We at Her Packing List are firm believers that you don’t have to be rich to travel. What you do need to be, however, is committed, as saving for travel will ultimately impact your lifestyle, but benefit you in the long run. Making a few but significant changes can help you work towards your destination.
1. Cut down on expenses.
This seems obvious. First, start by making a list of everything you spend money on. Use tools like Mint.com or an Excel spreadsheet to track where most of your money goes to, whether it be food, clothing, transportation or travel. Mint also lets you know when it’s time to pay your credit card and lets you set up budgets to keep you on track.
Instead of stopping by Starbucks every morning or eating lunch out every day, make your own coffee at home and bring your own lunch. Or at least cut back. There are so many delicious meals you can make for yourself at a much lower cost.
Nights out with friends may need to be kept to a minimum as well when you factor in the cost of alcohol and taxi fares. Instead, you can invite them over for a couple of bottles of wine or to binge watch a Netflix series.
Cut down on shopping habits. Instead of buying new clothes you don’t need, trade them in at a consignment store and get something else with the store credit.
2. Get rid of stuff.
Clear out all the things you don’t need while you’re traveling and make some extra money in the process. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to get rid of it. You can sell it on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon or even have an old fashioned garage sale.
And while it’s not exactly getting rid of “stuff you don’t need,” you can also make money by donating plasma or taking part in medical studies.
3. Work a second (or third) job.
If you work regular hours during the day, it may be beneficial to take on another job that fills in some of the remaining hours. An extra 10-15 hours a week can do wonders for your travel fund!
The best temporary jobs to save for travel are typically in the hospitality industry, as there are many that are seasonal or flexible. Banquet staff is easy work to come by and companies are almost always hiring. You also don’t need much experience.
Babysitting and office temp work are flexible and easy to find. Look for freelance work in your field, whether it be web design, photography, writing or consulting.
Market research may be another option depending on where you live since big companies are always after opinions on new products and services.
4. Move to a cheaper place.
How much you pay in rent can make all the difference. I’ve been lucky enough to have a family that lets me live rent free with them while I’m saving for trips, so if possible, choose this option. If not, find roommates to split costs with or move to a cheaper part of town. You can also rent out your spare room on sites like AirBnB while saving for your trip, or use it to make extra cash if keeping your accommodation while abroad.
5. Commit to an amount.
Be realistic about how much you’ll need to save and add a bit. WRITE THIS GOAL DOWN and refer to it often. It’s better to have a cushion amount in case something happens and you suddenly need to go home, or if your destination turns out to be much more expensive than you anticipated. I was woefully unprepared for how much I would need to live and travel in Australia, which meant I had to get a job almost immediately upon arriving.
If possible, switch your bank account into one that doesn’t charge you as many fees or a credit card that will give you rewards for the money you’re already spending. Set aside a specific amount every week or every paycheck to a savings account. Have it set to automatically do this if possible.
>> Don’t forget to save money on your travel gear!
What other tips can you give for saving money for your travels? Share them in the comments below!