Saving for a rainy day is all very well, but it’s more fun to save for sunny days at the beach, or snowy ones on the slopes. There are lots of small steps you can take to cut down on expenses in your day to day life without making sacrifices, ensuring that you can not only afford to travel, but you’ll have some spending money while you’re away. If you’re travelling for a long period, it’s especially important to have enough money to cover your trip, as well as some set aside for emergencies.
Travelling is a lot of fun, but make sure you have some savings
To start off with, try saving on travel itself. Booking a long way ahead, during a time of year when sales are slow, or pouncing on a special offer, can save money on air fares, cruises, hotel stays, and other options too. If you’ve got a lot of freedom to choose when and where you go, a last minute deal can be both a lovely surprise and a real bargain. Travelling off peak not only means cheaper journeys, but better prices and fewer crowds when you reach your destination.
Research on the internet and save a bucketload of money
With the advent of the internet and price comparison websites, you can save yourself a packet for only a few minutes spent on research. It pays to shop around for the best prices on home and car insurance, and to check whether switching your electricity, gas or water supplier could save you money. Consider switching your current account, or opening a new bank account, too, as many banks offer a cash incentive for doing so.
Another area where you can compare and save money is your mobile phone bill. Are you using all your allowances? Can you get the same deal cheaper elsewhere? If you’re on a contract, compare pay as you go costs against your tariff, it might be that pay as you go works out better for your needs. For travel, check your current provider’s charges for internet and phone use abroad, and make sure you’ll have coverage where you’ll be. If you’re planning to be out of the country for extended periods, you may not want to be tied down to a contract.
Depending on where you live and work, you might be able to economise on your commute, so you’ll have more to spend on more exciting journeys. Can you walk or cycle to work, even if it’s just a couple of times a week? Switching from the train or Tube to buses can save money, too, as can getting on or off at a different stop to cut down on the number of zones you’ll pass through. This trick carries the extra bonus of helping you get fit for your travel activities, and with all the extra walking you could probably cancel your gym membership, saving even more.
There are plenty of fun ways to get saving for travel. Commit to a month or more without drinking alcohol, and you’ll be surprised how much you can save. You could even collect sponsorship money from friends and family for charity, as well. Or how about a swear box? Agree to put in a pound every time someone complains about the weather, and you’ll soon have enough for that first round at the poolside bar.