How to Save Money for Your Round the World Trip
One of the biggest things that stops people from traveling is the fact that they don’t have enough money to afford it. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to save up money more efficiently, and to make the most of what you’ve got.
Work Out How Much You Need for Your Trip
Before you can actually start saving, you need to have a strong idea of how much you’ll actually need (i.e. how much your trip will cost in total). For this I refer you to this post on titled ‘how much does it cost to travel the world?’
This post will give you an idea of how much it costs to travel (per day), so as long as you know how long you’re going away for (roughly) and where you’re going, you should be able to plan a budget accordingly.
Work Out How Long It Will Take You to Save Up
Once you know how much you need, work out a savings plan. By estimating how much you think you can save each week/month, you can work out how long it’ll be before you have enough to save up. Note that for most people, saving up for a round the world trip is something that takes over a year, so it’s a good idea to plan well in advance. Very few people can save up enough over a short time (for example 6 months) and, unless you’re willing to make serious cuts to your lifestyle, it’s better to give yourself as much time as possible.
Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses and Luxuries
To save money effectively you need to make your round the world trip a priority. This means that you’ll have to make sacrifices in other areas of your life, but that it’ll be worth it for the trip of a lifetime.
Cutting down on unnecessary expenses is perhaps the best way to save a considerable amount of money in a short time. If you really want to go traveling, and you know how much you need to save up, it shouldn’t be too hard to motivate yourself. Think about the unnecessary expenses that you have, and think about how you could minimize them or even cut them out completely. For example, instead of eating lunch out, why not make a packed lunch at home (in the morning) and have that instead?
The best way to do this is to make a note of EVERYTHING that you spend money on (and the amount you’re spending). After a couple of weeks of taking notes, it should be pretty clear what you’re spending most of your money on, and you might be surprise with how much you’re spending on certain luxury items (such as coffee at Starbucks).
Although cutting down on luxuries is hard, it’s a lot easier if you think about how much you’re saving, and about what that money will be going towards. For example, you might tell yourself; “If I don’t go out for dinner tonight, I’ll have save enough for 2 days in China!”
Open a Savings Account Exclusively for Traveling
Open a new account at the bank exclusively for the money that you’ll be saving. It’s a good idea to keep this separate from your checking account, as it removes the immediate temptation to spend it, and because it’s easy to see exactly how much you’ve saved (and how much you still need to save).
Commit to Making Regular Deposits
Make a plan to pay in a certain amount of money each week/month into your ‘travel fund’ (for example 8% of your paycheck). In your mind, you want to view this expense in the same way as you do your gas and electric bills. If you feel like the money you’re paying into your savings account wasn’t really yours in the first place, you won’t feel like you’re losing something, and it’s amazing how quickly people can adapt to having less money to spend.
Take on Extra Work
This is a bit of an obvious one, but asking for extra hours at work is a great way to earn more money. Alternatively, if you don’t have a job, put together a CV (resume) and hand it out anywhere you can.
Find a Travel Buddy
If you’re currently planning on traveling solo, you might want to consider finding a travel partner, as traveling is almost always cheaper as a pair. The reason for this is that hotels (and most private rooms at hostels) have rooms designed for two or more people. Traveling as a pair/group enables you to split the costs of accommodation, and will save you a lot of money over the course of your trip.
Rent or Sell Things
If you’re going on a round the world trip, the chances are that you’ll be gone for 12+ months. This means that your bedroom/house is going to be empty for an entire year, and that your car (if you have one) is going to be sitting in the driveway for all year. Why not take this opportunity to rent out these items, so that you can earn some money from them while you’re gone. It’s easiest and most preferable to rent them out to family members or close friends (as it’s quick and hassle free). Failing this, you can put an advert in the local paper or on Craigslist (or Gumtree if you live in the UK).
As well as renting out items, selling them all together can bring in a load of quick, easy cash. While I don’t recommend selling your home, selling your car isn’t a bad idea, as the value of it will only depreciate while you’re away, and you can always buy another one when you return. Other items that make great saleable assets are musical instruments (guitars, amps, keyboards, etc), televisions, games consoles and computers.
Buy Your Foreign Currency in Advance
The worst place to get money changed over is at the airport, as they charge a ridiculously high rate of commission. In addition to this, withdrawing money at foreign ATM machines will result in large processing fees.
Your best bet is to get money changed over (in your own country) before you set off, as this will ensure you get it changed over at the cheapest rates. Most companies will also let you change back any money that you have left from your trip free of charge, providing you keep the original receipt (obtained when you changed it over), so this is something to remember. For more information, check out this guide on handling money abroad.
Let’s take a step back and view things in perspective. By now you should have an idea as to how much your trip is going to cost you, meaning that you can work out how long you’re going to have to save up for. We’ve given you lots of helpful tips for saving and for making the most of what you’ve currently got, so from now on it’s down to you… Good luck!
Saving Money for Your Round the World Trip – The Checklist
Here are six easy steps to saving up for your round the world trip:
- Work out how much money you need to save up for your trip
- Work out how long it’ll take you to save up
- Create a weekly/monthly savings plan
- Open a savings account
- Setup weekly/monthly payments into your savings account
- Follow some of the savings tips listed above
- How Much Money Should I Take On My Trip?
- Booking Your Round the World Ticket
- Budgeting for Your Trip – How Much Does it Cost to Travel the World?
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Round the World Tickets
- Round the World Travel Questions – The Top 10 Questions Asked
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