This post updated October 2020. So you want to quit your job and head overseas to travel. But you are worried about how much money you will need. And you don’t want to run out half way through and come home with your tail between your legs! It is hard to give an exact amount that you will need as it will depend on how much you spend each day. My best advice is to take as much as possible and then pick up work or work online as you travel. To help you save, here are my 10 tips on how to save money for travel.
READ MORE: How To Carry Your Money Overseas
My Money Saving Suggestions
1. Start A Travel Savings Account and Give Yourself A Goal
The first thing I suggest you do to save money for travel is to open a special travel savings account. This is what I did. I worked out when I planned to leave and then gave myself time to save. I gave myself 6 months to save $6,000. I believed this would be enough because I planned to go on a working holiday in the UK and I was expecting to work once I got there. To qualify for the working holiday I had to prove I had $4,000 to support myself during my initial stay. I thought having another $2,000 on top of that would stand me in good stead. And it dead, for a while! Lucky I was able to work. So save as much as you can and do some research on living costs in where you might be. If you budget living costs could be $2,500 per month, this is just an estimate for accommodation, food and incidentals you would hope the $6,000 would last you 2.5 months. I would suggest you save as much as possible.
READ MORE: Ways To Make Money As You Travel
2. Track Your Expenses
To help you reach your savings goal, make a list of your expenses and see what you can eliminate from your spending so your savings will grow quicker. You could track your spending in a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet or an app. Whatever suits. As long as you are tracking your expenses to help grow your savings for travel. Work out your weekly/monthly budget of essential items you need to pay and stick to only paying for these items.
3. Move Home or Rent Out Your Spare Room
I know we can’t all do this, but to save money on paying rent, move to a cheaper place. This could be back home with your parents or a family member. Don’t expect to not pay any rent or board, but as long as it is cheaper to help you save for your travels abroad. And if you have your own home, consider renting out the spare room. It may mean you lose your privacy, but it will get you ready for travel and staying in cheap accommodation like a hostel where you will be sharing facilities.
READ MORE: Hostel Living
4. See What Things You Can Reduce
As well as tracking your expenses see what expenses you can reduce. Do you really need pay TV? Maybe get a cheaper package. Do you need that expensive phone deal? See if it can be reduced by going on a pre-paid deal. Do you need the car? Maybe use public transport instead.
5. Start Cooking and Take Your Own Meals To Work
Not only is it cheaper, but it can be a whole lot healthier to cook your own meals. I am talking about buying fresh groceries and cooking things from scratch. If you don’t know how you better learn, cause even when you are travelling, you can’t eat out every night. Apart from over indulging it really hurts your hip pocket. So learn to cook some meals. And utilise any leftovers by taking them to work for your lunch the next day. So instead of spending $10-15 on your lunch every day, save it and see that by saving this money you could save some $1,300 for your your travels. But don’t take this to the extreme, as you still need to spoil yourself sometimes with a nice meal out.
6. Do Free Things
Cut down on going out at night to bars and clubs and the movies and do free things. Maybe do more things during the day like visiting places that have a free entry. Every town and city has things going on that are free to attend. Keep a look out for them. And if all your friends are going out why not bring the party to you. Host a game night, a dinner party or a movie night. Enjoy having a budget night in. Doing this will definitely help you save for travel and some great experiences abroad.
7. Cut Back on Treats
Start looking at everything you buy as an experience overseas. What I mean by this is reduce (or stop) purchasing little items such as coffees, magazines, chocolate bars, clothes, books, cigarettes, etc. You will be amazed how much you will save for travel if for instance you give up buying a morning coffee at $4 each time. If you work 5 days per week and buy one coffee per day you will save $20 a week to put towards a fabulous experience overseas. If you save for 6 months that will be 26 weeks of saving $20 which would give you an extra $520. Calculate savings for all the extra items you could cut back on and allocate the savings towards an overseas experience.
READ MORE: Typical Backpacker Jobs
8. Sell Stuff
A month or two before you head overseas on your travels see if you need to keep all your stuff. And do you have somewhere to store it while you are away. If you don’t need the things why not try to sell them. Try websites such as Gumtree, eBay and Facebook. The extra cash you could get for your stuff could be put towards a wonderful overseas travel experience.
9. Get a Second Job
You may or may not want to do this but you can seriously achieve your goal faster. Even it you only get a couple of hours per week or on the weekends, every little bit helps. You might want to look for something flexible like walking dogs, house cleaning, babysitting, bar tending. Even if you don’t like this type of work, just think of your travels.
10. Work During Your Travels
Many travellers pick up work while they travel the world. They physically work like in a bar, picking fruit and vegetables, looking after children or in an office. Many even work online as digital nomads.
READ MORE: How to Become A Digital Nomad
So these are my 10 suggestions on how to save money for travel. Very importantly, still allow yourself to enjoy this time while you are saving for your overseas trip. Trust me, once you are travelling and experience other cultures and having a fantastic time you won’t be disappointed that you gave up a coffee everyday or sold your car or hosted fun nights in.
Hi. I’m Sharyn. I have travelled most of my life thanks to my dad who worked for an airline. Travelling so much has led to me being a Travel Writer, Publisher of travel guides and Content Creator for travel websites. I also love chocolate, coffee and a nice dry glass of white wine. I have created LiveWorkPlayTravel to help you work abroad, work online and to travel the world like I do. So join me. Read more.