Welcome to our page on saving money for travel. They say “money doesn’t buy happiness”, but try traveling without it and for us, travel makes us HAPPY! If you want to travel more you have to make it a priority.
We’ve had our own financial pain and understand the challenges. Let us guide you on how to reduce your living expenses, get rid of any bad debt, and save for your dream trip.
Many people have often mistaken us for being very well off financially to have traveled the way we have. I wish – not true at all.
We just made smart decisions and stuck to some sensible saving tips for our world travel.
Here are a few of our top tips and strategies that you might be able to put into practice when planning and budgeting for your travels.
At the bottom, you’ll find links to some of our best in-depth posts on saving money for travel.
3 Ways to Saving more money for travel
You want to travel more? You’ve got to save money.
Unless you have a rich uncle or win the lotto.
There ain’t no Fairy Godmothers. Although I do believe in an unseen power that walks towards you when you commit and take action to turn your dream into a reality. But, it involves you doing some work to meet that power halfway.
1. Cut Your Expenses
Where are you wasting money?
The older I get, the more I don’t want to be a Scrooge MacDuck, but there are still things that I don’t care to spend my money on, like magazines and expensive sunglasses (they always break so why bother!).
Make travel a top priority. It has and always will be my priority. I’m guessing it is for you as well.
What are you spending money on that does not align with your priority and values? What can you sacrifice without it feeling like a denial of pleasure?
Go through it with a fine-tooth comb and cull cull cull. Know your values and priorities and live for them – not for the Joneses (Who the hell are they anyway?).
Here are a few more posts that can help you when it comes to cutting expenses.
- 30 ways to reduce living expenses
- Why budgets and tracking money might not be a good thing
- Save your money bonuses
2. Increase Your Income
One of my favourite authorities on money to follow is Ramit Sethi. He speaks about how to live a rich life, but it’s not about using coupons and cutting out your daily coffee or green juice. This can be a great thing to do when you’re saving for anything, BUT, the number one strategy we’ve always followed is increasing our means (our income).
I don’t want to cut out my cappuccinos. I don’t want to wait until I save X thousands of dollars that come from cutting out everything that gives me joy in the present moment. I do want the better and faster way. Earning more money gives it to me.
Wayne Dyer in his book, “What we really want for our children” talks about the joy of the present moment in his chapter of the same name.
It’s a much deeper conversation in the book, but I think the following ties in with the idea that we have to deny ourselves pleasure, or view instant gratification as a problem.
It might feel contradictory to saving money for your more worthy goal of more travel. But, if you think a little broader in terms of how that sacrifice might affect the pleasure of your current moment.
You’re clever enough to, not just save the money for your dream, but create the money for it too. One has an attitude steeped more in abundance, one lack.
“Let’s set the record straight here for children and adults alike. Pleasure is terrific and you should try to fill your life with as much of it as you can. No conditions, no apologies; a simple fact. Life is to be enjoyed.
Life does not have to be seen as a series of misfortunes, suffering, drabness, or constant misery. It does not have to be serious or grim in order to be relevant. Children ought to learn that it is foolish to see life as a suffering experience, and that enjoying life and everything they do in the present moment is the healthiest approach they can take toward being a no-limit person.
The joy of living in the present then, is an inner concept that begins with the suppositions that pleasure in life is not bad, that joy is better than suffering, that everything in life is a miracle, and that living fully now is far superior to planning, planning, and perhaps never arriving.”
Joy in the present moment and living the true expression of yourself generally opens your world of our box to greater opportunities to create more money.
My motto is and always has been:
That’s why I’ve always worked multiple jobs, worked over time, taken on boarders, and now have my own business.
You are powerful beyond measure, and there are always ways you can increase your income to get the money you need.
Some more posts that might help you:
- 16 ways to create more money for travel
- What if I just don’t have the money? 10 actionable steps to change that
- 5 tips to get out of debt so you can travel more
3. Save all the excess
Now take all the money you’ve saved from the expenses you don’t need nor care about, PLUS all that extra you’ve collected from creative ways to earn more income, and whack it into your savings account.
Because you do have a travel bucket list savings account right? You’ve got to be automatically putting money away each paycheck to go towards your dreams. Then all the extra you’ve gathered needs to be added to this.
It should be a high-interest savings account. Having this travel savings money bucket recently helped us get the money we needed to attend the White House Travel Summit at the last minute.
It sure depleted it and then some, but by following our strategies above we are filling it back up again, patiently and without heavy sacrifice stealing our present joy.
Some posts to help:
You don’t have to delay your travels if you just earn an income while you’re doing it. It’s a brilliant strategy for travelling more and travelling often.
Here are some posts to show you how we have:
- The jobs we’ve had working around the world
- How to teach English overseas
- My experiences teaching overseas
- 9 ways to prepare and protect yourself before working abroad
- How we make money travel blogging
Remember: Ask Yourself the Right Financial Questions
- How can I create more money in my life?
- How can I cut back in order to save more money? (a dollar saved is a dollar earned.)
Bonus strategies and tips on saving money for travel
How Can I Create More Money in Order to Travel?
Start thinking about what skills you have and what extra jobs you can take on to earn and save more money for travel.
No, it is not easy. The last thing you want to do after a long, hard day at work is go to work again. But, how big is your dream? How much do you want it?
If you want it bad enough, you will do it
I used to come home from a day of teaching, and instead of collapsing on the couch I would put my uniform on and head down to the local restaurant or bar and start my second shift, or I would gather my tutoring materials together to spend a couple of hours teaching privately.
Craig also gave up his weekends to work extra shifts. Do what you have to do!
Our airfares were already covered – Craig’s with his round the world ticket, and my free flight was paid for by my company. But we needed moving and living expenses.
Time to find a job that would pay us extremely well and allow us to save.
My brother convinced us to go to Kuri Bay to pearl farm with him. We knew nothing about pearling and decided it was time to learn a new skill and go for it.
All our accommodation and food was paid for. We lived on camp, miles from civilization for up to 5 weeks at a time, for four months.
We did nothing but work. It was tough, but after a five-week shift we walked away with $10,000 in our bank account.
We did 3 five week swings. Pretty easy money after all.
Boarders / Rent
In 2002 before we left for our five-year honeymoon, we had our own 4 bedroom two story house. Instead of just the two of us trying to fill in the space we invited two people to come join us.
Not only did we get extra cash coming in to our savings account, but we had lots of fun times together.
Who can you bring in as a boarder? Or can you move somewhere cheaper and rent your place out? Maybe you might have to move back in with your parents for awhile.
Do what you have to do.
Sell Unused Possessions
Ebay and Craigslist are ready to be your new best friend.
Go through all your crap and sell what you don’t need or use. Even if you only make a couple of hundred bucks, that is money that will give you a few days in Asia or Africa. It is all worth it.
Trade your materialistic things for memories.
Make it a Working Holiday
This is one of our favorite strategies. If you plan to make your travels around the world long-term, and you haven’t saved up a bunch of cash beforehand, then one of the best ways to fund your travels is to work as you go.
We’ve had many jobs around the world that allowed us to live as an expat and explore the region.
This means you don’t have to save as much to begin with and once you are there you’ll be earning the local currency.
You also get to experience another culture deeply by being immersed in the day to day living.
You can hop from country to country on different working holiday visas, and if you are lucky enough you might land a work opportunity that provides you with free flights and accommodation.
This happened to us in Australia, Thailand, and the USA.
Save Your Tax Returns and Bonuses
This has given us huge lumps of money at times to travel with. Tax returns and bonuses are unexpected win falls.
Don’t ever use this money for anything other than paying off debts or saving for your dreams. Take that cash and put it straight into your savings account.
In 2005, we were getting ready to road trip south to Florida for the summer months and did not have anywhere near the amount of money we needed. From out of the blue, a friend I worked with in Dublin contacted me to let me know I had back pay due to me from when I taught in Dublin for 6 months.
After arranging how she could deposit in my bank account for me, I had $2,500 to go play with on our road trip.
How Do I Save Money for World Travel?
Get clear on what it is you want from life.
If you find you have a wardrobe full of clothes never worn, or a shed full of unused toys then you are not clear on what you want from life or your purpose.
The stuff is filling that void for you. Why are you here? What do you want your life to be represented by – stuff or memories?
When tempted to buy things you don’t really need you need, stop and ask yourself some serious questions:
- Is buying ____________ worth giving up travel for? (or any dream you want)?
- Could this ____________ be worth more to me than learning to dive on the Great Barrier Reef?
- Do I want this to be the representation of my life’s experiences?
- How will it enrich my life and bring me closer to my goals?
Luxury Verse Needs
Get back to basics.
You don’t really need a lot to survive, nor to have a great life really. You can get by with less. Your life will feel less cluttered, which will free up more energy in order to attract more money to you.
Ditch the labels, the expensive price tags, the brand new cars and other goods, the fancy restaurants, and top shelf drinks. Start living on a needs basis, not a want.
One thing we loved about living in big cities like London, Bangkok and Dublin was that we did not need a car. Cars are expensive.
Not only do you have to buy it, you have to insure it, maintain it, and fill it with expensive fuel.
Save your money, help the environment, and lose the car for public transport or better yet, your feet. This will help you get in shape for your travels physically as well as financially.
Eat at Home
This is probably the one we have most difficulty with and I blame travel for this. We are too used to going out to eat, especially in cheap countries like Asia and Africa.
The first place to cut is buying your work lunches. Take your own lunch to work, including drinks and yes… coffee...bye bye Starbucks (weep).
Reduce dinners out as much as you can and substitute them for picnics at the park or barbecues at home with your mates. Make eating at home fun by trying new recipes and drinking local beer and wine while you cook.
Live Off One Wage
This was one of our biggest strategies for saving a lot of money fast. If you don’t put this into practice before you know it you will have spent both your wages on stuff you don’t need.
Decide whose wage you can live off (after you have followed these saving tips for world travel) and then bank one whole complete wage into a savings account and live off the other.
If you don’t have the money for something, then you can’t do it.
Open a Travel Savings Account
Use a high-interest savings account for your travel fund. Automate it so that a certain amount goes in there each week, or month, depending on how often you get paid, and reduce your access to it to avoid temptation.
Research to find out which savings account is going to give you the best interest with low fees. In Australia we use the ING Savings Maximiser account as our travel fund of choice.
Work Out a Travel Plan
Take some time to plan your travel style
- How do you plan on getting around when you travel?
- What sort of places are you willing to stay, where will you eat?
In other words how low budget do you plan to go?
The lower your travel style, the lower your costs and the greater chance you have to get on the road earlier and for longer.
Choose your destinations wisely. My first trip abroad was 3 months in Indonesia, which was incredibly cheap.
I then moved straight to London where I lost two thirds of my money when I flew into Heathrow. Ouch!! Lucky I was moving there to work.
I was only there for about two weeks before I was working behind the bar in Liverpool St for the summer waiting for school to start again.
Now that English pounds were flowing into my pocket I could breathe again. Of course earning the pound meant that my money went extremely far when I traveled Europe for the summer in a campervan.
Working out a strategic travel plan will really assist you in saving money for your world travel. It will show you just how possible it is and how little money you really need.
I hope these saving tips for world travel have helped you see the light.
Keep believing in your dreams. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way.
Scroll down to read our best posts on saving money for travel broken into categories.