How to Save Money for Travel

“How do you afford to travel so often?”

This is the question I get most often when someone finds out about my travel lifestyle. All the time I hear, “You’re so lucky!” While I am incredibly fortunate, I still pay for all of my travel out of pocket. I have a standard office job, but they’re amazing about letting me take time off. Last year I took about 10 weeks away from work, but most of them were unpaid.

I get it, that’s absolutely not the norm. My point is, if I can find a way to do that much travel, you can totally start visiting the places you’ve been dreaming about! It’s taken me a decade to create this lifestyle– it didn’t happen overnight. I started with one international trip a year, usually about 10 days long.

Advice on Saving Money for Travel

The biggest factor in making travel a real and regular part of your life is that it has to be a priority. If it’s not, you’ll always find somewhere else to spend your money. It’s not magic, just a simple combination of managing your time and money, and making sure you get maximum value for both. I call this “value travel” rather than “budget travel”. It’s about more than dollars and cents, it’s about having the experience of a lifetime, and that looks different for everyone.

There are a number of choices you can make in everyday life to cut costs and live simply so you can save enough money to reach your travel goals. Once you’ve saved, it helps to start researching well in advance. For international trips, starting at least six months before you want to go gives you time to watch prices, look at multiple options, and make sure you create the best experience for the money you have to spend. Lastly, you have to budget for the time you’ll actually be abroad. There are plenty of ways to create the trip of a lifetime without spending like a rock star, you simply have to know what to look for! Don’t worry, I’m in the process of creating courses to teach you how.

Travel Budgeting Tips

Let’s start with what you can do at home, right now, to save for your dream trip. One thing that saves significantly more than you think is making your own food instead of eating out. I typically spend around $50 a week on groceries (my husband and I keep our monies separate). I pack my lunch for work every day and rarely go out for dinner. I also choose to make things from scratch instead of buying pre-packaged meals and choose produce that’s in season. This saves even more money and is better for you! This does require some planning, so I do easy crock-pot meals or sandwiches if I know I have a busy week ahead. If I want something which takes more time to make, I use my Sunday afternoon to prep my food for the week.

I used to eat out for lunch at least a couple times a week and dinner too. I was spending a minimum of $50 a week on take-out, plus I’d still spend about the much in groceries for the rest of my meals! If you can save $50 a week, that adds up pretty quickly. That’s roughly $200 a month and $2,400 a year! If you do it right, you can totally have a 10 day international vacation for that amount! You can do this. All it takes is a little self-discipline and pre-planning!

I want to hear from you! What’s holding you back from reaching those travel goals?