As you’ve seen before on the blog, I have posted a couple of times tips regarding how to travel as cheap and easy as possible. This is because many who do not believe that they can travel, actually can despite the circumstances. Of course, I completely understand some people often struggle with money and even day-to-day living costs can be a struggle, which is why I and others should be extremely grateful if we are ever given the opportunity to travel. Rule of thumb to differentiate: essentially if you can afford to have a social life and buy yourself things, you can probably can afford to travel. However, for those of you who just cannot seem to get enough money together but aren’t too far away from booking a trip, here are my tips and advice.
Here’s the link to my earlier blog post about travelling as a student which also includes tips to keep travelling cheap. The following post you’re about to read below is more about saving money to travel! So pick whatever one suits you, or both 🙂 – How to travel with ease whilst living the student life
Reduce or stop spending money on socialising
Yes, that might sound quite painful I am sure! However, from years in school, sixth form and university I have barely spent a penny out socialising. Most of the time visiting friends where they live or just going to a coffee shop every now and then is a good way to spend time together. Plus walking around various towns and cities is also a very good idea – you get to explore new places nearby and walking is free! I’ve written a post all about travelling locally here and how at times it can actually curb feelings of wanderlust. Now in terms of ‘nights out’ I, fortunately, am a complete soberite and spend £0 on drinking, clubbing etc. However for those of you who still want to carry out that lifestyle, just bear in mind that if you want to travel you will have to scale it back quite a bit. How? Don’t go to the most expensive bars/clubs, booze is booze and once you’re out you’ll be having a blast wherever you are. Also, don’t insist that you have to buy a new outfit every time you go out – that seriously adds up, just accessorise an outfit you already have slightly differently. Finally, try house parties or gatherings at home! Shopping at Tesco for your drinks and hosting at home costs next to nothing! By doing this you could save possibly hundreds depending on your habits – a two night trip to Eastern Europe only costs around £100 – I personally recommend Poland of course.
Stop unnecessary spending and try mindful spending
I’ve already praised Rebecca’s post all about Mindful Spending on another post but here it is again as she speaks so much sense and her advice is probably written more articulately than mine – plus her blog is gorgeous! Basically, if you see items in the shops that spark your interest and you desperately want to buy…don’t. Just think to yourself ‘do I really need this?’ and ‘Would I rather have this or foreign currency, a hotel night or even a flight?’ This thinking has helped me no end to save more and more money for my trips away. However, if you really want to buy something, please do! Just consciously think about whether you need it and I recommend leaving it a week to even a month to think about it – if you still obsess and don’t mind spending your cash on it rather than travelling then go ahead, but if you lose interest or are still debating it, don’t buy! Another tip includes stopping daily coffees whilst commuting, make homemade lunch for work rather than eating out, take the cheapest form of transport or walk. Ignore the impulse purchases at the checkout too, do you really need it as it’s cheap and only a small essential? If you didn’t set out to buy it probably not! Finally, if you still believe you are too much of an impulse and unnecessary spender…leave your card at home or transfer most of your money into another account to stop you from spending it.
Manage your finances better and get more disposable income
Basically reduce your bills and living costs as much as humanely possible! I’ve written this in note form otherwise, this section of advice would be super long!
Rent – Pick the place that optimises low cost/what you need. For those at university, this is key as rents can be very high in university cities. Maybe stay further away from campus and walk more. Also, do you really need the plushest halls the university has to offer? To keep costs to an absolute minimum you can probably study at a university locally and live at home. However, only do this if either you are happy at a local university and/or your passion for travel is more important.
Bills – Switch off lights, switch off all electronics, even switch all the wall sockets off! Have quick showers not baths, wash your dishes by hand. Do you need the heating on or can you put on a jumper? Do you need a fan on or can you wear less and open a window?
Food – Do you really need Tesco? Aldi and Lidl offer the same food at a lower cost, just without the branding. Try and eat your own food rather than cafes/restaurants/fast foods. Make food in batches also.
Travel – Pay for travel in bulk monthly/annual, look for discounts for students, public sector, emergency services etc Use the cheapest route rather than the fastest. Walk and bike whenever you can. Don’t own a car unless you need one – the UK is fortunate to have buses and trains to take you anywhere.
Monthly memberships – End memberships for anything you do not use or need.
Essentials – Find the cheapest shop locally that sells toiletries, essentials etc, Home Bargains is my personal favourite but Savers and B&M Bargains are also pretty great! Much cheaper than stocking up at Boots and Supermarkets.
Vouchers and codes – Check voucher, coupon and discount sites regularly – nothing to lose but you could gain money or % off to spend somewhere. Do not use this as an excuse to spend money on things you do not need but rather use a voucher for somewhere you were already intending to go to and purchase items.
Save 10% of what you earn as a minimum
Now 10% doesn’t sound like much does it? Probably because it isn’t. Now if you need to use all of your money for something in the month that is totally fine, everyone’s’ circumstances are different. However, try your best to save 10% or more if you have a disposable income most months. This will add up over the space of a year and if you save even more than 10% you’ll be travelling even more! I just recommend 10-20% as it isn’t a huge amount you should notice but if you are super dedicated to your cause then bump it up to 50%, with the tips I’ve previously mentioned saving 50% does get easier and easier. You can always start small and add up.
Those are my personal tips and advice that I gained from how I myself save money, how my parents save money for their travels and how I have seen others spend so recklessly. Of course, you can follow my advice as far as you’d like. Some of you may just want to save a little for a city break away, some of you may be saving for a two week holiday to the Maldives. Some of you might be saving to travel frequently, some of you may be saving for one holiday. It’s honestly up to you what you wish to do in your life and how you wish to spend your money. However, for those who frequently politely ask how I can afford to travel and those who are bitter and moan about me ‘going away all the time’ I hope whoever you are this advice finds you well and you can see how it’s certainly not ‘impossible’ <3 Give it a shot yourself 🙂 These tips do not just apply to travelling of course, you can use this to reduce your spending and increase your cash for anything – but hey, you know where my money is going 😉
If you’re saving money for travel or wish to save more money for travel where would you go? Let me know, I love to hear about people’s choices in travel destinations.