How to Save Enough Money to Travel

“How do you travel so much?”

I feel like this is a question I get asked fairly frequently. Granted, I don’t think I travel often enough to answer this question, but on the other hand I travel quite a bit more than the average person. I always have a few answers in response to the question so I decided it would be a good thing to write them down and maybe share how I tend to go on frequent trips or side excursions.

I believe the first and most important yet difficult thing to do is begin changing your mindset.

Geico

My serious face, playing against the Geico Cash :)

Stop thinking, “I can’t travel, it’s too expensive” and start thinking “What luxuries do I afford myself that if cut back, would grow my savings towards a trip?”

This is going to be the hardest thing for most people to do. In reality though, there is a lot we can all cut back on, especially people with a western mindset.

Let me give you some examples on things to cut back on and how much you can save:

Let’s say you buy something from (Insert coffee shop here) once per workday.

We’ll say it costs $4. ($4) x (5 day work week) = $20 per week. ($20) x (4 weeks) = $80 per month! This may not seem like a lot but when you begin to travel like a traveler and not a tourist this goes a looooong way.

Now, let’s say your job offers a work out incentive for discounted membership somewhere, or perhaps you have one anyway. The cheapest I’ve seen around where I live starts at $20 per month but I’m going to say $30 is average everywhere else. Multiply $30 per month by 12 months and you get an additional $360 per year (not to mention sign up fees)!

Add this to the coffee you started making at home rather than buying and you can have an extra $1320 per year in those two things alone!

Considering certain places to travel to, this would go a long way towards an exciting adventure. All this for the mindset change of, “I’m going to start making my own coffee and doing exercises at my house.”

$1320 is about how much I spent on a month long backpacking trip in Central America!

Here comes the big ones…

This is going to sound crazy but…stop watching tv and cut that data pack for your cell phone… “What!? Are you serious!?”

Why yes I am. These things that seem like “necessities” are unnecessary.

Imagine how much you can gain from this. How many wasted hours are gone watching tv?

“But some shows make me laugh and make me smile.”

I’m sure they do, but so does hanging out with people and friends in the real world. If you really do want your tv, consider cutting cable and dish, then make the switch to Netflix and Hulu. That covers most all of your bases and if those networks don’t have them, I’m sure some online site does.

This switch can save easily another $30 per month if not, a lot more.

Exploring Ice Caves

Remember when we used to go exploring?

“What about my cell phone?”

If you are surfing the web on your cell phone I’m guessing that you probably are somewhere without a computer meaning that you are A.) at work B.) eating or C.) at some function you have to be at.

What happened to the day when we sparked conversations with those around us? Not for any personal benefit, just to pleasantly pass the time in a social manner.

I’ve been in situations where people are tweeting or facebook messaging each other across a table and the only verbal exchange is, “ha, nice comment.”

Really think about it…do you honestly need to be online with your cell phone all the time?

There are definitely people who can gain a lot from accessing the internet from their phone. Heck, I would probably use it fairly often myself on my travels.

In my frame of mind though, I’m thinking, “$15 for a hostel with wifi is greater than the phone option for me.” I can afford it right now but I’m stubborn and I want to save money.

Especially today, just buy an Ipod or similar tablet. You can use the internet for free with open wifi access. There are even certain apps that you can download to make calls…FOR FREE.

So you want to travel huh? What mindset and spending habits can you change to save you money?

 

Comments

    • says

      Money always seems to be an issue. I feel like the worst part is that whenever I have money saved up, something problematic happens that I need to use my savings for. Still, the little cut backs help.

    • says

      Thank You! Much appreciated :) Shoes… haha a huge addiction for many people, luckily that hasn’t hit me. I always see some kicks I want to buy, but tend to stray away for the fear of a new addiction in my life. Hard to resist haha

    • says

      Definitely. You have some awesome stuff! I’m always trying to figure out things to do or put in place to allow for more options in the future. I’m a firm believer of not randomly coming across opportunities, but rather, creating opportunities for myself by my productivity and what I do.

  1. says

    Thanks for writing this. There is an illusion that you need to be rich to travel. I had someone email me recently who said they wish they had money to travel “like I do.”

    I asked her about her travel goals. She works as a visual artist with no set office. After introducing her to CouchSurfing and a few other options, she realized she could take a road trip across the entire United States for fun if she wanted to. I’m not sure if she really will but I wish more people knew their options.

    Like you said, the first step is believing it’s possible.

    • says

      Traveling can be expensive but doesn’t always have to be. I don’t make a ton of money, but I’m able to budget smaller trips and am able to see a lot of things. It really can be just a gradual change to a different mindset.

      With no set office she has a lot of opportunity to travel. Depending on what she does specifically, she may be able to work while traveling.

      CouchSurfing is a great way to do it to. Not only can you find a place to stay but you also get to meet other friendly people at the same time. I’ve met several people and stayed on various couches through the organization and I have nothing but positive feedback.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading, I really appreciate it!

    • says

      Then things start getting a bit tricky… we have get creative. If we could sell lemonade when we were kids I’m sure we can come up with something even more unique now?

      Actually, I remember seeing this guy selling some pretty unique stuff on the sidewalk that was relatively cheap and popular with people walking by. All he had was a bag of empty soda cans, some pliers and some scissors. He used the pliers to rip off the top and then made a variety of cuts to the can with the scissors. He continued to bend and arrange the aluminum to a crazy variety of objects and figures. From ashtrays to flowers to elaborate robot looking things. Clever guy that made some money on next to nothing. I was pretty impressed by his small works of art!

  2. Chintan says

    One of the important areas, one can make a cutback on would be food! A lot of people eat out a lot. If you try you can easily save about $30-$40 every fortnight by making it a rule to eat at home.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. says

    That’s so true! I totally spaced to mention food! Making food takes a bit more time but is typically more healthy and a great way to save money :)

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