How to save money to travel
Everyone talks about the need to save money to travel. They tell you to stop spending money completely but that’s not very practical when you have to buy things FOR travel such as clothes and equipment.
So here are a few tips that will help you to buy those necessary things without the need to spend a small fortune on them:
Ditch the magazines and go digital
The first question you need to ask yourself is why do you buy them? Is it a tech magazine to keep up to date with the latest in the digital world? If so, there are websites like Mashable and TechCrunch to keep your eye on things. If it’s travel magazines, head on over to Lonely Planet and Wanderlust Mag for your dose of destinations. Or if it’s just gossip, the Daily Mail has a good section for the UK and tune into TMZ for America.
Buy your stuff in the sales
Most stores, now that we’re in recession, have offers on all your round but depending on when you travel, you can save yourself a chunk of cash in the Christmas and Summer seasonal sales. So buy your bkinis in July/August and your jumpers in December/January. That way you can still afford a great new wardrobe (if you want to stock up on clothes you don’t mind ruining) for travelling at a fraction of the price!
Use pound stores
These are great places to get the essentials such as batteries for any gadgets you have, toothpaste, shampoo and baby wipes etc. They’re usually smaller sizes than the supermarkets but that works out even better for fitting it all into your backpack! Likewise, they’re also great places for stocking up on colouring pencils and pads etc if you’re planning to volunteer when travelling and want to take something to give.
There are a huge number of comparison websites out there these days and whilst it can be confusing and time-consuming, it could be mean the difference of a couple of hundred pound, if not more. You can always find the cheapest flights and travel insurance comparison websites are always worth checking out. When you ‘lose’ in time comparing prices you can nearly always make up in the amount of money you save!
Use discount stores
These are great place to find bargains when the sales aren’t happening. TKMaxx (TJMaxx in the States) sells everything from backpacks to ski wear for up to 60% off the retail price…a good place to go if you’re looking for that all important quality but don’t want to pay the price for it. I bought everything from clothes to my daypack and even camping equipment saving at least £100!
Buy magazines for the freebies
Sometimes in women’s magazines such as InStyle and Glamour they have miniature make-up freebies attached so for £2-4 you could save approx £10 and get a ‘great read’ at the same time! The cosmetics are usually travel-sized too; even better!
Use voucher codes
As said above, these can often be found in magazines BUT if the store itself publishes its own seasonal magazine, they may have their own voucher in the back which could potentially save you up to 20%. Likewise, some discounts are only available online so check out any offers they may have going on. Money Saving Expert is a great resource for this and if you sign up to the newsletter it will update you with the necessary codes on a weekly basis.
Just like shops have sales and offers, so do travel companies. If you can be flexible in your first destination and dates then this can really help you. If you’re looking for offers and flights sign up to the facebook pages and twitter accounts of airlines and travel agencies for competitions and quick deals. Newsletters are also a great way to find out when sales are happening so sign up for the airlines newsletters to hear about their latest deals in advance.
Save money AND socialise
Many chain restaurants have offers to get butts on seats during the week so why not go out for dinner on a Thursday instead of a weekend? You might get buy one get one free on main meals or a main and desert for £10. Money Saving Expert, again, is a great place to keep track of these deals which can often change on a weekly basis. One night you could have French cuisine and the next, Italian. Again, many of these restaurants have newsletters so sign up for exclusive offers!
Make use of loyalty/store cards
Many places, whether it’s a clothes store or restaurant, offer student discounts of approximately 10-15% just by showing your university/college card so don’t forget to take it with you. You can also get ‘young person’ discount on rail and bus travel around the UK and there are even ‘young person’ travel agents that give you cheaper prices because of your age. If you work for a national company, check if you have a card that you will allow discounts in several stores. Some stores offer loyalty cards where you get points on every pound you spend so buy your necessities throughout the year and then use them all up on what you need before you leave.
How do you save money before you go travelling when you still need to buy things?
Note: The links in this post are MY suggestions; no one elses.