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10 Ways to Save Money for Backpacking

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Travelling is one of the best hobbies to have but its not the cheapest so we’ve created this guide for 10 ways to save money for your next backpacking adventure. Often when you’re backpacking, it is actually really cheap once you’ve reached your destination but you always need to have some money upfront to get you there.

It is also researching which countries are the cheapest to travel to so that you can really make the most of your money too! You will find that most places in Asia are a lot cheaper than if you were exploring around Europe.

You can also pick up some work whilst you’re travelling which will help with your travel costs. However, it is always worth having some back up money so that you can feel more secure. In this article you will find the best tips for saving money for travelling.

If you’re planning a backpacking trip but not sure how you’re going to save up the money for it then this article is made for you. You’ll often see travel bloggers shipping themselves off all around the world and they make it seem so easy to have the funds to do so. For average working class people, it is not this easy and often we’ll be working long hours to be able to afford to do this. We are no different, both of us work full time and work on the blog in our spare time. We use these tips ourselves to be able to get abroad as often as we can. Follow these tips to help you save money for travelling.

Set a goal

year calendar to help you set your goals.

The first step to saving money for a backpacking trip is to set yourself a goal. This is how you can save money for a vacation, trip or a long-term travel goal. When you’re doing this, you need to make sure that the goal is reasonable and achievable. All of us want to save 10 grand in a couple of months but if you’re not earning about 6 grand a month then this goal is not going to be achievable for you. Decide how much money you want to save and when you’re planning to save this by to get you started.

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The best thing to do is to try and set the goal around a month or two before you’re planning to go backpacking. This way, any extra money you obtain in that last month is a bonus. Often, in the month before you go travelling, you may find that there are some purchases that you need to make so at least these won’t come out of your overall goal. When you set your goal with the date, take the time to work out how much money you need to save each month. This will give you realistic goal to achieve and know exactly what you need to do to reach it as well.

Create a Budget Plan

Following on from this, once you’ve decided how much you need to save each month to reach your goal, you will be able to work out what you need to do to get there each month. Spend the time to work out your expenses each month and see how much you can save without making any changes. You will then know what you need to do to be able to reach your goals. This will give you a good indication of what changes you need to make so that your goal is more realistic.

Alternatively, after looking at your budget plan, you may decide that your goal is too ambitious or not ambitious enough. This is where you will be able to make changes where applicable to get the most out of your savings plan. If you goal is too ambitious then you made need to look at reducing it or extending the date of when you want to get it saved by. Whilst you’re creating this plan, you need to be as honest with yourself as possible with what you spend each month and try to overestimate where possible. It’s better to overestimate in these cases so that any money you don’t spend is just additional funds. We’ve attached a copy of our monthly budget so you can see how we like to keep our expenses organised which will hopefully help give you ideas on how to arrange your own.

budget plan for you to keep track of your money.

Reduce Your Expenses

After you’ve worked out your budget plan, this will give you a chance to look at your expenses and see where you can make changes to save yourself money. If you’re like us then one of the things that we found we were spending a lot of money on were different TV subscriptions. We had a little look at what we actually use and ended up cancelling Amazon Prime. As we were spending a lot of money on Disney+ and Netflix we started having a look at how we could save money on these subscriptions. Amy was due a phone upgrade at the time and managed to switch providers to a cheaper contract but with a newer phone and it also included 12 months free subscription to Disney+. When you’re looking at ways to cut costs, you need to get as creative as possible and do your research.

Look at your other expenses to see where there is room for manoeuvre. Energy costs are often where you will be able to reduce your costs. Use comparison sites to check that you are with the cheapest supplier and switch over if you can. You can also look at ways of reducing your energy consumption so that you’re not paying for as much energy each month too.

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Do you have a gym membership? There are so many ways that you can exercise for free so it might be worth looking at seeing if you can cancel this membership instead. Use YouTube, go for a run, join a free class. If you don’t want to cancel your membership then is there a cheaper gym that you can switch to? Assess every single expense on your list and brainstorm different ways that you may be able to reduce these or remove them completely.

Cook At Home

If you’re someone that goes out for meals quite frequently then one of the easiest changes you can make is to eat at home more often. Assess if you are this type of person by looking over your bank statements for the past 3 months. It is crazy how easy it is to forget how much you’ve eaten out recently but the bank statements don’t lie. When you’re cooking at home, try to make things in bulk as well so that the meals last you a lot longer with less effort. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your food and try out new budget recipes you find online.

10 Ways to Save Money for Backpacking - Home cooking

We do most of our shopping at Aldi and try to buy certain things in bulk when they’re on offer. Unsurprisingly, we also have a budget for how much we spend on food each month as well. As you may well know, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry either. If you give yourself a budget for food, you are less likely to spend the money on impulse buys because you know that the money needs to last you for the month. If you have money left over at the end of the month from your food budget then this goes straight into your savings as a little extra money.

Avoid Unnecessary Purchases

Before we started saving money for travelling, we would see something on an advert, Facebook or IG and talk ourselves into that we need that item. If you’re in a position of purchasing something, ask yourself if you really need it. We find that this is most common with clothes. You’ll see a new t-shirt or trainers that you really like and convince yourself why you need this clothing piece but the majority lies that you probably have plenty of clothes at home.

10 Ways to Save Money for Backpacking - no wasteful spending

Ask yourself every single time, is it something you really need? What would you rather spend that extra money for travelling or purchase that item? It sounds strict but a lot of the things we buy are materialistic and if you’re just about making ends meet to budget backpacking then these are the sacrifices you need to make.

Use Travel Cashback Sites

That being said, any purchases you do make there is a way to make money back towards your travel expenses. We use Virgin Red rewards and any purchases that we do make, we go through the link on Virgin Red which gives us points back towards our travel. You can use these points towards flights, experiences and in certain stores. There are plenty of different websites where you’re able to earn money back from purchases that you were going to make anyway.

Research different websites that you can use to save money on your purchases. Also, it is worth investing into a travel credit card that will give you money back towards your travel expenses too. Another thing that is worth considering is using discount codes as much as possible. We often purchase our travel insurance by using compare the meerkat. This then gives us 2 for 1 cinema tickets and meals on certain days. We are then able to still do things that we enjoy every now and then but without spending too much money.

Work A Secondary Job

If you’re looking to save a lot of money in a short period of time then it is worth considering taking on a secondary job to help speed things up. This isn’t an option for everyone because it will mean that you will have next to no social life for as long as you’re looking to save. However, if you’re planning to reach your savings goal within the next 6 – 12 months then this should be manageable for that short period of time. If you’re currently working full time then you can look at taking on some delivery driving work outside of this or a job with 0 hours contracts.

This will give you a little boost towards your savings goal but you need to make sure that you don’t overdo it. It’s also important to make sure you have time to yourself to rest and relax. If you’re taking on a secondary job then make sure that you don’t take on more than you can chew. Also check out how much tax you’ll be paying each month with two incomes because sometimes it is not worth it if you’re paying the majority of the extra cash out for income tax.

Sell Unwanted Items

It’s time for a spring clean, go through everything that you own and be ruthless. If there is anything that you don’t want then put them to one side and start getting them sold. There is something therapeutic about this because you’ll be having a good clean out and clear clutter away. Depending on what you own, you won’t make a huge amount of money from this but every little helps. You can use selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Vinted and Ebay to sell these items.

We would say to try and avoid apps like Music Magpie because you will be offered a couple of pence from per book, DVD and game. It is really not worth it and you will probably have more luck from other websites. If you’re feeling up to it, you could also take part in a carboot sale. However, bear in mind that people that attend these sales are looking for things as cheaply as possible and you will need to do a lot of haggling.

Take Freelance Work

If taking on a secondary job is not for you but you need to find a way to earn extra money then it is worth considering freelance work. This is not something that you can just pick up straight away and you will need to do some research beforehand. It is not a steady income, however, once you’ve taken on a few freelance projects, it will become much easier.

10 Ways to Save Money for Backpacking - freelance work

Take the time to consider what extra skills you have to offer people. It could be photography, writing, website designing, virtual assistant work, social media work etc. You can use websites such as UpWork, Fiverr, Gumtree and even Facebook marketplace to promote your skills and look for freelance work.

Sell Your Arts & Crafts or Products

If you’re a particularly creative person then you can look at selling things that you have made. There are many different arts and crafts that you can look to create and sell. The one thing to bear in mind with this is that you will need to do some research on the platform that you’re looking to sell the items on so that you can increase your chances of a sale.

One of the first things that we started to sell is our Date Jars because it was a product that we actually use at home ourselves. We find that it helps people to plan more unique spontaneous dates and step out of their comfort zone. Alternatively, you can look at digital products that you can make by using design websites such as Canva. We have used Etsy in the past to sell our date jars but did find it a little difficult to position ourselves for sales so we moved over to our own website and Instagram.

10 Ways to Save Money for Backpacking - sell homemade products

Bonus Tip!

As we are budget travellers we try to to find the cheapest ways to get around so we dont have to save for long periods of time and one of the best ways to do this is by using Hostelworld. We find this to be one the the best ways to have a get away without breaking the bank.

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There are so many different things that you can do to help save money for backpacking. Whether that be find a new way to source income or just looking at ways to reduce what you are already spending. The most important thing to do is set yourself a realistic goal and work out what changes you’re going to make to meet this goal on your deadline. We hope that this article has helped you work towards your savings goal for your next backpacking trip. Comment below which tip has changed the game for you….

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