Top Tips to Save Money for Travel

If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. 
& its the same with travelling.

Its all well & good looking through Pinterest or Instagram of peoples travel photos and thinking I want to go there ... actually make it happen. 
With a few lifestyle-change choices and conscious actions to save, anyone can go travelling to that dream city or country. 

After I graduated from Uni in 2013 I went straight into full-time work and stayed there for 2 & half years, I wasn't earning anything special but yet I managed to get a month Inter-railing round Europe, a month roadtrip cross-country in USA and money saved towards my 12 months in Australia out of it without having to live like a hermit either. 
So good news; so can you! 

Here's some of my top tips for saving money for travel ...

1. Research, Research, Research 
Yes, its all very well saying "I want to go travelling round SE Asia" but first things first before you go booking flights you need to spend some time doing research. Where do you want to go, how long for, what time of year, how will you travel round, where will you stay, cost of food & attractions. It all adds up and its better to know beforehand roughly how much your trip is going to cost and whether you can afford it before you blow money on flights to then get there and realise you don't have nearly enough money saved to get by. One of my favourite tools on a laptop / iPad is the Microsoft OneNote app (free download), you can create different tabs and categories which I like to split into different aspects of a trip I'm researching (flights, hotels, attractions & costs etc). 
If you do the research before, it'll save you money in the long-run! 

2. Saving Goals
Once you've worked out if you can afford your trip & how much it will cost start setting yourself weekly / monthly savings goals. How far away is your trip? How much do you need to save in that time? I set up a standing-order with my bank to transfer money from one account into a separate one each week so that I couldn't touch it. If the money isn't in your current account, you can't spend it. After time its so satisfying watching the total increase and know that its going to be spent on an incredible adventure which you'll remember for the rest of your life instead of nights out you might not remember by the next day, getting your nails done that will chip within a week or clothes you had to have but the only wear once. 

3. Sell Stuff
Dedicate a weekend of sorting through your stuff. Clothes, shoes, accessories, books, old cds, dvds - the lot! Get yourself a box and fill it with everything in good enough condition to sell online / for a car boot and get selling. Any money you make put straight into your travel savings! 

4. Subscriptions
We've all got them. But do we need them? If you've not used your gym membership since when you bought it on Jan 1st maybe its time to get rid of it and save yourself the monthly cost. Go running instead, its free. Netflix? Get rid of it - im sure you can go without for a while to save yourself some pennies. Any subscriptions you have to keep, i.e phone contact, try renegotiating a cheaper deal. 

5. Cut down on the nights out
Do you really need to go out every weekend? Or accept every social invite you get? No. Yes it would be nice to be able to go to every night out your friends organise whether it be at home or in different cities, but those nights out all add up. Im sure your friends will understand that every time you're saying no, you aren't saying no because you don't want to see them, you have a goal and spending money on trains & meals out & alcohol doesn't quite beat able to spend it instead on travel adventures. In the last few months before leaving for Australia I had to turn down my share of social gatherings because I had my savings goal in mind. I know my friends will understand when they see the cool stuff I'll be able to get up to because I saved that bit extra. 

6. Go without the latest things
Do you really need to update your wardrobe every season? Will Topshop go bankrupt without your custom? Possibly, but I'm sure they'll bounce back. Or do you really need to buy the latest smartphone each time a new one is released? No. I was terrible with online shopping, i'd go on for a cheeky browse and before you know it I've got £100s worth of clothes in my basket & qualified for free delivery so it all seemed worth it. No! I can say I'm much better and the only parcels coming through my door as of things I actually need for my Australia trip! Honest ;) 

7. Change your eating habits
Guilty of spending far too much money on eating out? Or never having time to make your lunch for work or uni so always buy snacks and lunch out? If you give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes in the evening or get up a little earlier for work or uni to make yourself a sandwich or salad or whatever to take with you you'll save yourself having to constantly buy lunch & snacks out and even though the £3.50 meal deal seemed like a bargain, if you're having that every day thats £17.50 on lunch each week which could go towards a lot more exciting things on your travels. 
Or do you find yourself buying one too many takeaways in a month? 
I hold my hands up and say I am no angel when it comes to spending money on food, especially when I'm hungover. There is nothing more satisfying when you're dying in bed from too much alcohol than a delivery from Dominoes. But this comes with a hefty price tag! 
Try and plan your meals each week and buy what you'll need in your weekly shop so you don't stray into having takeaways or buying lunch out. 

8. Cut down on salon & spa visits
Now I'm not saying you should give up on your personal appearance altogether, just that there are still ways to look good on a smaller budget. Stretch out the time between haircuts & dye jobs. Do you really have to get your nails done every week? Can you not just paint them yourself? Do you really need HD brows & eyelash extensions every month? Are these things really going to make a difference to you when you're travelling? 
If you can go without, you'll save yourself quite a lot of money. If you can't, god help you & when 
you come to a point in your travels where you can't afford something, whether it be a bed for the night, food, a fun activity, just remember that at least you can 'nice' HD brows for a few months instead. HA! 

9. Make staying in fun!
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with limiting your nights out. If you want to avoid the cost of big bar tabs, taxis, post-club food then why not suggest a night in instead. Swap your friends dinner & night out & pricey cocktails for a night in with a home cooked dinner party with wine,  games nights, films nights. Whatever you fancy! You can socialise and save money at the same time.My friends were really great about this, they knew I was saving but also wanted to spend time together so they suggested home-cooked food with drinks at home with loads of games. It was so much fun and worked out at like £4 each. Bargain

10. Lastly remember how worth it it'll all be!
It might be hard along the way cutting things down or giving up on things altogether but just imagine how happy you'll be when you're on your adventure and you have all your hard-earned saved money to spend on your travels & to do all the things you've been dreaming of doing! 
Ive had so many times where I've looked at my travel-savings and thought how great it'd be to just go on a mad shopping-spree and spend the lot. 
But I've resisted because tbh a year in Australia on a wild adventure seems a bit more worth the money than a big haul round Topshop. 
Spend your money on making memories you'll remember for the rest of your life
rather than a dress you'll wear once. I promise you travel will reward you for your heard work, and the more you put in, the more travel will give out again and again. 

I hope these tips come in handy & good luck with saving for your adventures!
If you have any good savings tips that have worked for you pop them in the comment box below. 

Thanks for reading.

♡ G

Come and join me on Instagram @gemwills
& Twitter @G_GoesGlobal

& follow my upcoming Australia Adventure! 

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