For many people, the idea of taking a family trip to an exotic location or experiencing a different culture may seem like a distant dream. However, with a little creativity and dedication, my family has made these dreams a reality, by learning how to save money for travel. From cutting back on everyday costs, to exploring cost-saving travel deals, I am excited to share the tips and tricks my family has learned over the years that provide us with the opportunity to explore the world around us.
Become more financially responsible
The day I became financially responsible was the day I picked up the Barefoot Investors book written by Scott Pape. It has changed the way myself and my family handle our finances.
The Barefoot Investor recommends setting up buckets (accounts) to arrange where your incoming money will go.
The book makes it simple for you to set up the buckets and save money, this is how Scott Pape recommends you distribute your cash each pay period:
- 60% to your Blow Bucket (Things like rent, expenses and bills)
- 20% to your Fire Extinguisher Bucket (Our family calls this the Coronavirus account, basically for emergencies, house deposit or paying off your mortgage)
- 10% to your Splurge Bucket (This is for you to spend on whatever you like)
- 10% on your Smile Bucket (This is for your savings goals such as a car, wedding, honeymoon or holiday)
There are so many books and podcasts out there to help with becoming more financially responsible. I also really enjoy “She’s on the Money” with Victoria Devine and “My Millennial Money” with Glen James.
Direct Debit to your savings accounts to save money
Create a direct debit to your savings account as another excellent way to save money for travel. Most banks let you set this up online. Using the above method is one way to set up your direct debits. Our family have multiple savings accounts for things like Birthdays and Christmas presents as well so we are prepared.
Until you go on your trip, you should refrain from spend this money. No matter how much or how little you set aside each month, you’ll soon watch your savings increase. This method can also be used for any other savings goal.
Review and switch banks
Minimise your bank costs whenever possible, this will help you save money. Your money is taken out for fees. You also don’t usually pay attention to them as much because they are deducted from your account and you don’t have to pay cash for them. But they increase. So review your bank terms and fees and find yourself a fee free bank account.
Try to locate a bank that provides fee-free card transactions overseas, excellent exchange rates, and free ATM withdrawals abroad. I know it’s possible because I found this with ING here in Australia.
Every day round ups to save money
There are several ways to save with round ups, with more and more banks offering round ups as a savings account option. Round ups generally apply when you use your card to make a purchase, round ups can be configured to the nearest $1 or $5.
Other options for saving and earning with round ups can be to micro-invest with platforms such as Raiz (Formerly Acorn), Superhero or Revolut. There are many more micro-investing options and I urge you to always do your research before committing to anything.
Cashback to save you money
This is by far the easiest way to save money, especially when travelling. With the use of cash back websites, you can get a percentage of the money you spend through the website or app returned as cash. You’ll be able to withdraw the money into a bank account or have your cashback sent to a financial provider like PayPal whenever your cash back earnings reach a particular amount.
Follow the links for some Cash Back sites that I use:
- Shopback – Australian
- Cash Rewards – Australian
- Top Cash Back – American
- Top Cash Back – United Kingdom
Review your subscriptions
Cancel memberships and subscriptions you don’t use. Spend some time reviewing all of your transactions over the past year. By doing this, I found a couple of yearly subscriptions that I had completely forgotten about. You can also review subscriptions on your Android or iPhone, this is a good one for apps that you forgot about.
Avoid eating out and pack lunches
Shop twice a month rather than once a week; you’ll spend less money overall if you make fewer journeys to the store. Even signing up to subscription such as Hello Fresh, might suit your needs and reduce trips to the store. Prepare your meals in advance so you will always have wholesome food in the refrigerator or freezer and won’t be tempted to overspend on takeout or convenience foods.
While visiting the grocery store, take a look at the bottom and top shelves. The cheaper things are typically at the bottom or directly at the top of the stack since everything is arranged in a specific way.
Sign up to Frequent Flyer Programs
In actuality, participating in numerous programmes rather than just one gives you more possibilities. Here are all the different programmes that are worthwhile enrolling in. Anybody is welcome to join, and you can always find a way to join for free.
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- Emirates Skywards
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- British Airways Executive Club
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- United Airlines Mileage Plus
- Avianca Life Miles
- Miles & More
Sign up for Hotel Rewards
Since hotel loyalty programmes typically offer greater flexibility than frequent flyer programmes by allowing you to transfer the points out to a variety of frequent flyer partners, they are helpful to understand and participate in. As an alternative, you can use the points to pay for future travel or hotel stays.
By going through and signing up to these programs, you will at least be able to set up your account and take advantage of any future promotions.
- Agoda (Check the cashback sites and compare) – Agoda is my go to for some great deals.
- Booking.com (Check the cashback sites and compare)
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Hilton Honours
- IHG Rewards
- World of Hyatt
- Accor Live Limitless (Make sure to link your account with your Qantas Frequent Flyer)
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