How To Save Money for Travel

How To Save Money for Travel | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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How To Save Money for Travel

I was that girl that never had any savings. I did everything I wanted to…went out to nice restaurants and bars, went shopping, went to a bunch of music festivals every summer. This was all fun, but I straight up never had any extra cash floating around. When I decided to go to India for my first trip, I was forced to put a non-refundable deposit down. It wasn’t much, but from the minute I put that money down, I started to learn how to save money for travel.

After India, falling in love with both Cazzie and traveling, I was not about to give up my newfound obsession of seeing the world. Unfortunately for most of us, traveling requires money.

How do we do it? I’ve gotten that question time and time again. When we travel, we’re usually gone for months on end. People usually think we have some crazy money making scheme on the side. We don’t have endless supplies of money, or jobs that allow us to work remotely yet (holla at me if you’re hiring lol). Every time we’ve traveled, we do it the old fashion way. Save, save, save money for travel!

1 Set up a Budget: I cannot stress this enough. Put away a set number of earnings per month. Make it a habit. Every paycheck you get, pay your bills and then put a certain amount in a fund that you promise to yourself you won’t touch. A lot of banks have the option to automatically draft a certain amount of money from your account into a savings account. Do this. Seriously. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re sitting on a beach drinking mojitos not worrying about if you can order an extra one.

2. Cut out ANY and ALL Useless Expenses: This is a no-brainer. I know you think you need that new pair of shoes, or that that super nice dinner but guess what? You don’t. Get real with yourself about what you need vs. what you want. Easiest things to cut out are eating out, alcohol, shopping, and extracurricular activities. But you can also think about cutting cable bills and swapping for Netflix. Or opening the windows instead of turning on the air conditioning. We cook most of our meals at home, we stopped going to expensive trendy bars, and only buy things that we really think will be useful while traveling. If you get bored easily (guilty) buy a cheap cookbook and commit to cooking all the recipes in the book. It’s something to do, and you will also save money for travel by not eating out! . 

  1. 3. Shop the sales: If you really need something, try to find the cheapest option. I’m actually sort of addicted to looking through off-brand Amazon products and reading reviews to find something at same quality but cheaper. We got all of our camping gear this way! The marketing and advertising industries tell us that we need the best and newest model of every product. Sometimes the quality is unbeatable but sometimes it’s super unnecessary. Also consignment shops are pretty sweet. You can find some awesome stuff at a heavily discounted price if it’s been used a couple of times. 
  2. 4. Go Classic over Trendy: This is for all my shoppers out there. I’m pretty guilty of buying trendy outfits, wearing them a couple times until the trend falls out, and then having it sit in my closet for years. Don’t do this! Not only is fast fashion killing the planet, it’s hard on your wallet. Yes, everyone needs to have a couple trendy pieces in their wardrobe. But try to buy things that will last. Patagonia has a lifetime guarantee policy where they will take back any of their clothing items that have been damaged, repair them, and send them back to you. This makes it easy to buy something from them, because you’ll have it for life. I have a similar jacket to the one below, and it rolls up into itself for easy traveling too!

5. Sell your Stuff: Alright, if you can pack your entire life into a backpack and leave everything else behind…do you really need that stuff you left behind? Like c’mon. Sell that stuff! If you don’t need it for 6 months, you probably don’t need it. Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and LetGo are magical and it’s endless amounts of people looking for exactly what you have. Even if you only make $100, that’s $100 you didn’t have before.

Image result for let go

I know it’s hard. That’s why most people don’t do it. But if it’s worth it to you, then you’ll find a way to save money for travel! I hate giving up shopping and my nice dinners…but I also hate not traveling. For all my frugal backpackers and travelers out there, here’s to you and here’s to traveling. For everyone else, start to save money for travel now, and go on that dream trip! 

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12 Comments
  • The Peckish Girl says:

    Great article guys! It’s so hard sometimes, but it’s so worth it in the end!! 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Thanks! You’re right…it’s so hard sometimes. I’m just thankful that we have the privilege to even be able to save money and travel in the first place…so I can’t really complain much at all.

  • jaimieweb says:

    I love traveling. Money can get in the way, I got an app called Digit and its helping me saving. That money I have saved, I want to use it for traveling. In the past what I have done is I either stay with friends of mine or I have traveled with a tour group and did payment plans. It really is a sacrifice but its worth it.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Hmm I’ve never heard of Digit. How does it help you save? We’re huge fans of staying with friends when we travel, or just doing it the dirt cheap way. There have been times where we drive 4 hours to get to an airport to save $300 on fares. Takes a little more time and effort, but in the long run ends up being much cheaper. Thanks for reading!

      • jaimieweb says:

        Digit, will go into you checking account every 2-3 days. It helps save you few dollars each month. It just makes me feel better that im saving something lol. I really like that airport idea that y’all do.

        • Always A Foreigner says:

          Oh nice, I’ll have to check out Digit. Sounds like an easy way to save an extra couple of dollars! Haha, yea we’ve done the airport thing a couple of times. It makes for a reallllly long day but is sort of worth it too. We also try to drive anywhere that’s under 12 hours….it usually turns out cheaper than 2 airfare tickets.

  • Travel over everything!!

  • Great tips for would-be and future travelers. I think of all the money we wasted over the years on things that we ultimately decided didn’t matter and how happy we are now with so much less, living in a foreign country we love. Maybe it takes traveling for several years and carrying all you own, but I can say without a doubt, traveling and new experiences are definitely worth the going without! Anita

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Thanks Anita! I do think you’re right…when you travel you really realize how little you need! So happy that you are now living the life that you are happiest with! And we agree…some things are definitely worth going without.

  • Staci says:

    The autodraft method is so. clutch. I recently got a (small) raise, but instead of letting it just funnel itself to my checking account, I set it up so that money goes to savings. I literally notice *no* difference since my spending money is the same, but it has been fun watching my “new” money grow! I also highly recommend Ally’s online savings account. I earn 1% interest which is almost unheard of! My credit union savings account only earns me .05%!

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Nice! I love the auto-draft method too. Usually, I pay all the bills with my paycheck and Cazzie saves his WHOLE paycheck, so in a way he’s my auto-draft haha. Any leftover money that I might have, I pull out and transfer to into our “travel fund,” and we don’t touch that unless there’s something that we need for an emergency. It’s worked wonders! Also hiding the credit cards because I stink with those. I’ll definitely look into Ally! That’s an amazing interest rate! Thanks!

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