travel tips

50 Ways To Seriously Save Money To Travel

When I first started this blog, it was mostly a way to document my travels, but I am also a stringent saver and while most of my travels are on a budget, I always thought I’d have more of a focus on helping YOU save money for travel.

I have touched on it before, but I haven’t made it a focus of the blog.

And besides, there are a lot of these sorts of posts flying around. We’ve heard it all before. Stop buying your daily coffee. Cut down on cocktail nights. Stop smoking. Move back in with your parents. Sell everything you own and just LEAVE!

Yeah, yeah, blah blah. But what if you’ve done all those, or some of them aren’t an option? Behold, a plethora of ideas for you to get closer to travelling sooner! (Or as soon as we can, anyway.)

Now might not be the easiest time for many of you to save money with unemployment rising, but if you’ve been lucky throughout this, it also might be the easiest, with not much to spend your money on! Whatever your situation, I hope these tips come in handy, whether now or in the future when things are looking a little more “normal” again.

christine-roy-map-money-unsplash
Image credit – Christine Roy via unsplash

 

Just a quick note: some of the links in this post are referral links, but as always I will only ever recommend services and products that I use and love – where I don’t use them, I’ve specified this, and it won’t be a referral link either.

1. Open up a savings account

First things first. Let’s get you really prioritising this whole travel thing! If you set up a savings account and decide on a figure or percentage to put aside every month, you’ll find yourself reaching your savings goal pretty quickly because you haven’t accidentally spent that extra money on takeaways just because you have it rolling around in your main account. I have to admit I’ve never actually had a travel savings account specifically, but then I’m a natural saver.

One of the great things about savings accounts is they used to have decent interest rates so you’d be rewarded for saving in that account. Sadly, those days have dwindled out, especially at the moment with the economy plummeting, so it’s harder to find the good deals. The best deal I’ve found is 2.75% with First Direct – but you have to already have an account with them, which is often the same with any decent savings accounts. There are various savings accounts with at least a 1% interest rate though.

Both me & Ash’s banks have savings accounts called “Regular Savers”, which offer a fair amount of interest (2 – 2.5%), but the drawback is that you can only deposit a capped amount per month (£200 – £250) and it’s only for a year (also in the current climate Santander’s is now only 0.75%, but this is still, shockingly, higher than a lot of accounts now). I think most banks offer these for existing customers, so check whether yours does. If you’re not going to be saving more than that anyway, it’s well worth it.

2. Set yourself goals

One thing that will instantly make saving easier is having a goal in mind. Do you have a particular trip that you’re saving for, or do you just want to save as much as possible to spend next time you go away? Do you have a deadline to save the money for?

Having something specific in mind can help you to focus on achieving it. Plus if you’re saving for a trip you’re taking in six months, it’s easier to cut back on a lot of things knowing that it’s only temporary and you can go back to your old habits once you’re back. And in fact, maybe you won’t want to go back to them!

Koh Phangan, Thailand
Beach time in Thailand

3. Set yourself challenges

I love myself a challenge, especially when it comes to money. Even if you don’t have a particular savings goal or budget, you could take part in something like the 52-week challenge, where you save £1 and increase it by £1 every week until you’ve saved £1,378 at the end of the year. In times like these, I’ve got used to not spending much money, so sometimes I’ll challenge myself not to spend anything for an entire week.

4. Earn cashback on everything you buy

I wrote a post here all about how you can save money on travel using cashback, but actually, you can save money on ANYTHING. Before you buy anything online, check whether you can get cashback on it.

TopCashback is my go-to cashback site, and they regularly offer exclusive deals on loads of things – some of my best hauls have been 30% off Groupon, and even 2% off our Japan flights (which, errr, then got cancelled – awkward).

There are other cashback sites out there, and I also recently got £110 for opening a stocks and shares ISA (see #1) through Quidco, where TopCashback were only offering £80, so it’s definitely worth shopping around!

Honey is a free extension you can get for your browser which automatically scours the web for discount codes and applies them when you’re buying something! Genius.

5. Get a second job or pick up overtime

Oh, that old chestnut. Have you really thought about it, though? A few hours in a bar here and there, or a weekend job in a café isn’t too exhausting, and if you put everything away into savings that you earn from it, it’ll add up really quickly. At one point I had three jobs (one was market research assignments, interviewing people irregularly, but it was good money when I got them) and hadn’t even put in many extra hours and still earned at least a couple of hundred extra per month.

In fact, what I saved just from the extra work gave me enough to get myself set up in Canada without having to worry about whether I’d get a job straight away.

At the moment, I am extremely fortunate to have a stable job, and not only that, but we’ve been playing major catch up since the transition to working from home, which has meant virtually unlimited overtime. I am not exaggerating when I say I have saved thousands in the past few months. I know I’m incredibly lucky though – many people don’t even have jobs, let alone the opportunity to earn extra.

Another thing that’s really popular is teaching online, especially English tutoring. VIP Kid and Palfish are two popular options – I have to say I’ve never looked into it, but there are plenty of resources online if this is the sort of route you’d be interested in.

Dinner at Thai Peacock, Portland, Oregon

6. Cook your own meals

I think COVID will be changing a lot of people’s lifestyles on this one – obviously we haven’t been to a restaurant in about three months. We didn’t really make a habit of eating out all that much anyway – maybe every couple of weeks on average, and usually with friends. Takeaways, though… in ordinary times, we probably get a takeaway once a week, but most were closed at the beginning of lockdown and we didn’t get one for around six weeks. We realised how little we actually relied on them, and it’s pushed us to cook slightly more interesting meals, too.

I hope this is a trend we’ll be able to keep up once everything’s back to “normal” – it feels like we’re spending loads on our food shopping, but actually when you factor in how many meals we would normally buy separately, as well as little top up shops for snacks which we are avoiding at the moment, we’re saving a ton of money in the long run (all money that we can save for future adventures!).

7. Complete online surveys

As you probably know, I’m big on the side hustles. I’ve always been an advocate of taking online surveys, although it can be tedious and I understand why some people don’t take them seriously. The truth is, there are some frankly rubbish sites out there, but there are also some brilliant ones, and I’ve written a full bumper guide here on the best sites and rewards. I’ve made upwards of £50 per month on these before (in fact, I went full gung ho one month and made £100!), so they’re well worth doing.

8. Be savvy with your energy bills

One of your biggest living expenses is probably your gas & electric. While it’s hard to cut down on electricity when virtually everything runs on it, it’s easy to forget to turn things off, unplug things that aren’t being used, even leave lights on when you’re out. Making simple measures a habit will make a difference to your utility bills.

Every now and then (or whenever a contract is coming up for renewal), make sure to shop around. I love using comparison websites for this – I almost always save money on car insurance and energy suppliers!

Forts Walk, Magnetic Island, Australia

9. Stop buying your daily lunch

It was only when I started working in an office that I realised just how many people buy their lunch every single day. A fiver without even thinking about it. £25 a week, not including weekends. Over £100 a month – just on one meal a day. I make a sandwich every day at a fraction of the cost, and my bank account thanks me.

Just think – every lunch that you don’t buy at home, could be a lunch in another country. Same goes for coffee, of course.

10. Go out less often

I’m not going to become one of those people who tells you not to go out because you should be saving money. I’m not yer maw. But do you need to go out every weekend?

Start mixing it up and have friends over more often, curl up with a few drinks and put a movie on Netflix or play some drinking games. I always have just as much fun with friends at home, and it saves tons of money!

11. Going out anyway? Find free events & happy hour deals!

Sometimes you do just need a night out, or a day out. How about checking out free comedy clubs or free events at local pubs? Even festivals or markets are often a great – and cheap! – way to still have fun but not spend all your money. Don’t pay to get into a club – go somewhere without an entry fee.

Tons of restaurants and bars have happy hour deals, or a great deal a certain night of the week. Lunch will almost always be cheaper than going out in the evening. By making small changes to when you go out, rather than not going out at all, you can still save money!

Paradise Palms, Edinburgh, Scotland

12. Downgrade your phone

So here’s a fact: the most expensive phone I’ve ever bought was £120, and that lasted me over three years while I pay £8 a month for data and unlimited calls/texts. I have friends who legitimately buy the new iPhone every year and then wonder why they’re broke.

And that’s fine. I don’t really care what you choose to spend your money on, but here’s the clincher: if you want to CHOOSE to spend your money on travel, cutting down on other things means you can travel more. Phones are bloody expensive if you want them to be, and to be honest my little Samsung served me perfectly well. Think of it this way: the difference between my phone and a brand new iPhone would pay for a whole month of travel in Vietnam.

13. Buy second hand

I picked up an amazing Trespass coat that looks virtually brand new. Guess how much it cost me? Two whole pounds. Can I just shout that CHARITY SHOPS ARE AMAZING!

With Facebook groups taking over the entire world, it’s never been easier to find second hand stuff. You can even ask for something you want – the other week, one of our little radiator heaters blew up so I asked on the local selling group if anyone had one to sell. We ended up getting one – better than the old one – for free!

14. Sell second hand

I knew we had a lot of stuff before we went travelling. I was just amazed at how much I could sell. When you are thinking about how much space your stuff is going to take up while you’re travelling, it’s easier to be ruthless about how much you’re trying to cut back.

I’ve actually got better at this since travelling, too. As clothes wear out, I don’t see any need to replace them because I’ve realised I have too many. When you live out of a suitcase for 18 months, you start to wonder why you needed 10 pairs of jeans in the first place.

koh phi phi, view, thailand

15. Buy to sell

If you want to get a bit more serious about selling, it’s worth looking out for bargains that you could then sell on for a profit. Car boot sales and Facebook marketplaces are great places to find collectables and cheap things that people just want to get rid of but that might fetch a little more money.

16. Stop buying things at all

One thing I noticed in the months before we travelled was how much my spending slowed down. I stopped buying cute homeware because there was no point when we were leaving our home behind anyway. As above, I stopped replacing clothes that were wearing out, because I was acutely aware of how much space any replacements would take up. I especially became ruthless about using up any food we had sitting in cupboards for months, which reduced our spending in supermarkets.

And you know all that shit you have laying around “just in case it comes in handy” or to use “one day but not today”? Yeah, most of that actually got used or just chucked.

The thing is, we did that in the name of travel, but it kickstarted a minimalist lifestyle I never knew I could adhere to. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of stuff, but nowhere near on the scale that I used to.

17. Downgrade (or even sell) your car

Most of my friends own cars that cost them thousands of pounds. And here-in lies one of my other budget crackers. The most expensive car I’ve ever bought was £900. So the question is, do you need to spend £3000? Do you even need a car? Many people genuinely do, and that’s fine (I hate not having one either!), but try to find ways to save money on it. Of course, if you plan on long-term travel, selling it before you go will add a lot of money to your travel pot! (Or not if you have a truly awful car that breaks down two weeks before you leave – at least the bloody thing only cost me £300 in the first place, I guess!)

If you think about it, at least 6 months of my travel costs have been covered by the “savings” I’ve made JUST on my phone and car.

Driving on Hollywood Boulevard, LA, USA
Instead of buying a car, why not rent one and drive in LA? Errrrrr.

18. Get free money

Yeah, helloooo, why is this only at #18?! Okay, so this kind of ties in with #4 because it’s usually deals you can get through sites like TopCashback (check out their “free cashback” section).

And while most of it is relatively risk-free, some of the offers involve signing up to free trials that you might forget to cancel. There are quite a few sites that do things like this, but I find that many of them are a waste of time because just as you’re getting close to the payout, the only offers left are either sites that look a bit dodgy, or something you actually have to pay for and don’t want to.

One exception to this is Oh My Dosh, which I signed up to last year. Most of it is free trials so some people may not be comfortable knowing that they have to remember to cancel, but I somehow did remember to cancel all of mine and got a whopping £128 in my first month!! Plus their minimum payout is only £10 which is very achievable.

Another slightly iffy free money offer is bingo sites (again, check TopCashback for these). A couple of examples at the moment are Paddy Power Bingo offering £12.75 cashback for a £10 deposit (£2.75 profit), and if I’m reading this right, Betfair are offering the same, but also a whopping £42.50 cashback on a £10 deposit on their poker site. I’m not a gambling (wo)man, but this is literally free money, and as long as you stop afterwards, go for it!

19. Downgrade your food brands

It’s easy to walk into a supermarket and buy Heinz and Kellogg’s and Nescafé and all these other brands. You know them, you trust them, and they’re more expensive so they must be good quality, right? I have certain brands I support, but for the most part? I’m pretty happy with a supermarket own brand alternative. I’m not saying buy Tesco Value everything (although some things are certainly alright!) but making a few changes here and there really adds up your savings.

20. Take advantage of special offers

Sometimes I’ll go shopping for one thing and come out with six. I mean, we all do that, don’t we? Like the time I went into Tesco to find something really unhealthy to eat after a 17 hour shift, and came out with bags of half price pizzas and some serious bargains from the reduced section. Don’t buy things just because they’re cheap, though. Buy things that you’re actually going to use.

I go one step further – our main stores are Asda and Lidl, so I’ve bookmarked Asda’s special offers (Tesco’s special offers page is here), and I pick up Lidl’s magazine and highlight any weekly bargains we should get. You can also get Tesco’s magazine and find loads of vouchers, which I always forget!

Vancouver airport sunset, Canada
These tips could bring you closer to your next flight!

21. Check the price per unit

One of the main money-saving hacks I use for food shopping is checking the price per unit rather than the actual price of the item. This is especially good for non-fresh food so you don’t need to worry whether it needs to be used ASAP. Sometimes something will be on offer, but it’s still more expensive than another brand or even sometimes more than another size of the same brand. They can be sneaky like that!

22. Bulk buy

While we were living “temporarily” it was really hard to take advantage of bulk offers because there would be no point in storing it when we moved on (if we even had anywhere to store it in the first place). So this is a relatively new habit that I’m only just picking up on.

We now buy 3kg bags of pasta, minimum 500 tea bag boxes, multi-buy offers of canned food and jumbo packs of things like toilet roll.

It could be worth your while signing up to Costco, although we haven’t got that far yet.

23. Downgrade your supermarket

I absolutely love Lidl and Aldi. They might not be the best for a full week’s shop, but they save you so much money, honestly. If you currently shop at Tesco or even Asda, it’s worth downgrading even if it’s not for every shop. If you currently shop at Waitrose or M&S, well then I’m guessing you’re rich enough to have made that decision, so crack on. 😉

24. Sign up to loyalty schemes

Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming to have all these different loyalty schemes, especially when you end up with ten cards in your purse for Tesco, Nectar, Costa, Superdrug, Boots… but it IS worth signing up and earning those points for the occasional free coffees and toiletries and money off.

Which leads me onto…

25. Use Clubcard points

Getting Tesco clubcard points to spend in-store is one thing. Using them for something else can be so much better.

£5 of Clubcard vouchers can get you £10 on the Megabus, and they have loads of other travel partners. Some of my favourite deals include £2.50 of vouchers in exchange for 625 Virgin air miles, £10 of vouchers can be used for £30 in YHA hostels across the UK, £30 on the Eurotunnel, £30 off an Intrepid tour, or a £15 voucher can get you an annual railcard (usually worth £30)!! There are tons more, including hotels, ferries, National Express, car rental and holidays.

I know Nectar have some similar offers but I don’t think they’re quite as generous.

Quay Street, Galway, Ireland

26. Use vouchers and coupons

You can find loads of supermarket vouchers in their magazines, and the same for lots of other retailers. One of my favourite websites for coupons is Supersavvyme which offers loads of discounts on lots of every day stuff from cleaning products to toiletries.

There are also apps like Shopminium which offer lots of free product trials and discounts in supermarkets (plus they actually pay out each time you use it rather than having to hit a minimum payout, which surprised me).

The best part is, they offer vouchers that work with promotions, so quite often you could get £1 off something that’s already reduced to £1. Which leads me to…

27. Don’t already have a voucher? Google it!

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been about to buy something, and then thought “huh… maybe I should try and find a code somewhere”. A lot of voucher sites will have outdated codes that won’t work, but quite often you can find something! Do bear in mind that if you’re using a cashback site, the cashback will most likely be invalidated if you’re also using a voucher code, so weigh up which is going to save you the most money.

Another great tool is the browser extension Honey, which will automatically do this for you and apply any codes it can find to your basket. How about that?!

28. Mystery shopping & market research

On the same concept as surveys, there are lots of companies that hire you to test out the customer service of staff in shops, bars and restaurants and give feedback afterwards. You’ll usually get a free meal out of it, plus sometimes a fee for your time.

I also started interviewing people for a company called Progressive. They are really well paid, and I’ve received as much as £30 for a 1.5 hour shift. They often have lots of campaigns going on, and although they’re based in Scotland I think they have projects all over the UK.

There are tons of market research companies like this – some will require you to make phone calls, which won’t be everyone’s bag, and others will be face-to-face.

Me at Stari Most bridge, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

29. Get freebies

Everyone loves free stuff, right?! I have a box filled with sample toiletries that I use on weekend breaks and hand-luggage-only holidays – I’ve never bought a travel-sized shampoo in my life. I’ve also had free tea bags, free food, free vegetable seeds, free sanitary towels, free cleaning products… my go-to website is MagicFreebiesUK!

30. Cut down on subscriptions

We all know someone who has a gym membership but hasn’t been in six months, don’t we? What about that magazine subscription that you keep forgetting about until it turns up in the mail? Do you need Netflix AND Disney+ AND NOW TV?

Subscriptions are becoming bigger than ever, with boxes packed with geeky merchandise, beauty products, health foods, snacks; you name it, there’s probably a box you can subscribe to. But do you need them? How many free trials have you taken out and then forgotten to cancel?

31. Stop buying bottled water!

I really cannot get my head around why anyone buys bottled water. I have to admit – I’m not the biggest water fan as I prefer flavour, but tap water is absolutely fine, especially if you keep it in the fridge! It blows my mind – in 2018, the US bottled water industry made a whopping $18 billion. Why?

Buy a reusable water bottle, even buy a filter if you need to, but stop wasting your money on a free resource and start saving the environment at the same time.

Old Man Of Storr, Isle Of Skye, Scotland

32. Take part in medical trials

I’d never really paid attention to medical trials until we went to Australia. One friend received upwards of $2,000 for rubbing some lotion on her arm for two weeks and going into the clinic for ten minutes every day. Wait, WHAT?! $2,000 for THAT?! Yup. Another guy had a slightly higher risk trial and was paid $4,000 for a month’s “work”. On top of that, if they need you to go in overnight, all your accommodation and food is free.

So, can you do this in the UK? YES, you can! While it’s not as popular as our mates down under (Australia is actually one of the leading medical research countries in the world), you can get paid, as an example that I recently found, £800 for a 2 week in-house trial of a flu jab. It’s well worth looking into!

Unfortunately I haven’t actually done any yet because a lot of them are based in London, but one website to check out is Trials4us.

(It’s probably worth noting that there may well be even more of these at the moment with COVID-19 vaccine trials needing to be done ASAP).

33. Meal prep

Following on from #4 (sorry, going back a bit!), if you can’t be bothered to cook every single night, you could also batch cook a whole load of meals and freeze them. Sometimes I read this suggestion and they’re like, “I save so much money eating these tubs of chilli every night for a week!” Seriously though, who wants to eat chilli SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW?! No matter how good that chilli is – mix it up a bit. Batch cook more than one meal, and at least you can alternate between them.

This is something we need to do way more of!

34. Cut your own hair

Now I know some people will recoil in horror at the thought of cutting their own hair – but I started doing this a few years ago and I mean, I’m not the best at it, but it’s saved me soooo much money. When each haircut is upwards of £20, those visits to the hairdresser add up quickly. I usually do get my hair done every 18 months or so, but it beats going every six weeks like some people do!

Me & Ash
My unruly hair needing a chop

35. Cut back on beauty services

I’m not the best person to ask about beauty services… I mean look at me! I go to a hairdresser every 18 months! Does that have a negative impact on my life? Absolutely not. But I get that it’s important for some people.

But – can you skip something this month? Can you skip it every couple of months? Cutting down on luxury services such as manicures and skin treatments and eyebrow threading could make a huge difference to your expenditure.

36. Quit the gym and start exercising at home instead

In the past few months, gym-goers haven’t known what to do with themselves. But for the price of a few months in the gym, you could buy some equipment to use at home. Don’t have the space? Why not take up running? (Honestly, I am sweating at the thought.)

I’ve got a treadmill, admittedly it’s in storage at the moment, but once we have more space, I’m planning a bit of a home gym. And even so, you don’t need to splash out on loads of equipment when there are tons of exercises you can do, and a multitude of YouTube videos to show you how. In fact, I’d wager that it’s never been easier to work out at home!

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland
I guess it’s easier to exercise when you have nice surroundings too!

37. Groupon & other deal sites

I love sites like Groupon, although if you’re not careful you end up buying vouchers that either a) you’ll never use, or b) isn’t actually saving you all that much money anyway.

However, if you’re not sure where you want to go for your next meal out, find a deal on Groupon. Look out for travel deals and especially at the moment, hotels within the UK (or your own country) offering deals. If you really don’t wanna cut your own hair, look out for deals on that, too!

Travelzoo is a great website for finding travel deals, and at the moment they are exclusively offering refundable vouchers for hotels and holidays, which is perfect when there’s so much uncertainty about what we’ll be able to do in a week’s time, much less several months.

38. Sell photos

There are so many outlets to sell photos now, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll have any luck, but it’s an easy passive income so it’s worth a try! Some of the photos I’ve seen sell on apps like Foap are seriously random, so you really never know!

Shutterstock is another great resource as tons of people use it to buy stock photos, so this could be a bigger audience to reach.

39. Get creative

I always groan when I think about how I could ever be one of those crafty people who can make cute necklaces or knit awesome clothes and accessories. I just could never do it, I’m not practical enough!

But then I realised – as long as you have a creative mind, you just have to be creative in your ideas too. How about designing some Christmas cards specific to your hometown? Making your own postcards to pitch to local tourist shops? Hell, some of the souvenirs back home are very blatantly random things that someone’s painted “Orkney” on. And let’s face it, some souvenirs are so tacky that I bet you could do better.

El Camino travel bracelet
One of my favourite items – an El Camino bracelet with my favourite countries. Could you come up with a product like this?

40. Put your coins in a jar

Like an adult piggy bank! I have to admit we don’t use cash a lot at the moment (especially now while most establishments don’t even accept cash) and we’ve only got about £8 in our elephant jar at the moment, but in the past we’ve put any spare change in a jar, and every few months I’ll astonish myself by counting out £50+.

41. Download money-making apps

I don’t know of any apps that will make you loads of money quickly, but there are plenty where you can scan receipts, answer questions and get cashback.

One easy app is ReceiptHog where you upload receipts from your shopping and earn points! There are a couple of other receipt scanning apps too, which I need to look into because hey, if you can earn more money from the same receipts then why not?!

StreetBees is an app where you can complete tasks, a little like mystery shopping. Clic N Walk is supposed to be a good one, although I haven’t used this yet.

I highly recommend Qmee, a browser extension that pays you to click on certain ads (and they’re never dodgy, it’s usually things like clothes). Plus, if you sign up through my link, you’ll get a free 50p! Now you really haven’t got anything to lose, have you?

42. Earn rewards for switching suppliers

I was going to put switching suppliers on this list because you’re likely to be able to save some dosh on something, but I’m taking it one step further as you can even earn rewards for saving money.

I’m not really sure which banks are offering welcome rewards or referral rewards in this climate, but a lot of banks often offer something.

I earned cashback recently on switching our energy supplier through uSwitch, and I earned a lot for opening a stocks & shares ISA (always check the small print on these – mine stipulates that I must pay in at least £100 a month, some have exit fees and I’ve even seen one where if you take the money out in the next 5 years, the cashback is taken off what you withdraw! Also worth reminding that capital is at risk with these types of accounts). Through the ISA provider, I can also earn £100 for referring someone else.

Our internet is with Plusnet, and they offer cashback on certain packages too (and you can always check TopCashback to see what deals they have for providers!). I also got £10 cashback for switching my mobile to giffgaff a couple of years ago, as well as saving a couple of quid each month just by being with them anyway. (I’m currently paying £6 a month for my mobile plan!)

One service I haven’t used yet but have seen a LOT about, is Look After My Bills, who will automatically switch you to another provider if they find you a cheaper deal – and best of all, it’s a free service!

Hippie campervan, camper, road trip, Australia

43. Get cheaper petrol/gas

I’m not sure if there is an equivalent of this in the US, but I swear by PetrolPrices.com for finding the cheapest nearby petrol stations! Even if you only save 2p a litre, that’ll add up every time you fill up.

44. Start car sharing

A couple of people on my team share a lift into work because they live close by to each other. If we weren’t on the bus route to work, someone on my team lives on our street, so I could give him a lift (in fact, when the coronavirus restrictions started but we were still having to go to work, we got moved to another office on the other side of Edinburgh, so that’s exactly what we did!).

Not only does it save a ton of stress with parking, it lowers the number of cars on the road, and of course saves you money!

If you don’t know anyone in particular that you could share rides with, there are actually plenty of websites where you can find people to car pool.

45. Rent out a room on Airbnb

Got a spare room, but don’t want a permanent lodger? Why not give it a splash of decoration and advertise it on Airbnb?

Now, I have to admit, I had this on a list I put together aaaaaaaaages ago for this post, before my attitude towards Airbnb completely changed. However, I STILL think Airbnb is a fantastic choice for a more local experience, and the original concept of renting out a room in your own home is a brilliant way to provide this. So, it’s staying on the list.

Just please, do not go around buying up houses to rent out on Airbnb.

My room in Vancouver
My room in Vancouver – it wasn’t on Airbnb but it was just my housemate’s spare room!

46. Sign up to free lotteries

This isn’t guaranteed to make you money (it’s a lottery, after all) but is worth a punt: free online lotteries. There are actually loads from number plate lotteries to birthday lotteries. My favourite is the Postcode Lottery which not only rolls over a LOT of money and can be up to £1000, but gives you loads of chances to win with the survey draw, video draw, stackpot and bonus draws. You’ve just got to remember to keep checking the draws! Pick My Postcode actually sends you a daily reminder to check, but when I was signed up to a few different ones, I added a folder on my bookmarks bar so I could just right click and “open all” as part of my daily routine.

47. Work abroad

Haven’t saved enough to travel non-stop? If you’re under 31 and travelling from Europe, the USA or Canada – not a problem! Several countries offer working holiday visas for a year or more, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. You could work on a kid’s camp during the summer in the USA. You could get a job on a ski resort in Europe. You could work on a cruise. You could teach English in Asia. If you are from outside these areas, it could be trickier, but there may be other options available to you, such as…

48. WWOOFing / HelpX / Workaway

If you’re worried about running short on money during your travels, there are absolutely tons of opportunities to volunteer worldwide in exchange for free accommodation and often food. This keeps your travel costs to a minimum and gives you a rich experience wherever you are, too. One of the most common industries for this is farming – farms all over the world look for volunteers. I’ve also helped a guy out with general maintenance, cleaning and helping him deliver his products, and I’ve seen places in Canada that look for volunteers with huskies for sledging! You really could end up doing anything!

Many hostels rely on volunteer staff and offer free accommodation in return for a couple of hours work a day (I did it in Portugal!). A few have on-site bars with jobs available, too. Just be careful that they’re not exploiting you – a fun experience is one thing, but many hostels in Asia expect you to work for six hours a day, and it’s easy to forget that while you may be okay with that in return for staying on a paradise island for free, that’s a job that could have gone to a local.

Farm work, fruit picking, backpacker, working holiday visa, Australia
Doing farm work in Australia (I did get paid for this though!)

49. Track your spending

There are a bunch of apps out there that can help you track your spending and identify where you’re spending too much. Some of these cost money, but many are free or at least have free versions. One that’s recently being advertised a lot is Yolt, and if you sign up through an incentive website like OhMyDosh, you can even earn money just for downloading it and linking your accounts!

MoneyDashboard is another popular one – I actually had this years ago but I barely used it. To be honest, I feel like I’m pretty good with my money and apart from the occasional audit of my accounts, I don’t feel like I need to keep track of what I’m spending too much. But I reckon it would be very useful for some people!

50. Start thinking “do I need this?”

This is probably the biggest one that really made a difference for me. Every time I go to buy something, I ask myself if I really need it. Could I do without this t shirt? Do I really need another chocolate bar? Saying no to both of those just saved me £8. That’s a meal on my next trip.

Saving money has become part of my lifestyle, which can be both restrictive and liberating in their own ways (it makes sense, honest). But I feel like for the most part, it’s a good mindset to have, and definitely helps me to save so that I can do awesome things.

I hope this list helps you to set yourself on the right track to start saving some money, whatever you’re saving for!

I was actually planning to have a money-saving section of the blog up and running in time for this post, but you know, life happened. I have got a couple of other posts already if this has whet your appetite for some savings:

Happy travelling!

Are you a saver? What do you do to make sure you’ve always got that dollah for travel?

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50 Ways To Seriously Save Money To Travel

18 thoughts on “50 Ways To Seriously Save Money To Travel

  1. Awesome advice, Clazz! Cutting down and being minimalist really helps save a ton of money, which can then be used to travel (even indulge a bit!). Not everyone may be able to travel as extensively as others, due to rent, bills, and everything in between, but even a little bit of saving whatever’s left over can make a huge difference. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great advice and so many really useful tips. If you followed every single one you would be seriously saving a lot towards travelling. We don’t own a house or a car or work so many don’t apply but a lot of the others we already do. All depends on what you want from life doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips, Clazz! I’m more of saver than a spender anyway, but lockdown (specifically, not having to commute) has done wonders for my bank balance! Bulk-buying is a great way to save some extra pennies. We don’t have a car, so used to do an online food shop once a month and buy stuff in bulk. Much easier than lugging it all back from the supermarket on foot! It’s been trickier to get a slot over the past few months though, so it’s meant venturing out to the supermarkets (most of which are a couple of miles from our house) more. A tip I came across recently – think it was on Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back – is to check the World Food aisle, as some products (especially spices/sauces) are cheaper there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! Lockdown has helped us save so much money. Maybe not great for the economy, but it’s money we will spend in other ways. I’ve actually never done an online food shop, it was quite scary watching people struggle to get food deliveries in April, I was so worried about older people! That’s tough being that far away from a supermarket though. One of my friends often gets a taxi home when she goes shopping.

      Great tip about the world food aisles, I definitely don’t check those out enough. We’ve got a couple of Chinese supermarkets near us and they can be great for bits and pieces – again, I really should go into them more!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So many creative ideas and great tips! Thank you for sharing. I always cook my own meals at home and really think through if I need something and that has always helped me save money!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do so many of these already (including switching my £8 Giffgaff bucket down to £6 during lockdown), but I will check out some of the sites you mention as using money saving/cashback sites isn’t something I’ve ever really got into. When it’s time for your 18 mthly haircut check out the Toni & Guy Academy – I think you have one in Edinburgh. It’s only £5 for a haircut that would usually cost £££. The ‘students’ are all qualified and experienced hairdressers who just want to be able to say they’ve had T&G training. They don’t do anything without checking it out with a supervisor first so you know you’re not going to have anything go wrong. I’ve used these Academies in London and Manchester and love them. If you want to treat yourself to a beauty treatment check out the local college. It’ll be real students doing your treatment but the set up is like a proper salon and they’re closely supervised. Treatments are usually just a few £s to cover the costs of products.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did that with my giffgaff too, I’m back up to the £8 package now we’re out and about more. Really pushing the boat out there!! Haha. That’s such a great tip about the student hair salons by the way, I ALWAYS forget about them! I never really know where to find them, but I need to have a look into it. 🙂

      Like

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