We all love going on holiday and in an ideal world, we could all travel just as much as we’d like to. Fancy a break from the cold, wet UK weather? Jump on a plane to somewhere hot and sunny. Need to escape the day job? Book a few days off and go somewhere new and exciting for a few days.
If only it was this simple. In reality, however, travel is seen as a luxury. Due to the perceived cost of travel, we tend to think of holidays as treats that should only be allowed in moderation, and many of us spend the whole year saving up for an annual or even biennial holiday – perhaps bi-annual if we’re really lucky.
This really doesn’t need to be the case, however. With a view small changes to your spending, it’s actually pretty easy to save money for travel. Check out these tips and you may find that your dream getaway is actually a lot more affordable than you think!
- 1 How to save money for travel:
- 1.1 1) Register for a supermarket rewards card and save up your points
- 1.2 2) Switch your take-out coffee for a home brew
- 1.3 3) Sign-up for Top Cashback
- 1.4 4) Shop in charity shops and discount retail outlets
- 1.5 5) Sell your unwanted stuff
- 1.6 6) Save loose change
- 1.7 7) Reduce your mobile phone tariff or switch to a SIM-only deal
- 1.8 8) Re-evaluate your fuel and insurance providers
- 1.9 9) Give house-sitting a go
- 1.10 10) Carry a packed lunch
How to save money for travel:
1) Register for a supermarket rewards card and save up your points
Earning points whenever you shop for groceries at the supermarket is a great way to save money so you can afford to travel more.
Not only can you use your points to buy groceries (thus enabling you to save more of your hard-earned cash for travel), but you can often convert your points to use with different retailers, including travel brands. I’ve previously used my Tesco Clubcard points to pay for our Eurotunnel crossing, to buy railcards and for days-out to theme parks. You can also use the points to buy gifts for people and put the money you save towards your travelling!
2) Switch your take-out coffee for a home brew
There’s nothing I love more than treating myself to a hot, creamy take-out coffee – until I see my bank statement at the end of the month and realise I’ve spent over £50 on the stuff!
Take-out coffee can really add up, so do yourself a favour and ditch the trips to Starbucks or Costa in favour of a home-brewed cup of coffee. Invest in a reusable coffee cup, fill it up with your favourite coffee, whether instant or ground, add milk if you like, and you’re good to go. I’ve even splashed out on a milk frother so I can achieve that creamy, indulgent touch myself at home.
By using a reusable coffee cup, you’ll not only be saving yourself money, but you’ll also be helping to preserve the environment by reducing your plastic intake, and on the off-chance that you’ve forgotten to fill your cup, you can still use it to obtain a discount on the regular cost of a coffee at most leading coffee shop chains. Win-win!
3) Sign-up for Top Cashback
Just like it says on the tin, Top Cashback enables you to earn cash back on online purchases. My only regret about using this website is that I didn’t sign-up sooner than I did! I put it off because I thought it’d take ages to register, and even longer for me to get my head around how it works.
How wrong was I? Within no more than 10 minutes of visiting the Top Cashback website, I’d created my account and sussed out how to earn money through it. A year on, and as you can see below, I’ve earned over £150 which I’ll be using to save money on my next holiday.
Whenever you shop online for any kind of product or service, go to the Top Cashback website first, sign-in and then search for the retailer. Just about every retailer I can think of is listed on the website! Once you’ve found the one you’re looking for, simply click-through to their website from Top Cashback, and you’ll earn a commission on anything you purchase. The rates vary between retailers but some offer exceptionally good levels of cash-back, with many offering additional discounts.
You can also earn a referral fee whenever someone registers for Top Cashback using your unique referral link. Sign-up using the link below by 3rd December 2018 and I’ll earn £20, and you’ll receive a £5 Amazon eGift card (after this time, the referral fee is £7.50, with no Amazon eGift card available).
4) Shop in charity shops and discount retail outlets
One of the best ways to save money for travel is to stop splashing out on expensive new clothing, footwear and accessories.
As lovely as that new coat you’ve got your eye on may be, if buying it will mean sacrificing the dream holiday you’ve been saving up for so long for, is it really worth the price tag? Pop in to your local charity shop or Primark and you might be able to find a suitable alternative at a more affordable cost. Admittedly, the quality may not be anywhere near the same, but you’ll probably have to sacrifice a few luxuries if you want to have more spare cash for travelling.
5) Sell your unwanted stuff
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You’d probably be surprised at how much unwanted stuff you’ve got lying around at home gathering dust, when you could sell it on so that someone else can get a good deal, and you can make a bit of extra cash.
Have a big clear-out and sell your unwanted items at a car boot sale, or on a website like Ebay or Depop. The other advantage of this is that you’ll be able to tidy up any unnecessary clutter, making more room for all those treasured travel souvenirs and photo memories!
6) Save loose change
7) Reduce your mobile phone tariff or switch to a SIM-only deal
We all love it when it’s time for a mobile phone upgrade and it’s great to know you’ve got the latest handset, but mobile phone contracts can be extremely costly and lengthy.
When your upgrade is due, ask yourself how badly you really need that new phone. It might take better photos or have longer battery life, but is it worth paying considerable more for, especially if you’re trying to save money for travel?
When my phone was due for an upgrade at the beginning of this year, I turned down the offer of a free upgrade in favour of switching to a SIM-only deal instead. In doing so, I cut my monthly bills from around £75 to just £20 per month. In the past ten months, this has saved me a whopping £550 – I could buy return flights to the Caribbean with that money!
If you’re still stuck in your contract, give your provider a call and ask them whether you’re getting the best possible value for money on your line rental. If you’re not using up your monthly minute and text allowance, could you switch to a cheaper tariff?
8) Re-evaluate your fuel and insurance providers
Besides comparing costs on your mobile phone tariff, you could also save a considerable amount of money on your gas and electricity bills, not to mention your insurance providers.
Head to a reputable comparison website like Compare the Market or Go Compare, tap in your details and see how much you could save by switching energy suppliers and/or insurance firms. What’s more, if you search via Top Cashback, you could also earn cash back by switching providers.
9) Give house-sitting a go
If you don’t have a mortgage to pay, imagine how much money you could save if you didn’t have to set aside a lump sum for rent every month.
House-sitting is a rapidly growing travel trend, and if you’d be willing to look after a stranger’s home while they’re away and perhaps care for their pets too, it could help you to save a considerable amount of money, while also offering you a low-cost source of accommodation all over the world.
Simply sign-up with a website like Trusted Housesitters and search for properties in your desired area to find a space to suit you.
10) Carry a packed lunch
It might seem like a chore to prepare lunch in advance, but with a little careful planning, it can be a cost-effective way to ensure you’ve got something tasty to look forward to eating at lunchtime. Once you get into a routine of preparing lunch each evening or morning, it’ll become second nature.
Now and then, I like to treat myself to lunch out, but if I bought lunch in Cardiff every day, it’d cost me at least £100 per month, based on spending £5 per day on five days of the week – some days, I would spend more than this! I probably spend around £10 on eating out for lunch each week on average, so by bringing packed lunch to the office most days, I save myself at least £60 per month compared to buying lunch out every day.
Tried all these thrifty tips to save money for travel, yet still not got quite enough in the bank to pay for your dream escape? Check out my previous post on how to travel for less for some handy tips that could help to make your next getaway a lot more affordable than you may think.
If you have a desperate need to travel as soon as possible and you just need a little more cash to tide you over, you could consider taking out a short-term loan. You certainly wouldn’t be the first to do this – just take a look at this high cost credit index to get a feel for how short-term credit lending varies throughout the UK. However, be sure to pay attention to the interest rates and only lend what you can reasonably afford to pay back; no holiday is worth getting into debt over!
What are your top tips for saving up for a holiday? Share your advice with other readers below.