Woman excited to be saving to travel

10 Easy Ways To Save Money For Travel (2024)

28 Aug, 2023

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Eva Mitchell

Are you planning to travel the world and need some ideas of easy ways to save money to fund your travels? You have come to the right place!

I have compiled my top ten easy and practical ways you can save money fast by making simple adjustments to your lifestyle. Every suggestion below has worked for us, allowing us to boost our savings by thousands of dollars in just four short months before we embarked on our epic yearlong world-wide adventure. Whether you pick one or all of these easy ways to save money for travel, you'll be amazed at how your travel savings skyrocket. 

Disclaimer: This post contains links to our preferred travel products and services. When you purchase through these links, your purchases can generate a small profit for us, without any added cost to you. This helps us to continue offering top-notch travel advice and savvy savings tips on how you can make cents of travel. Rest assured, we only share links to products and services that we personally love to use.

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Easy Ways To Save Money for Travel: Food and Drink

Most of us are guilty of burning our hard earned cash on unnecessary food and drinks. Reviewing your food and drink budget is a great start to saving money for travel.  We utilised the following strategies to significantly reduce our expenditure on food and drink while continuing to eat healthy and still treat ourselves to the occasional dinner out. 


1) Purchase Food Boxes

Ordering weekly food boxes can significantly reduce your at-home food spend, helping to boost your savings for travel. Some of our favourites include Dinnerly, and Hellofresh. You tend to get the most value out of food boxes when you utilise sign up offers and skip between the different companies. Each food box comes with the added bonus of arriving straight to your door at a time specified by you.


You tend to get the most value out of food boxes when you utilise sign up offers and skip between the different companies.


We found that we would go to the supermarket for our routine shop with a list of what we needed and then completely blow the budget out with unnecessary items and large packets of food, that as a couple, we could not eat before it expired. This is why we love food boxes so much! No more wasted time spent wandering around the supermarket, filling our grocery trolley with a whole bunch of unnecessary junk. The food boxes arrive with the perfect amount of food for the two of us.

The best bit about getting a weekly food box is that you don’t even have to think about what to make for tea, you just choose the meals you want and go for it. It’s a win-win in our books! 

Get started with HelloFresh with our tasty discount right HERE!


2) Cut Back on Dining Out and Takeaways

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out for dinner and drinks, or you should never treat yourself to a quick takeaway meal, but just to think about reducing the number of times you go out or purchase takeaways. The key is to limit, not to completely omit! A big driver for me, was reminding myself that every time we wanted to go out for dinner in Melbourne, I would weigh up whether it was worth missing out on a dinner in Italy or France or Spain because we wouldn’t be able to afford it due to a lack of savings. 

Let’s say you usually go out for dinner or drinks at least 3 times a week. You could consider reducing this down to once or twice a week. We found this to be an easy way to cut down on our overall food and drink budget to boost our savings to travel. 

We also found that having weekly food boxes with new and delicious recipes already in the fridge at home, made it easier to say no to going out as often or grabbing a quick takeaway when we were pushed for time.


3) Choose Cheaper Places When Dining Out

Some of the most mind-blowing flavour-packed food I’ve eaten in my life has not been from the most expensive restaurants. In Melbourne, we are spoilt for choice with amazing cheap, flavour-filled restaurants. One of our favourite spots for cheap eats in the Melbourne CBD is Shanghai Street, you have to try it if you find yourself in Melbourne!

Once you know where to find the local hot spots, it is easy to dine out for an affordable price. Choosing cheaper places to eat and drink at is an easy way to save money for travel while still enjoying delicious food and socialising with your friends and family.

Top tip: Check out your local pub to see if they offer meal deals on certain days like Taco Tuesday or Sunday Roast.


4) Make Your Own Lunches

I know the first thing that comes to mind is I don’t want to eat boring old sandwiches everyday! But trust me, neither did I! If you are looking for easy ways to save money for travel, making your own lunches to take to work can be a game-changer for your savings. Making our own lunches was hands down one of the biggest changes we made that resulted in our savings for travel skyrocketing. You don’t have to take boring old sandwiches, get creative.

One of our go-to lunch options is homemade fried rice, it takes just 10 minutes to make and uses basic, affordable ingredients. We would throw together a handful of frozen veges, cubed tofu, a dash of oyster sauce, microwave rice, fry it all up and mix in an egg at the end, voila! A quick, delicious and nutritious lunch. Check out google for quick and easy lunch suggestions you could try yourself, just like this one here.


5) Limit Your Weekly Barista Coffees 

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a perfectly brewed oat milk latte from the cute café by work. In saying that I do think it is a good idea to cut down on the number of barista coffees you purchase each week to increase your savings for travel. It is a known fact that if you completely cut something you enjoy out of your diet, you are more likely to resume your usual habits as your body craves that thing. So, I would suggest cutting down a coffee or two each week as opposed to completely cutting out all coffee purchases, especially if you are a regular coffee drinker. 

Tim and I were spending up to $50aud per week on barista coffees at one point, until we purchased a second-hand barista machine which meant we could still drink good quality coffee for a quarter of the price. Another option you could consider is replacing your omitted barista coffee with an instant coffee or cup of tea to get your caffeine hit.


couple running in Sahara Desert

Easy Ways To Save For Travel: Leisure and Fun Activities

The next target on our list was to reduce the amount of money we spent on activities. We didn’t want to completely cut all of the fun out of our lives, but we did want to be able to have fun while spending less money. Here is how we did it.


6) Quit The Expensive Gym Membership (but don't stop exercising!)

At the start of 2023 when we decided to knuckle down on our savings, we also had another goal in mind, to get fitter and lose weight. I was sceptical at first because I knew how difficult it is to change just one habit at a time, let alone two! I’m pleased to say that we absolutely smashed both of our goals. We improved our level of fitness substantially, gained muscle mass, and lost over 12kg between us while continuing to save a substantial amount of money.

We were fortunate enough to have access to a basic gym included in our apartment package. On top of the gym, I incorporated running and at-home youtube yoga classes to my regular exercise regimen. Youtube, tiktok and reels have an endless number of free at-home workouts available to suit everyone. You honestly don’t need fancy gym memberships to F45 or upmarket yoga studios to get fit. 

If you feel like you need the gym environment for motivation to exercise, a basic affordable gym with a couple cardio machines and a handful of weights will work just fine. We are proof that it is totally possible to achieve your fitness goals while spending minimal money. The key for us was to create regular healthy habits and then stick to them. I made a tracking chart to hold me accountable to my weekly exercise targets. Each time I exercised, I would tick the chart making me feel closer and closer to my big fitness goal. Why don’t you give it a go? It will feel even better knowing that while you are smashing your health and fitness goals, your savings for travel is growing steadily.


7) Date Nights on a Budget

This one is for the couples out there who like us, love a good date night. Tim and I l enjoy spending quality time with each other doing something new, romantic and fun. When we decided we needed to boost our savings in 2023, we brainstormed a whole jar full of date night ideas to do together that would cost us less than $30 a date. Some of our favourites were picnics in the park, at home high tea, wandering around Melbourne's alleyways and a puzzle date night. Let me know in the comments if you want to see a full blog on our cheap date night ideas (some of them were very innovative)?

Date Night inspo: Here are some of the date nights we have been enjoying while travelling. You could do any of these date nights at home too!


8) Alter Your Shopping Habits 

Now is the time to stop buying anything that doesn’t fit into your goal to travel long term. Eventually you will be living out of a suitcase and everything you purchase beforehand will need sorted and stored, sold or binned. I can assure you it is not a fun process sorting your belongings before you leave so the less the better!

Truth be told, as you travel you will lose any emotional ties you have with many of your past belongings. We honestly can’t even remember what we have in storage anymore. So next time you are browsing in that cute homeware store, or trendy clothing shop, take a moment to consider whether your purchase will help you reach your goal to travel the world. If not, just admire that beautiful item in store and skip the purchase. 


Easy Ways To Save Money For Travel: Accommodation

The most substantial cost of living that a large chunk of our income would go towards was rent. Nearing the end of our time in Melbourne, we changed up our living situation to reduce the amount of money we were paying for accommodation in order to boost our savings for travel.



9) Start Housesitting or Staying with Friends and Family 

A couple months prior to commencing our year of travel, the lease on our Melbourne apartment came to an end. We managed to stay with our friends and family, in hotels and scored some amazing house-sitting gigs to significantly reduce the cost of our accommodation compared to renting the apartment for two months.

Signing up to Trusted House Sitters was a game-changer for us. It not only allowed us to save hundreds of dollars on accommodation, but we also got to hang out with some cool cats and adorable dogs while exploring different suburbs around Melbourne. Since the start of 2023, we managed to secure five house sits in Melbourne, with every single one leaving us a 5-star review, before we jetted off to Europe. These reviews have proven us to be caring and trustworthy house sitters, helping us to secure house sits all over Europe and connect with the most genuine people and loveable pets.

Read our article below on how to create a standout Trusted Housesitters Profile. Our fateful decision to sign up has changed our lives!

Read:

How to Write a Standout Trusted Housesitters Profile

If you are on the fence about signing up to Trusted House Sitters, I would say just go for it! Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post covering how to improve your chances of securing your first house sit through Trusted House Sitters. Sign up to trusted house sitters here.



Easy Ways To Save For Travel: Transport

Transport costs can add up quickly, especially with the rising cost of fuel, ongoing registration expenses and maintenance requirements for your vehicle. That is why we jumped at the opportunity to ditch our car for public transport.


10) Get Rid of Your Car or Use It Less

When Tim and I first moved to Melbourne from New Zealand, we knew we wanted to be fully immersed in the big city life. We decided to rent an apartment close to the CBD which meant we could utilise the excellent public transport system Melbourne has to offer. We grabbed a miki card each and were good to go! 

Utilising public transport is an easy way to save money for travel. I do understand it can be more challenging to go car-free when you live rurally or in a city that lacks a reliable public transport system. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few options you could consider to help boost your travel savings.

It is possible to reduce how often you use your car by biking to work, obviously this will only be an option for you if your workplace happens to be within a reasonable distance for biking. Another great option is to consider car sharing a couple days a week. And if you are a couple, reducing to only one car could help you save some serious coin!


So there you go, my top ten easy ways to save money for travel that have worked incredibly well for us and I hope work just as well for you! Turn your dream of travelling the world into a reality by starting to implement one or two of these easy ways to save money for travel. You might just surprise yourself with how much money you can save by making small changes to your lifestyle.

Feel free to ask us any questions you have about saving money for travel in the comments below. We want to see your dream of long-term travel come true and are always more than happy to help you get there by sharing our experiences and advice!

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A word from the authors

Eva and Tim are the creators behind this world-class travel finance blog.

In 2021 they decided to travel the world for an entire year and begun implementing savings strategies to achieve their goal of long-term travel. By May 2023, they quit their jobs to embark on their year-long adventure, sharing their invaluable practical and achievable savings, planning and travel tips they learnt along the way/with the aim to help others Make Cents of Travel.

You can find Eva & Tim on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram as Make Cents of Travel.

About Us

Hello, Hola, Ciao! We are Tim & Eva, a couple of kiwis who have spent the last few years saving for and planning our epic year-long adventure around the world. Our goal is to inspire fellow wanderlust souls (just like you!) to Make Cents Of Travel by sharing our experiences and strategies we used to turn our dream of long-term travel into a reality.

6 comments

Linda (LD Holland)

We made travel a priority very early in life and have found ways to save money for travel. Much of it is about making choices. We live a more frugal life at home so we can splurge when we travel. And we bought a good coffee machine at home and saved so much on barista coffee runs. Some great suggestions for people just starting to think about how to save more money for travel.

7mo

Reply

Eva

Thanks for your comment Linda. I totally agree choosing to prioritise travel pays off in the long run when you have beautiful memories to reflect on forever. I love that you also brought a coffee machine for at home it really is a great way to save money!

7mo

Reply

Melanie Newdick

Some great tips on how to build up savings for some extended travelling. I am one of those people who has been on the fence about Trusted Housesitters so helpful to read more about that and your experience of it. Building up score is a helpful tip too.

7mo

Reply

Eva

Thanks Melanie. Trusted Housesitters has been the perfect solution for us to being able to travel long-term. I would highly recommend it! We have released a full blog post on how to get started with Trusted Housesitters. If you're interested check out: https://www.makecentsoftravel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-standout-trusted-housesitters-profile/

7mo

Reply

simplyjolayne

My number one tip is to create a vacation fund and add to it every month.

7mo

Reply

Eva

Thanks simplyjolayne, it's always amazing to see how quickly the fund can build up!

7mo

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