Are you planning a dream trip and are looking for ways to save money for travel?
Whether you are looking for a luxury getaway, a city break, package holiday or a budget backpacking trip, travel costs money.
I’ve compiled a list of 21 easy ways to save money for travel in 2020 so that you can save money for a vacation.
In this guide, you’ll find tips on budgeting, unique ways to make money and money-saving hacks.
Start making small changes today to help get you to your dream destination.
How to save money for travel
These tips for saving money to travel may not work for everyone who reads this post but they can inspire you to get started.
Some of the most important things to think about when saving money to travel are:
- Look at your outgoings – can anything be cut?
- Do you have debt that needs to be paid off?
- Can you pick up extra work?
- What money-saving apps and websites can you use?
- Can you sell anything to make extra money?
- Are you sticking to a monthly budget?
- What are the extra little ways could you make money?
I have spent 15 years of travelling the world on my own dime and these are several of the money-saving hacks I have used to get extra funds for travel.
If you start implementing small changes today, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save in a year.
How to save money every month
You will be surprised at how quickly you can save money for a trip when you put your mind to it.
Unlike a lot of other money-saving guides, I won’t tell you to get rid of all of life’s little pleasures.
Yes, a cup of nice coffee costs £3 but you know what, I love treating myself to a nice brew every now and then.
Saving money for a trip doesn’t mean having to sacrifice every expense in your life.
You just need to choose your favourite small indulgences and figure out how to save money in other areas.
Use these tips to figure out where you can make savings and also still treat yourself to the odd pleasure. Life is too short to go cold turkey on vanilla lattes right?
Prefer audio content? Listen to Episode 1 of the Travel Goals Podcast on How To Save For Travel.
Pay off your debt
Before you begin to save, look at any debt you might have and start figuring out how you can pay it down.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to save while you’re still paying off debts, especially high-interest debts.
You should aim to pay your debt off before you plan a dream trip abroad.
If you have high-interest debts and loans, you might want to consider doing a free or low-cost balance transfer to a 0% APR credit card.
If you are UK based, you can see all the best 0% APR credit card and balance transfer deals by signing up to The Money saving Expert mailing list.
This no BS money saving site and newsletter has a lot of very useful information on balance transfers and ways to pay down your debts.
Set a travel savings goal
If you are looking to save money for travel, you need to think about what the budget is for your trip and how much you need to save for it?
Have a detailed and honest look at your finances by creating an income and outgoings sheet. Or you could download a budgeting app, to see how much you could realistically save a month.
Create a monthly savings target and then set up an automatic bank transfer for that amount to go to a savings account every month.
This way, you are making a firm commitment to saving money every single month for your dream trip.
Saving money for a holiday
If you are wondering how to save for a vacation in one year you don’t have to save a huge amount every month.
Let’s imagine the budget for your trip is £1000, you could split it up into monthly saving amounts.
If you want to reach your goal in 6 months you need to save roughly £165 a month, 9 months £110 and 12 months £83.
By setting savings goals you are giving yourself a target to strive towards.
Set a goal and it starts to have real and tangible meaning and gives you a figure to shoot for.
Cook your own food
According to recent research, the average British person buys five takeaways a month.
This is mostly due to ease in which we can order take out straight from our phones on apps such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
With £7.60 spent on average per takeaway, it soon adds up to £456 a year. Rather than reaching for your phone and ordering a Deliveroo, why not cook your own food and save yourself a load of cash?
Save money by cooking at home
If you are prepared to do some meal planning each week, you can save a lot of money by cooking your meals from scratch.
A few ways to save money on food shopping include:
- Use coupons to save money on your weekly shop
- Plan your meals
- Do a weekly 'Meat-free Monday'
- Check what food you already have in the cupboards
- Bulk buy the basics in discount stores
You can also save money on your shop by collecting coupons or by printing off shopping vouchers from sites such as 'Free stuff'.
Sell for free on Facebook
If you are looking to sell your unwanted items for free then use your local Facebook groups and Facebook Marketplace.
You can use the power of social media to declutter and make money for travelling.
Unlike lots of other selling sites, there are no fees when you sell on Facebook. So you get to keep all the money and put it straight in that travel saving jar.
Cancel or shop around for cheaper gym membership
Are you spending a fortune on gym membership and not really bothering to the gym?
Whilst it's important to stay physically fit, there's no point paying for an expensive gym membership if you aren't using it.
Why not consider free exercise options instead? You could download the free couch to 5k app and go running for zero cost.
If you want to improve your running and meet new people then check out Parkrun. You can sign up to take part in free weekly timed 5K runs at selected parks across the UK.
Free exercise classes
Rather than spending money on exercise classes, there are loads of free exercise tutorials and videos on YouTube that you can try out.
There are also many free outdoor-based exercise classes you can attend in parks across the UK.
Check out free fitness initiative ParkLives. You can sign up for their free exercise classes in locations across England and Scotland.
If you are still pretty set on the gym, see if you can shop around for a better deal.
Often newly opened gyms will have special offers and you can save money every month by switching to a cheaper gym plan.
Rent your spare room on Airbnb
If you have a spare room in your flat you can make money for travelling by listing your room on Airbnb.
It's fairly simple to get started, you can sign up for an Airbnb account and then select the option to “List Your Space”.
When you list your space you can specify the “home type” you are offering. You can then state whether it's a room in a property or if you are renting out the entire property.
Additional details include location, how many guests you can cater to, the price per night etc.
Make money with Airbnb
You then add photos of the property, any final details and then most importantly, your payment details. You can now start booking guests into your space!
Airbnb takes a 3 per cent cut on every booking from hosts and charges guests a percentage as well.
Before you go rushing to list your room, remember to check that your Airbnb listing doesn't contravene any country, city, state, or county laws.
If you are renting, you will also need to make sure you aren't breaking any terms of your tenancy agreement.
Use cashback sites to get money back when you buy goods or services online. This is a very easy way of saving up money for travel.
Cashback sites will pay you a cash reward when you click through from them to buy goods or financial products.
You can use cashback websites such as Quidco and TopCashback to get cashback on various services and products from leading retailers including Amazon, British Gas and Sky.
Save money with cashback sites
Quidco is the UK's number one cashback website and has a huge amount of cashback opportunities.
If you are looking to save money on your travel bookings, they also offer cashback on sites such as booking.com, the Trainline, Europcar and National Express.
If you are looking for more ways to save on your travel bookings, make sure to check out my Travel Resources page.
Track your spending with an app
Use a spending app to start tracking your payments and purchases. This should help you see where you are spending your money each month and how you can better save for travelling.
Using a spending app can be a massive eye-opener for some people. You can track your spending habits and see exactly where those pounds or dollars are vanishing.
There are many free 'budgeting apps' available and some of them also have premium versions.
One of the best budgeting apps out there is Money Dashboard. It's super handy as you can view all of your bank accounts in one app.
This allows you to monitor your income and outgoings and see exactly where your money is going each month.
If you are looking at how to save for travel, you can use the budget planner feature to set your spending limits, based on your previous months’ spending.
Coffee Loyalty apps
If you are anything like me, the thought of giving up your expensive coffee habit is horrifying.
Yes, you can save money by completely cutting down on Starbucks but if you endeavour to cut back, you can still treat yourself every now and then.
A good way to save money on your coffee spends is to download a coffee app and collect loyalty points towards free coffee.
If you are going to continue your coffee habit, you may as well save a few quid right?
Save money on coffee
My favourite coffee loyalty app is the Cafe Nero app. Use it when you buy coffee with them and watch your stamps build on your digital loyalty card.
You can also earn exclusive bonuses and rewards including free coffees/pastries etc.
Price Comparison sites
Whilst you are cutting back on your spending, there will always be life essentials that you will still need such as electricity, gas, insurance, internet, phone etc.
Use price comparison websites and compare hundreds of financial and services products to see where you can get the best deal.
Whether you're looking for electricity, gas, car insurance or broadband there can be huge price differences between the various providers. You can make big savings by shopping around or by switching providers.
Use price comparison sites to save money
Make sure to shop around on comparison sites such as Money supermarket to get the best prices for whatever you need. That should help you save extra money for travelling.
If you are looking to save money on the cost of your travels then use Travel Supermarket to compare travel deals.
They compare a huge range of Package Holidays, Car Hire, Flights, Hotels, Holiday Extras and even Travel Insurance to save you money.
I am a big believer that whilst you need to reduce spending to save for travel, you shouldn't live like a hermit either.
You can aim to cut down drastically on the number of times you eat out and then use restaurant vouchers when you do go out.
You need to still maintain some sort of semblance of social life, even when you are saving to travel.
Save money on eating out
Many restaurants offer online promotional vouchers, especially for weekday visits. Restaurants such as Pizza Express regularly run 2-for-1 deals on main courses.
Check daily-deals websites such as Groupon to see if they have any dining deals that are near to you?
Buy a reusable water bottle
This one is a no brainer, you can save money and help the environment by carrying around a reusable water bottle. Buy a sturdy refillable bottle and save money on constantly buying bottled mineral water.
Many town centres, train stations and airports now have water bottle filling stations for refilling drinking water bottles. So you can stay hydrated on the move and save some cash.
Save money by buying a reusable water bottle
As well as saving money, you will also be taking small steps to be more eco-friendly.
Millions and millions of single-use plastic bottles are bought in the UK every year and each bottle takes 450 years to break down.
Do your bit for your wallet and the planet and get yourself a water bottle today.
Make money from your parking space
Do you have a driveway or parking space that you aren't using? Why not rent out your parking space and make money just for letting people park in your spot?
It's an easy and passive way to make extra money for your travel fund.
There are several parking websites that allow you to rent out your empty driveway to people who are in need of a parking spot.
Rent your parking space
The best one I have come across is Just Park, a UK based parking website that allows you to rent out your parking space.
You could potentially earn hundreds of pounds a year by renting out your empty parking space.
Sign up and create your listing completely for free, it just takes a few minutes to list your space.
Fill in all the required information and then drivers can book your space and you can start making extra cash.
Have a side hustle
Make extra cash for travels by having a 'side-hustle' that could be done alongside a full-time job.
Obvious choices include working bar shifts after you finish your day job. Or maybe you could do weekend work as a coffee shop Barista?
You could always do some shifts doing telephone marketing and sales in the evenings if you want more office-based work?
To be honest, it is tiring to work another job alongside your main job. Your motivation is to think of all that extra money you will have for your trip.
Online side hustle
If you have a particular skill set you could also look at creating your own online side hustle?
You could offer things like professional services, coaching and courses in a huge array of industries. Some could include graphic design, business consultancy, digital marketing and photography.
The trick is to look at your skills and figure out how to monetise them? I have a travel planning service to make extra money.
I have years and years of travel expertise that can be useful for people looking to book trips but don't know where to start.
Sell your arts and crafts
Why not turn your creative talents into a profitable side hustle for extra money?
If you make anything that is handcrafted, vintage, custom or unique, you could start selling your arts & crafts on Etsy.
Using Etsy you can create your own online shop and sell your creative products to people all over the world.
It's a brilliant way of making your hobby profitable and saving some extra funds for travel.
Typical creative products that people sell include prints, jewellery, wedding gifts and handcrafted homeware.
If you can create unique and one of a kind products then make sure to check out Etsy and start selling today.
Furnish your house for free
These non-profit sites allow people in your local area to offer their unwanted furniture and other items.
You can pick up a huge range of furnishings from sofas, chairs, tables, washing machines, beds and wardrobes.
I even managed to get a free oven from Freecycle when my oven finally gave up. There's goes my excuse that I can't cook dinner!
You can also list your unwanted items on these sites if you are looking to declutter. By saving money on things such as furnishing, you can save more money for travelling.
Car share to save money
If you want to save on your daily commute to work you can sign up to car sharing websites.
You could also sign up to be a driver and offer your journey out to potential passengers.
By lift sharing, you can benefit from the shared cost of travelling and help to keep extra cars off the road.
Become a dog walker
This one is perfect for animal lovers. You can get paid to walk dogs in your local area when you sign up to a dog walker website. Imagine earning extra money to travel just by playing with dogs!
One of the best pet sitting websites is Rover. They let you set your prices for dog walking and pet sitting. This is so that you can charge fair rates for your services.
You can also earn extra by offering to board dogs or cats overnight in your own home.
Paid online surveys
There are loads of market research companies out there. Many are looking to recruiting new members to share their opinions on products, topics or services.
Make sure to do your research when searching for paid online surveys as many of them are not legit.
You definitely want to be paid for your time. Especially if you are saving up for travelling.
There's a fair number of research agencies that pay a small amount to people who complete surveys online.
From taking these online surveys you can expect to earn anywhere from 50p to £5 a survey. It soon adds up over time.
Recycle your old phone for cash
If you are anything like me, you might well have a few old smartphones in a drawer gathering dust.
Why not recycle them and get some extra cash for your holiday?
Make sure to completely wipe your phone before sending it off to them though.
If you have any other old electronics kicking around such as tablets and kindles, then sites such as MusicMagpie will pay you for them.
Again, make sure you clear any data off them before you send them off.
Sell your old coins
A niche way to make cash for travels is to flog your old gold, silver or coins. If you have any old coins kicking around then you can sell them to sites such as Golden Eagle coins to make money for travel.
They buy a range of precious metal coins including gold, silver and platinum coins.
On their website, they list the 'Buy Price' (the price they buy the item for) and then the 'Sell Price' (the price they sell the item for). Which makes things clear and understandable.
Cash for gold sites
There are many 'cash for gold' sites, so you need to take care that you are dealing with a reputable company.
Many families have a range of coins and antiques lying around in attics and basements.
It might be time to have a declutter and see if you can dig up any coins to sell on for extra cash.
How to save for a vacation
Hopefully, by following some of these easy actionable money-saving tips, you will be able to get extra funds for travel.
Don't stress about implementing massive changes straight away. If you are more comfortable taking small and steady steps towards saving for travel, then it is a start.
Remember, you are in charge of your own saving goal and how fast you save for travel is up to you.
With the determination and a sprinkle of optimism, you too can save up for your dream trip.
What do you think of my money-saving tips? Have you got any save money for travel tips that aren't on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
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