How To Save Money For Travel: 30 Small Ways To Save Big

how to save money for travel

We all wish we could be independently wealthy…

But that’s just not reality for most of us. Luckily you don’t have to be rich to travel, just smart with the money you do have. And when it comes to aggressively saving for a trip it comes down to changing your lifestyle to incorporate small habits that pay off big towards your travel goals.

We’ve rounded up 30 small ways you can save money for travel by tweaking your lifestyle without too much effort and see a big difference in your travel fund at the end of the day. Before you dive in, make sure above all else to check these 3 saving fundamentals off first:


  • Track Your Spending
    This step can be a bit painful if you’re not used to seeing how much cash you drop on coffee a month, or on eating out, after work drinks and countless other spending sinkholes you’ll come to identify by taking a good hard look at where your money goes each month.
  • Budget Your Life & Your Travel Goals
    Once you know what you’re doing with your money, you’ll be in better shape to know where you can save. Make sure you set up a budget for living expenses and also a specific travel money target amount and date.
  • Set Up A Travel Fund
    A dedicated travel bank account is an absolute must if you are serious about saving. If you don’t have one that is your #1 task.

Monitor all of the above often! A weekly check-in will keep your motivation up and top of mind.

Now let the money-saving begin!

Practice Delayed Gratification
Delaying your gratification improves your willpower and ultimately helps you reach your longer-term goals faster. Every day is a new exercise in delayed gratification when you decide to save now instead of spending on unnecessary things.

Set Up Automatic Withdrawals
Set up auto withdrawals to deposit into your travel fund based on what you’ve budgeted and stick to it.

Use Your Kitchen
Cooking your own meals is one of the easiest ways to save money (and impress your friends)! Plan your meals, grocery shop and make virtually anything you would order out at home.

Hang Out At Home
Brush up on your host/hostessing skills and invite your friends and family to hang out at your place. Cook a dinner, buy a bottle of wine, watch a movie etc. Invite friends over instead of going out and paying premiums for food, booze, and entertainment.

Know The Best Time To Book Your Flights
Never spend more than you need to on flights by knowing when to book. More on that here.

Skip The Lattes
$5 latte vs cents per cup when you opt to make your morning cup at home is what we’re talking about here.

It’s common knowledge that you can save money when you DIY. There are so many amazing resources and step by steps guides online you can ‘Do It Yourself’ for practically anything you can think of. Next time you need to buy something ask yourself if you could DIY it instead.

Sell Your Car
Public transportation, cycle, walk, run, carpool, car share. There are many alternatives to owning a car, and choosing them over the expense of vehicle maintenance, gas, and parking fees adds up quick.

Buy Generic
The generic branded stuff is often the exact same product as the one in fancy packaging, you’re just paying for that fancy packaging. Find out which generic stuff is just as good and don’t look back.

Downgrade Or Cancel Your Cable
Your monthly cable bill could be a place to cut back. How much use do you get out of it?

Find Free & Low-Cost Fun
Get creative with low cost and free fun. Hit up a museum on a cheap day, pack a picnic in the park, go for a hike, plan a potluck!

Cancel Your Memberships
The ones you don’t use, of course. If you haven’t scanned your gym card in months or read any issues of that magazine you signed up for, why are you still paying for it?

Make Your Credit Cards Work
Get travel points and rewards for the stuff you need to buy anyway like groceries by leveraging the right credit cards.

Reduce Your Living Costs
Assess your living situation, can you make some changes to cut down your living costs? This is one of the biggest monthly expenses we all have to wrestle with. Splitting rent or a mortgage with roommates, living at home for a short time, renting out a room, downsizing to a smaller place can really make a big impact on your monthly budget and saving schedule.

Repair Your Stuff
Do you really need a new one or can you repair or refresh the one you have? There are many things you should repair instead of replacing, such as good quality clothing, shoes, and electronics.

Buy Used
Make a habit of checking your local classified ads when you’re looking to buy something. You are more apt to find a deal and something unique then heading directly to the store.

Change Jar
The humble change jar! Loose change in pockets and purses may not seem like much but these micro-contributions add up. Toss a few coins in every day. Make it fun by giving it a specific purpose like vacay margarita money, or road trip jerky change.

Holiday Shop After The Holidays
Be that person that scoops up all the super sale items after the holiday has passed in prep for the following year and save a TON on gifts and decorations. You may not be in the Christmas mood in January but your pocketbook is.

Share Streaming Accounts
Many of the popular streaming services allow multiple devices to stream at once. Share and save!

Wants Vs Needs
Challenge yourself to ask this question before you buy anything: ‘Is this a want or need?’. If it is a need, buy it, if it is a want hold off for 24 to 48 hours to avoid those impulse buys that can quickly destroy your saving efforts.

Give Up Your Vices
This one is easier said than done I know! But skipping those after work drinks, cutting down or quitting smoking, not buying lottery tickets or whatever little vices you indulge in can free up some serious cash.

Create Spending Limits On Gifts
Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries…  the list of gift giving throughout the year is less stressful and more affordable for everyone when you can talk about it and set limits. Spearhead secret Santa this year or a handmade, second-hand gift exchange instead.

Don’t Buy Water
Buying water when there is free tap water available is silly not to mention expensive. Carry a reusable water bottle around religiously and know every time you fill it up is money saved.

Get A Library Card
Free books, movies, magazines, newspapers! And the library is just a fun place to hang out.

Price Check
Make sure to price check on big and small purchases. Why pay more than you have to for something you can get at a better rate?

Shop In Bulk
For dry pantry staples, and household products buy in bulk and save.

Always Shop Sales
Wait till it goes on sale. This is your new mantra.

Try Haggling
Not always appropriate but there are times and places where it is a must like your local flea market or yard sale.

Pack Light
When the time comes and you’re packing your bag, make sure to pack light and avoid excess baggage fees (and a sore back).

Make More Money
Most of these tips are about saving the money you have but the flip side is thinking about ways you can add to your income to save even more. Freelance work, side jobs, yard sales, part-time jobs – these are all pockets of money you can use to beef up your travel fund.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the list! Don’t even try to do them all, pick 1 or 2 and once you master each one add another to your repertoire. Or if you do some of these already give your self a high five and up your saving hustle by tackling one of the more challenging ones. Best of luck and happy saving!

What saving strategies have you used over the years? We want to know! Comment below.

Psst! Want more on how to save for travel? Check out the Super Charged Travel Fund Challenge!

Travel Fund Challenge

2 Responses

  1. All these absolutely fabulous and necessary gems of advice are really something that should be taught in school so that we can all be “in the know” as to how to manage life& savings!!…. I am committed to trying all of these strategies to save and travel! Thanks a million!

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