I thought I’d put together some tips for saving money to travel, as it can seem like an impossible task at times, but it really is worth it. Hope you enjoy!
• Forgo that daily coffee – it adds up! •
A $4.50 coffee every day adds up to $31.50 per week, and $1, 638 per year. This could’ve been part of a plane ticket to Europe or America, or an entire holiday in South East Asia.
• Use your car as little as possible •
Obviously this is only where possible, and it is especially hard in a place like Adelaide, because our city is built in such a way to be very car-dependent anywhere outside 15 minutes from the CBD. However, petrol is very expensive and using trains and buses where possible should be able to help you save money. Even less expensive – not having a car at all. This allows you to forgo insurance and registration costs as well as car maintenance – but again, not always a possibility.
• Go shopping less •
Even just going and hanging out at the shops can be dangerous when it comes to spending money. You’re very likely to see something that you like, and it is unfortunately a way that your money can be squandered on things that you may not have planned to buy. It does depend on what makes you happy, and if you would rather have a lot of things that you enjoy (i.e. clothing, books, Knick knacks, beauty products), then that is up to you. But if you really want to travel, it is better to forgo these things or only buy either what you really need, or what you have thought about for a long time and know will be worth it.
• Have a savings account that pays more interest the more you save •
It is important to open a savings account to put money into for every paycheck you get. Now, at some points this may not be possible – like for me when I wasn’t working very much due to a heavy study load earlier this year – but then at points where it is, try to put away a little bit more. It may not seem like much each time, but it really adds up, and it is a fantastic resource for saving for travel.
• Eat in •
Now, I’m quite guilty of not always doing this, but if you are really tight on money, try to save by not eating out as much. Going out to restaurants a couple of times a week could add up to at least $100, which by the end of the year is equal to $5,200. Eating in is generally healthier for you, too. But if you want to go out occasionally, don’t restrict yourself totally – after all, you deserve to have some fun in the moment as well!
• Get a credit card that accrues miles and reward points •
Miles and reward points can be used at airlines and with for different types of accommodation. Having a credit card which accrues these points may come in handy when you are booking your itinerary down the track.
• Have a roommate(s), or live with your parents •
Obviously this may not be an option if you are a little bit older and/or already have your own house, but cutting living costs by living with roommates or your parents saves so much money. SO, SO, much money!
• Go with a budget airline •
Budget airlines can be annoying with their baggage allowances, delays and lack of snacks on board, but they are just so much cheaper. You can use that extra money to do another activity or two on your trip, or even to go to another place you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.
• Fly into secondary airports •
Flying into secondary airports can be a lot cheaper, namely because the airlines have to pay less to fly in there. It may be a little annoying to have to then travel on ground to the area where you are staying, but if the cut in costs is a fair amount, it is worth it!
• Fly in mid-week, and early morning or late night •
These are the low times for people to choose to fly. Most people want to fly on the weekend, or during the day. Red-eye flights have their name for a reason – and everyone hates them! But, there is a reason that people go on them, and that is to decrease the cost. Once again, this saved money can be used during your holiday to make for a more enjoyable experience once at your destination.
• Use sites like Skyscanner and Momondo •
Now, I’m definitely not adverse to going to a travel agent and chatting through ideas with them, getting some advice and an idea of what is available in the destination. However, I also think its good to check out sites like those mentioned above to see what the most budget airlines are charging. This way, you can even bring this information to the travel agent and discuss it with them! Doing your research is always helpful.
• Use student discounts if you can •
If you are a student, or a teacher, or under a certain age, there are discounts you are able to receive. For example, the ISIC card has agreements with countless establishments the world over, which allows students to access different attractions and sites more cheaply.
• Have a budget •
Have a look at where you want to go and what things you might like to do, AND how much they will cost. Then probably double this amount to account for food, accommodation, and other things you may incidentally want to buy or see along the way. Then – budget, budget, budget! Figure out how much you will need to save for each paycheck, and budget for the rest of your needs during your time before the holiday. Planning always helps!
And that’s it! If you have any more travel tips that you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments below. I hope you liked these tips, and that they might help you in saving for your next holiday!