Travelling the world is something 90% of people say they want to do. I’d say about 10% of those people will never travel further than Europe. And the dominating factor to not travelling? Yes, you’re right. A seven lettered sentence, “I don’t have the money to travel.”
This summer I was lucky enough, for the first time in my life, to have money in my savings, which meant I was able to travel for two months. I actually saved double what I needed, not realising how little I would actually spend.
I’ve decided that next summer, I’m going to book a one way flight back to Vietnam and travel countries such as the Philippines and Laos for around six months. However, being a full time student, this means its going to be difficult to save.
Therefore, I’ve made this post to help others (and myself), who are thinking about traveling, but their main issue is money.
Get a part time job.
I know it seems like an obvious one. But I’ve recently been looking for jobs whilst back at university and I’ve been put off as most are only 8 hours a week, which wouldn’t get me anywhere near my target savings. However, long term even getting a rubbish job for a few months is earning more money than not having a job.
A good tip is to calculate how much you want to save. E.G a target to save £2000 in 12 months, meaning you want to save £166 each month. Therefore, if you have an organised plan, you know not to spend X amount of money each month. It may mean skipping a few nights out, but it will be worth it.
Say no to (a few) nights out.
I’m not suggesting you don’t have a social life, but you don’t have to be at every single social outing. Going into my third year at university, I can look back and think of a few times I’ve gone on nights out wishing I hadn’t. Sometimes it can get repetitive, save your money for special nights out.
And, if you really like a drink, there is nothing wrong with having a few nights in, with a bottle of wine and your friends.
Even eating out can get costly, think of other ways you can socialise with friends without spending your money.
Stay in hostels.
Thanks to apps such as hostelworld, it’s never been easier to book a hostel. You can book your hostel (if it’s not full) on the day you arrive. However, hostelworld always asks you for a deposit from your card. So, if you only want to use cash and not your card I suggest using Booking.com. They advertise the same hostels most of the time, and you never have to pay a deposit.
Another thing to watch out for, is if the hostels have tax on them. When I arrived at a hostel in Thailand we had to pay even more money in tax. It was shown when we paid, but we were completely oblivious to it.
Be smart about your flights.
Another excellent app to use when travelling is Skyscanner. It shows you the cheapest flights, or for example if it would save you lots of £££ if you got a connecting flight. I remember the first time I used the app, I was sat in a hostel worried that it wouldn’t be safe or it would be a dodgy site.
But, everything was safe. I booked 5 flights through the app whilst in Asia, and all went smoothly. I got each flight for around £40, with 20kg of checked luggage. I may have been able to get cheaper, but I booked extremely last minute.
Another good thing is the site tells you if it would be cheaper to fly a few days before or after your suggested date. This is always useful, especially if you aren’t in a rush with time.
Volunteer at hostels.
I met a lot of people this year who wanted to stay out longer in places, so they volunteered at hostels. This means you don’t get paid, but you get 3 free meals a day, free drinks and free accommodation. If you want to stretch your money out and you love a place your at, volunteering is a great idea.
The people I met didn’t plan to volunteer, they would just ask staff at the hostel if there was any work going. It’s as simple as that.
Do your research.
As I recently said, I took around 5 plane journeys in Asia. This was only because I was on a time limit, and it was running out very fast. However, a cheaper way of getting around is night buses.
These cost literally next to nothing and take you literally everywhere. You can even get one from Vietnam to Cambodia. A top tip is to always get them at night time, therefore you’ll never lose a day.
I also recommend doing research about trips you want to do. I did a Halong Bay tour and I was going to book onto Castaways as that’s the trip most travellers have done. However, after speaking to people I heard other brands.
So, I searched around and ended up doing Hideaways. It was the exact same trip, it just cost me £100 less.
Teach a language online.
Another tip I picked up this summer, is that many people have now took to their PC’s to teach a language online for a bit of extra money. There are loads of sites you can find to do this on. And it’s a great way to earn money from your room.
Find a cheaper gym.
Try and cut down on monthly memberships, if the gym is costing you £35 a month go somewhere cheaper like The Gym for £15 a month. Or even better, starting running for free. That would mean in 12 months you will have saved £420 towards your travels.
Reduce your transport costs.
Having a car is a very expensive hobby. I decided not to insure my car this year, as I want to save. This has saved me £600 and a lot more in petrol, tax and MOT money.
Even if you don’t own a car, there are other ways to save money on transport. You could walk to places (if a reasonable distance) instead of spending what you think is a few pounds on the bus/tram everyday. (It all adds up!)
Withdrawing money whilst abroad.
A big issue I had when travelling was a debate between: Do I withdraw lots of money and risk getting robbed of it all or only withdraw what I need a get charged £5 each time. I settled my debate by getting the money I needed for around a week. There are always safes in hostels and I have to say I never worried, once I was used to being in hostels, about people trying to steal from you.
People travel with their Apple Macs, expensive jewellery, massive cameras, and most just leave them lying around the rooms. I guess they just trust more than me.
But the point is to make sure you know what you are being charged, then you can work out how much is beneficial to withdraw.