35 Ways to Save Money for Travel

how to save money for travel

When I decided I wanted to travel, I knew two things: one, that I was going to have to do some serious saving, and two, I was going to have to do it fast. My parents do NOT fund my travels – I planned it and saved for it on my own. This is everything I did to save money for travel.

How to Save Money for Travel

How to Save Money To Travel

How to Save Money To Travelice skating in Amsterdam

Before Leaving to Travel: food & drink

I moved back home. I cooked at home, hardly ever going out to eat. I ate what I had at home instead of satisfying cravings of ice cream and junk food. I’m a vegan, so I saved money by eating a plant- and grain-heavy diet.

I used a refillable water bottle so I would never have to buy water. I brought lunch to work, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat out. I stopped drinking expensive juices and fancy vegan food; instead I ate only whole foods (I was focused – you have to be to save money to travel).

how to save money to travel

I was working in the wine industry and got bottles that were not sellable – I drank those with friends instead of going out to trendy bars. I spent my weekends doing free activities, like hiking or going for walks.

I made black coffee at home or at work instead of going to Starbucks. I wore clothes I already had instead of buying new ones. I would meet friends at the park on Sunday mornings instead of brunch. I started going on hikes closer to home instead of driving far away. I would ride my bike when I could instead of driving. I carpooled to work.

How to save money for travelbeaching in Costa Rica

Before Leaving To Travel: Recurring Expenses

I quit my gym membership. I quit my cell phone plan and ran off wifi only. I stopped upgrading my phone. I downgraded my car insurance. I sold stuff I didn’t use anymore. Eventually I even sold my car – this eliminated gas, car insurance, and maintenance. I started riding my bike to the library instead of buying new books and magazines.

During Travel

I saved money on my travels by travel hacking – I buy my plane tickets with airline miles, and I almost always make my own meals. I eat a lot of pb&j, and a lot of local food (when it’s inexpensive). I couch surfed in Europe, which gave me access to kitchens and free tour guides (who became wonderful friends). I stayed in hostels  or airbnbs instead of hotels in Central America.

I walk instead of taking the bus. I lay out at the beach instead of going on expensive tours (though I do go on tours if I really want to – just not expensive ones). I bring snacks from the grocery store for planes instead of buying expensive airport food. I don’t go out at night – instead I read, work, or watch Netflix. 

I’ve lived in some countries on less than $30 a day! 

How To Save Money For TravelBronte Beach in Australia 

All of these things may seem little, but when you add them up, they can create a massive difference. For some, these little savings could add up to a nice trip a couple times a year. For me, each little savings means a longer trip around the world – and living the life I used to only dream of. 




  1. April 12, 2016 / 5:57 am

    Can you get enough protein out of plants and Grains I’m really interested in that thanks

    • Nicole
      July 13, 2016 / 1:56 pm

      Yeah you can 🙂 Trust me, plant based diets have a ton of protein! I usually get about 70 grams of protein per day on a plant based diet without even trying hard 🙂 Just make sure to eat the right combination of food and in substantial amounts.
      You can check out channels on youtube like unnatural vegan, bite sized vegan and cheap lazy vegan.
      I Hope I helped 🙂

  2. June 1, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Great tips, especially on how to save money before traveling. Once I decided to change my life-goals and do more traveling / experience more, the first thing I had to do was simplify, simplify, simplify. I was amazed at how much you can save from cutting down on non-essential costs. I feel like that kind of minimalism is essential for anyone who wants to travel long-term.

  3. June 1, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    I think that making those changes in life, even if it’s not for traveling can be a very positive change in perspective and outlook in any case. Wonderful tips!

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