How to Save Money to Travel: Top 12 Strategies & Tips


Most people are at a point in their lives where they want to travel and experience the wonders of the world. 

The main issue is that these same people don’t know where to begin. If your budget is tight, then you might think that travel isn’t a possibility right now. 

So, you keep putting it off for weeks, months, maybe even years on end. Then when you look back, you realize all the memories you could have created if you had only traveled.

It’s actually very simple to save up the money to travel, though. With some self-discipline and 12 tips, you’ll be well on your way to taking your dream vacation. 

What are these 12 tips, you ask?

  1. Start Learning About Money Management
  2. Track Your Spending 
  3. Create a Savings Plan
  4. Eat at Home
  5. Choose Affordable Transportation
  6. Sell Your Unwanted Items
  7. Cut Down on Recurring Payments
  8. Find a Side Hustle
  9. Negotiate for Higher Pay
  10. Choose Free Options
  11. Set Up a Separate Savings Account
  12. Sign Up for Travel Newsletters

That being said, let’s talk about each of these 12 tips to help you save money to travel. 


1. Start Learning About Money Management

It’s funny how we finish school to prepare ourselves for lives outside of it. However, most of these institutions don’t teach one of the most crucial life skills everyone needs to know. 

That is money management. 

Many of us learn better financial practices when we get older because no one taught us. If you want to get more money to travel, it’s time to invest some time learning about it. 

There are a lot of free resources online that will help you on this path.

It’s a commitment, and you’ll find that there will be days that you won’t want to learn. You don’t have to rush it. 

Instead, take it one step at a time. Use resources from trusted sources such as credit unions. 


2. Track Your Spending

If you put everything you buy on paper, you might find it surprising. Many people aren’t aware of how much they’re spending each month because they think the cost is inconsequential. 

Even if you believe it’s a small amount, these things can add up. Things like food, nights out, and other activities make up the bulk of your month’s costs.


When you want to travel, you’ll have to find affordable alternatives to the things you’re currently spending on. There might be a few things you’ll have to sacrifice so you can save more.


You’ll only discover these saving opportunities when you track your spending. 

This sounds like a bummer, but if your goal is to travel the world, then it will be worth it. 


3. Create a Savings Plan

Now that you understand your spending habits, it’s time to create a plan. 

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to assess the costs of the place you want to travel to. You’ll want a general idea of:

  • How much you’ll need in a day living comfortably in that country
  • How much pocket money you need to have for unexpected expenses
  • The costs of travel to and from the country
  • Prices to places, events, or tours you may want to join

The plan doesn’t have to be exact. It should align with your goals. What do you want to do in the country? Where do you want to go, and what do you want to experience?

From there, you can then learn how much money you can save each month with your spending plan. Set aside the money in a separate account so you won’t have the temptation to use it. 

Remove any unnecessary expenses if you want to speed up your savings. 

Then, you can implement your savings plan. 


4. Eat at Home

Eating out is convenient but also expensive. You’re essentially paying double the price of each take-out and snack you have. 

If you want to save money, you’ll have to begin cooking for yourself most nights. Buying from the grocery store and choosing the ingredients can save you a lot.

This is especially the case when you consider price-shopping. Chances are, you have a few grocery stores nearby.

You can price compare to find the best deals on all your ingredients. 

While it might seem inconvenient, there are plenty of home-cooked meals out there that you can make in under 30 minutes. 


5. Choose Affordable Transportation

A car is another convenience that might be taking too much of your expenses. You’ll have to pay monthly to maintain it along with gas, insurance, loans, and the like. 

Consider using your car less if you find that transportation costs are cheaper than using your vehicle daily. It will depend on your circumstances, which means you’ll have to make an assessment.

In some locations, it’s more affordable to use the car. However, for many, it isn't. 

It may be better to take the bus or the subway, even if it means spending a little more time walking. 

If you love the exercise, you can choose to bike or walk, if the places you go to aren’t too far away. That means you won’t have to pay for gas, and you’ll get a little exercise along the way. 


6. Sell Your Unwanted Items

You can accelerate your savings by selling items you may no longer need or want. People often have stuff that they’re no longer using lying at home. It can be:

  • Clothes
  • Old collectibles
  • Furniture you don’t use

There are always people interested in buying second-hand goods at a lower price.

That doesn’t mean you can’t profit off these items, though. You can sell them for a portion of what you bought them for. 

Some items even sell for more than their original price if you’ve taken good care of them.

These days, it’s easy to sell your items. You have social media, websites like Craigslist or eBay, and marketplaces like Amazon. 

Each has its pros and cons. Make sure to research these websites and how much it will cost for you to sell items there.


7. Cut Down on Recurring Payments

Aside from your bills, what makes the most out of your monthly income is recurring expenses. 

You may have services that charge to your card without you knowing about them. It’s time to end your subscription plans for apps or services you haven’t been using in over a year. 

These little things can add up and help you save more for your future trip. Here are some things to consider cutting:


8. Find a Side Hustle

Even with a full-time job, there can be ways for you to earn extra without committing too much. It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend to reach your travel goals. 

For example, working part-time as a bartender can give you tips to help you with saving. 

You can also use your hobbies to begin working as a freelancer. Here are some ideas:

  • Photography
  • Art
  • Writing
  • Music 
  • Coding 


9. Negotiate for Higher Pay

If you haven’t asked for a raise in some time, it doesn’t hurt to try. To improve your chances, you’ll need to have a good pitch.

For example, talk about your contributions to the company and what you can do. You may find yourself at the end of a promotion or more money each month.

If not, maybe you can find a way to cut back on your working days or hours. That will give you more free time to pursue other jobs.


You’ll have to weigh your loss from one job and how much you gain from the other to see if it’s worth the trouble.


You may also want to look for another employer, but it’s not ideal to quit your job right away. Look for a job that pays better as you keep saving using what you have right now. 

You don’t want to lose your job and have nothing to do as it’ll drain your savings. It’s not an easy task, but it is something achievable.


10. Choose Free Options

Nowadays, many marketing campaigns and advertisements convince you that the best things come with a price. That’s not true at all. 

You’ll find that many of what you can pay for out there, you can get for free given enough time. 

There are some exceptions, but here are some free options to fill your free time: 

  • Search for free courses. Top universities have free online courses that have accreditation. 
  • Begin learning a hobby or a skill through online video websites like YouTube
  • Go to a local charity or organization and begin contributing
  • Play sports and engage with teams in your area.


11. Set a Separate Savings Account

It’s easy to spend money if you see how much you have in your bank account. One way to work around this challenge is to create a separate account to place your savings. 

As the old adage goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” 

You can also place more resistance to help you avoid accessing the money. Make it an account that you can only physically withdraw from. 

That will prevent you from making any impulsive moves. Adding resistance discourages you from pursuing withdrawals from it.

You can even have your main account automatically send money to that account each pay cycle. That way, you won’t even have to do manual transfers. 

It adds to the idea that you’ll forget that you’re saving money. Then, once you’re ready to travel, you may have your funds waiting for you. 


12. Sign Up for Travel Newsletters

Travel websites are always interested in having subscriptions from potential customers. To make it appealing, they often offer deals exclusively to their email list. 

Sign up for these newsletters if they cover locations you find interesting. You can save a lot of money with deals on flights, hotels, tours, events, and more.

These discounts can accelerate your savings. Instead of waiting until you have the exact amount, you may find a flight deal that can cut your ticket cost by 50%. 


Wrapping Up

Even with a small budget, you can reach your savings goal for travel. All you need is discipline and some resourcefulness. 

These tips can help guide you to a position where you can always have enough money for your next trip. Apply these strategies and experience the results once you’re ready to travel.

If you’re looking for help in accelerating your savings process, don’t hesitate to contact 121 Financial Credit Union. We have services and programs that can assist you, ensuring you reach your travel goals.

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