Saving the money is undoubtedly one of the hardest parts of traveling. No matter how long your trip is or where you’re going, unless you’re seriously ballin’ you’ll have to spend some time working hard to save up in the first place. I’m all about budgeting, pinching pennies, and stretching my money to last the longest it can. While it’s so easy to say, “get another job,” or “sell your car,” sometimes those big changes just aren’t possible. So here are my secrets: 10 little ways you can save money for travel!

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1. Get a jar for loose change

All that spare change in your wallet? Get a jar (or a piggybank) and start throwing all your coins in. It’s a really simple way to start saving money, and your wallet will feel so much lighter! I have done this for years and years, and always cash in all my change before a trip—even if it’s only $10, every little bit helps!

2. Invest in a reusable water bottle

Buy a reusable water bottle, fill it up, and bring it with you everywhere. Not only are you being better to the environment (by not buying plastic bottled water), but if you’re not thirsty all the time, chances are you won’t spend that extra $1 on a Coke while you’re out.

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Victoria Falls // Zambia

3. Take shorter showers

Bills can eat up a lot of a monthly budget, so try taking shorter showers! Even if it’s only 1 minute less, you can still start shaving away at your utilities bills by speeding up the shower process.

4. Turn the lights off

Again, a great way to try to save a couple pennies on electricity bills is to make sure to always turn the lights off unless you’re directly using them.

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Venice // Italy

5. Clip coupons

Sorry to sound like a mom here, but coupons can actually save you a fair amount of money. Clip coupons for things you consistently buy (like food products, shampoo, detergent, etc.) and watch the savings add up—even if it’s only $1-2, it still counts!

6. Start growing your own herbs/fruits/veggies

Depending on where you live (and the climate), you might have a varying ability to start a garden. At the very least, you can invest in an herb plant (a plant you regularly use in recipes) and you won’t have to buy it fresh from the store. Basil is my most used herb, so I love being able to go outside and cut a few leaves instead of paying for it in store!

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Sunset on the Zambezi River // Zambia

7. Set aside $5 from every paycheck

There’s a lot of money saving advice out there about how you should deposit basically all of your income so you can save for travel—and while that’s great, for a lot of people it’s just not realistic. It’s wonderful if you can set aside $100+ or $50 per paycheck, but if you live on a tight budget, I recommend starting with $5 per paycheck. If you’re paid biweekly, that’s the equivalent to one beer every two weeks that you’re saving. It’s completely doable, and it’s a satisfying way to see the numbers start to go up.

8. Go out with only cash

It’s so easy to blow through your money on a night out (I speak from experience). So next time you’re headed out on the town, take out cash beforehand and promise to not use any cards—you’ll have a set limit for yourself and won’t be as tempted to spend more than you want to!

9. Have a night in instead of a night out once a month

Again, it’s easy to say, “change your whole social life” and harder to actually do it. So instead of saying you’ll never go out ever again, aim for having a night in once a month, when normally you would go out. Make your own meal instead of getting takeaway, have porch beers instead of pub beers, or watch a movie at home instead of going out to the movie theater. Once a month is really not that hard but can make a difference!

10. Get a credit card with a bonus offer

A lot of credit cards come with bonuses that can give you points—which you can then redeem on flights or hotels—or other perks. Sign up for a credit card and work on getting the bonus offer and building your points up. I’ve been using my Chase Sapphire card all year, and I got 50,000 bonus points (worth about $625 in flights/hotels) for spending $4000 in the first three months! You can read my full review here. Some credit cards (even just through your bank) will offer cash back on purchases, so do your research and try to pick one that’s best for you!

 

What little tricks do you use for saving money at home?! I’d love to hear your tips!