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How to save for any trip

How to save for any trip

“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”

 —Elizabeth Gilbert

People we have met around the world would often stop and ask us how we travel for so long without working. The truth is we worked hard for it. We saved enough money to allow us to realize our dream of a one way ticket.

One of the main reasons people don’t travel is money. We often hear people say “I can’t afford it”, “I have bills to pay”. It’s funny, a lot of expenses disappear when you travel the world. Yes, you still have the obvious like house repayments and insurance, those will always be there. But, when you travel you don’t have the weekly fuel costs of a car or its repayments, no cable TV, you won’t spend money eating out as much, you don’t need the latest electronics or style clothing, no monthly phone bills or power bills, etc. When you sit down and add up every dollar you spend on your weekly routine, these costs are surprising. And if you do have house repayments that can’t sit for a while then look into AirBNB to cover the mortgage for a few weeks.

But we also know it’s achievable to travel on the bare minimum. We met many travellers young and old. Some had just finished school and were on a 6 month trip with only a couple of thousand dollars. Similar with other people we met who had been fired from their job and just decided to escape the rat race for a while and see out their small amount of savings on a world tour. For these people and ourselves, we have the same thinking – money comes and money goes. We don’t let money and material things take control over our lives. We are content with only having the basics in life and our values on this have only been bolstered by solo travel.

In summary, here is our list of tips to save money:

⁃Make travel a priority: remember why you’re doing this, your dream for a around the world trip is worth a few sacrifices.

⁃Set a Budget: create a spreadsheet in Excel or somewhere that allows you to track each purchase you make. Do this for a few weeks and see where you spend every single dollar. It adds up quick. This should prompt a few changes in future expenditure.

⁃Create a savings plan: Write down on a bit of paper your goal. How much do you need to save for a trip and for how long. Look both short term and long term. It’s a good idea to open a new account specifically for travel funds. Money can go in, but not come out. Don’t lose track of your goals, continue to assess and monitor these goals to stay where you need to be. You could also set an automatic transfer to savings.

⁃Simplify your life: Review your budget spreadsheet and analyse what purchases are needs, what purchases are wants. Get rid of what you don’t need and whats not assisting you reach your dream.

⁃Make money: Sell some stuff. Reduce or eliminate your car usage. Stop the cable TV. Reduce your utility bills. Quit smoking. Drink tap water not bottled. Cancel your gym membership. Skip the spa. Get fewer haircuts. Borrow your reading material. Do Free Things. Buy second-hand clothing. Limit Entertainment. Save on Utilities. Rent DVD’s from a Library – its free. Give a gift of service or a home made gifts. Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships. Stay in at night.

⁃Eat out less often: For example cut back on fancy coffee drinks, try going without that chai late few days a week. Eliminating coffee from your life just might be impossible. So, instead try thinking about drip coffee, not the usual extra large with extra espresso shots. Paying $2 instead of $5 every day could save you over $1,000 a year!

⁃Earn extra income: Try pouring beers in a pub a couple of nights a week. This will keep you from partying and spending money as well as a second income for your travels. Try working online from home to earn a little extra or mowing lawns and tending to the neighbours gardens for some extra cash on the weekend. Put you spare bedroom on AirBNB.

We were never given a free ride in life, We’ve made the necessary sacrifices to put some money away making travel a priority. We’ve worked hard. If you’ve grown up with a sound understanding of the importance of saving money, it should then already be second nature to you to do these things. It’s never too late to start though. Once you know you want to leave and travel, there will come a point where you stop buying and know your new priority will be to travel and this means that anything new you buy will be useless in a few months time (unless it’s going to fit into your new backpack). Whatever you can do before leaving to boost your funds further will only add to a better experience. Sell your car, some furniture as well and appliances from your house, stopped eating out and cut down expenditure wherever possible.

Finally, you will be so stoked to have saved the funds that you need to kickstart your trip and instantly forget about the little extra sacrifice you made to make it happen. Be passionate about what you do, it is this reason that you will find a way to make it work Why wouldn’t you?


Words by Mitch Daley | Photo by LovaLinda

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