Saving Money for Travel

Saving Money for Travel

The Great Migration - Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Great Migration – Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The ability to travel is strongly influenced by two factors – the money you can save and the time you can take away.  The second of these is highly dependent on personal circumstances, however, the first is subject to general rules that can enable you to save for your next overseas holiday.

Weekends Away – the quickest way to diminish your overseas travel funds is to continue taking weekend holidays in your home country.  This position is not helpful for domestic tourism, but it makes a lot of sense for your budget.  During a ten year period I only took three weekends away, two for weddings and one for a cricket match.  The average cost of a weekend break could equate to a week or more of accommodation in your chosen overseas destination – which would you prefer?

Food – this varies between countries, but what is the cheapest way to feed yourself?  For countries such as Australia, eating out is more expensive than cooking your own meals, whereas in parts of Asia, the opposite is true.  Calculate the cheapest option and follow it, but do allow yourself an occasional (monthly) indulgence.

Entertainment – days or nights meeting friends that involve eating at a restaurant or going to a club or theatre afterwards can dramatically increase your costs. I’m a big fan of theatre, but restrict myself to four or five performances per year.  You can still be social, but in a different form – maybe host a dinner party or a picnic as opposed to a dinner?

Latest Fashion/Trends – whether clothes or electronic gadgets, it is likely that you will have to dispense with being the first on the street to purchase the newest clothes of the season or the latest smart phone.  If there is an important item you require, wait a few months for the price to drop or watch for sales and specials.

Motor Vehicle – do you really need that car? I personally relied on walking and public transport instead of having the expense of keeping a motor vehicle.  If I do need to travel elsewhere, it is cheaper to rent a car for the required period. If owning your own motor vehicle is not a necessity, consider selling.

Any excess money you spend when not travelling is taking away from your travel budget. As an example, if I buy that new suit, that could be worth many nights of accommodation on my next journey.

Once you have saved the money at home, it is time to save money on your travel, and there are numerous options.  Best to try a variety of methods when finding accommodation and flights – try provider websites (hotels and airlines), third party booking websites and travel agents. The key is to search extensively and often. More information can be found at Cheaper Travel.

Travelling is an expensive pursuit, and like everything in life, one cannot achieve their goals without sacrifices. The more of the above items you sacrifice, the closer you will be to achieving your goal.