Planning an epic, long term trip to South America – or indeed the rest of the world? Depending on your travel style and how long you intend to travel for, you’ll probably need to save a significant amount of money. I saved about £5000 in 6 months for my South America trip, which was no mean feat whilst living in London. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you save up…
Choose the Right Savings Account
Whilst your saving, keep your money someplace where it’ll be safe, but also where it can grow for you. Do some research, and find the right savings account for you. Most banks offer savings account an ISA’s, although the interest rate may vary depending on the length of time you’ll be saving for. If you don’t mind an element of risk, you could look into a stocks and shares ISA. The additional gamble could mean a much bigger return on your savings – but you have to be aware that there’s also a chance of loss, too.
Try Your Luck
One thing that worked for my then-boyfriend was placing the odd bet here and there on sports matches. It was a hobby of his, and one he approached healthily. But if you like the odd flutter, things like online roulette games can be a fun way to build up your savings. Just make sure you never bet more than you’re prepared to lose, and know when to quit. When the fun stops, stop!
Give up a Few Things
Stop telling yourself you really need certain things that have free or cheap counterparts! Swap the gym membership for a jog in the park. Reduce your car usage, and walk whenever you can! Make your own lunch for work instead of paying £5 a day for food. Get books from the library, swap your DVD purchases and cinema trips for a cheap movie streaming service, and cancel any pricey subscriptions. In fact, stop watching TV altogether and go play outside!
Use Vouchers and Special Offers
Getting the best deals on your everyday essentials can be really helpful if you’re saving for travel. Don’t be afraid to dig coupons out of your wallet to use against your food shopping; even if it’s only 20p it will all add up! Use cashback sites whenever you shop online to earn a little bit of money here and there. And before you book your big trip, hunt around for special offers and promo codes to get the best price possible.
Sell your Stuff
When my friend Dan moved abroad to work as a windsurf instructor, he sold more or less all of his worldly possessions (and burnt most of the rest), leaving himself with only a bag full of clothes. That might be the more extreme option, but selling a few things here and there means less stuff to put into storage, and a nice balance building up in your bank account! A handful of books, CD’s or DVDs sold for £2 each can easily add up to £20 – and don’t forget how far that £20 will go in Asia, where you definitely won’t miss your copy of Die Hard 2. Sell all those clothes you never wear, the films you never watch, those fancy electrical kitchen gadgets you never use – you’ll be surprised how quickly it all adds up!
Got any great tips on saving money for travel? Share in the comments!