17 Feb 10 ways to save cash for travel
One of the biggest mental roadblocks that keep people from traveling is the perceived expense of it all. Most of the marketing in the mainstream media relating to travel focuses on luxury hotels, five-star restaurants, and pricey activities.
While all these things are lovely, there are other methods of travel that are far more sustainable, and thus, much easier to save for than a two-week holiday at an all-inclusive resort.
By saving a moderate amount of money over the course of a year, you can travel on a budget of $50/day or less for months, or even years at a time. Travel has loads of health benefits and will change your life, so it’s worth a few sacrifices in order to have an epic adventure.
If you are looking for some effective ways to save cash for travel, the tips mentioned in this article will free up all the capital you’ll need to explore the world for months at a time.
Let’s start by taking a hatchet to your existing budget below…
1 – Cook more, eat out less
Eating out is a big hole that many people have in their budget. In the United States, the average cost of a meal in a casual restaurant is around $13. With the average American dining out five times per week, this expense can add up rather quickly.
Start learning how to cook, and you’ll spend a fraction of that sum, and the meals you eat will tend to be healthier as well.
2 – Brew your own coffee at home
In addition to cutting back on eating out, brewing coffee in your own kitchen rather than buying it at Starbucks will also save you piles of money in the long run. While there are cheaper places to buy coffee like McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts, even a bargain basement cup that costs $1.50 pales in comparison to the $0.16 you’ll spend making your own at home.
3 – If possible, ditch your car
Car ownership is a huge money pit that siphons away huge chunks of your monthly income. Insurance can cost hundreds of dollars per month, making it a significant expense even if it sits in your garage collecting dust.
On top of that, you’re paying for gas, maintenance, parking, and other miscellaneous costs, so if you can take public transit or bike to work, or perform your job remotely, you can save many hundreds of dollars per month on external costs alone.
None of this even makes mention of the money that you’ll earn from selling your vehicle. As such, following through on this tip is one of the most effective ways to save cash for travel.
4 – Take on roommates
Got a spare room that you are currently using to store excess stuff? Open it up to people looking for a place to live, and not only will you be able to split your rent and bills in half each month, you might meet someone that could become a lifelong friend.
5 – Cut the cord
Let’s face it – TV has been circling the drain for a while now. There is still a few quality shows on cable, but nearly all of them can be streamed via Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes. Even sports can be streamed via the websites of many major league organizations, and for the big events, you can always head down to your neighborhood sports bar … it’s more fun that way, anyhow!
6 – Watch movies at home
Costs at your local multiplex have spiraled out of control in recent years. While the cost of an average movie ticket in America is just shy of $9 per person, this expense can be as high as $18 for a prime time showing in cities like NYC or Los Angeles.
Treats are just as pricey, with a popcorn and soda costing as much as $14. Meanwhile, you can watch as many films as you want at home for $8/month on Netflix, or for $2 a film on iTunes, and make your own treats for a fraction of the cost charged in theaters.
Still want to catch that blockbuster film on the big screen? Research when your local theater’s cheapie night is on, and go then, as tickets are sold for as low as $5-6 at these times. Considering the amounts of money you’ll save using this tip, this is one of the best ways to save cash for travel if you are addicted to movies.
7 – Shop for new clothes/housewares at second-hand stores
Keeping pace with the latest fashions can get pricey if you are a slave to them. Truth be told, most people don’t care that much about what you wear or own, as long as you present them with confidence. Spending a couple of hours in your average second-hand store will allow you to find clothes and homewares that look great on you and in your home, all while spending a fraction of what you’d shell out for them brand new.
8 – Cut back on partying
Depending on the extent of your drinking habits, this is one of the ways to save cash for travel that can pay for a plane ticket in a matter of months. For example, paring back from clubbing 3-4 nights per week to hosting a gathering at your house twice per month can free up a ton of cash for your travel fund.
Besides, partying is infinitely more fun when you are in a tropical paradise than back in your hometown, so save the good times for when you are on the road.
9 – Sell your excess crap
Not only is this one of the best ways to save cash for travel, but it is also a necessary step for those looking to take off on a long-term trip across the world for the first time. If you are traveling with a day pack and a 65-liter backpack, you won’t have room in them for 95% of the stuff currently lying around your house or apartment.
Hold a yard sale and sell anything that doesn’t have sentimental value. If there are things you absolutely want to keep, put them in storage at a friend’s or family member’s place to avoid having to pay storage locker rental fees.
10 – Save on your water bills
We all love a good hot shower but it always sucks to see expensive water bills arrive on your doorstep. It’s entirely possible that your current shower head could be wasting water, so you might want to shop around for the best water saving shower head to save you some extra dollars.
Now it’s your turn: what are your tried and true ways to save cash for travel that has worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!