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Do you still think that travel is only for the rich? Well, as of recently, you’d be surprised to know that it is not. If you’ve been dreaming for a while to visit some of your goal destinations but don’t have the money for it, I’m more than happy to tell you that your dream is absolutely possible! In this post, I will teach you how to save money for travel!
Nowadays, travel is no longer just for people with a lot of money as it is now accessible to the masses of different classes. More and more budget airlines, midrange, and budget hotels and hostels started popping up, and travel has not been this affordable compared to what it was about twenty years ago.
With that said, with little changes in your lifestyle, you can easily save up a few dollars and euros here and there every day till you have enough to go on a trip without even making drastic changes in your life.
Here are my top tips on how to save money for travel:
Table of Contents
- 1 Tips on How to Save Money for Travel
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Tips on How to Save Money for Travel
1. First things first, ask yourself these questions:
By asking yourself these questions below will give you an overall idea of how much your trip will cost. It is good to have a ballpoint as to how much you have to save because, at least for me, having a goal is always motivating, and the closer you are at reaching it, the more exhilarating the feeling gets.
- Where do you want to travel?
- For how long do you want to travel? Is it short-term or long-term?
Here’s how I do it as an example:
- Where do I want to travel?
- I want to travel to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Pisa, and Venice
- For how long do I want to travel?
- I want to spend two days in each city (total of 10 days)
2. Find out how much the whole trip might possibly cost and add 50% more to it
Whenever I plan a trip abroad, let’s keep my previous trip to Italy as an example, I always do a quick research on how much my whole trip (flights, hotels, transportation, food, and excursions) might cost ahead of time.
By doing this, I have my ballpark, and I then add 50% of it on top of the whole amount because you never know what awesome things you might encounter, and you don’t want to always be on a pinch, especially if you’re traveling to a new destination for the first time.
Here’s how I normally do it, but please keep in mind that I’m a mid-range traveler, meaning I don’t cheap out on certain parts of my trips. So, that said, you can easily do this same trip cheaper.
- Return flights from Helsinki to Rome – €200
- Average hotel cost per night in all cities – €50 (split in two because I traveled with my friend). So, in total it will cost €250 for the whole trip.
- Suggested average budget per day for food in Italy – €35 (about €10-12 per meal). In total, it will cost me €350 for ten days.
- Transportation cost to go between each city – €60 (it cost about €10 per ride between cities and €30 from Venice to Rome)
- Transportation cost to travel within the city using public transport – €30 (It costs about €6 for a day pass for both metros and buses. And it costs €1,50 for a single ticket that lasts 100 minutes. I usually buy a day pass, or, if I know I’m staying longer than two days, a three-day pass that costs €16,50)
- Tours and excursions – I set aside €20 per day on this. For example, I paid €12 to enter the Colosseum in Rome out of spontaneity, so it was good to have a small budget for it just in case you want to see someplace that has an entrance fee. The total cost will be €200.
So in total, my budget for this trip should be, on average, around €1090. Now, when you put it this way, you’ll find out eventually that you don’t really need to spend a long time saving for this trip at all!
However, I do prefer adding 50% of the total amount on top of it as a safety net in case something happens.
For this trip to Italy, where I’ll be spending ten days visiting five different cities, I should save €1635 to make this holiday happen.
3. Find out roughly when you want to take your trip
It was around January when my friend expressed her desire to travel to Italy and asked me if I could join her for a nice spring getaway, and I agreed.
At this time, I didn’t have the funds for this ten days trip but when we decided that we’ll head to Italy in April, I knew instantly that I have about four paychecks to work on and this is one of my big tips on how to save up for travels – plan, plan, and plan!
Thinking this way, I now can break down my budget into four paychecks so I can clearly see how much I should be saving for each month.
4. Set up a travel savings account
What I found really helpful when I was saving up for my trips is by opening another bank account and named it “My travel savings,” where I will transfer bits of my salary every month to make sure that I’m on the right track.
For some people, it needn’t be a bank account. Some use the envelope saving system, the travel fund jar, or just basically keeping track of their finances closely to make sure that they are saving enough for certain trips.
I personally prefer the bank system because I can automate the transfers on the day I receive my salary so I won’t forget or accidentally spend it on other things.
So, now, going back to saving up for the Italy trip – since I know I have four paychecks to work on and €1635 to save up for, I automatically automate my main account to transfer €409 to my travel savings to save money for travel.
I can now assure myself that four paychecks later, I’ve already reached my goal and could travel to Italy!
5. Money-saving tips so you reach your goal
Now, you’re probably wondering, €409 is not “bits of my salary” and it is, in fact, a lot of money to put aside for travel. You’re also probably questioning how I managed to save up this much money every month till my trip… Well, this is an easy question to answer:
I quickly evaluated my lifestyle, changed a few habits, and let go of a few daily guilty pleasures.
You’ll soon realize that all along, you can save a ton of money each month by just changing a few things in your lifestyle, a really good way to know how to save money for travel.
Here are a few of the things I have to let go and change in order to save €409 per month to reach my goal of €1635 for my trip to Italy:
- Coffee – I used to buy coffee every morning before and after work. A coffee, in Finland, cost €2,50. I started making morning coffee at home and let go of after-work coffee because it is anyways better for me healthwise. Doing this, I’m saving €100 a month.
- Eating out or ordering in food – I used to eat out or order in food about three times a week for dinners with my then-boyfriend just because we are lazy to cook at home. An average dish in Helsinki costs about €15, which really adds up fast.
So instead, I started cooking at home, and on average I’m spending about €5 per meal. So, just by simply putting in a little effort to go to the grocery store and cooking my own meals at home, I’m saving €120 per month doing this.
- Quit smoking – I know that smoking is bad anyways, so it was an easy decision to quit it. I was not a heavy smoker, but I still go through three packages of cigarettes per week, and each package cost €8. When I quit, I was saving €96 per month.
- Weekend drinks – A couple of beers here and there could really easily add up! That sneaky €12 mediocre glass of wine can equate to three good bottles of wine in Italy, so I stopped all the random drink out with friends unless it is something I’m absolutely keen on, or I have not seen them in a while.
A pint of tap beer in Helsinki starts from €7,50, and I could easily drink five or more of them per night, and that is already a whooping €45 for a single night out! That doesn’t even include dinner or anything – that is just beers. Instead of heading out to a bar, friends would invite me to their homes, and we’ll drink and catch up there. A pint-sized beer from the shop only costs about €3, so that’s a big saving.Doing this, I managed to spare about €90 a month! I didn’t stop drinking over the weekends. I just don’t go out to bars and buy beers from the grocery stores instead.
- Random wine nights at home – I have this really bad habit of drinking a glass of wine when I get home after work, and I loved my routine, but I know it has to go. First, if you’re trying to quit smoking, alcohol is a really good trigger for you to start to crave smoking. Second, I don’t want to identify as a high functioning alcoholic; hence, I stopped.
A bottle of okay wine from the Alko shop in Helsinki cost about €12 per bottle, and I would drink two bottles per week. When I quit this silly habit, I’m saving €96 a month!
So, by changing my lifestyle a little bit and letting go of costly bad habits, I’m able to save up €502 per month! I didn’t even have to suffer, starve, or sell my soul to get it done. Plus, I feel great because all that I have let go are not good for me in the long run anyway.
As can probably tell that with minimal effort, just a few changes in habits, and determination, I was able to save money for travel in four months easily. To conclude this post, it is not impossible, and all it takes is a little good look at what you have and what changes you can do in order to save money for travel.
As you can tell already, the best way to save money is to work with what you already have. If that is not enough, you can always work a few extra shifts per month to pump up your monthly salary or look for a part-time job elsewhere where you can work during the weekend.
I did this when I was saving up for my long-term travel and had to save up €10.000 in eight months! I worked as a chef day and night with a few hours break in between to take naps, and during the weekends, I worked as a “blokkeri” (those people who pick up glasses in nightclubs). On top of this all, in my very little spare time, I was working on this website.
If you really want to travel and think it is an expensive expenditure, think again. There are more people traveling the world now than ever before, and you could be one of them exploring this wild world of ours.
Hopefully, these tips help and make sense to you. Let us know in the comment section below what you think.
Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.