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Do you need some inspiration and motivation to save money for your travels? When it comes to money saving and trip planning, I know it can be hard.

Saving money without a plan and planning without money doesn’t really make you motivated, but I’m going to help you make it a little bit easier and more fun.

Personally, I think it’s best to save money first and then start the trip planning. It’s often more expensive with flight tickets months ahead, and you never know if there might be some changes in your plans.

The key to save money for travel is simple. Be smart with your money, both before and during your trip.

There are so many simple things you can do in life to cut costs, and with that money you can make your trip longer and a bit more fun.

Here are my best tips to save money for travel:

Become financially responsible

When you’re going to save money for your trip you just have to become financially responsible. It might sound easier than it really is, but for most people it’s lots of work and planning.

Learning financial planning isn’t something most people get to learn in school, it’s something that you have to learn on your own if you want to do more out of your money.

I’ve been in the same situation, it’s hard to save money when you want to live your life at home, but still want to live your dream somewhere on the other side of the planet. You’re split between reality and your dream, and often it’s the reality that takes over.

If you’re going to do this for real, you have to put your heart and soul and make a long-term commitment. If you will make it work, you’ll be one among the few people who have succeeded to follow their dream to travel the world.

It’s only you who can save your money, no one else will do it for you or push you to do it, I’m just here to give you some tips and a little bit of motivation along the way.

So, let’s save some money and travel the world!

save money for travel

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Check where is your money going

One of the first things that you have to do is to check where your money is going. I know that it can be a bit stressful to check your bank balance and see how much money you’re spending on things, but it’s necessary if you want to save money for travel.

It was stressful for me too, but it was also a real eye opener seeing all the things that I had been buying when I actually didn’t needed it.

My best tip is to sit down a whole day, put on some good music, and have something good to drink and eat, and just go through everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.

Write down exactly everything you’ve spent your money on, on a piece of paper or in a document on your computer – down to the dollar.

Some good things to write down are:

  • How much you spend on the necessary things: Rent, insurance, bills, metro card…
  • How much you spend on food: Groceries, dining out, water, snacks, coffee…
  • How much you spend on entertainment: Music, sports, partying…
  • How much you spend on yourself: Beauty products, clothes, electronics, cigarettes, gym membership…

When you’ve been writing everything down, you might be surprised how much you’re spending on unnecessary things. 2 dollars here and 3 dollars there, it can be a lot of money in the end if you don’t know how much you’re actually spending on things.

We’ve got a good saying in Sweden that goes: ”många bäckar små gör en stor å”, which can be translated into ”many small streams, makes one big river”. It’s simple, cut the small streams, and you won’t have a problem with a big river that flows away with your money.

keep track of money

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Start planning your budget

When you’ve figured out how much money you spend each month, and know how much of those things you can live without, it’s time to start planning your budget.

I don’t really think it’s the best to figure out how much money you NEED to save each month, but instead how much money you CAN save.

Put up a goal of how much money you want to save and then live on a budget until you’ve reached your goal. Maybe you get excited seeing all the money in your savings account that you want to save even more money and make a bigger or longer trip.

When it comes to budgeting your life, you have to put up a realistic budget that you’ll stick to, otherwise, it won’t work.

There are many smart hacks in life that can make your life a bit easier when it comes to money saving, and down below you can read more about it.

budget planning

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Reduce unnecessary spending

Now we have come to one of the most difficult parts about money saving – to reduce the unnecessary things in life. Starting with drawing a vertical line right through a piece of striped paper and write NEED on one side and WANT on the other side of the line.

On the NEED side, you’re going to write all the things that you need to pay such as rent, bills, and food, and on the other side you write down all the things that you know you can live without.

Consider all things that you spend money on such as Spotify, Netflix, dining out, clothes, coffee, and alcohol when going out partying.

takeaway coffee

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Develop new habits that save you money

There are many things that you can do in life to save more travel money, and down below I’ve written some examples to give you some inspiration:

Stop riding the bus/metro

If you’re really dedicated to saving travel money, then you might consider stop riding the bus/metro to work. Wake up early and walk or bike to work instead.

It’s all about routine, and you’ll get some good exercise too. 

Cook your own food

Food is probably one of the things people spend the most money on. Food can be expensive, and especially when dining out all the time.

Why not take this as an opportunity and become a better cook and start cooking your own food. You might be surprised how good you’re at it.

Cut accommodation costs to save money

Consider having a roommate (or two) for a while and share the accommodation costs and bills. Just a few months is ok, and it will make you save money.

If you want to save as much money as possible, this is a great way to go.

Sell things you don’t need

I promise you that you got a lot of things that you don’t need at home. I still have 2 boxes in the attic of my mother’s house, one with winter clothes and one box with things. I can remember maybe 3 things laying in that box, which means that I don’t really need the rest of it.

I’ve been selling things like crazy, and trust me when I say that I feel much happier now and more relieved without all that stuff. It’s just material things, material things that can save you travel money to create lots of fun memories on the road.

Quit the gym

Having a gym membership can be quite expensive, so I suggest you to quit the gym and work out for free instead.

There’s much that you can do at home, and you can always go out for a run or go hiking in nature.

Stop partying or bring cash ONLY

Consider stop partying for a while and invite your friends over for a movie night instead, or do something fun together such as hiking.

However, if you really want to go out with your friends once in a while, I recommend bringing cash only. If you bring cash (that’s included in your budget) you won’t have the problem with overspending.

Compare shops and prices

It’s always a good idea to compare prices when you’re going to buy food, toilet paper, laundry detergent and so on. Often, there can be a big difference. Compare the stores around you, where can you buy your products at the best price?

Also consider checking websites such as Amazon, which have really good deals sometimes.

bike to work

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Summary

  • Get motivated: Set both your heart, soul, and mind into that you will succeed following your dream.
  • Track your spendings: Where does your money go? (down to the dollar). Write everything down.
  • Budget planning: Put up a goal and start saving as much money as you CAN until you’ve reached your goal.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending: What CAN/CAN’T I live without? Be realistic and honest. Don’t cut something out just because it sounds better on paper, be honest with yourself.
  • Create new habits in life: Cook at home, sell things, quit the gym, get a roommate etc.

I hope this article was of any help for you to start saving your money! I know it can be hard in the beginning, but the more you do it the more you’ll realize how motivating it is.

There are many small things you can do in life that can make you save money for your travels.


Do you have any other tips on how to save money for travel? Leave a comment below and share with other travelers!