Planning a trip and wondering how to save money for travel? Here’s our in-depth guide on the best tips to help you save money for your dream trip.

Whether you’re planning that big backpacking trip, bucket list 2 week vacation or simply a weekend city break. We’ve gathered all of our tips and tricks on how to save money for travel in 2024!

Ultimately the best way to save money for travel is to create a separate savings account for your travel fund. But, how can you save more money? This is where our guide comes in handy! Read through our tried and tested tips for more ways on how to save up for your travel adventure.

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How to Save Money for Travel

In this guide, we’ll share the best ways to save money for travelling, from budgeting tips to using your money wisely.

Some tips will be more useful depending on how you’re already spending your money – but if you’ve made it here, you’re looking for money-saving tips anyway!

Before we start our 17 helpful tips, here’s a quick summary of what we’ll share in this guide and how to save money for travelling:

  • Create a budget and savings plan
  • Keep track of what you’re spending & review your savings monthly
  • Reduce your daily costs
  • Shop in the sale, use discount codes and get cashback
  • Find more ways to make money
  • Be financially responsible
Amy sat in a coffee shop in Seoul with windows instead of walls drinking green tea.
How to Save Money for Travel: 17 Saving Tips

How to Save Money for Travel: 17 Saving Tips

So, here’s our favourite ways how to save money for travelling! Hopefully, we inspire you to save the most money for your holiday.

1. Plan the budget for your trip

Planning the budget for your trip will give you a savings figure to aim for! Answer a few of these questions to work out your travel budget.

  • How long is your trip?
  • What are the average daily costs of the destination you’re travelling to?
  • Are you a budget, mid-range or luxury traveller? You may need to save more if you want to stay in top hotels!
  • How much do you want to spend on food? Will you be eating at restaurants or cooking?
  • Are there any bucket list activities you want to do?
  • How much are flights to your chosen destination?
  • Is transport cheap or expensive?
  • Do you need vaccines for your trip?

You’ll need to decide how much your trip might cost overall. This includes flights, accommodation, transportation, activities, and average prices of food.

We have budget guides for South Korea and costs of travel for Japan if you’re interested in travelling to these countries!

If you’re planning a backpacking trip and spending 1 month in Thailand or 3 weeks in Sri Lanka, your budget will be less than in countries such as Greece or Canada.

Another important cost some travellers forget about is to make sure you have an emergency travel fund and good travel insurance. Safetywing is our go-to travel insurance for long trips.

2. Create a monthly budget for your life

Although these titles sound similar, they have completely different meanings.

A budget for your trip will help you know how much you want to save for travel!

Creating a monthly budget is for the time before your trip when you’re trying to save up as much money as you can for travel.

Start by writing down all your main expenses on a Google Sheet such as rent, groceries, phone bill, transport and more.

Your mandatory expenses will be things you currently can’t change like rent and bills. Estimate how much you want to spend on groceries (you can check your bank to see how much you spent last month) and how much you spend on everything else.

Then write down how much income you get after tax. How much money for travel are you left with? Take a look at the next step and then you come back to your monthly budget and adjust the numbers if needed!

A chart with a monthly budget to work out how to save money for travel
Example of Monthly Budget

Note – When creating your budget, you want to consider cutting back on extra expenses to afford this trip and meet your travel-saving goals!

3. Create a Savings Plan

One of the best things to do when saving money for travel is to create a savings plan!

Once you’ve set the rough budget for your trip you can then work out how much you need to save until the beginning of your travels. For example, if you want to save £2,000 in 6 months, then you’ll need to save at least £330 a month to meet your goal.

Trust me, it will be worth it!! Saving money for travel is so rewarding, and you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re on your incredible holiday.

You should be putting your savings into a separate savings account so you can really see how much money you have. We have a few recommendations of where to put your money in the next tip.

Extra tip – Set up a direct debit to your savings account so you can’t spend that money.

4. Use Savings Accounts with Interest

This tip is great if you already have some savings to start with, but it’s always a good idea to put your savings for travel into an account that gains more money throughout the year.

In 2024, interest rates for saving accounts can be found at around 5% which works out at £50 a year on £1000!

A few Savings Account options for saving money for travel in the UK are:

  • Cash ISAs
  • Regular Savings Accounts (with interest)
  • Separate travel funds connected to your regular account (Starling has this available)

I can’t list them all here but I recommend checking out Money Supermarket for the best savings accounts at the time.

There’s also savings accounts like Tandem that you can take money in and out throughout the year without affecting savings rates. Some accounts require the money to be held for a year minimum.

You can also Switch Banks in the UK and get £100-£200! I’ve done this multiple times over the years to get a few extra pounds.

5. Get a side hustle

Online work is becoming more popular these days and it’s a great way to save more money to travel. If you have a skill, websites such as Upwork and Fiver will pay you for completing tasks!

When we were saving up for our 3 month Southeast Asia trip, Dan used to do Uber Eats on his bicycle after a full day of work and sometimes on the weekends. I used Upwork to edit videos for clients which was easy to do in my spare time.

Short Term Side Hustles to save money for travel

  • Freelancing (short projects)
  • Dog walking / Pet sitting
  • Uber Eats
  • Sell handmade items on Etsy

Long Term Side Hustles to save money for travel

  • Blogging
  • Youtube
  • Teaching online
  • Freelancing (long projects)
  • Clothing line
  • Virtual Assistant

If you have a spare room or car, consider renting them out for some extra monthly savings. You can rent out your car on websites such as Turo.

Some of these side hustles can be taken with you if you bring a laptop whilst travelling.

Amy sat on a laptop working on a side hustle whilst on a travel trip
Working on this blog in Sri Lanka

6. Sell unused items

Another way to save more money for travel is to sell your old items. There’s always going to be something old in your home to sell.

Use websites such as Vinted, Facebook Market, eBay or any cash exchange shops. Sell anything you don’t use anymore.

Sort out your clothes and get rid of that old tech! I can’t believe I kept my old phones for years in a drawer before deciding to recycle them. If I got rid of them years ago, I probably could have sold them for money!

7. Book in advance

Generally, booking in advance will lead to more options and better savings.

Flights are usually the first part of your trip to book and you may have already booked them if you’re trying to save for your upcoming trip.

It’s a good idea to book your first few nights of accommodation on a backpacking trip, but if you’re looking at a smaller or less flexible trip, you may want to book all of your accommodation in advance.

💤 Book your hotels here!
🛌 Check out hostels here!

Examples of when you should book accommodation in advance are:

  • When travelling to an expensive country
  • When travelling for 2 weeks or less
  • If there’s somewhere specific you’d like to stay
  • If you’re travelling in peak season (unless you’re on a flexible backpacking trip)

Booking in advance will save you money whilst travelling and give you peace of mind, however, it’s not very flexible if you like making plans on the go.

You have to work out if you’d rather save money on your trip or spend a bit more to be flexible. Luckily, GetYourGuide offers free cancellations for activities, so you can reserve a spot in advance!

8. Travel Off-peak

If you want to save money for travel on flights and accommodation, then it’s a good idea to travel during the off-peak times of the year.

Every destination around the world is different, but we recommend travelling in the shoulder months for more expensive destinations such as Europe, Japan, Australia and more!

For backpacker destinations such as Southeast Asia and Latin America, it’s okay to travel in the peak months to avoid the rainy season and the heat.

If you haven’t decided on a destination for your trip yet, you can easily travel Southeast Asia on a budget for longer compared to travelling in Australia.

So really, this tip is more useful for places in Europe, Australia, North America and East Asia!

In Western Europe, it’s best to avoid July and August as flights and accommodation skyrocket at this time of year. Consider travelling from April to May or September to October.

Amy sat in front of graffiti in Penang, Malaysia
Exploring Penang on a budget

9. Cook food at home

Cooking food at home may be an obvious one, but I’ve seen my fair share of people buying too many takeaways when they’re trying to save money.

Of course, it’s okay to treat yourself now and again but think about the bigger picture of why you’re saving money for travel.

A few ways to fall in love with cooking at home are:

  • Recreate your favourite dishes that you would order at a restaurant
  • Follow ‘one-pot’ recipes to minimise dishes
  • Cook larger portions to make more meals and reduce cooking again
  • Plan your meals out for the week and buy ingredients at the start

A few of our go-to dishes are Gochujang Tofu with Rice, Creamy pasta, Homemade pizza and Roasted veg with couscous and beans.

It’s also worth packing a lunch whenever you go to work or head out on a day trip. This will save lots of money for travel!

10. Reduce your purchases

It’s finally time to cut back on unnecessary spending and start saving for your dream travel trip!

Start making your coffees instead of purchasing them and stop buying clothes you don’t need.

One thing that has always helped me to save money for travel is to ask myself twice – do I need this item? It’s a good idea to think about it for a day and come back to it another time, if you still want it, go ahead and buy it!

When living in London, trying out new vegan restaurants and cafes felt like my hobby, so I made sure to include this in my budget.

I would never say not to eat at a restaurant if it brings great value to your life, but maybe the unnecessary meals out should stop. Bring a packed lunch instead to save extra money.

11. Make mandatory payments cheaper

This saving tip is the hardest one on this list! These are changes that only some of us can do, but maybe one of these options can help you save extra money for your trip.

  • Get a higher-paying job or work more hours
  • If you’re paying rent, can you move somewhere else with cheaper rent?
  • Get a cheaper phone plan
  • Take public transport or cycle over your own car (if you have one)

12. Ask for Travel Money or Travel Gifts for your Birthday

If you’re saving up for a trip, it’s likely there’s a Christmas or birthday within the time you’re saving. This is the best opportunity to ask for help from your friends or family.

Heading to Thailand on a backpacking trip? Ask for Thai Baht or any other currency to use in other countries when you’re travelling.

There’s also some great travel gifts you can ask for if you still need them for your trip. Here’s a few examples:

Whether it’s money or travel items, these gifts will give you a big boost when saving for travel as you’re eliminating the chance of receiving items you may not need.

Here’s our packing list for Southeast Asia if you need some inspiration for your trip!

Snorkelling in Indonesia underwater
Snorkelling in Indonesia

13. Cancel your subscriptions

Cancelling subscriptions has never been easier with everything being done online. You might not even need to speak to a human to cancel your subscription! Amazing!

Here’s a few alternatives to subscriptions you might already use:

Gym – Use YouTube for free online workouts, purchase secondhand weights or go running.

Spotify Premium – Use the Spotify free plan, or get a free trial for another music service such as Apple Music or Youtube Music. This also works the other way around if you’re paying for another service.

Streaming Services – Only pay for one or none. Are you currently subscribed to Netflix and Disney+? Or even more?! It’s time to just choose one and cancel any others. This will save you money for travel faster!

Amazon Prime – Amazon is free to use all year round. If you spend over £20, you can get free delivery on most items. Only keep Amazon Prime if it’s the one streaming service you use.

If there’s any other subscriptions you’re currently paying for, you need to decide if you’d rather save the money for travel instead.

14. Find free activities to do where you live

Whilst you’re working hard and saving money for your trip, you also want to enjoy your current life. It can’t be all doom and gloom. There’s free things to do all over the world – including where you’re living right now!

  • Go on a picnic in the park with friends
  • Hike in your local area
  • Walk around free museums
  • Go on a free walking tour (sometimes you have to tip)
  • Explore new neighbourhoods

If you want to have drinks with friends, maybe just have one or go to someone’s house instead.

15. Walk or take Public Transport

One of the best ways to save extra money for travelling is to start walking and stop driving! Even if you need to use your car for work, try to limit the amount of driving you do elsewhere. Walking is free!

As for public transport – I’m going to use London as an example, as it’s a big and expensive city. If you live outside of Zone 1, you can’t walk into Central every day as it’s too far.

However buses are cheaper than the tube, and if you leave your house a little earlier, you may be able to save up to £5 a day on transport in peak times.

When saving for travel, you want to reduce your costs as much as possible, so walking and cycling are great ways to make your money go further!

UK Savings Tip – Get a Railcard if you take the train or tube often. You can save 1/3 of your travel on most trains and during off-peak times on the tube. The railcard only costs £30 a year, so it’s a bargain!

16. Buy items you need on sale

Even if you try to stop all of your spending, there’s going to be some things you need to buy for your travels. Whether it’s suncream, a pair of shorts or a new backpack.

Buy these items on sale – Wait a while and see if you’re item goes on sale!

Use cashback sites – TopCashback, Rakuten, and Quidco are a few websites that offer free cash back when you use their links to purchase your items. It’s a win-win!

Look out for the reduced stickers on food – Do your food shops in the evening or early morning when you can find some discounts!

These are a few tricks you can use to save extra money for your travels when you still have to spend money.

A photo of the Eiffel tower in Paris at sunset
Paris, France

17. Get a credit card

Credit cards often have a bad reputation and this is only because they can be easily misused. Only buy what you can already afford. Treat your credit card like a debit card and pay in full every month.

Credit cards with rewards are an amazing way to save money for travel by simply changing the card you use to pay with. Here’s a few ways you can be rewarded:

  • Cashback Credit Cards – just spend money as you normally and you’ll earn extra cash back.
  • Credit Card Discounts – some cards will give you 10% off shopping for the first three months.
  • Earning Points Credit Cards – Earn points and exchange them for air miles for discounted flying.

If you’re from the US, there are many great travel credit cards. Use them for your benefit!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re really dedicated to saving money for travel. You’ve got this!

How to Save Money for Travel Motivation

  • Write down your goals. Hang them up in your bedroom so you can see them every day – this will give you the best motivation boost!
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about money with friends and family, share your goals and get excited about what you’re saving for!
  • Read travel guides to get inspired for your future travels. Continue planning your trip and researching things to do in the places you’re visiting.
  • Use cash back when shopping. At least you’ll be saving when you have to shop.

You don’t need to be a high earner to save money for travel, but there are tips we’ve included in this guide that will help you manage your money and make the most out of it.

Planning a trip and getting inspired to save money for travel. There are travel books on the table in a cafe
Planning a trip and getting inspired to save money for travel

How to Reach Your Travel Savings Goals

If you’re struggling with creating a budget, use the 50, 30, 20 rule as a guide. This rule is great for beginners to save money for travel each month. Here’s what the 50, 30, 20 rule means:

  • Put 50% of your income (after tax) on rent, bills and any mandatory payments.
  • Use 30% of your income (after tax) on groceries, gym membership, Spotify and general activities throughout the month.
  • The last 20% is for your savings! If you have debt payments, it can be included in this 20%.

If you want to save more money for travelling, then increase your savings to 30%-40% if you’re able to – the higher the better!

How to Save Money for Travel – Tips in the Future

These are tips that you may not be able to change right now, but you can shift your mindset and think about them in the future.

  • Get cheaper housing/share with someone
  • Cut back on going to the hairdresser (get a low maintenance hair cut that will last a while)
  • Buy second-hand clothes/tech/furniture.

As we move around a lot, buying second-hand furniture has helped us save money for travel! We buy used furniture on Facebook and then sell it again for almost the same price, sometimes we even make extra money on items.

Most recently we bought a laptop for half the price the shops are selling it for (and it was in excellent condition)!

How Much Money You Should be Saving for Travel

This figure will change for everyone depending on how big your trip is going to be.

It’s too unrealistic to say you need to save £1000 a month when you have other expenses to pay for. Ultimately, the higher you can save the better!

If you’re saving for a smaller trip in the future, try to save at least £200 in your travel fund. This will give you £2,400 every year to spend on travelling!

The last thing we want to mention in this guide is to always have more money than you think you need! You don’t want to be caught out on extra expenses or miss out on an amazing activity with new friends. Always travel with an emergency fund of savings, just in case. Don’t forget travel insurance!

We hope you reach your travel-saving goals and have the best time on your future trip. Feel free to browse our travel guides & find us on Instagram (@thesunrisedreamers) or leave a comment below!


How to save money for travel pinterest guide
saving money for travel pinterest guide

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