You want to see the world but you’re young and broke? I know the struggle. I was in the same situation when I planned my first big trip.
Here are some tips and tricks that always work for me to save up money for my travels.
1. Set priorities
A good coffee or breakfast to go from your favorite bakery, weekly shopping trips with your bff, buying birthday presents for your loved ones or going out on weekends with your squad – all these activities are a lot of fun but consume a lot of your money at the same time. We don’t notice how much money we spend on all these things and activities, because a coffee for 3 bucks is not that much but you’ll be surprised how much money you’ve spent on all these „little“ expenses in a month.
But what can you do about it? Try to track your expenses and then change your priorities! Find new (cheap or even free) things to do – you just need to get creative! Make your coffee at home and enjoy it in a beautiful mug, prepare your breakfast the night before and search up new recipes on Pinterest (you can check out my food pins here) to try at home. Make movie nights with your besties or declutter all your stuff with your friends and together you can sell it on a flea market. Whatever you wanna do, try to find something that’s (almost) free but is also fun.
2. Work work work work
There is no way around working to earn a good amount of money. I had to work really hard before my trip, but if you have a goal in mind it’s more bearable, in my opinion. I did a few jobs, that didn’t correspond with my dream-job at all! But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
I recommend doing temporary or seasonal jobs, because these kind of jobs are easier to find and better for you, as they are just for a certain period of time. I worked several months as a postwoman, for example! A few other ideas: waiter/waitress, factory worker, holiday replacement for somebody in an office, babysitter, housesitter, etc. I am pretty sure there are a few of these jobs around your area! You can also offer your personal skills on several websites like fiverr.com.
3. Budget the expenses for your trip
Before you start traveling you need to plan ahead your expenses. Doing so, you can save a lot of money during your trip.
After you’ve chosen your destination(s), you need to make a list of all types of transport you’ll need. That includes plane, boat, train & bus tickets. Don’t forget the costs for any tours you wanna do. I suggest to look up these tours beforehand, as you can save a lot by booking ahead or online. But this also depends on the country you’re traveling to. As far as my experience goes you better try to bargain with people in Asia (they love to bargain, always!) when you want to do a tour. In both circumstances, I recommend to inform yourself about the prices beforehand. You can also search for some facebook groups (e.g. Australian Backpackers) to find people, with whom you can split the costs for a trip you wanna do.
For flights, I always use Skyscanner.com and sometimes Google flights. Monitor the flights you wanna book a few days, because they can be cheaper or pricier on several days and several times. Trust me, this makes a huge difference! When we wanted to book our flights from Thailand to Munich the ticket was 570 Euros in the evening but the next morning it was “only” 490 Euros! Also search for “bigger” airports, because the flights will be cheaper as well. You can also try to split up the flights and make a layover for a few days in another country before heading to your final destination.
If you want to rent a campervan or a car, always book a few months ahead because the prices will rise! I love traveling in a van! You’re so flexible and you can do everything you want when you want and it can be cheap as well! We paid 3000 Euros for a camper for one month in Australia (including insurance). That’s 1500 per person and 50 per day and per person and you have a kitchen included so you won’t need to dine out! It was cheaper for us than staying in hostels every night.
Of course, you need to budget the costs for hotels, Airbnb’s, homestays or hostels as well. The costs for accommodation can vary, depending on the country or continent you’re traveling to. In Asia, for example, we stayed in Airbnbs for less than 15 Euros, in Australia we paid 70 a night. Of course, you can always spend more! But we had clean and good rooms for a pretty cheap price almost every time! Also keep in mind that you won’t spend much time there either. We always booked our rooms via Airbnb, booking.com or agoda.com
If you’re a solo traveler, a hostel can be the cheaper option for you. If you’re in a group, try to get an Airbnb – it’s oftentimes cheaper and more private.
The expenses for food can be very low if you plan it out the right way. Depending on the country you’re traveling to, you should research how much it is to eat out or how much several things that you usually buy cost. Sometimes it can be really cheap to eat out (especially in Asia like Thailand, Cambodia and also Bali) and sometimes it’s better to cook your meals in your accommodation (Australia, most European countries) In Australia, we calculated 20-25 Euro/per person/per day for food and always cooked our meals in our campervan (which was pretty amazing & I love cooking!) and in Asia only 10-15/per person/per day and we ate most of our meals in restaurants. We always set a high value on good, fresh and healthy food to stay healthy during our trip. I searched for some healthy vegan/vegetarian restaurants beforehand (I always use www.happycow.com and www.tripadvisor.com) and marked all of them in my google maps app.
As you can see, you can save a lot of money if you plan things out. As always – preparation is key! If you have any further questions about this topic, please leave a comment below 🙂 Also, let me know which countries are on your bucket list!