40 Ways To Afford To Travel

I hear so many people tell me they can't afford to travel because it costs too much money, but being smart will put hundreds in your pockets.

I hear so many people tell me they can’t afford to travel because it’s too expensive and there are too many costs involved. Yes, traveling costs money, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable! It drives me crazy when I hear these people say they can’t afford to go anywhere or do anything and yet, there we are, in a Starbucks while they get a coffee. There are so many small ways you can work towards saving more money for travel and I guarantee you won’t even miss most of them. It’s about changing your habits to save a little every way you can and it’ll add up to a lot by the end.

Of course a big part of affording travel is finding the best deals and knowing where to look, but that’s for another post. Even if you don’t want to save money specifically for travel, these tips are a surefire way to save money period and become a more financially savvy traveler.

1. Don’t buy Starbucks or drinks out, and if you must cut back.

2. Use coupons. Whether you’re going to the grocery store or out to eat, there are coupons for everything so use them!

3. Make a list before you go shopping and stick with it. A lack of planning is the reason for most of my impulsive and unnecessary buys.

4. Don’t eat out as much. It will seriously add up.

5. Have movie nights in instead of going out to the movie theater.

6. BYO beer or wine to restaurants if possible. A lot of ethnic restaurants do this due to liquor licenses, but others allow you to period. This is a great way to save money since the prices are marked up but still have a great night out.

7. Fix your clothing instead of throwing it out. Remove stains at home and sew holes to the best of your ability rather than going out to buy a new items.

8. Buy household staples in bulk, especially when they’re on sale.

9. Similar to 8, plan ahead and buy the things you need when they’re on sale rather than waiting until the last minute and getting stuck paying 20% more.

10. Shop to your grocery store’s special offers for the week. I have saved probably hundreds of dollars a year by doing this.

11. Opt for generic or drugstore brands. There are so many amazing drugstore brands out there that are so a fraction of the cost than their high-end counterparts but do just as amazing a job.

12. Use the library instead of buying books. These days a lot of libraries offer e-books as well so you don’t even need to take the time out of your day to physically go there.

13. Make sure you know all the benefits your company offers. You could be missing out on a huge saving here by not knowing about a free gym membership, subsidized public transport, etc.

14. Invest in a crockpot. This will save you so much time and can make it super easy to make delicious meals on a budget.

15. Take public transportation or carpool.

16. Grow your herbs rather than buying them. Invest in the plants and never have to buy again.

17. Try to fix things yourself first before you call someone in. You’d be surprised what a little determination and Googling can do to save you money.

18. Bring your own lunch to work rather than buying it.

19. Make gifts for people instead of buying them.

20. Plan your holiday or birthday shopping ahead of time and look for the sales.

21. Shop around before buying anything. I can’t stress this enough, don’t just go out to the first store you see and buy something because it might be half the cost right next door. Most of this you can do from the comfort of your own home.

22. Invest in appliances and utensils that will last. Although you pay more upfront you’ll save so much not needing to repair or replace them.

23. Have a yard sale. Not only will you bring in a little bit of extra cash but you’ll also declutter your life and that always feels really great.

24. Make sure to turn off the lights when you leave a room and don’t overdo the heating or air conditioning. No need to go to the extremes and it’ll save you money.

25. Use every free rewards program you can. A lot of stores offer rewards program where you can earn coupons or money off for doing nothing other than just shopping like you would normally.

26. Get the best bank account you can. I use Ally and I absolutely love it, I don’t pay a fee to have the account and I pay zero ATM fees.

27. Always always always pay your credit card bills on time.

28. Attend free events in your community rather than paying to go out.

29. Utilize free museums.

30. Make sure you’re getting the best value plan for your money. Whether it’s Internet or cell phone, make sure you’re getting the best deal out there and if you’re not using all of it consider downgrading.

31. Make someone a card instead of buying one. You don’t even need to do this by hand, there are tons of online card making services.

32. If furnishing an apartment, make sure to take your time and find stuff at the best deals possible.

33. Use cash back services like TopCashback. You don’t have to do anything except click through the store you want to buy from and then go and do what you were going to do anyway. Why miss out on 5% for the sake of one extra click?

34. Never let food go to waste. Look for ways to incorporate things that are about to expire and always use leftovers.

35. Learn to haggle. Although this doesn’t come in handy in every day life, lots of markets will haggle down a price, but not if you don’t try.

36. Get your hair done at a beauty school because they’re almost always cheaper and the stylists are always supervised so you’re unlikely to end up with a hair cutting horror story.

37. Make your own shampoo, lotion or cleaning products.

38. Utilize student or young people discounts. You don’t have to be a student to save money, a lot of things will offer a discount for being under 25. Do your research and find out who does this and go there.

39. Save your change and then at the end of each month cash it out. If you keep the change in one place it’s unlikely to get lost and you’ll end up with some extra dollars at the end of the month.

40. Most importantly, keep a budget. If you’re just spending willy nilly you’ll never be able to save. Know what you’re spending and what you’re spending it on and keep track of it all. You might find there are extra things you can cut back on you’d never have thought of.

There are so many ways to save money for both travel and other things. Never say you can’t afford to travel, just be smart with your money and prioritize spending. What are your favorite ways to save money and afford to travel?

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  • Karen Wanderlustingk

    Great tips. I do a lot of these things already as I’m currently saving for a trip. I am a huge fan of mending your clothes, which I often do. I actually cut my own hair, which saves a lot of money and I get tons of compliments on it! I’ll be checking out the cashback links.

    • I struggle with mending clothes beyond a stain, slight rip along a seam or a button coming off, but I’m trying to be better so I can save more! The cashback is a great way if you’re getting anything online and you can even use it for websites like Orbitz, Expedia or Hotels.com and then you end up saving on your trip as well!

  • Sarah Black

    How amazing is this list?! Awesome and completely spot on. Now I need you to post a travel review of a place (the most tropical you’ve experienced) that will keep me out of Starbucks!!! Help a sister out! Bookmarking this–I need discipline! Great post! 🙂

  • Heather

    Wonderful tips! I love traveling, so some of these would help me travel more often!! I have so many trips in mind it would be awesome if I could make them all happen! 🙂

    • I hope you get to make them all happen, too, Heather! Anything and everything can help 🙂 Just got to keep the trip in mind!

  • These are great tips to save up for anything. There is always a way for what we love to do!
    xoxo Mickey https://www.mybashfullife.com/

    • Thanks, Mickey! There are definitely always ways to save money for anything, as long as your practical!

  • Great tips and not just for saving for travel. These tips can be used for saving in general.

    • They totally can, Wendy! So many people use the excuse that they can’t afford to travel or buy a house or even go out to dinner when with a few simple life changes they could!

  • Greta Hollar

    Perfect advice! I just quit my job to travel and blog full-time and we’ve started implementing these tips.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • That’s so cool, Greta!! Where have you been so far? I’ve always been amazed by people who have the confidence to do that! At the moment I’m more of a work at a base and blog and travel on the side kind of person. But that would be so amazing!

  • Kari Jonard

    Great tips! I use a lot of these to be able to save up a down payment on my next home.

    • That’s great, Kari! They’re ways to save for whatever goal you might have 🙂 Good luck to you!

  • So great! Not even just for travel, but for any financial goal!

    • Definitely, Heather! There are so many small ways to save money that people don’t even think about.

  • Candy Kage

    These awesome tips should be used all the time, everyday. If you get to travel more, win, win.

    • Absolutely! I think some of these should just be made into day to day habits just because it’s so easy to do and if it saves you money, why not!

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    Love this list! Traveling is my favorite thing my husband and I do together, and it is very important to us. Thank you for the reminder on so many of these.

    • Us too, Jessica! That’s why we work so hard to save money where we can to travel as much as possible. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy traveling!

  • These are really great tips! I don’t know how people can afford to eat out every day at work. I always bring my lunch! It is so expensive! I do use most of these tips but can incorporate a few more! Thanks

    • Right?! I occasionally buy lunch out when working but it’s just so much cheaper to bring one. One excuse I always used was that I wanted an excuse to get out of the office, whereas if I brought my lunch I’d just sit and eat in there and never get out. However, I think that’s dumb because there’s nothing wrong with taking your lunch outside and having a bit of a break there. 🙂

  • It is definitely much, much more challenging with kids, too, but it is absolutely doable – especially if it is important to you! We love traveling with our two kids as much as possible, and I love all of the little ways to save that you have posted here. Great reminder that if it’s important to you, you can find a way to make it happen! Thanks!

    • Thanks, Marlynn! It is certainly doable if you want it to! I can’t imagine trying to travel with kids though- that must make things so much more complicated!

  • THIS IS AMAZING AND SO TRUE! haha – TopCashback is great (especially with the toolbar that tells you when you’re on a page where you can get CB)! Also QuidCo (cashback) and Qmee (pays you for visiting webpages) 🙂

    I also keep a tin where every day when I get home I take out everything 20p and smaller and put it in there – makes my purse lighter, I don’t notice the difference, AND it builds up pretty quick 🙂

    Also I recommend getting a budgeting/expense tracking app – really shoves it in your face what you’re spending lots on, haha. That’s when I first realise I have a minor coffee addiction… But I limit myself to one a day (as in not homemade) and since I get it on campus 90% of the time it’s a lot cheaper as it’s subsidised PLUS I bring my own thermos so it’s 10% off (a lot of places do this! also it’s good for the environment too).

    I always have problems with grocery shopping being so expensive because I’m lactose intolerant – “free from” foods are so much more expensive! If I’m really saving big time (or don’t have much time) I buy lettuce, some salad veg, olives and the cheapest meats on offer and make a salad – cheap and healthy! Also I always make myself sandwiches to take to uni – so much cheaper AND I don’t have to worry about finding something dairy free 🙂

    Sorry for the essay comment hahaha

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Penelope! I’ve used Quidco too, but I’ve not used Qmee. All the cashback sites are great though because why miss out on money for no reason when it’s so easy?

      It’s such a great idea! To be honest, I avoid using cash when I can because I prefer using credit cards and getting my points. But if I do, having a jar or something to put in all the loose change can make SUCH a big difference. I think a lot of people ignore change because they think it can’t add up to anything, being such small denominations, but it really can!

      Budgeting apps are great! On one of my credit cards it has a tracker and shows you where your money is going, which was super useful and really got me thinking about what we spent our money on. Honestly though, there’s an app for everything and it’s kind of shocking!

      I can imagine that makes it harder! There are plenty of dishes out there that don’t use dairy though, but I can imagine that makes it harder! Coupons are your best friend!

      Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to comment! 🙂

  • Love all of these tips! I try to shop all the BOGOs at the grocery store and only treat myself to Starbucks once a week (at most). Any way to save a few bucks here and there is great!

    • It certainly is, Rachel! That’s great about Starbuvks, it really adds up so quickly.

  • This is really a great way to make the most of the money you do have, whether you travel or not. Love this post!

    • Thanks! There are so many ways to save money for whatever goal you have in mind 🙂

  • These are great tips for saving money in general! I feel like you have to prioritize how you want to live your life & spend your money accordingly – if travel is important, then something must take a back seat. When I started bringing my own lunch to work, not only did we save money but it kept my weight in check, too!

    • That’s awesome! I hadn’t even thought if that aspect. But prioritizing is definitely the biggest thing that I think a lot of people struggle with.

  • Kari Guastella

    These are great tips! Its hard to remember to save on the day to day, but its so important.

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    What an awesome, thorough list of ways to save money for traveling! My biggest downfall is #1 on your list – eek! I need to stop buying Starbucks…

    • Haha it’s hard! Especially during the Christmas season when they have all of the holiday flavored themed drinks!

  • Mary La Fornara

    These are great tips! I will be putting many of them to use right away. Thanks.

  • I have a vacation fund that I put money in each week…it’s an automatic deduction…I don’t notice the money missing from my account and when we go away, we have spending money

    • That’s a great idea! I normally just allocate it myself but that’s even better!

  • Maple Alps

    I love keeping a budget. It keeps me in check with my spending – plus I can afford travel. I also love my crock pot – it even saves on electricity! Great post 🙂

    • Crock pots are the best! Anything that saves money and makes things easier is a total win-win.

  • charline

    These are really good ideas for saving money, good job! Thanks for the ideas!

  • Jenn @ HomebyJenn

    These are all great ideas. Sometimes it is about priorities and if people have their “eye on the prize” they may be more apt to do it. I usually put a collage together so I can see it and then it makes me think twice about buying things a may not NEED. Great post!

    • That’s a great idea, Jenn! I love that 🙂

  • Lydia Guanga

    I always think about this when people say they can’t afford to travel – it’s all about deciding what you really want to spend the money you have on. If it’s travel, don’t spend so much on the “extras” and you’ll find you have plenty to go somewhere. Nice list!

    • Thanks, Lydia! It totally is, I can’t stress prioritizing enough and it surprises me how so many people seem legitimately confused that not drinking Starbucks everyday will save them a ton of money!

  • Kaycie VandenTop

    Love these ideas! My fiancé and I are trying to save every penny we can right now and will definitely be putting some of these to use! Thanks for sharing!

  • Purest Home

    Great ideas! Eating out is something I have a serious problem with. I can’t believe how much money my family spends on it each month. We also like to make sure we put some money away each month for one new trip a year (we stay with family and friends for other trips during the year)!

    • I feel you! Sometimes I’m afraid to add up how much we spend on eating out in a month, but we try to limit ourselves so we have more money for traveling. It is probably one of the biggest “luxury” expenses!

  • These are great tips, not just for travel, but for saving in general.

    All the Best,
    Allison | http://www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

    • Thanks, Allison! I agree, they can help you save for any goal 🙂

  • Other than saving $ on things not travel related, we love to travel at wholesale!! It’s saved us thousands and been such a blessing! Great post!
    Danielle Greco | AccordingtoD.com

    • That’s so cool, Danielle! I’ve never done that before, but I’m sure it’ll save you TONS!

  • Tiffany Barrett

    This is an amazingly detailed list. So many things I never even thought of like growing your herbs and using student discounts.

    • Thanks, Tiffany! I got the herb idea from my mother who loves to have her own. She’s got a large parsley plant in the back garden! Then lots of little ones inside 🙂 And student and young people discounts are so great and it still surprises me how much stuff you can find where you can get it!

  • LOVE all of these tips! Travel is important to my husband and to me and we love finding ways to save up for our next adventure.

  • Yes to all of these!!! I love traveling and will cut back on things in order to have money to do so.

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