Travelling the world is expensive, there’s no real way around that. Sure there are ways to travel cheaply and tips and tricks to make world travel cheaper, but either way you will need to have a good chunk of cash in a savings account to fund your round the world adventure. Here are some essential tips to make saving for your gap year or backpacking trip that much easier.
With a basic average of around £1000 per month to travel the world, not including pre trip expenses and flight costs of course, it can take a lot of money in your savings account to take a gap year, even more if you want to travel long term. Too many people use this as an excuse to give up on their travel dreams, saying it will cost too much money, but they really shouldn’t. It really isn’t as difficult as people think and the good news is that it is actually really simple to save for your trip of a lifetime without feeling the pinch.
Get rid of your debt.
This may seem like an obvious one but if you have any debts at all you need to get them paid off before you start saving. It’s surprising how many people try to start saving whilst paying off interest payments from credit cards and other debts. It’s wasted money, so sort them out first. You can only start saving when you have a clean slate.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting out a short term loan if and when you need it. In fact saving for long term travel can be a long process and using a loan in this way can help you take a short weekend break somewhere to satiate your wanderlust while you wait. Just make sure you pick a good, responsible company and make the repayments to pay it back in time, and get it all paid off before you set off on your long term adventures.
Open a dedicated savings account.
When saving for your travel fund it is always better to open up a dedicated savings account instead of using your everyday current account that you use for daily expenses and bills. That way you can have a set amount of cash direct debited into your dedicated account every month without being tempted to dip into it for everyday purchases, and this way your savings fund will grow surely and steadily without you even thinking about it. If you do your research beforehand you can even find an account that will serve you well abroad with no fees for withdrawing or using your money abroad.
Make short term and long term goals.
Any good savings plan should consist of both your long term goal as well as a number of short term goals. By achieving each short term goal you can stay motivated and enthusiastic about your plans. Start off small, say £500 saved, and then increase that number with every benchmark.
Reward yourself from time to time.
This may seem counterproductive but there is a logic behind it. Going cold turkey and throwing everything you have into a savings account can be exhausting and can over time really kill your enthusiasm. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, just make sure it is a rare treat and not the norm. Why not allow yourself a takeaway or a night out, or something small that you enjoy each time you hit one of your savings benchmarks. It will really boost your motivation.
Budget, budget, budget.
Everyone has expenses. Everyone. Bills, rent, mortgages and utilities, they all add up and no one can escape from them. But by keeping careful track of all your expenses, incomings and outgoings you can really fine tune how much your life expenses can cost you. Making little cuts here and there can really add up and leave you with a lot of extra cash to add to your travel fund.
Sell your stuff.
I’m not talking about everything here, just that unwanted clutter that everyone has laying around collecting dust. You aren’t going to need all that stuff on the road, so unless it has sentimental value why not get rid of it? Sites like eBay and Gumtree make it easy to get cash for your unwanted stuff so what are you waiting for? You will be surprised how much your travel fund can be boosted with quick injections of cash.
Learn to cook.
Seriously. Cutting back on eating out or takeaways can add huge chunks to your savings account, and being a little frugal by cooking your own basic meals at home will mean you can enjoy a lot more local cuisine when you are travelling! So get out those old cookbooks, stock up on basic ingredients, and you can put your money to better use in your travel fund.
Use your talents.
You can earn some good money by utilizing your natural talents or qualified skills, especially in this day and age. Whether you have a talent for hairdressing, your hands can fix pretty much anything they touch or you have a skill that people want to learn, you can become your own boss and make some good money by essentially starting your own small business. I personally taught martial arts and self defence classes. Start off with a few small jobs, charge for your services, you’ll be surprised how much you can earn with a little effort.
Cut back on luxuries.
This may seem like an obvious one but people waste so much money on things they really don’t need and often don’t think twice about. That posh cup of coffee on the way to work or that expensive sandwich at lunch, that impulse DVD buy over the internet, it all adds up and it all takes away from your travel fund.
Remember the endgame.
I know it can be hard to save money – no one ever said chasing your dream would be easy – but just remember why you are doing it. Every little bit of money saved means an extra night in that beach hut, every sacrifice you make means an extra flight or an extra month spent travelling through some of the worlds most amazing places.
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This article was written in partnership with Vivus Loans. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.