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I want to go travelling. I want to travel the world. Two statements I’m sure we’ve all made at least once, whether we’re being legitimately serious or not. But once you’ve made that commitment to long term travel, you’re probably wondering how to do this?
Needless to say, travel abroad is expensive. More often than not the biggest barrier between you, the world and travel is most likely to be money. So it comes as no surprise that some of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to travel is about how to save up money to fund my travel.
So, you want to know ‘how to save money for travel?’ this is the post for you!
Questions regarding travel savings were definitely the ones I asked the most when I was planning my travel and wanted to make my trip a reality. Therefore I want to share some of my top tips on how to save for a travel fund.
QUICK DISCLAIMER: I understand that whilst I can share my top how to bund a travel fund tips, they come from a place of great privilege. I live at home with my parents and have very little outgoings in comparison to others. These are simply ways that have worked for me in my personal circumstances. I also wrote this before coronavirus was a thing and understand that peoples earnings and ability to save have changed drastically since the start of the pandemic!
- 1 HOW TO BUILD A TRAVEL FUND
- 1.1 2) CYCLING / WALK / GET THE TRAIN WHERE YOU CAN
- 1.2 3) EAT THE FOOD YOU HAVE AT HOME
- 1.3 4) VIEW MONEY IN TERMS OF FLIGHTS & HOSTELS
- 1.4 5) DON’T DRINK AS MUCH ALCOHOL
- 1.5 6) GET USED TO SAVING THE SAME EACH MONTH
- 1.6 7) REALISE YOU HAVE TO MAKE SACRIFICES
- 1.7 8) SELL THINGS AND SHOP SECOND HAND
- 1.8 9) DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR GOAL AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
- 1.9 10) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING IT AND REMEMBER IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT IN THE END
- 1.10 If you enjoyed these tips on HOW TO BUILD A TRAVEL FUND, check out my other travel advice posts:
If someone wants to know how to travel the world one of the first steps is usually to have some sort of travel money so here are my top 10 tips on:
HOW TO BUILD A TRAVEL FUND
1) OPEN A TRAVEL SAVINGS ACCOUNT
It can be hard to know how to start a travel fund but the best first step is to open a separate travel account. This way you can keep all your money for travel separate. If you have temptation to spend money this could reduce it, and also watching your travel fund increase it can be much more motivating.
Make sure you choose a specific savings account as these usually have better interest rates, which help to increase the travel fund without you doing anything. Although interest rates are pretty shocking right now, try and find one that offers even a little reward for savings.
Opening a savings account is super easy – just look at your banking online or pop into the branch and ask! If you have a steady monthly income set up a direct debit into your travel savings.
2) CYCLING / WALK / GET THE TRAIN WHERE YOU CAN
When you’re looking at how to build a travel fund, see how you can make small changes in your everyday life. Having a car and driving is great but it often isn’t the cheapest option. Sometimes walking or cycling somewhere can actually be really rewarding. And think of all that petrol money going into your travel fund!
From my travel experience, once you’re away you’ll be using public transport and your feet a lot anyway, so may as well get started now and boost that travel fund whilst you’re at it.
If you’re from the UK and under 25 make sure you have a railcard! Fuel money saving tip: filling up your car fully each time makes fuel costs cheaper in the long run. Just don’t do what I did and try and make fuel stretch too far. You will end up stuck roadside and having to call your parents out on a cold, rainy evening to come and rescue you (oops!).
3) EAT THE FOOD YOU HAVE AT HOME
It may seem obvious but a great way to save up money is to find amazing meals from what’s already in the cupboard. Find some great recipes online and you might even find a new hobby in cooking from scratch!
Going out for food is, of course, a great social activity so you could try looking Groupon or Wowcher for some great deals! Even just making packed lunches for work can save you a lot and add bucket loads to the travel fund.
1 x £3 meal deal, 5 days a week = £15/week, £60/month, £720/year. That’s around 140 nights in a hostel in Southeast Asia!
4) VIEW MONEY IN TERMS OF FLIGHTS & HOSTELS
Of course we all need to treat ourselves every now and again, but when it comes to topping up my vacation fund, I always try and remember what the money could get me in terms of travel. For example ‘that coat could get me X nights in a hostel’, or ‘that could contribute to x% of a flight’
5) DON’T DRINK AS MUCH ALCOHOL
The simple fact we try to ignore is that alcohol is very expensive. If I go out I tend to drink a lot of cheap alcohol at home before hand! If you think about how much you’d spend on a typical night out and transfer that to your travelling funds every other week instead, just IMAGINE the adventure of a lifetime you could create!
6) GET USED TO SAVING THE SAME EACH MONTH
I touched on setting up a direct debit to your travel savings account before. I find this is a great way to getting used to living on / saving the same amount each month, to the extent where you stop noticing it. I got used to saving around 70% of my wages each month, but in reference to my disclaimer at the start I understand I am advantaged in many ways.
Some of circumstances when saving for my Southeast Asia trip were as follows:
- Lived at home with my parents with little outgoings and a very reasonable board rate
- My car is cheap to run and I worked less than 4 miles from where I lived so had small travel costs and was able to cycle most days
- I was able to afford to buy my phone outright so only pay a small amount a month for calls, as opposed to a contract
7) REALISE YOU HAVE TO MAKE SACRIFICES
My next tip on how to build a travel fund is simply recognising what is most important to you. In today’s society it can be hard not to compete and compare with one another. Social media makes it all too easy to succumb to the pressure of appearing to have it all. But often we just need to sit back and assess what we actually really need, and in a world when you can have anything, think about what you REALLY want.
8) SELL THINGS AND SHOP SECOND HAND
Getting rid of things you don’t want or need is a easy and simple way to help fund travel. So many clothes and nothing to wear is something pretty much everyone complains about. I went through my wardrobe and if I hadn’t worn something in 6-12 months just sold it on Depop or eBay. Then all the money I made went straight into savings to fund my travel.
Also think about charity shop shopping. They actually have some really nice things if you take the time to look. Shopping the way and supporting slow fashion is also better for the planet so it’s a win win!
9) DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR GOAL AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
You can do it.
And even if some days you want to pack it in and just give up and go and eat at Miller and Carter every week, just try and remember why you’re doing it.
There were plenty of days when I was up at 5:30 for work and I was like ‘this isn’t even worth it’. But when you’re staring at an incredible panoramic view, or looking at the world out of your plane window, or making new friends whilst exploring new cultures on the other side of the world, it is MORE THAN WORTH IT.
It was the most rewarding thing transforming my dreams into reality and being able to make my trip happen!
10) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING IT AND REMEMBER IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT IN THE END
My final tip on how to build a travel fund is just to keep focused on it! If you maintain this attitude and have enough desire and passion, it won’t be as laborious and as difficult as you probably expect. Your efforts will pay dividends and before you’ll know it you’ll be on a trip and truly enjoying yourself (like you’ve seen everyone else doing on Instagram for the past year!)
I hope these tips on How to Build a Travel Fund have proved helpful and inspired some of you to start a travel fund, or made it seem a bit more realistically that you too can fund travel. I think all that’s left for me to say is – have a safe trip!
If you enjoyed these tips on HOW TO BUILD A TRAVEL FUND, check out my other travel advice posts:
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