Looking for tips on how to save money to travel the world?
Below are the same tips I used and still use to this day to help me explore the world as often as I do. And they’re the same tips that helped me save thousands towards trips to Rome, London, Budapest and right across the world.
Let’s get into it so you can start your own travel saving fund…
1. Establish your savings goal
Before you even start thinking about saving money to travel the world, you need to work out how much you actually need to save.
- Where are you going?
- How long are you going for?
- What do you want to do when you get there?
- How much will accommodation cost?
- What’s the total cost of transport to get there, around and back?
- Can you make money whilst you’re there?
All of this might seem overwhelming at first, so what I like to do is work out transport and accommodation costs first, then work out an average for how much I’ll spend each day (mainly food) and then factor in activities and what I want to do at the end.
That should then give you a rough idea of initial costs and daily costs and then from there you can start to work out how long you can or would like to travel for and how much you need to save each month to hit your savings goal.
Having a goal will make it 10x easier to manage your expenses, speaking of which…
2. Manage your expenses
Now that you know how much money you need to save each month, you need to start managing where you’re actually spending your money and create some budgets to help you hit your goal…
You can do this in one of two ways:
- Create a spreadsheet with your fixed expenses (rent, car loan etc.) and your monthly budget and update it each time you make a purchase
- Use an automated financing app that shows you exactly where you’re spending your money so you can control your budget
I tried using a spreadsheet at first, but eventually I gave up because I couldn’t be bothered to keep updating it.
So instead I switched to Emma, an automated financing app and haven’t looked back since.
The app is free to use and it allows you to set budgets on categories like food, shopping, bills, transport and loads of others. From there it’ll tell you if you’re close to going over your budget and it’s then up to you to do something about it.
The best part?
It’s completely automated from your bank so there’s no need to go in and manually update it whenever you buy food, for example.
Now that you’ve got your goal and your budgets setup, it’s time to start the savings…
3. Open up a savings account
If you struggle to stick to your budgets (and believe me I know how tempting it is to splurge and convince yourself you need that brand new car – personal mistake), it’s worth opening up a savings account with your bank.
As soon as you get paid, transfer however much you’d like to save into the savings account and vow to never go into it.
If you have any cash leftover by the next month, move that in with your next transfer and repeat the cycle the following month.
You might even be able to open up a savings account that gives you interest on what you put in (usually with a commitment of 12 months), which means even more money for your travels.
4. Prioritise your needs and wants
Now that you’ve got your goal, budget and brand new savings account in place, it’s time to spot where you can make some savings.
The best way to do this is to assess where you’ve spent your money in the last 3 months and work out which expenses you needed and which items you just wanted.
Be harsh on yourself.
Did you need that new t-shirt? Or did you just want it? Did you need that morning coffee on Monday? Or did you just fancy it because you couldn’t be bothered to make it yourself at home? It’s probably the latter…
Once you’ve worked out which expenses were just ‘wants’, start to take action and minimise them in the future by using this same needs and wants tactic EVERY time you make a purchase.
New phone? Nah. Trip to Canada instead.
5. Cut out the monthly subscriptions
Remember that thing I just mentioned about cutting out the ‘wants’? Here’s how you can make a start…
How much are you paying a month on subscriptions that you just don’t need?
- Gym membership? Cut it out entirely or downgrade it
- Netflix? Disney Plus? Amazon Prime? Hulu? Kill them all
- TV Package membership? Not any more
- Monthly food packages? Nope
- Personal care subscriptions? Delete
6. Stop eating out
I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve saved by limiting how often I eat out.
I eat breakfast at home, I make my own lunches and dinners, I drink water and I eat out or order a takeaway once a month maximum, which in turn allows me to save hundreds.
If you eat out a lot, I’d advise that you open up your banking app to see how much you’ve spent on food over the past few months.
You’re probably not going to like what you see.
Do yourself a favour and cut out the expensive food and just make it yourself instead.
Oh and don’t just use this tip whilst you’re saving to travel the world, do it whilst you’re actually travelling the world so you can stay out there for longer.
7. Avoid the upgrades
There’s often social pressure or an internal want to ‘need’ the newest stuff.
And I’ll be honest, I’m one of those that ‘needs’ the latest tech.
As soon as my phone contract is up, I’m straight over to the phone store to upgrade and get the latest iPhone.
But I shouldn’t and you shouldn’t either.
If you’ve got more willpower than me, try and avoid upgrading your stuff:
- Tech like phone, camera, TV
- Travel accessories like backpacks, suitcases
Keep it until it dies and you’ll feel good about yourself – trust me, as I type this on my brand new MacBook 😬.
8. Do more free stuff
Stop spending money to see the latest Marvel film and do more free stuff in your local area.
- Go for walks
- Visit free local museums
- Keep an eye out for local festivals and celebrations
- Join a sports team
Below are some places that are all within an hour’s drive of where I live and I had no idea they existed until I started to explore and do more free stuff.
Chances are you’ll have some amazing places right on your doorstep that you haven’t yet had the pleasure to see too.
9. Skip the coffee
Luckily I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but if you are and you find yourself buying a coffee every morning before you go to work, do yourself a favour and don’t.
That £3 / $3 coffee every Monday-Friday might seem like small pocket change, but it’s actually costing you over £780 / $780 every year.
That’s a lot!
Grab yourself a thermal flask from Amazon and make your own coffee instead.
10. Dress basic
For some reason we’ve become obsessed with what we look like and how we dress, but honestly can you really tell the difference between a $400 plain black t-shirt and a $10 one?
Next time you think about buying that designer t-shirt, ask yourself if you can find it cheaper elsewhere.
Or better yet, ask yourself if you really need it.
Chances are you don’t, so put the t-shirt back and go to New Zealand instead.
11. Cut out bad habits
Smoker? Drinker? Gambler?
It’s time to quit.
I know it’s so much easier said than done, but it’s not just your ability to save money to travel that it’s affecting, it’s also your health.
If you need some extra motivation, use these calculators to see how much money you can save:
- Smoking savings calculator (UK calculator or US calculator)
- Drink savings calculator
- Gambling savings calculator
12. Meet your friends in, not out
If you’re a weekend partier that spends way too much money every Friday and Saturday on wine and double vodka cokes, why not ask your friends to meet at your house instead?
That same bottle of wine that sells for £25 / $30 at the bar is probably selling for £8 / $10 at your local supermarket.
Or better yet, send the above savings calculator to your friends so they can see how much money they can save and travel the world together.
13. Make money by selling your stuff
Don’t be a hoarder.
Take a look around your house and sell stuff that you no longer use. You might actually be surprised at how much money you can make.
For example, I once sold an old broken MacBook from 2012 for £350, which helped fund over half of a 10 night trip to Rome.
Keep an eye out for old books, old phones, old cables, old clothes and old gems like Pokemon cards (seriously, if you collected Pokemon cards, take a look online to see how much they sell for because you might be sitting on a small fortune).
It’s also therapeutic going through your old stuff and selling it, so there’s that too!
14. Earn some extra dollar on the side
This list isn’t just tips on how to save money, I thought I’d share some tips on how you can make money to travel the world too.
If you’ve got a skill, and I’m talking anything from website design to making cushions, there will be somebody out there willing to pay you for your services:
- Upwork and Fiverr are good for selling your digital services like web design, copywriting, logo design etc.
- PeoplePerHour.com is good for selling your craft services like sewing, tailoring, costume design etc.
- Etsy is good for selling much pretty much anything online
You can also earn more money in other unique ways:
- Teach English online (I’ve personally never done this so I can’t recommend a best way to do it, but lot’s of people recommend English First)
- Filling out surveys online with Swagbucks
- Driving for Uber
- Website and app testing
The world is your oyster these days and there are so many ways to make extra money online. Take a look and those extra bits of income might just help you reach your savings goal a month or two earlier.
15. Get motivated to meet your savings goal
Last but not least, you need to get motivated to hit your savings goal.
Set a daily reminder of why you’re budgeting and why you can’t buy that expensive t-shirt.
Put a picture on your wall of your destination.
Tell your friends and family about it (you’re more likely to do something if you tell people about it).
All of these things will help you stay on track and keep you committed to saving money to travel the world.