Most of us haven’t been able to travel for a year now and let’s be honest, for us travel lovers it’s totally sucked. I know I’m not the only one who misses the thrill of an adventure, misses the joy of going to a new country or even misses the airport.
However, one great thing about being stuck at home is that it’s given me a chance to save some money so I can treat myself to some amazing trips when the world opens up again.
There are so many small little changes you can make that will have a huge impact on your bank account. Now I’m not suggesting you need to implement all of these changes. I’d be a complete hypocrite if I did! But have a look through this list and see what you would be happy to sacrifice in the name of travel.
- 1 32 Clever Ways to Save Money For Travel
- 1.1 Track Your Money
- 1.2 Pay Off Any Debt
- 1.3 Check Your Utility Bills
- 1.4 Switch Providers
- 1.5 Buy Less
- 1.6 Have No Spend Weekends
- 1.7 Fix Before You Ditch
- 1.8 Buy Second Hand
- 1.9 Earn Some Side Money
- 1.10 Sell Your Stuff
- 1.11 Use Cashback Sites
- 1.12 Take Paid Surveys
- 1.13 Rent Your Parking Space
- 1.14 Save Up Your Coins
- 1.15 Avoid Being A Brand Snob
- 1.16 Buy in Bulk
- 1.17 Eat Before You Food Shop
- 1.18 Learn To Cook
- 1.19 Bring Your Own Lunches
- 1.20 Cut Back on The Fancy Coffees
- 1.21 Limit Going Out and Ordering In
- 1.22 Take Advantage of Happy Hours
- 1.23 Use Coupons
- 1.24 Reevaluate The Gym Membership
- 1.25 Work Out at Home
- 1.26 Skip The Manicures
- 1.27 Cut Back on The Makeup
- 1.28 Dye Your Own Hair
- 1.29 Stop Buying Travel Miniatures
- 1.30 Avoid Bottled Water
- 1.31 Use A Library
- 1.32 Send Ecards
- 2 More Travel Tips and Advice
32 Clever Ways to Save Money For Travel
Track Your Money
The first piece of advice I have for you is to track where your money is going. When I first moved to London I was on a stupidly low income so I had no choice but to be extra careful where my money went. I started making monthly spreadsheets and was shocked to see how much money I was spending on coffees, meals out and my weekly food shops. It gave me a clear idea of where I was overspending and what I could reduce my outgoings.
Pay Off Any Debt
If you have debts use these tricks to get rid of that debt so you can stop paying the interest rate. Once the debt is gone those interest rates you were paying before can go into your travel savings.
Check Your Utility Bills
Have you looked at your utilities bill recently? You could be spending a lot more than you need to. Simple things like turning lights off, switching plugs off and reducing shower time can make a difference to your bill. Another thing that helps is to reach for a warm blanket or jumper (sweater) when you’re cold instead of turning on the heating.
When was the last time you looked around at what the other providers were offering? It can be easy sticking with the same providers but shopping around could save you money every month so it’s worthwhile doing some research.
Also look to see if you need those extras you are paying for. I love my sports but I didn’t get the sports package because the price was just too high and I’d much rather spend the money on plane tickets. Same with movies, think about how much you actually watch them and consider saving money by ditching the movie package.
It may sound like an obvious tip for how to save money for travel but do you actually notice how often you buy things? The next time you see that handbag or latest phone that you just ‘have to have’ and think do you really need it? If you already have several handbags or a working phone then the answer might be no. Taking a moment to think ‘do I really need this?’ can actually be quite effective at stopping those impulse purchases.
Have No Spend Weekends
See this as a fun challenge and test your creativity to see if you can not spend a penny over a weekend. Look through your cupboards and see what dishes you can throw together with those canned foods you always overlook. Find fun activities that don’t cost anything like going for a hike or visiting a free museum. It doesn’t have to be done every weekend but the occasional one will help those travel savings.
Fix Before You Ditch
Fixing up rather than throwing out is huge right now. Have an old cabinet you’re bored with? Why not give it new life with a fresh coat of paint. It can be a fun little project you can get the whole family to take part in.
Buy Second Hand
When I was furnishing my flat I kept an eye on Facebook Marketplace for any deals. A lot of time people are happy to give away their furniture for free just to get rid of it. A lot of the stuff looks brand new but costs half the price. Buying second hand or from a charity shop is a great way to save some serious cash.
Earn Some Side Money
Do you have a skill that could earn you a little extra money? Those drawings you do for fun or those photographs you have sat on a hard drive could be sold on sites like Etsy or Ebay? Or maybe you love cleaning or ironing and could sell that service to neighbours?
Sell Your Stuff
A great way to make some quick cash is to sell your unwanted items. Things like old cds and dvds can be sold on services like Music Magpie or at shops like CEX. You’d also be surprised how much you can make going through your wardrobe and selling your old clothes on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. A great way to clear out space as well as earn some quick cash.
Use Cashback Sites
Cashback sites are a great way to earn some easy money on things you were already going to buy anyway. Depending on the service you’ll get a percentage of the sale back. They are especially good to use when you need to change suppliers as the cashback is greater.
Take Paid Surveys
Did you know there are services that pay you for taking part in surveys? They range in price and might not seem like a lot but they soon add up. You don’t have to do anything but give up a few minutes to give your opinion. Easy.
Rent Your Parking Space
Did you know there are services where you can rent out your unused parking spaces? They are great for everyone. Drivers get cheaper parking and the owners of the parking space get to make a bit of extra cash. Sites like Your Parking Space are great if you live in busy cities where parking is ridiculously high.
Save Up Your Coins
Coin jars are a great way to get rid of those coins you never use and you’ll be surprised how much you can save up with them. Of course, there is a modern version of this too. Some bank cards allow you to round up every purchase. So if you buy a train ticket for £8.79 the card will round up the purchase to £9 and the extra 21p will go into a savings account. It’s an easy and convenient way to save without even realising it.
Avoid Being A Brand Snob
Brands spend a lot of money on marketing and advertisement to make us think we need their product. The truth is we don’t. We just need a product that does the job. We may have a favourite shampoo or butter but that doesn’t mean the others won’t do the same job. So stop buying the same brands you’re used to and have a look at the supermarket own brands (which a lot of the time are the exact same product) or have a look to see what is on offer that week. I never buy the same shampoo because I always get what’s on offer to save money.
Buy in Bulk
So what do you do about that one brand you really like, or really need. My advice, buy it in bulk when it’s on offer. Because of my sensitive skin I can’t bring myself to buy a different brand of soap than I’m used to. So whenever it’s on offer I buy A LOT of it. Then I’m stocked up on my favourite brand and I didn’t have to over pay for it.
Also, places like Costco are great for bulk buying. They sell their items cheaper because you’re buying more of it at once. I like to go there regularly and stock up on the essentials like laundry powder, toilet roll and even luxury items like nuts. It’s a little way to save you money so if you have the space to store it, bulk buy it.
Eat Before You Food Shop
This is one I’ve been told for years and it sounds silly but it makes a huge difference. Think about it, have you ever popped to the shops before lunch and ended up over buying snacks? If I’m hungry I’ll buy crisps, cereal bars, cookies, biscuits and all other things I don’t actually need. Now I try to always shop on a full stomach so I’ll stick to my shopping list. Treats are great, but quickly add up if you constantly over splurge.
Learn To Cook
Learning to cook is a great way to save yourself money. Those pre-made supermarket meals are great for convenience but making the same dish yourself is a lot cheaper and not as hard as you may think. Plus, there’s the added bonus of knowing exactly what you are eating!
Bring Your Own Lunches
When I first started working in London I really couldn’t afford to eat out in Soho every lunch. Even when you know the great local places that are cheap, it still adds up. If you’re spending £5 a day, that’s £25 a week, which becomes £100 over 4 weeks! Instead, make yourself a sandwich or salad at home and that £5 will provide a week’s worth of lunches.
Cut Back on The Fancy Coffees
I used to love getting a fancy coffee before work until I noticed just how much they were costing me. Those daily coffees were costing me around £15 a week. Now I limit how often I buy them, choosing them as a treat rather than a necessity. Fancy coffees are an easy way to cut back your expenses and save money for travel.
Limit Going Out and Ordering In
With services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo widely available it’s so easy to order a cheeky takeaway but have you ever added up how much you’re spending on them a month? The result may shock you! Try and limit how much you’re eating out or ordering in to save those pennies. Why not try and learn to cook your favourite takeaway dishes at home for a fraction of the price?
Take Advantage of Happy Hours
Your social life doesn’t have to be non existent in order to save money. There’s no reason you can’t get together with friends for a social drink but when you do, try and take advantage of those happy hour discounts. You could get your drinks for a discounted price or even buy one get one free.
Let me guess, when I said coupons you instantly thought of those penny savers using the paper coupons to save money on their shopping? Well there are other ways to use coupons, although people have also saved fortunes using those paper coupons too so don’t dismiss them straight away!
But websites like Groupon and Wowcher are great ways to get things at a discounted price. From meals at restaurants to cooking classes, to days out, these websites have plenty of vouchers available for you to take advantage of. Sometimes they even have cheap holiday offers.
Reevaluate The Gym Membership
If you’re not a regular gym user then you’re really not getting the most out of that gym membership. My gym actually had an app that showed how many days you spend at the gym. Maybe it’s to motivate you to go more but it just showed me I wasn’t using it enough to justify spending the money so I quit my membership.
Work Out at Home
Quitting the gym doesn’t mean you can’t work out. The easiest and cheapest way is to start running. Even if you’re completely new there are great resources that can help such as the Couch to 5K app which is really good at getting you used to running at an easy pace.
If running really isn’t your thing, relax. There are other ways to work out at home. Youtube is a great free resource for fitness workouts. From yoga to dancing to hard core workouts, there will be something for everyone. Or check out your local charity shop and pick yourself a cheap workout DVD. My favourite has always been The Biggest Loser workout.
Want workouts to be more fun? Have you thought about console games that get you moving? When I moved in with my boyfriend he had an Xbox 360 so I bought myself a Kinect and some workout games like Just Dance and Zumba. Old consoles like this are so cheap to pick up now and I can get games from places like CEX for as little as 50p!
Skip The Manicures
We all love a pamper but those regular trips to the nail salon are eating away at your potential travel savings. It’s so easy to look after your nails at home and the price is a lot cheaper. Why not have some fun with it and learn to do cool nail art designs yourself?
Cut Back on The Makeup
Ok so I’ll admit this one is easy for me to say as a girl who doesn’t wear makeup. No seriously, I can’t be bothered with the hassle in the morning. I will occasionally put some on for nights out but it means I buy it very rarely and when I do I’m always shocked at the price. Makeup is expensive if you wear it every day so consider having ‘days off’. Also consider switching to a less expensive brand to help cut back the expenses.
Dye Your Own Hair
If you’ve never tried to dye your own hair it’s actually really simple and with a wide range of hair dyes available there’s guaranteed to be one in the colour you like. Hair dyes are widely available and cost about £5 a box. That’s a lot cheaper than the salons which in London cost around £50-£70!
Stop Buying Travel Miniatures
Yes they are convenient as they are small and don’t take up much space in your suitcase but have you ever paid attention to the prices of them? Even though you get much less, they are almost the same price as the full bottles.You’re better off buying some empty travel bottles and filling them using your full sized bottles you already have in the bathroom. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll save money for travel doing this.
Avoid Bottled Water
A lot of people buy bottled water for convenience when out and about but having a reusable travel bottle can not only help save your bank account but is also good for the environment. If you’re really worried about the quality of the water there are filtered bottles available too but these will cost slightly more.
Use A Library
Most book lovers never pick up the same book twice so why spend the money on books you’ll only read once? Instead, why not take out books from libraries instead. You’ll save yourself a huge amount doing this.
Before you criticise me that libraries aren’t modern enough for you, don’t forget that there are many virtual library services too such as Amazon Prime. They have a huge selection of books available to read for free if you’re a member.
Have you ever noticed how much you spend on cards, especially at Christmas? A great way to save a little money is to send e-cards instead. We are in the digital age after all! There are plenty of options available for pre-made ecards or you can easily create your own with free services like Canva.
There you have it, 32 tips and tricks to help cut back your expenses and save money for travel. Did you find these tips helpful? What do you do to help save money for travel? Let me know in the comments below
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