You would be so surprised if you knew how little you need to travel. I paid for plane tickets, food, hostels/ hotels, travel excursions, and everything in between to travel to Thailand (twice), Maldives(missed my flight and bought another ticket), Nepal, India (even though I didn’t go), Philippines, Germany, and Australia on $8k USD over 6 months. This even included the cost of my backpack and travel insurance.
I would say this is a low-mid range for how much I spent. I know people who have spent less, people who have spent more, and people who spent much much more.
Where Is Your Money Going?
First things first, you need to figure out how much money you are spending on eating, going out, shopping, gym, getting your nails done, exc. Go through your bank account, categorize, and add it all up. You will be shocked. I know I was when I realized I was spending $400 a month on going out on the weekends.
Set A Goal
You should have two money saving goals. The first goal is the pot of gold you will save for the entire trip. The second goal can be monthly, weekly, daily, or by paycheck, doesn’t matter. This one just helps keep you on track for your larger goal. Just make sure you set it, and stick to it. I set my goal for at least $500 a month.
Cut The Bullshit
Figure out what you are willing to stop spending money on so you can start saving for the trip of a lifetime. I completely stopped going out on weekends if it involved spending money. Instead, I told my friends I was getting ready for traveling by going on an early morning run (which I did, and it really helped get me in shape). I quit my gym membership and worked out at home using YouTube videos. I stopped shopping for anything that wasn’t going traveling with me. AND I started selling things I didn’t use or wasn’t going to need.
I actually sold my car (huge money booster) even though I didn’t get a lot money for it, I saved almost $200 a month by not having to pay for car insurance. I actually ended up saving around $800 a month.
Keep Track Of Your Progress
This is definitely not a must, but buying a calendar, planner, or notebook and keeping track of what you’re saving can be a huge pusher to get you to your goal.
How much money you need depends on 3 main things:
- Where you want to travel
- How long you will be traveling
- How you live and what you’re willing to save money on while you’re there
#3 is a BIG one. It could actually triple your budget if you’re not careful. I once met two guys who had been traveling to nearly the same countries in the same amount of time and one had spent double what the other spent. It all boiled down to one of the guys spent nearly $15 a day drinking and the other saved on little things everyday.
Saving Money While Traveling
These little tips can save you money in one area so you can spend it in another.
- Hand-washing laundry instead of sending it out to be washed
- Eating at cheap local restaurants instead of paying twice as much as touristy places
- Little to no shopping
- Traveling like the locals in buses instead of taxis
- Constantly looking for cheaper, local, accommodations by asking other people traveling where they are staying and how much they pay (ProTIP: only book at a hostel for one or two nights and extended. You can almost always extend your stay but if you find a cheaper place there’s a slim chance you’ll get your money back if you try to leave)
- I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous to some people but I highly recommend either limiting or eliminating drinking. It really does cut into the budget… but if you insist… maybe try buying booze at a store instead of restaurants and bars