If you want to travel, there are two things you need:
The main reason why people struggle to travel is because they lack one or both of the above.
Today, I’m here to talk about money.
It’s very common for people to ask or remark:
How do you afford to travel as much as you do?
Isn’t it too expensive?
I don’t have enough money to travel.
You must be loaded!
Now, it’s important for me to say that my circumstances may be different from those of some of my readers.
I am currently working a full-time job and I also live at home with my parents. This enables me to save a lot more money than if I was renting or paying a mortgage. Some of you may be in a similar position to me whilst others may have more financial obligations to factor in such as children and a mortgage.
Regardless of whether you are in a prime position to save or struggling with many outgoings, there are many little sacrifices that can be made to help the travel pennies add up. The more of these little tips that you incorporate, the more money you’ll have spare for exploring the world.
Here are little corners you can cut to power up your pennies and pounds:
Cook your own meals
I make my own breakfast and lunch and prepare my own snacks for work every day. I actually find getting into the kitchen after work really therapeutic.
I typically have oats with yogurt and nuts for breakfast, noodles with chicken and vegetables for lunch and olives, fruit, hummus and rice cakes (and yes, sometimes chocolate and crisps) for snacks.
By making my own meals, I save a lot of money and avoid eating out. Working in central London, eating out becomes expensive.
I do sometimes go out for a lunchtime treat or meal with colleagues, but this is rare. Instead, I go out for a walk and avoid spending. It’s not that I don’t get tempted but I tend to leave my card and cash back at the office. If there’s no money to spend, you can’t spend it!
Ditch smoking, coffee and alcohol
I don’t smoke and I don’t like coffee. I also rarely drink alcohol. Do I sound boring? Now, obviously, a lot of people enjoy smoking, coffee and alcohol but these habits/addictions are costly. Chances are, you’ll be smoking and drinking coffee on a daily basis and drinking at least once a week. By cutting down or ditching these habits, you can save a small fortune, as well as improve your health.
Smoking or travel? I know which I’d choose. And wouldn’t you rather be drinking that coffee in Paris or supping that martini in Italy?
Even if you don’t smoke or drink, chances are that you have another costly habit; fashion, makeup, going out to eat every week. If you are saving for a big trip, you need to cut down any unnecessary expenditure, or eliminate the source of spending completely.
You can always split a meal with a friend and cut the sides, dessert and alcohol. Or, you can host a dinner party at yours and get your friends to bring a dish each.
Cutting out these little pleasures may make life feel joyless, but even if you cut down you’ll make real savings.
It’s not always possible to walk but there are so many reasons why we should all do it more often. The air in London is polluted and congested. By driving, we contribute directly to this problem. If possible, walk, take the bus, train, tube or tram. It’s cheaper, you’ll be healthier and fitter and you’re protecting the environment by doing so.
I still have my provisional license so walking or public transport are the only options for me, unless I catch a lift. If you live in a more rural location, then your car may be a necessity that you can’t quit but for me, living 25 minutes from Charing Cross, London, public transport suits just fine.
Move back home or move in with newbie’s
Living at home enables me to spend more time with my family (and we are a close bunch) and allows me to save more money. It’s not feasible for everyone to move back home. You may not want to. It may not be an option. But if you can, why not? There’s no stigma or shame attached to staying at home. In fact, according to ONS data, 1 in 4 young people live with their parents. In many cultures, living with family is an accepted norm.
If you’d rather your own space and freedom, move in with friends to cut expenses. Whether you’re saving for travel or for your own home, staying at your parents place gives you the freedom to save.
Ditch Sky and Netflix
Okay, so this one may be unpopular. What’s one of the most common recreational habits in the UK? Television! A lot of us let Netflix, Sky and other cable options drain our finances bit by bit. You can use Hulu which is both legal and free to stream your favourite shows. Besides, less time watching TV gives you more time to plan adventures out in the real world.
Have you got old books, DVDs and CDs lying around? If you’re anything like me, you do. Ziffit can’t take everything but they can take a lot and you earn some money back. Even if it’s not a fortune, you get to clear your clutter and make something in the process.
As an English graduate, I have endless books, some of which I’ll never re-read. I donate some to charities and see what others are worth on Ziffit.
Get Couch Surfing
I have not couch surfed at the time of writing however I hear great things about it and it’s something I’ll definitely try in future. Couch surfing enables you to stay with locals for free which is a great way to experience any country. By signing up to the site and attending a local meet-up, you can meet people face to face and build up a digital reputation before you travel.
Avoid pointless food purchases
When you’re sitting all day in an office, one of the few joys or sensory stimulations can be reaching for something to eat. Most of the time our hunger is rooted in boredom. If you’re eating just for something to do, try to lay off the food purchases. Go out at lunch and leave your card at work or go out with £5 max. You can also make healthier snacks at home and bring these to work. I like to bring hummus and rice cakes, fruit, olives and nuts with me. You might think, but what harm does a chocolate bar do every now and then? The point is, these costs build up slowly and insidiously.
When it comes to saving money, anything that is ‘bang on trend’ is the enemy. Hairstyles, clothes, weird nails…it all costs money. You can’t keep up with all the latest fashion fads and travel the world unless you are a millionaire. A lot of people you see living the champagne lifestyle are living a life courtesy of credit cards or someone else is paying! They may also be very financially privileged.
Don’t get sucked into the trap of having it all. If you have a limited amount of money, which most of us do, and travel is a priority, then these add-ons can be reduced or eliminated altogether. Remember the saying, ‘people buy stuff with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t like.’
Would you rather impress people who don’t give a damn about you or experience travel?
Earn extra income
Supplementing your income gives you more travel cash. There are endless ways in which you can do this and it depends on what skills, talents and assets you have. Are you good at making cakes? Jewellery? Writing? Dog walking? Even a side job in hospitality can be helpful. The options are out there.
My grandmother was a hoarder. It must be in the genes. I find it painful to part with my stuff. I get sentimental about it! That said, one of the best ways to make money fast is to sell what you already own. There’s a lot of cash locked away in items that we never (or rarely ever) use.
I bought a pole fitness pole that can’t even be positioned in my home for £90. That’s 90 quid that could get me flight fare! Amazon, Gumtree, Craigslist and eBay are all great ways to sell your unneeded items. Be ruthless.
Get to the second-hand store
Why is it that we just MUST have things brand new off the shelf? If you can hold out, you can get it cheaper, much cheaper. Look out for items that are discounted or on sale. Buying in bulk is useful for vital items and couponing and loyalty cards are all great ways to save extra cash.
I’ll be having a think about more ways to safe cash and getting back to you with another instalment soon.
I know a lot of these ideas are pretty obvious but it’s easy to overlook the little things when they can make such a big difference.
Sometimes you need to adjust your lifestyle and daily life to fund your future.
What are your techniques for saving cash for travel?
All my love