Tips for saving for an overseas trip

Spring from your little corners of the world and travel. Here are the best tips to try and help you go on your dream journey.

First steps

Your first step is knowing your goal. You need to know where you want to go and visualise yourself there (it also works if you have a poster on your mirror or fridge somewhere in your line of vision, even your screen saver). This will serve as motivation every time you have a hard day.

Next, you have to calculate your current monthly expenses and then cancel what you can live without. Find a monthly sum and give yourself $200 extra for “phantom expenses”. This sum is your strict budget. When you receive a paycheck the difference goes right into your new travel saving account. This account is to be dormant until booking your flight tickets (some banks have the option of giving you no withdrawal access to your savings account — use it if need be). This will be hard but it will get easier when you see how much you are saving for your goal. If you do have an emergency, use your credit card and pay it off with your next paycheck.

Necessary cuts

  1. Home brewed coffee: That daily $5 coffee costs you $1800 per year, which is two months travel in Southeast Asia.
  2. Learn to cook: Use YouTube and farmer’s markets instead of cooking classes and grocery stores. Plus, now you can take a paper bag lunch to the office.
  3. Cancel pay TV: get a cheap unlimited internet package and stream.
  4. Ditch your landline and downgrade your phone package.
  5. Buy second-hand things if you really need something.
  6. Have a garage sale.
  7. Skip the cinema.
  8. Stop drinking alcohol, smoking, and snacking (the amount spent on these things especially clubbing nights is not worth missing Carnival in Rio).
  9. Reading: get free books from the library instead of buying them.
  10. Make homemade gifts.
  11. Cancel subscriptions and memberships.
  12. Charge your devices at work.
  13. Brand vs generic: You can make compromises according to your standards.

More things you can do

  1. Get a travel credit card: along with sign-up bonuses, when used properly they can give you freebies including hotel stays, flights and other travel needs.
  2. Sign up for travel newsletters to get offers.
  3. Build a network on Couchsurfing to get free accommodation during your travels.
  4. Find a roommate to save on rent.
  5. Earn extra money by driving for ride sharing companies, or sell your handyman skills.
  6. Buy a water bottle: refilling from the tap saves a lot of dollars.
  7. Grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables.
  8. Start a change jar.
  9. Shop around when you exchange your money for foreign currency.
  10. Don’t buy new things for your trip; borrow from family and friends instead.