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How to Save Money for Travelling

21 October 2011 No Comment

So, you read all these wonderful travel blogs across the internet, written by people from all walks of life, and from all corners of the world, and you sit there and wonder Just how do they manage to pay for it all? Well, I am about to show you many ways you can save money easily, and effectively.

For me, it’s all about discipline, and making the sensible choices. It sounds boring, I know, but essentially, you choose to save money, or you choose to spend it!

OK, so it might not be that straight forward, and we all have bills to pay, and outgoings that we have no control over, and no choice but to pay, but there are ways of minimising these outgoings, and sometimes it’s about making a decision that isn’t ideal. Here is a list of things you can do to help bring that Trip of a Lifetime closer to you:

1. Live with your parents: Hey, it’s not ideal as I mentioned above, but it’s a great way to save money. Nowadays it’s become more acceptable to be living at home, and can really make a difference to your bank balance. It may be a strain on your parents or other members of the family, but as long as you pay your way there is no reason why this cannot be a good, short-term solution. Whatever you pay will be less than what it costs to rent.

2. Sell as much as you can: Maybe selling as much as you can is going overboard slightly, but it certainly can help to get rid of old clutter, and to make a bit of extra cash from it. If you’re anything like me, the chances are you have a lot of stuff in storage somewhere, gathering dust, and serving no other purpose but taking up space. You may be thinking that one day it will be worth something, or you want to keep it for memories, but how often do you go back to it and reminisce about old times? Exactly! Sell it! EBay, car boot sales, garage sales, friends or family – plenty of ways to help fill the purse.

3. Don’t go out as much: This may be a particularly hard one for people to grasp, and one that a lot of people could not commit to. It’s almost like saying Give up smoking, or alcohol, it’s not going to happen. But instead of spending money on going out somewhere, why not stay in with friends, or go somewhere less expensive. Maybe drive and not drink, but in any case, reduce the amount of times you go out. It is hard, but you can save a lot of money this way. Once you are travelling, you can go out as often as you like, and to some incredible places as well, much better than your local pub, I can almost guarantee that.

4. Stop the spending habits: Again, easier said than done, but look at the end goal. You want to go travelling right? So there are things you need to sacrifice in order for this to happen. Don’t go out week after week, buying more clothes than you will ever wear. Stop looking at the expensive labels and walk away. Travellers have a reputation for being cheap – although this is not always the case, not by a long shot – but it certainly helps to think cheap. And so you would do well to start thinking along the lines of How can I save money? The chance are, you will not need a lot of designer gear while travelling, and you certainly won’t want to be taking your entire wardrobe with you, so think about what you actually need, not what you would like.

5. Obtain a Working Holiday Visa: For all the will in the world, and all the hard work you put into saving money, you may face the realisation that it just isn’t possible to save enough money each month to fund your travelling. Maybe you have enough, but you want to live well while out there, and don’t want the constant niggle of money playing on your mind. There are many reasons why people opt for a Working Holiday Visa, and it can mean a whole new outlook on your adventure. With this document, you can stay for a much longer time in a particular country, and stay in one place – if that’s what you desire – to get a real feel for living there as a local. Working enables you to relax from money worries, and gives you a break from the backpacker lifestyle that may take its toll after months lugging a heavy bag around. You needn’t worry so much about saving before a trip if you had a Visa like this, but instead, just go, and hope you find work – which can be tricky at times.

(Later I will write a post specifically on Working Holiday Visas, and also on finding work abroad)

6. Get another part time job: I have saved this one for last, as I must confess, I am not the type of person to get myself another job. I am by no means lazy, but I value my free time, and I think there has to be a balance between work and free time in order to maintain a happy outlook on life. I think this is very important in all areas of life, and working too many jobs may bring you down. The last thing you want is to get to the point where you can’t find happiness, as this might ruin your plans altogether, and discourage you to take the plunge into travelling altogether. My advice is, if you have a good outlook on life, and people around you to keep your spirits up, then look at taking another job. It’s only for a while after all. Otherwise, stick to your guns and be disciplined.

One thing that has always helped me when travelling is a strong family behind me. I am very fortunate to have this, and have had the luxury of being able to ask for money from my nearest and dearest on a number of occasions. I’m not saying make sure you have people to bail you out if needed, but it’s always nice to have some sort of backup plan, even if it’s a separate bank account that you only touch if absolutely necessary. The last thing you want is to come home early because you don’t have any money left.

Travelling is something everybody should have the opportunity to do. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and some people will never have that option, but for those who do have the option, it’s something you simply have to do in my opinion. I am almost certain that this will make you a stronger person, and will only fuel a desire for more travel.

Be disciplined, hold off on the spending, work harder if necessary, but look to your ultimate goal, and soon you will be on that plane full of excitement and anticipation. There are fewer greater feelings than this.

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Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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