A lot of people think that those that go traveling either have a trust fund or they must have a really good paying job. I had neither, and yet I still manage to travel. There are certain things to do that can help you go on that trip of a lifetime. Here are a few tips from myself, and how I managed to save the money to go traveling.
CANCEL THE CONTRACTS
Whether it be a phone or iPad contract etc, cancel it. Or plan your trip around when you finish your contract. If you cancel early, you will be expected to pay off the rest of your contract. So if you still have 12 months left, and you’re paying £40 a month, that’s £480 you’re going to have to cough up. Plus if your phone company have any leaving early fees. I finished my contract around a year before I planned to go traveling. So rather than get the latest phone and tie myself into another contract, I decided there was nothing wrong with the phone I currently had, and went to a pay as you go contract, with Giff Gaff. I can leave when I want, and I decide every month what package I want to buy and how much I want to spend. I ended up saving myself £22 a month, for pretty much the same amount of minutes/texts/data. Over the year, I saved myself £264. Doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s got me a flight to Hong Kong, and paid for all my accommodation while I’m there. So think about whether you really need that latest phone/iPad etc. You don’t! Cancel your Netflix contract, gym, anything that is taking money out of your account every month, that you can easily live without!
There’s probably a bunch of stuff in your room that you don’t really need or want. You probably don’t even use a lot of it anymore. Same goes for clothes that you no longer wear (or fit). Get yourself on eBay, get yourself to a car boot sale, and sell it. I made myself about £1,500 just from old stuff lying around. That will pay for my accommodation/food/excursions etc, for about a month in Australia, if not a little longer.
STOP GOING OUT EVERY WEEKEND
I’ll admit I used to be guilty for enjoying a drink every weekend with the girls. I’d go to the pub every week for the pub quiz, or go to the cinema to see the latest film. Don’t. Be a boring sod for a however long you’re saving up for. You’ll be surprised how much you save. I still go out now and then, but nowhere near as much as I was. Over the year I was saving up, I must have saved myself around £2,000, if not more. That’s a couple of months, if not more, accommodation/food/excursions etc, around Thailand. It’ll be worth it, trust me!
STOP TREATING YOURSELF
Stop online shopping. Stop those visits to get your nails done, or your eyebrows etc. You can live with short nails, and you can easily do your own eyebrows. You don’t need the latest fashion trends because when you’re in the outback in Australia, or in the jungle in Thailand, you really aren’t going to give a sh*t what you look like. And neither will anyone else. When you’re on the road, it really is comfort over style. I was probably spending £200 a month, if not more, on my hair and clothes etc. Realistically half the clothes I bought, I’m not going to need in the outback in Australia.
MOVE BACK IN WITH THE PARENTS
This applies to those who moved out. Ask to move back in, and if possible, rent free. It’ll save you hell of a lot. Yes, it’s a pain living with parents when you’re 25, but trust me, a year of them nagging at you, will be worth the freedom when you’re on the road! If you have a mortgage, look into renting your property out to someone. You’ll have enough to cover your mortgage, plus you’ll get a little extra money while you’re out on the road.
A lot of people think they need a really well-paid job to afford to go traveling. Not necessarily, if you do the above points. Also a big mistake, is people think they need a second/third job. If you’re working and earning above a certain amount, you’ll get taxed. Even more so if you’re working more than one job. Work out if it’s worth you having a second job. I thought about getting a weekend job and when I worked it out, the extra money I would have been earning, would have just gone on the extra tax I would have to pay. So for giving up my weekends, I’d of been earning around £10 by the end of it. Take into account petrol or bus/train fares to get to work, and it turned out I was making absolutely nothing for giving up my weekends. Spend that time planning your trip, and doing research. It’ll be more valuable to you, than that second job.
OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
If you can’t see the money in your account, you won’t spend it. Plus some banks do some decent interest rates. I got a decent savings account when I opened my Natwest student account. Every time I put money into the account, I got a certain percentage as interest every year. It does get lower every year, but still, even if it’s just a couple of £’s, every little helps!
THE POT CHALLENGE
This is for those who are saving for around a year, if not more. You’ll only see the benefit if you’re doing it for a long time, rather than short time. Every time you get a £5 note in change, or £1 coin, whatever it is you choose, put it in the pot. After a few months, you’ll have saved a hell of a lot. Also if it’s not in your purse/wallet, you’ll less likely to spend it on crap!
A lot of this sounds straight-forward, but it’s a different story carrying it out, and actually following them through. When friends are tempting you to join them for that drink, it’s hard to say no. If you struggle to say no, then go, but drink water, stay on the soft drinks. Do it cheaply. Find ways around your weaknesses. You don’t need that latest phone, the latest car, any materialistic crap that supposedly makes you look better to others. What are you achieving? Nothing. You don’t need a lot of possessions on the road.
Finally, stick with it. It’ll be worth it, and you won’t regret it when you’re on an island beach in the middle of Thailand, drunk on buckets and Chang, living life. While your friends that were taking the mickey a year ago, because you wouldn’t join them for that drink, are still stuck at home, doing the rat race.