‘How can you always afford to travel so much?!’
Seriously, if I was given £5 every time I was asked that question, life would be a lot simpler. I’d actually be sitting on a small fortune right now.
Alas, I’m not.
can be IS an expensive hobby/ obsession/ addiction. I’m constantly thinking about how I can save money for travel. So I put together this handy list of totally doable tips to save money for your vacation (or a car, a house, anything). The great thing is with this list of money saving hacks is that you can start saving a fortune today.
Just imagine, a year from now after you’ve implemented these money-saving ideas, how many thousands you will have to put towards travel.
True, it can take a bit of discipline, but these 24 money-saving hacks are totally do-able. It’s all about getting into the habit of saving money and working towards a goal by making small lifestyle changes.
Small savings over time really do add up. It’s actually shocking how much money you can save by changing your mind set and even within the first few weeks you’ll start to see a nice little sum adding up.
So, c’mon, let’s get saving money to travel.
Disclosure: Some of the links below might be affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you , if you click one of them, I may receive a small commission (for which I am deeply grateful) but it helps me create more awsome stuff like this post.
24 awesome ways YOU can save money for travel - starting from now!
1. Stop paying nearly £5 to drink coffee.
I used to be so guilty of this, paying an insane price just to get my caffeine fix. At nearly £5 a shot (literally) 4 or 5 times a week, I was spending up to a whopping £100 a month on hot drinks!
Over a year that’s a shocking 12k I was spending, just to drink coffee! Put that into travel terms, that would pay for a long haul flight – WITH some cash leftover.
I’ve saved myself a fortune now by making my own coffee at home and taking it with me in a reusable coffee cup. A win-win situation, it’s better for my bank balance AND the environment
2. Stop mindlessly going to the cinema.
Ok, so sometimes it’s nice to see a movie on the big screen, but did I need to see EVERY FILM that was reseased? No.
My local cinema charges between £12-15 a viewing. Add on popcorn, drink and so on, Id’ easily spend £25 each time I went.
On average, I’d go a couple of times a month, that’s £600 over the year!
I’ve totally slashed my cinema-viewing habits although if I am desperate to go, then I make the most of the off-peak view times and take in my own food and drink.
3. Stop eating out so much
Eating out is expensive and can easily mount up to £30-40 a time. Factor in shared starters, a couple of drinks, a main, the tip; it all adds up!
Just because I don’t really eat out anymore, doesn’t mean that I don’t have dinner with my friends.
Instead, we get together to cook a meal, or each arranges to take a dish to someone’s house (one person responsible for the main, the sides, the desert etc)
It costs a fraction of what it would if we went out, plus there are always tons of leftovers.
On the occasions I do eat out, I’m always on the lookout for special deals and vouchers.
4. Stop paying overly inflated prices at bars for drinks
Drinking out, even just a ‘quick drink’ after work can be expensive; especially if it then leads on to a few. Then there’s the added expense of getting a taxi home when you find a quick drink hs escalated into a whole bottle of wine
I still have drinks with friends, but instead of pricey bars, we now buy a bottle of wine at the supermarket and socialise in the comfort of a friends house.
The added bonus, no insanely priced taxi rides home. Hello, sofa!
5. Stop eating expensive (& unhealthy) takeaways.
So, I get the idea behind a takeaway. It’s quick and hassle-free.
Reality is, in the past, I’ve had to wait up to 40minutes for a takeout meal to arrive. Not exactly time-saving and they aren’t cheap either. Twin this with the fact that most takeaways are often unhealthy.
To solve this, every so often I will cook up a massive batch of Chili/ Curry/ Lasagne/ Soup etc. divide it into individual portions and put it in the freezer for any time what I want a quick meal. Cheap. Healthy. Fast!
It takes a little bit of planning and organisation, but the payoff is that you’ll save a fortune, being kind to your health as well as your pocket!
6. Start sharing travel
Fuel is really expensive and one of my biggest outgoings per month. To save money I try to lift share as much as possible.
This can be arranged so that people take it in turns to drive their car (like a rota) OR you all chip in for fuel for the journey and split the cost between however many are in the car.
It works out cheaper for everyone and it’s much more social.
7. Stop buying so many new clothes.
There was a time when I would buy something new if I saw it and liked it – regardless of whether I actually needed it or not. As a consequence, my wardrobe was full of items I’d seldom wear.
I still like to keep my wardrobe fresh-looking fresh, but minus the impact it has on my bank balance. I do a lot more modifying as well as repairing clothing now. There are lots of tutorials online about how to adapt clothes. Instructables is one of my favourite sites.
I’ve also picked up some absolute bargains at charity shops and even been given hand-me-down clothing that friends have been throwing out. My clothing bill now has been slashed!
8. Sell your unwanted stuff on eBay
Because I’m away travelling so much, my stuff was constantly in and out of storage. It was getting frustrating having so much stuff to constantly move about.
Getting rid of anything I didn’t need was one of the best decisions I made. I’d actually forgotten I’d had lots of things as they’ve been in storage so long.
Selling stuff on eBay can be lucrative. My best sale to date was a pair of shoes.
They were ok, not my favourite shoes but I thought I’d try and sell them online as I hardly wore them. They went for £88 on eBay! I was shocked.
9. Stop buying the latest tech.
I LOVE a gadget, so this was one of the most difficult ones for me.
But just because my gadgets were a few years old it doesn’t mean they NEEDED to be replaced. I don’t have the most up-to-date cameras, laptop or phone, but they still work absolutely fine so I don’t feel the need to splash out on new pieces of tech just yet.
10. Sometimes, moving back in with parents is worth it
It’s not the easiest thing in the world, moving back in with the ‘rents after having my own space and freedom for so long. BUT I also know this is only a temporary situation when I’m back in the UK. Plus it’s the quickest way to save money for travel.
What makes it worthwhile is that my living costs are a fraction of what they were when I was paying for my own place. Even now, despite paying a bit towards bills, I’m able to save hundreds of pounds a month by moving back home.
Not only has it enabled me to save money quicker than if I was renting a place of my own. It’s also nicer than my money is going to my parents rather than lining a landlords pocket.
11. If moving back in with parents isn't an option, at least house share
True, it’s great having your own space. However, if you’re really hell-bent on saving a small fortune and moving back in with parents isn’t an option, then at least house share OR if you have your own place, rent out a room.
Just remember, it’s not forever. It’s a means to an end and a sure-fire way to save a lot of money in a relatively short space of time.
12. Stop buying pointless gifts for people
Christmas is a prime example; when you feel obliged to buy a gift for someone just because it’s the social norm. So much of what’s bought at this time of year is materialistic tat that people don’t really need or want anyway.
I get it, the pressures and expectations are real. We have a rule in our household. You can buy a gift AS LONG AS it’s either edible, drinkable or doable. Think how much money you can save for travel and how it’s better for the environemnt if you opt-out of paying for unnecessary gifts.
13. IF people are adamant at buying you a gift, ask them to donate to a 'go fund me' page
Honestly, I hate that question ‘what do you want for your Birthday/ Christmas?’ for the simple reason, I don’t actually need anything. If I do need something then I save up and buy it for myself.
If they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, then my generic answer is for money towards something I would be saving up to buy anyway – most likely it’s money for something travel related.
14. Ditch the TV
Shock horror right?! When I was about 16, I threw out my television. In fairness, most of what was on T.V was rubbish anyway.
I had so many other things going on (studies, part-time job, hanging out with friends, doing real-life things, like hobbies etc.) I never actually had time to watch it anyway.
Aside from not wasting so much time, it helps to save loads of money. It means that I’ve never had to pay for a TV License and certainly not pay-for-TV subscriptions (Sky etc).
Pretty much everything is available online now anyway, so if I’m desperate to watch something (which is a far and few between) then I can download it. and watch it on my laptop.
15. Spend with Cash and not Card
If you do go out to spend money, then set a budget for yourself. Take that amount of cash only and leave the card at home. That way you won’t be tempted to make extra spendings. It can be easy to forget small spendings if you pay on your card.
It’s easier to keep track of your spending if you can physically see how much (or how little) cash is left in your pocket.
Anything leftover from your budget, put into a jar at home. Over the year, it’s surprising how much the small coins all add up to, it’s like having a little surprise bonus.
16. Use low-cost supermarkets.
So I’m a Waitrose girl through and through (for those not in the know, Waitrose is seen as a posh supermarket here in the UK). The food is amazing, but it’s not the most budget-friendly.
To save money, I buy the majority of my food from low-cost supermarkets and only use the premium supermarkets if I can’t find it in the budget stores.
Another money-saving tip for buying fresh food is to use the pop-up fruit and veg stalls at the weekend in busy town centres.
They are fab for picking up fresh food, especially in bulk, mostly because they sell the ‘ugly-looking’ stuff that’s not made it past the visual check for supermarkets. It tastes just as good and at a fraction of the price, who cares if my banana isn’t curved enough! (yeah…this is a THING in the UK!)
17. Stop wasting money on bottled water!
For starters, the world does not need more plastic waste but add to that, buying bottled water is also really expensive! Using a refillable bottle is another really easy way to save money.
The tap water in the UK and pretty much all of Europe and the western world is absolutely fine to drink.
I know people moan about the taste; if you really don’t like the taste of tap water, or put it through a water filter system and then add some fresh fruit to it – lemons and limes work a treat!
If you’re in a country where you can not drink the water, buy a large bottle to decant into your smaller bottle. It works out cheaper than buying loads of small bottles.
18. Get a side hussle
So this could be in anything. Think what skills or talents you already have that you could potentially make a bit of money from.
Are you good at house maintenance? or sport? playing an instrument? spotting mistakes in other people work? Think what skills you have and then see if you can use your skills to make a little bit of extra money.
You don’t even have to look far for ’employers’ or spend loads on advertising. Talk to friends who might want help in some way to see if you can exchange your skillset for a small fee.
19. Cut down on getting your hair or nails done.
I used to get my hair highlighted and a regular trim or restyle every couple of months. Depending on what I had done and the salon I used it would cost anywhere between £30 for a trim to £80 for full highlights.
I don’t bother with the highlights now, firstly the chemicals aren’t exactly great for your hair and now I’m away travelling so often that the sun does this for me naturally. A big win to save money for travel!
I also learnt to do my own nails. It takes a little bit of practice and patience to get it neat, and if you’re really struggling then have a girls night in and paint each other’s nails.
20. Take your own lunch to work
For the convenience, I was paying anything from £5-7 a day on my lunch.
It takes a little more planning, but a simple way of saving money or travel is to prep your lunch the night before to save that money. Quite often it’s leftovers from the previous night, but other times I’ll cook a large batch of food to give me lunches for a few days.
This saved me up to £35 a week or over £150 a month! Over a year this equated to just under £2k!
That’s a pretty hefty sum JUST for the sake of a bit of organisation.
21. Browse online for the cheapest flight deals
Browsing the internet for the best flight deals is a sure-fire way to save the most money for travel. It does take a bit of effort to try and dig out the best deals, by changing which airport you fly from, which day and even time of the day.
For your patience, you can easily save money for travel. Like literally hundreds of pounds by being flexible with travel dates, times and airports you fly in and out of.
22. Self-teach youself ANYTHING to save professional fees.
Obviously, there are going to be times when you need to pay a pro to do something.
However, lots of problems you can work out a solution to yourself by a bit of self-teaching (like how to start a blog!)
Information on every topic under the sun can be found somewhere online; forums, websites, blogs etc.
All you need is a bit of time and patience. It’s a really self-fulfilling feeling to self-learn something new and a great way to save money for travel.
23. Choose a cheap mobile tariff
Opting for a tariff which has just the essentials of what you need.
To save money, I’ll use wi-fi as much as possible rather than pay for bolt-ons which can really expensive.
If you’re signed into a contract, a large chunk of your monthly tariff is to pay for the cost of the phone.
It’s easy to get sucked into a new deal or ‘upgrade’ when your contract is up, however, if your phone contact is nearly up and your phone is still in decent nick, switch to a sim only deal.
I slashed my phone bill from £37 a month, to just £16 a month (plus I’ve now got pretty much unlimited data!) just because I didn’t upgrade my handset when my contract was up. Instead, I shopped about for the best deal on SIM only saved a fortune AND got more data for doing it. #nobrainer
24. Drive an old banger
My car is over 20 years old and showing it’s age. However, it still drives absolutely fine.
True, it’s not the trendiest set of wheels and the once ‘chilli red’ exterior is now a dusty pink colour, but it’s still mechanically sound! Despite its age, I’ve hardly had to spend anything on it; gotta love Japanese cars!
It gets me from A-B and it’s low maintenance and it’s got zero resale value, which makes it undesirable to thieves so the insurance is dirt cheap too.
Cars can be an absolute vacuum for money. I will replace it one day when ‘she’ finally gives up, but for now the best value thing I can do is run it into the ground. Hurrah for cheap motoring.
Little changes REALLY do add up
No all of these ideas are going to work for everyone, but even just making a few simple changes to your life will allow you to save money for travel.
Alternatively, if you start to combine all of these money-saving tips you will save thousands and a lot quicker than you’d think.
I’m slightly annoyed at myself for not starting to do some of these things sooner. I’m not going to lie, it does take a bit of discipline at first to break old habits. But when you get into the routine of it they are all achievable.
More importantly, you’ll start to see the efforts of your lifestyle changes within a few weeks. Then just think of how much money you’re saving in a month, then per year! You’ll start to wonder why you start to implement some of these money-saving hacks sooner.
You might also be interested in these other travel hacks
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Do you have any other tips you use to help you save money? I’d love to hear your ideas. Please comment below.