Every penny counts when you’re on the road.
Whether you’re saving or spending, every dollar goes a long way when it comes to a travel budget. Here are some secrets to saving up for your next big getaway.
1. Be eco-conscious!
Save money on gas by walking, biking and carpooling whenever possible.
2. Limit how often you eat out.
In the Florida Keys, going to the bar is the thing to do in the evenings. When I lived there, I made food at home and only drank water when I was at a restaurant. The waitresses might have been annoyed but hey, my friends were ordering plenty and I’d occasionally leave a tip as a thank you for refilling my water glass.
Don’t sacrifice your social life to save money. Your friends want to hang out and they want to do it at the bar, so don’t stay home just because you can’t afford to eat out. Go for the company, not the food. And every once in a while, treat yourself. But for the most part, keep the money in the pocket. Remind yourself that you’re saving up for an adventure.
3. Limit your alcoholic purchases.
Comedian Andy Boyle had an article and video that went viral in December when he spoke up about how being sober affected his life. Money saved was noteworthy. A quarter of the money Boyle used on a condo downpayment was saved from not drinking!
I will say this one is easy for me because I don’t drink. But when people ask me how I’m able to save when I make so little, this is a biggie.
4. Get a cheap phone.
Instead of a phone plan, pick up a pay-as-you-go gas station phone. They work well enough. I’m currently sacrificing a data plan to save money. By only having texting and calling (unlimited!)–no Internet–on my phone, I save at least $20/month. It all adds up in the long run.
5. Take advantage of free things.
Free walking tours, free public transportation, festivals with no entry fee, free food. No one has ever complained about wasting money on something that was free.
Whether it’s through couchsurfing.com or shacking up with family or friends who live abroad, you’ll save a ton. Karma is a beautiful thing, so pay it forward. Offer your abode to your host if they’re ever in the same town. And leave a thank you note, for crying out loud. Show your gratitude, but don’t go buying something extravagant. Your host knows you’re a nomad with a tight budget, and a handwritten letter goes a long way in this day and age.
7. Volunteer abroad.
You’ll get to travel to a new place while being fully immersed in a culture, and room and board are cheap compared to what you pay day-to-day while on the road.