How to save money for travel

2017 was the year the airport was practically my second home. I took over 20 flights and spent countless hours in the air heading to cities all over the world all in the space of just 9 months. Even in the age of the “Travel Blogger” more than 2 flights a month is slightly excessive, no? Either way, suffice to say I know a bit about getting the most value out of travelling and in ensuring that I’ve budgeted enough to do so! Today I’ll be sharing some money saving tips for travelling and how I can afford to travel.

1.       Track your spending

Let’s be real, how many times have you swiped your card without paying attention to the amount and then refuse to check your bank balance for a month because you know it’s looking bad. If you want to be savvy with your money then you need to know where it’s going and how much of it is going! There are hundreds of apps out there to help you track your spending, retail banks even have their own tools to help customers budget and save money, or you can start a finance journal and track your spending by hand. 

I can’t testify to one method or app that’s going to transform the way you track your expenses because you’re going to have your own preferences! What you do need to do though is be committed to tracking your spending and follow through. If an app is what’s going to help you do that, then all the better.

2.       Start saving

Probably the most obvious of all the tips today but now that you know exactly where and how much of your money you’re spending it’s time to go through the list and cut out unnecessary expenses. For me, it’s cutting back on buying Starbucks and knowing that I don’t “need those shoes for work” cause I really don’t… Cutting out your Starbucks trip may seem trivial but it’s a cost that even over a short period of just a week, adds up and takes you further away from your trip to Bali.

3.       Use Skyscanner

I always use Skyscanner, it’s unfailingly the best comparison website for the cheapest flights. The cheapest flights will typically be with lower end/budget airlines which will also mean that larger pieces of luggage are an additional cost. Do yourself a favour and try and fly with just your hand luggage to save yourself an extra £40. Skyscanner also has a fantastic option to select to fly anywhere in the world in the cheapest month. It will then generate a list of the cheapest places to fly to with a day by day calendar of how much your flight will cost.

4.       Use Air BnB

I’m a “make the most out of every minute” kind of traveller so I perceive accommodation as simply a place to sleep before heading out the door the next morning. If you don’t need a 24 hour concierge and room service, more likely than not Air BnB will be the most economical accommodation solution for you. Sign up to Air BnB here for £23 off your first booking!

5.       Download local food apps

One of my favourite ways to experience a new culture is through their food and particularly in Asia, going to local/hole in the wall type eateries not only gets you the most bang for your buck, it’s usually where you’d find the most authentic food. I know Yelp operates all over the world, but the restaurants that appear on the app aren’t necessarily reflective of the best places to eat, both in terms of value and quality. Do some research before you fly and download a local food app. Most people in Hong Kong for example, use an app called Openrice to find the best places to eat as reviewed by locals.

Related: 2018 Fitness Resolutions

There you have it, the top 5 steps I follow whenever I’m planning a trip abroad, I hope it helps you in achieving your travel goals! However, if you’ve been swept away by wanderlust and have over-committed to an upcoming trip, many companies offer instant finance which will provide a temporary solution if you’re in a bit of a tight spot. And if you’re not looking to travel anytime soon but are having difficulty putting aside some savings, implementing tips 1 and 2 as part of your savings strategy will help get the ball rolling. 

Following the above 5 steps are for me, a realistic and reasonable way to budget and are what I would prioritise as the most effective ways to save money. Please bear in mind that this list is absolutely non-exhaustive and is tailored to my lifestyle and finances. It might be that you don’t drink coffee on a daily basis, but you should still think about a recurring expense that you don’t need and be willing to cut out in order to save a few pennies towards your travel goals.

Do you have any other money saving tips? Leave me your thoughts below!

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