So, how did we do it? How did we save to go traveling indefinitely? This is one of the questions we got asked both before we left home and even more since we have hit the road. Here it is the cold, hard truth of how to save for travel. And trust me, it wasn’t easy, but then again what worth fighting for is?

A five-day work week. What’s that?

Neither of us worked a five day week between when we booked the flights and when the plane took off. I studied and worked part-time, while James took on extra shifts at the weekend. Once my exams were over I upped my hours and worked 6 day weeks, most weeks. Rest? Who needs rest when you are saving?

Starbucks? Trendy coffees?

When you start saving you begin to rationalize every purchase you make. Does a three pound latte sound so appealing when that money will buy you one or two dinners once you are on the road? Every little cut back helps and makes a big difference.

Image of a starbucks coffee cup
Costs the same as dinner in Asia!

Cash is King.

I found it really helpful to withdraw my weekly money on a Monday and then if there was some left by the weekend you could splurge on a trip out. If not, then the weekend needed to stay cheap. Also, having the actual money in your hand makes it harder to spend. It becomes more real. Putting things on card sometimes feels like you aren’t really spending that money.

Don’t believe me then here’s the science.

Savings jar.

All that annoying loose change, put it in a jar at the end of each day. You will not miss it from your weekly money but it soon adds up. I’ve been doing this since I started earning money and in a year I typically save around £150. However, James had nearly four hundred quid in his jars when he opened them.

Another tactic, one my mum uses, is to save a certain coin or note. She saves two pounds coins and in a year will save £500! When loyal and dedicated this technique can soon save you a lot of money!

Image of a savings jar, a great idea when thinking about how to save for travel.
We managed to save 500 pounds in a savings jar, just by putting any change in it at the end of each day!

Booze is pricey.

That night out your planning? Maybe think again. No, you don’t need to become a social recluse in order to save. However, spending a hundred quid on a boozy weekend probably isn’t a wise choice. A beer in a pub in London will set you back at least five pounds. Why not save that money, because in Vietnam that will get you eight beers. I know where I would rather spend the money.

We cut back massively on nights out once we committed to saving and this really helped our finances!

Image of a glass of wine.
A night out costs a lot less in Asia, so, why not save the money for your trip instead?

Book your flight now.

I found that having a flight booked became a real motivating factor when saving for our trip. If that flight is booked there is no turning back so you need knuckle down and commit to saving as much as you can.

It is incredibly easy to keep delaying your trip because you don’t have enough money. This tactic eliminates this attitude and will spur you into action!

How did we do?

We both had savings before we even started planning our trip but we aimed to save another chunk of cash. I would say we did damn good! What we saved has enabled us to spend 7 months on the road so far and, hopefully, it will be able to fund our travels into the future. We will be using these same techniques when we touch down in Australia and begin our next adventure. Traveling Oz on a work and holiday visa!

Want to discover how we have spent that money? Then check out our journey so far.

2 Replies to “How to save for travel. The cold, hard truth.”

  1. Saving up for travel and for everything, at that, really requires strict discipline to reach a target amount. I’m happy how this has given you the light to weigh in what’s more important and what you really need before spending a penny. See you on the road!

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