How To Save Money For Travel In 6 Steps

Hand holding foreign money against blue background

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How do you save for a big travel trip? With all of the pressures of life; house outgoings, social events, and gifts for others, saving big bucks is a challenge but it is possible if you following the ‘Canada or crap’ mantra and by executing our 5 S’s of Saving

This guide will teach you how to save money, rapidly.

Scroll to see us share these tips with the Royal Bank of Scotland and STV.

How To Save Money For Travel

1. Separate Your Salary

To start, you need to work out what you can live off.

Make a list, calculate how much that list costs you, and minus that from your income.

Focus on ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, you might want a new leather jacket but will you take it to Costa Rica with you? Probably not.

Remember: ‘Canada or crap?’

Next, open three bank accounts.

One for income/bills, the second for untouchable savings, the third for temporary savings that can be dipped in.

Regardless of any travel trip on the horizon, wedding invites will still happen and gifts still need to be bought.

As soon as you get paid, settle bills (rent/mortgage, phone, etc).

Then move the largest bulk of money into the main savings accounts and a smaller amount into the flexible savings account.

Also, consider a ceramic pot for coins, one of the ones that you have to smash open to access or if your banking app allows you to round up and move the additional money into a savings account, do that!

Finally, there will be gifts you need to buy while saving and that’s where the flexible savings account comes in.

Or why not get creative and make a homemade gift?

Palm tree on beach at Playa Ancon Trinidad Cuba

2. Sell Your Stuff to Save Money

What’s the point in buying things?

You will ask that question when you are selling off everything and making a tiny amount for an item worth much more.

During saving mode, I participated in two car boot/garage sales and while it was an enjoyable experience the first time, you really need to accept that items sell for very little.

Pile of dollars

3. Speak and Find Money Solutions

Set up a meeting with your bank to see if there are areas of saving that they can help you with.

Maybe you’re paying for a bank account that could be closed, or there are direct debits running that you forgot about.

Does your bank offer a credit card with travel benefits?

Some accounts reward purchases with points you can use towards hotels and flights, and also companion vouchers.

Call you phone provider, can they offer you a better deal?

Are you in a position to leave them?

Sometimes getting through to the cancelation team can result in better packages.

Do you really need Hulu, Netflix and Prime?

Remember: needs and wants; you won’t be watching reality TV while drinking Aperol Spritz in Italy!

4. Searching Helps Save Money Too

Searching for accommodation for your travels can really put in perspective how expensive a country is.

If you are traveling alone, consider hostels.

If you are traveling as a couple, consider apartments as a cheaper alternative to hotels.

Naturally, the type of holiday that you are taking dictates the saving process.

If you are looking to laze for a week in the sun why not try for a last-minute deal?

Avoid school holidays too, sorry teachers!

Off-season options can be a steal and keep an eye out for the increasingly popular Black Friday deals in November.

Hit the ‘go everywhere’ button on Skyscanner.

Avoid red eye flights!

More than often you arrive to an airport which doesn’t have 24/7 public transport so you need to fork out for taxis, check in isn’t until after 3pm, and you never get over that tiredness.

Sign up for airline newsletters, join a credit card scheme which offers points for flights, avoid checking in baggage surcharges.

Check out our guide to carry on bag sizes.

Seljalandsfoss Iceland Waterfall Hike. Gemma and Craig kiss at sunrise.

5. Splurge on Essentials

Invest in travel insurance because there’s no getting away from the need for cover.

Factor in what activities you’ll be doing during your adventure.

If you plan to ski or hike to Machu Picchu in Peru, you will need to pay more.

If your trip is longer than an average holiday and includes multi-destinations, basic travel insurance won’t cover you.

You can read our travel insurance comparison guide here.

Another travel essential is vaccinations.

Look to your country’s health board to find out what vaccinations are required for the destinations you plan to visit and price the procedure.

Purchase a safe net to secure your belongings in communal spaces and sunscreen to avoid skin cancer and early ageing.

Pringles Craig Salt Flats in Bolivia

6. Sobriety – The Unthinkable Answer to How to Save Money?


Seriously, stop drinking – it saves money and you’ll feel like a boss at gym.

When you are free from the chains of a hangover, there is a greater chance you’ll make it outdoors and less temptation to spend on takeout food.

Encourage friends to meet for a walk, dinner at yours, or a drive instead.

Here’s a big tip – quit your vice to save money.

Calculate how much you spend on your guilty pleasure whether that be sugary snacks, cigarettes, books, bags, or a wee bet each week.

Go one week without your vice and add the money you would have wasted to the ceramic savings pot or savings account!

Las Penitas, Nicaragua Coco Surf Cocktails

Click play to see our saving tips in action [with RBS and STV]

Final Words

To recap – less Singapore Slings means more kerching, use your searching abilities for more than just Tinder, seek out support, sell what doesn’t fit in a backpack, and lose it before you use it (to another bank account).

What are your saving tips? Tell us in the comments below

18 thoughts on “How To Save Money For Travel In 6 Steps

  1. Sammi Wanderlustin' says:

    Ahh, so you’ve got £10k each? I’ve got £15k saved for just me (I was on twitter saying about the last 5k) , tho’ I’m aiming for Europe, with a dog…

    The thing is, I don’t really have any vices. I go to the pub sporadically, the alcohol I have at home were all presents. The only thing I spend my money on (that isn’t my phone bill, rent, or petrol) is £7 a week to go climbing, and that’s good for my health!

    There really isn’t anything better than Music Magpie for DVDs? I had the worst luck with eBay for that, too. Sold absolutely bugger all. I did think about selling books, but amazon charge a surcharge and eBay are, well, eBay! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • TwoScotsAbroad says:

      I sold one box of DVDs (out of four) at the car boot sale, many were computer games (which were going for more on Music Magpie than DVDs). I took them a second time but they didn’t sell so had to just Music Magpie them, it really makes you wonder why you buy anything at all when you are in this situation!

  2. Serena says:

    Yes we are. It’s not long now. We are leaving on the 1st April. It’s getting exciting because all my Twitter feed is awesome pictures everyone keeps posting.

  3. Serena says:

    Thanks for the post. I’ve recently just saved enough (8k) to go traveling and I’m so pleased with myself. You guys should be too because it is dedication and determination that will get you there. Thanks for sharing. I cut down in coffee, made all my lunches, always checked for vouchers online before I bought anytime, started using loyalty points I had saved up, let my boyfriend use my car because it saved us money, moved in together so the bills halved. And now we will be backpacking for 7 months… So happy.

    • TwoScotsAbroad says:

      That’s excellent news. Moving in together was a good idea to test the relationship before being in each other’s pockets too! Is it South East Asia you are travelling around?

  4. Rachel says:

    When I had a ‘proper’ job (hah!) I did the same, took the living costs away then squirrelled the rest into savings. What I actually did was buy Premium Bonds with them! It made them harder to get at and there was a chance I could win, and I did three lots of £50 in 9 months of saving, not a bad return eh! I just cashed them in before we set off!
    My vice was magazines, of the glossy fashion kind. I quit them and saved a ton, also I wasn’t getting brainwashed into buying clothes and shoes either! I did buy a few travel mags though.
    Selling everything helped my saving mindset, having nowhere to put things means no need to buy things. I’m still completely in that mindset 7 years on, I hardly spend anything, still!

    • TwoScotsAbroad says:

      I am partial to a copy of Look magazine every couple of months! You are right about the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy of shopping. I am so ready to move out now. Tripping over boxes is boring.

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