How to save money for your dream trip

How to save money for your dream destination


First things first: traveling IS expensive. Traveling IS a privilege. So let’s stop pretending everybody can do it. And we didn’t even talk about the privilege of having a strong passport (or the lack of it).


Now that we settled that, let’s see your problems: you want to travel the world, but you’re not exactly a millionaire. Not even close to it. Like you don’t even have a super-rich aunt, nor will you inherit a fortune in the near future. (I’m making it worse, huh? 😀 )


The good news is, you can still make an effort to put aside some money every month to fund your travels. Because it will take effort- just like everything else in life. Effort, sacrifice and a little bit of perseverance. But hey, at least you’ll be rewarded with the fact that YOU GET TO SEE YOUR DREAM DESTINATION.


A quick thought before we get started: if your hobbies include shopping, stop reading this post 😀 


Here’s a list of tips to help you save money (free budget spreadsheet included):



That is the best advice I can give. The rest is just the same old talk that you won’t listen to anyway.


If SHOPPING is your hobby, I seriously suggest to take up another hobby. Crocheting, dancing, drawing, READING- are all good examples of hobbies that cost WAY less than shopping. Like, they are almost for free! Shocking, I know 😀


Before you buy something, always (ALWAYS) ask yourself these questions:


Can I live without it?

Will it make me happy in 3 months?

Do I REALLY need it?


If the answer is no to any of the questions, then congratulations: you just managed to put some money aside for your next trip.


Every time you refuse to buy something just ‘cuz it’s cute: put that money aside. Preferably in a well-hidden pocket/purse/wallet.


The only thing you are allowed to buy just ‘cuz it’s cute it’s a dedicated travel wallet to keep all your savings in one place 😀

Set a budget for your trip


The most common phrase you’ll hear when it comes to traveling is that “traveling is expensive”. And I can’t argue with that: traveling IS expensive. Or more correctly: travel CAN be expensive.


Always wanted to visit Venice, but you thought it’s out of your price range? Do a little research of your dream destination before giving up on it.


To set an estimated budget of your trip, keep in mind these things:


How much does it cost to get there? What’s the cheapest option?

Where to check it:



AirFare Watchdog
Secret Flying


For more tips abut finding cheap flights read this: A guide to finding cheap flights


How much is a hotel room? What about hostels? Is Couchsurfing an option?

Where to check it:




Airbnb (Sign up for the first time using this link, and get 40$ off your next stay)







Couchsurfing (free accommodation around the world, connects you with locals)


How much are you willing to spend on food? Can you cook your own meals? Would you cook your own meals just to spend one more day in that place?

Where to check it:

Cost of living: compares cost of living in cities across the world (groceries, drinks, meals, local transport)


How much does a beer/coffee/wine cost? 

Where to check it:

Cost of living: compares cost of living in cities across the world (groceries, drinks, meals)


Do you want to visit attractions? If yes, how much are the entrance tickets? Would to like to go on tours? What’s the price?

Where to check it:

Free tours: almost every city has free tours





Will you be using public transport? How much is a ticket? Can you buy a 3 day pass? 

Where to check it:



App store: almost every big city has a public transport app


What do you usually spend money on trips? Do you REALLY need to buy souvenirs? 


If you are a travel geek, you can make an Excel spreadsheet just to see how much does your dream-trip cost. (Try not to faint after seeing the results). But it will be so fun to see your progress every week!


Yay, I only need 3000$+a kidney surgery for my Indonesian trip! 10$ down, 2990$ to go! 😀


In case you are a lazy travel geek, here’s a travel planning spreadsheet you can use! Click File>Make a copy to edit it.

Subscribe to airline’s newsletters


Can we agree on the fact that sometimes plane tickets are too damn expensive?


By subscribing to airline’s email lists you will get a lot of unsolicited spam deals in your inbox: a lot of the times they can’t sell every ticket on time. That’s when they are selling it at a discounted price to the select few who are willing to delete an email a week for the sake of scoring a nice ticket: AKA you.


They also send nice emails to fuel your wanderlust even more. Stalk them on different social media channels, sometimes the discounts are different on the platforms. And you thought you’ll never really need a twitter account.


Before buying a ticket, set price alerts. You can easily do that on skyscanner.


See more tips on how to find cheap flights here.

Travel with friends


This will not exactly save you money for your travels, but will definitely cut your current expenses. Things that are cheaper when traveling with friends: renting a room, renting a car, group deals, shared meals, fuel, food (if you cook your own meals). Not to mention that you’ll have somebody who will take pictures of you 😉

Cut down your big expenses


What are your 5 big expenses in a month? Rent? Groceries? Utilities? Impulse shopping? Hobbies? Just to name a few that are usually our highest expenses. Ask yourself about the things you are willing to compromise: could you cut down your grocery shopping in favor of a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia? Would you move to a cheaper place just to visit France? Are you willing to give up that awesome t-shirt you saw on sale just to drink another coffee in Croatia?


Set your priorities straight: if travel really is your priority, then you’ll manage to cut down on at least one of the big expenses. Even if it’s just 10$/month: it really adds up! And trust me, that coffee will taste great!

Get a piggy bank


Or even better, make one yourself! See nr.1 on the list.

You have probably seen the picture of a jar with the “travel” sticker on it surrounded by a map and other travel stuff. You thought awww, that’s cute and scrolled down.


Get that dusty jar out, stick motivational quotes on it, draw on it, whatever: make a piggy bank of travels! I’m not kidding, it’s a great way to save money! Place it somewhere visible: every day put a small amount of money in it.


The most important thing: never, ever, I repeat, NEVER touch the money before going on a vacation.

Commit yourself to your plans


You filled that spreadsheet for a reason!

Never give up on your dreams. Please think about any other motivational quotes about achieving your dreams that might work for you.

Sell your stuff


I am pretty sure that you could fill up at least one box with the things you haven’t used in a year. And probably won’t use in the next decade.

Sell it! I know it takes some effort to say goodbye to them to take pictures of them and upload it somewhere, but come on: you’re here because you need money for your travels!

Spend more nights in


Let’s play a game: quickly think about your last night you spent partying. I’m sure it was awesome 😀 Now think about the money you’ve spent. Not so awesome anymore, huh?

Try to put aside each month the money you’re spending on one night of partying. Of course you can go out on the other nights, we’re not animals here 😀


Don’t spend it on other things. Just put it in your nice piggy bank.

Plan your meals


You want to make carbonara on a friday night (that night you gave up a party), and suddenly you realise you’re out of pasta and parmesan. What’s the next thing you do? You’ll end up in the nearest shop buying the ingredients for your carbonara. And probably some chocolate, ‘cuz hey, you deserve it.

Yeah, about that. Don’t do that. Plan your meals one week ahead, and do your groceries according to that. It will help you to save money, because you won’t buy useless things. Easy, right?

Free meal planning website: Spoonacular

Shop with a list


Be an adult and shop with a list. Be a committed adult and stick to that list. Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. (Except if it’s wine.)

Check out the Ultimate Grocery List!

Use a budget app


If you didn’t already know, there’s an app for everything. So it’s no surprise that there’s an app (actually tons of them) that will track your expenses and you can even set up budget goals.


Check out the Mint budget planning app!


And everybody’s saying millennials are useless. Take that, baby boomers, with your little notebooks you kept about savings!

Use less electricity and water


You’re not only saving the planet, you’ll save some money too! Sorry shower-singers: you’re using way too much water for a thing that can be done in under 7 minutes. If you need more time to take shower, then please reconsider your life. 😀


Wash your clothes at the quick cycle: it saves electricity, water and your money. Let’s face it, most of the times your clothes are not even dirty, you just got bored of wearing it.


Turn off the lights, watch less TV (why are you watching it, anyway?), spend some time outside with your friends, like you used to do. Not even so long ago.

Also, these little things add up 🙂 Track it if you don’t believe me.

Cut down your money waste


The sad truth is that we are wasting more money than we think.


Not just on the things that you buy and turn out unnecessary the next. You’re wasting money on forgotten subscriptions, over-priced clothes, and the list could go on.

Cook your own meals


I’m sure you love going out in town with your friends. What about inviting them over for a brunch at your place?

Cook your own meals, it WILL save your money.

Walk instead of using public transport


Not to mention how expensive is to use a car.

If you live in a big city, the monthly pass is probably costing you way too much.

Try walking instead of taking the public transport. Or even better, get a bicycle 😉 It’s healthier AND saves a ton of money.

Take advantage of the free events


You’re an outgoing human being and like going to events. I get it, the FOMO is a thing nowadays. Every now and then search for the free things to do in your town: they’re as fun as the ones that require payment.

Downgrade your phone plan


Are you sure is it absolutely necessary to pay 15$+ a month for your phone plan? (Who’s making calls anyway?)

If you’re a superhuman, cancel your phone plan and live off the wifi.

Give up bad habits that cost you money


Smoking, drinking, buying something just because it has a map on it- you name it. We all have a bad habit. You will not only make your mom proud feel better, you’re saving money for your travels too!

Don’t upgrade your tech stuff


Unless it’s necessary. Really necessary. Like ‘you broke your phone screen 3 years ago’ necessary. Anyway, old is the new new 😀

DIY and repairing


You know that inspirational picture with old people that says: “Back in our days, when something was broke we fixed it, didn’t throw it out.”

You can still do that. Instead buying new stuff, try repairing the ones that are broke. There’s a reason why Pinterest is so popular!

Shop from the local grocery market


It’s cheaper, healthier, you’re contributing to your local economy, get to help farmers AND save money. And you’re going to make someone’s grandma happier 🙂

Beauty services


How much does it cost to get your nails done in a year? Please make a quick calculation in your head. Yeah, that’s how much a plane ticket costs to Paris.


I get it, we’re girls, we want beauty products. We don’t really NEED them, we just want them. (‘Cuz they smell good and look pretty, ok?) We can’t help it, I know. Remember that James Blunt song? Keep that in mind when you’re about to buy your third overpriced mascara.


Sometimes I really wish I was a man.

You have nothing to wear


Ah, the never-ending problem of women: we have nothing to wear, and don’t have enough space in our closets. Instead of buying new clothes, swap clothes with your friends!


You’re tired of wearing that skirt you bought last year, but don’t want to throw it out, because you’re attached to it? Maybe your best friends would love to wear it.

Discover your own country first


If all else fails: travel to your own country.

Before taking an overpriced vacation abroad, why not explore the region you live in?
For extra fun: try being a foreign traveler in your own country.

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Hey! This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to buy anything using some of the links, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps me get lost more and write about cool destinations. Thank you!

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