There are countless ways to save money while planning a trip. Every cost you can save in the planning and preparation process can make a huge difference in the long run, boosting your savings, and allowing you to travel sooner and for longer!
You will have to make sacrifices in the short term, there’s no way around that. But in the long run, the rewards are honestly so worth it! These tips have helped me to save money faster so I can travel more often and for longer!
Keep your goal in focus
This is biggest tip I can offer, and it comes from a certain state of mind. When I was 16 and planning for my first six-month backpacking trip overseas, my goal of being able to travel was always in sharp focus. Every money-related decision I had to make was with the goal in mind of saving more to be able to travel sooner and for longer. Every time I would catch myself about to spend money on a hot chocolate or a meal out, I would ask myself, would I rather enjoy this coffee now, or wait and enjoy it in Europe instead? The answer always made my decision easier! This strategy became central to my money-saving schemes.
In the planning process
Plan to spend more time in cheaper destinations, and less time in the more expensive ones. For example, I knew Switzerland was going to be expensive, which is why I opted for five days there and three weeks in Turkey. Some countries are a lot more budget friendly for travelers than others. This doesn’t mean you need to miss out on visiting the places you want to see, just be aware of average daily costs of the destinations you choose to visit and factor this into your budget.
Book in advance when you know you will be visiting somewhere in peak travel season. I made sure to book accommodation and transport as early as possible when I knew I was going to be somewhere in summer, because prices sky rocket when you book last minute for certain destinations. For off-peak months (such as September through to November in Europe), you can keep your plans a bit more open.
Life before departure
There are so many ways you can cut costs while saving to travel! Every little cost adds up, so every cost you can cut will help boost your savings. Keeping a tab on what you are spending and what you have saved can also help. If anything, this makes you aware of how much of a difference every cost-cut can make.
Invite friends over for a meal or drinks, rather than going out to restaurants and bars. Avoid buying unnecessary new clothing, and sell items you don’t wear or need. Stop buying that daily coffee, and make it at home to take with you in a take away cup instead. Repair old electronics before buying new ones. Walk or bike to work or school instead of driving or taking the bus. Take up extra shifts at work. Make lunch at home and take it with you, rather than buying lunch. Stay living at home, and offer to help your family out around the house instead of paying rent.
On the road
So now you’ve finished planning and you’re on your merry way! There are many more ways to save money whilst on the road too.
Opt for picnic meals instead of dining in restaurants. Sure, you have to enjoy restaurant meals occasionally on your journey, but this doesn’t have to include every single meal. Make the most of the free breakfast provided by many hostels and backpackers as well. Explore new destinations by foot rather than taking taxis or buses. Make the most of free attractions and free walking tours (where only a small tip is required). Choose to couch surf or stay in mixed dormitories rather than private rooms or hotels.
Phewpf! There are so many other ways to save money and be economical on your trip too, but these tips have been the most helpful to me. I hope they will be useful for you too, happy planning!