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Saving to travel can be stressful! But it shouldn’t be. But let’s face it. Whether you’re saving for a one-month trip backpacking Europe or a year around the world, saving any amount of money for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure can seem impossible. Not to mention if you’re in credit card debt, or facing student loans. But I am here to tell you that it is possible to start building a travel fund. Travel costs can be daunting! 

After I made the decision I was going to travel the world, the first thing I did was figure out my budget for an around-the-world trip. When I saw what I needed, sweat started beading down my face. And forgot to breathe until someone informed me my face was turning purple. 

But even if you’re not interested in traveling right away, these strategies can help you bolster your savings account. Reach a savings goal. 

 My first thought was there was no way that I would ever be able to make that kind of money before my departure date, let alone save it. I had 22 months to save and I wanted this trip more than anything and so after regaining my breath, I put my mind to the task and realized saving isn’t hard if you are willing to sacrifice, work, and put your heart into it, and (of course practice good money management). I made many mistakes reaching my travel savings

 I have had months in which my bank account has taken hits making my monthly savings goal seem impossible to reach. At one point, after some serious car issues, I thought the whole trip was a bust and was about to throw in the towel, but I told myself giving up wasn’t an option. I have learned to stay the course.

 I have also learned some of the monetary mistakes I was making in my saving. Keeping with the motto that mistakes can be a good thing, I did some serious course corrections, not only have I made that money back, I was soon ahead of my budget. 

And soon I was on the road. Exploring every from Southeast Asia to United States. At this point, I have been on the road almost nonstop for 8 years. And have turned that big trip into a full-time career as a travel blogger. My site has been mentioned on a website like Business Insider, and Forbes. 

I am proof you can save extra cash. You can fill your travel savings account. You can achieve your dream trip

Following these tips, I have seen my monthly saving goal increase by fifty percent.

 So the next time you say, “I would love to travel, but I just don’t have the money“, do a little victory dance because I am about to show you how to save that extra cash. And saving to travel will seem a little easier.

Save Your Spare Change

 Change adds up! During that first saving period. I kept track of all my changes. I put it in a jar. And 18 months later I had over $500! That is a tour, train pass, or even a cheap google flights to Thailand. 

Shop Around

Never walk into a store and just buy something. That’s a waste of money. Shop around at different places and/or look online. A lot of the time, there are better deals online that will help you save money to travel. Also, take your time; chances are you don’t need that item this very minute. Many times, I will wait days or weeks to see if something goes on sale before I buy it.

For example, I just bought my brand new RTW trip backpack. At full price, it goes for around $250. I didn’t want to pay that much for a backpack and decided to check around.

I checked Amazon, eBay, and other various sites until I found one on sale. Suddenly I slashed that $250 to just over $100. Taking the time to do a little comparative shopping paid off. I also have shopped around for tickets, tours, and flights for my trip and by waiting for deals, sales, and watching flight prices. The goal isn’t to have the newest shiniest stuff. The goal is to save money while having the best travel gear possible. 

I have saved over $5000 from what I originally expected to pay. That’s a few months in Central America, South America, or Asia.

 Buy Used and Renewed Things

If there is something you have to get! That you can’t live without. Then shop for it used or renewed. These are cheaper, and those savings can help you reach that travel goal. 

There are places like….

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a new way to buy and sell locally.

Sellers can create a free business profile and list items for sale around their location by adding a photo and a price.

Post a status on Facebook, tell friends about your listing, and you could be selling in minutes.

Friends can like or comment on listings, ask questions, and make offers.

Buyers can search for items in the event they don’t know the exact name of an item they are searching for.

Buyers can browse items by location, or search by keyword or category, using “tags” like “new” “used” or “favorite” to help narrow down their search.

Amazon Renewed

Amazon Renewed is a program that offers top-quality, like-new products at a great value. Products in this program are tested and certified to work and look like new and come with a minimum 90-day warranty.

Do things like wait for Black Friday sales before you buy things. Ask for the best gift for travelers for birthday and Christmas presents. Saving to travel means you might have to buy used! 

 Win at the Pump

With the price of gas these days, a lot of gas companies are offering extra ways to save a little extra at the pump. I save mine through Walmart (don’t judge me). To save at Walmart, all you need to do is walk in and buy a gift card. Then buy gas with that gift card and save ten cents a gallon.

While doing this won’t make you rich, every bit helps. I have saved over $200 since I started doing this. I also buy all these gas gift cards with my travel credit card. Chances are at least a few gas stations in your area offer some sort of savings.

Want to rack up major airline miles doing this? Of course, you do, here is how!

A great way to earn some extra miles is buying your gift cards through an airline’s mileage mall, then using those gift cards for everyday purchases. You earn bonus miles for every dollar spent plus the miles for using your card. So essentially you are earning 2-3 miles per dollar to save money on gas. Doing this I earn around 1200 miles a month for gas I have to buy anyway. Winning everywhere you can help you save for that dream vacation.

Get more bang for your buck. There are also some great tips to get really cheap flights.

Short Term Goals Equal Long-Term Success

Know the big picture. But focus on small goals – every day, every week, every month – that will get you there. This is a huge tip that will help your travel budget

Have you ever had a small success or win that made you happy? If you haven’t, it’s hard to understand what makes those moments so great. Everyone loves to feel successful, but the problem is that our society conditions us to look for big, life-changing events (i.e. a job promotion) as the only way to achieve success. You’re conditioned to look for big, life-changing events as the only way to achieve success. The truth is there are lots of little things you can do daily that will lead to long-term success – it’s just that most people don’t bother with the small stuff, and if they do, they don’t do it right or in a way that matters.

Focus on the small stuff you can do to increase your savings account. 

Cut Out Stuff You Don’t Need

Cut out that $5 coffee! Say no to eating out with your friends at that restaurant. Track every expense and ask yourself, “Do I need this?”. 

Use the 365 Saving Method. Take something you spend money on daily and time it by the number of days in the year. For example, that $5 coffee is $1,825 a year. That’s a lot of travel money wasted. 

AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWALS ARE Taking Your Money Without You Even Realize It. 

We sign up for a lot of services like HBO, Netflix, etc, that drain our money every month without us even realizing it. But to travel, we need to take a look at these. I am not saying cancel everything. I am saying you most likely have automatic withdrawals that are taking your travel savings without you even knowing it. 

Use Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards can be a great way to make sure you’re always getting the most out of your travels, but they’re not right for everyone. So before you get one, make sure you think through what it is you want from your card and if a travel credit card could help give you those benefits.

A surprising number of travel credit card companies are out there. Most offer the same basic perks, but some give more in different categories. With so many to choose from, sorting through them all can be daunting – especially if you have a specific preference in mind, like elite status with an airline or hotel chain. Credit Cards give bonus miles, travel rewards, and can help you get freebies in cities like Las Vegas, San Francisco, or anywhere in the world. 

Keep Your Goal At The Forefront

Focusing is single-handedly the most important thing you can do. Keep reminding yourself of your goal and what you are working towards. Find ways to stay excited to save. Here are a few things I do when I find myself losing focus. I read other travel blogs. If I am struggling with saving money in one month I read blogs such as further bound. Hannah from Further Bound went from being 24k in debt to having 24k to travel in 18 months.

That is inspiration right there. If I am trying to fix my budget I look at sites like Nomadic Matt who is the master of budget travel. I look at pictures of places I want to go our work on my bucket list to keep my travel excitement level high all the time. If you focus your vision on your trip you won’t want to spend your money on other things.

Gillian from One Giant Step gave me some great advice, “We always thought of every dollar we spent as what it would cost us somewhere during our travel. For example, the thought that money could mean two beers or an entire night in Thailand, or a full tank of gas road-tripping across North America. Viewing money this way worked like a dream!!” Approach your savings like that and you won’t have any trouble at all.

Saving for a trip doesn’t have to leave you on the verge of a heart attack. I have learned by trial and error but once I discovered these tips, I saw an immediate increase in my daily savings. That is huge. Now I make a game out of it. I try to find new ways and tricks to save a little extra money each month.

The important thing is to stay focused, challenge yourself, and remember why you are saving. That will give you all the passion and drive you to need to reach your budget.

Don’t Stop Saving Money Even When Your Travel Starts

 The savings mentality never stops. When you are on the road track your travel expenses. Do things like taking public transportation over cabs and uber. Get the right bank account that helps you avoid foreign transaction fees. Look for deals on a rental car. And learn how to find cheap flights, or go to places that are cheap to fly to. There are always find a flight deal. You can use sites like Secret Flying and Scotts Cheap Flight.

Some saving accounts give you back the money, and cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and Ether. So you can save and invest some at the same time. 

Have Travel Insurance

A lot of people skip travel insurance when they travel. This makes no sense to me. Insurance is pretty cheap. And can save money. I always have insurance. And it has saved me over $3,000 which is way more than I’ve spent on it. We want to save money so getting insurance is hard because we don’t know if we will need it. But it is better safe than sorry. Insurance also covers more than just accidents. It covers things like delayed flights, cancellations, lost luggage, and more. These are all ways to save money

My two go-to companies for insurance are Safety Wing and World Nomads. 

How much do you need to save for travel?

How much money do you need to save for travel? We’ve all asked this question at least once in our lives. It isn’t an easy answer, but it’s a necessary one. 

Saving up for a big trip can be hard, and if you don’t have a budget and a plan it’s easy to fall on the wrong side of preparation. 

The key to saving is knowing how much money you need to save so that you can make the biggest dent in your goals. 

That’s the purpose of this article. And the truth is, I can’t tell you how much money you need to travel. Because we all travel differently. 

But I can tell you how much money I spend when I travel to certain areas of the world. 

Western Europe – $1,500 – $2,000 a month.

Southeast Asia – $600 – $1,000 a month.

Eastern Europe – $1,200 – $1,500 a month.

Middle East – 1,200 – $1,500 a month. 

Can you sell anything to make extra money?

Why not take the opportunity to sell things you no longer need? You can make extra money by:

 • posting ads on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or other classified sites 

• having an auction on eBay or another auction site 

• selling items at a garage sale or flea market 

• selling items via the “swap” or “yard sale” 

Make sure you check if items have any value that could be recovered before you sell them. This is true for furniture, clothing, and electronics. Selling things you don’t need is a great way to make extra money

There we go! Here are some ways to save money, this will help you earn miles with a credit card, increase your monthly savings. And help you when saving to travel

Saving money isn’t easy. It requires discipline. It requires making a choice. It requires having a goal. But if you can dream it, then you can do it. And saving money to travel is possible. 

A Backpackers Tale Italy

About This SIte

Hi! I’m Stephen Schreck! A travel addict, wordsmith, and shutterbug.

My goal is to help you travel smarter!

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    1. Excellent tips Stephen!! Eye on the prize – that’s what it takes. I love the idea of weekly, or daily, savings goals – that keeps it right in the forefront all the time. Just imagine how great it’s going to feel when you’re on that plane having reached all the goals and are on your way!

      1. Thanks Gillian, yeah keeping focus is key to success. I think about the day I will finally board the plane all the time. I can’t wait! Six months from today!

    2. Great article! We did a lot of this when saving for our own trip, but the purchasing of gift cards online to use for gas (and get extra miles) is something I never thought of…great idea!

    3. Great article. I think you did an awesome job breaking it down and putting some new ideas out there such as collecting change. For us it was easier to do everything on credit cards, this way we knew where every dollar of every day went. It cut down on small expenses because each time we had to think about charging it, and made us accountable as we could see exactly what we spent money on. We used Mint.com to track it and saved enough to travel for three years without working.

    4. Great post man! Great post. I’m totally motivated to save more. Even though I may have blown an enormous amount on something huge—as you know—I’m still going to keep saving. You’re a badass.


      1. One big motivation when I was saving for my rtw trip was thinking in terms of days of travel. I estimated my budget for the year at $20 per day. So was that extra expense worth it or would I rather travel for one more day? It helped a lot.

    5. Great post Stephen! I think too often people don’t realize how saving those little bits can add up in the long run. And that’s really the basis of any budgeting and saving up for anything – whether it’s a trip around the world, or a down payment on a house. More in, less out, and put your savings towards whatever your heart desires.

      Those unexpected bills can be doozies – I spent 6hrs in the ER a few months ago with a meningitis scare. I think it always helps to put money into an “emergency” savings fund, for just such occasions. Sometimes you have to plan for the unknowns.

    6. Some excellent budget & saving tips there Stephen! This tip especially: “”Short Term Goals Increase Your Chances of Reaching your Long Term goals” – so true, I think people set MASSIVE goals and then feel bad when they fail to reach them. Setting smaller and more easily obtained goals give you confidence and will ultimately result in reaching that big goal after all 😀

      1. So true, if you take it a little at a time it, not only, makes things easier but is a lot less stressful. Thanks for reading Tom.

    7. I always say to myself when saving for travel — and I’m always saving for travel! … i can have this OR a coffee in Paris, Borneo, India … wherever is in my sights! Right now it’s Borneo in July 🙂

      See Naked In Budapest: travels with a passionate nomad about my 3 RTW trips — on my own, no bookings.

      1. Same for me. However, coffee is my weakness 🙂 Thanks for checking out my site. You’ve been on 3 RTW. I travel a lot, and that is impressive!

    8. AroundTheWorldForHappiness

      Awesome motivating post, the day by day is a great idea!
      It is sometimes a battle to stay focused, but with many of the helpful tips you mentioned,
      it makes it easier.
      We find the hardest part of saving for a nomadic lifestyle of travel, is figuring out what exactly the over all
      goal amount should be? The best bet we found so far, was just shoot the moon 🙂

      1. Actually my next post is about how to stay focused 🙂 so be sure to check back. I’m also starting the first draft of the post about my budget, it will explain what my target goal was, how I came up with that number, and how I reached it. Although, no matter what your target goal is the best advice is what you said. Shoot for the moon! Better safe than sorry.

      1. Hey Ricky,

        It really all depends on where you want to go and for how long. I’m sending you an email, and I can get a little more details and be able to help you more accurately.

    9. I think the only way to save money on travel is to travel during the low season. However, I personally doubt that anybody that plan to go on holiday, have “money saving” idea in mind.

    10. Great post on saving! It’s crazy how those little modifications in spending can make a huge difference! How much did you save all together?

      1. Thanks Myran. Yea, the devil is in the details especially when it comes to money. I am working on a post about how much I saved as it is a question I often get asked. Stay tuned 🙂

    11. That is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
      Short but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
      A must read article!

    12. I try to have a percentage of money being deposited into my checking account automatically transfer over to one of my High Interest Savings Accounts for future travel and then don’t touch it. That has worked like a charm, as did putting my loose change into a large jar and then depositing it every few months.

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