One of the main reasons people give for not going travelling is that they can’t afford it and I’m the first to admit that travelling for a few month or longer is crazy expensive. But I’ll also admit that it will be the best money you will ever spend and it’s well worth working your socks of for a few years in order to save for that big trip.
Here are my top tips to help you save for your trip that bit faster and make the saving process as bearable as possible.
Have a spending detox
Like a diet, it’s good to start with a detox, mainly because it’s horrible and when you allow yourself a few little treats you’ll really appreciate it.
A spending detox should last for a week and you should spend nothing all week other than your rent, bills and transport costs. Make sure you take packed lunches when you’ll be out for the day and don’t buy ANYTHING! If you can, don’t even take any cash or cards out with you to avoid temptation.
A spending detox will be tough but it will help you realize how much money you waste and the places you really need to spend it. You’ll realize that you don’t need to spend money on drinks and treats throughout the day, you don’t need those magazines and papers and you can go without a few drinks in the pub after work.
Have a target
It’s tough to save if you don’t know exactly what you’re saving for or how long it will take. Work out how much you’re going to need for your trip and when you want to go so you know exactly how much you need to put away each month.
Cover your walls, your fridge, your notebooks, your office, your bedroom, (hell, cover your bathroom if it helps) with pictures of the places you’re going to keep you inspired to keep saving.
What could you be spending your money on?
One night’s accommodation in Thailand can cost as little as £5 a night so try to keep this is mind every time you spend a fiver at home. What can £5 get you at home? A McDonalds meal, two coffees, a pint and a packet of crisps, a book, a magazine and not a lot else. These are all things you can live without so whenever you’re tempted, think about what you could be spending that money on.
That’s right, everything! If it’s not going with you, get it on eBay. If you’re travelling long term, all your clothes will be outdated and all your technology will be old news. Sell your books and DVDs because, let’s face it, who reads on a book and who watches DVDs these days? Sell your car; you could travel for months on the money you get for your car and you’ll thank yourself for it later when you can stay on the road that bit longer.
Start buying travel
If you’re really terrible at saving, start spending, just make sure you’re spending it on the right things. Buy a flight as soon as you get paid, buy your backpack, book some accommodation, book activities with flexible dates or put money on a travel money card. If you’ve already spent the money, there’s no way you can spend it!
If all else fails…get a working holiday visa
If you’re under 30 you can get a working holiday visa fairly easily for Australia, New Zealand and Canada. If you’re working abroad, you’ll only need to save enough money to buy your flights and keep you going for a month or two just in case you don’t find work immediately.
It’s much more fun to save for travel when you’re already travelling and you’ll find that you’ll meet lots of other backpackers in the same situation. I lived with heaps on people in Australia who were all working 12 hour days in order to save as much money as quickly as possible to start travelling again. You can travel around that country and when you run out of money, just stop travelling and start working again. Simples.
Do you have any other tips for saving for travel?