This post was most recently updated on August 19th, 2016
On a daily basis, our Instagram followers ask us how we travel so much, while also working and attending university full time. But when they ask that question, they’re really asking something else: “How can you afford to travel so much?”
Quite honestly, I’ve heard this question at least a thousand times, so I figured that I should finally and formally spill the beans.
Here are the 15 foolproof ways I save money for travel:
I rarely buy new clothes. It’s as simple as that. I always remind myself that I would rather collect memories and experiences, not things!
I use a credit card with a great points program. I buy everything, and I mean everything, with my credit card, and I gain points for every single dollar I spend. So what’s the moral of the story here? I’m earning money to spend on travel, even when I’m spending money.
I rarely eat out. With a fridge that’s always full of fresh groceries, why should I go out to eat? Sometimes I crave In-N-Out, but do I go out and buy it? No. I choose the cheaper option; I make food (that’s probably more delicious, anyway) at home.
When I do eat out, I order water. In the States, water in restaurants is free. If I do splurge on a restaurant outing, you won’t see me spending money on drinks.
I make lunches for school and work at home. Again with the fully stocked fridge thing. During my breaks at work and school, I eat food that I bring from home! Eating out adds up quickly, so I avoid it at all costs!
I live at home with my parents. I’m a nineteen-year-old college student, so I take full advantage of the fact that I can still (acceptably) live at home with my parents. Free is always the way to go!
I work at least one full-time job. Working full-time while taking six or seven classes at university is rough. Whenever I tell people what I do, they look at me with disbelief and tell me that I’m crazy. Well, yeah, that may be true. But for travel’s sake, it’s worth it.
I put half of every paycheck into my travel savings account. And the rest goes toward paying for school. And my other expenses.
I don’t get my nails done. Getting nails done is the biggest waste of money. Ever. I paint them myself and save $40!
I get my hair done only when it’s necessary. Further, I rarely blow dry, curl, or straighten my hair, to prolong its health.
I don’t pay for a gym membership. I hike, I run, I walk my dog. I use the gym at my university. No need to pay for a gym!
I put money into a youth savings account with a high interest rate. Enough said.
I always bring a refillable water bottle with me everywhere. Good for the environment and good for my wallet. Win, win!
I never carry paper money. I find that it’s way easier to blow my cash on things that I don’t need, in comparison to my credit card. So to stop myself, I don’t carry cash.
And above all, I prioritize! Would I rather go to my local movie theatre, or would I rather go to a show in London? Would I rather have take-out Thai food at home, or would I rather have street food in Bangkok? Plain and simple, it’s all about prioritizing.
So there you have it! Those are my top 15 ways to save money for travel (in no particular order). If you follow these guidelines as closely as possible, you’ll be boarding a plane in no time!
How do you save money for travel? Which of these tactics do you already use and which would you add to this list?