Everyone wants to travel to some extent, but the big question is always “Do I have enough money for this?”. It’s easy to just put it all on a credit card and forget about it, but you don’t want to go into debt to travel. Instead here are some tips on how I save money to travel. What I usually do is that I put a part of my income towards a small “travel fund” for myself after I’ve paid off all my necessary expenses. Then, I look at the fund I’ve established to see if I have enough money to travel to whatever destination I want to visit. The calculation looks like this:
Cost of flight + (cost of accommodation per night * number of days) + tours, day trips, etc. + (daily expense * number of days) = total cost of trip
If the total cost of the trip is less than what you have in your fund, then off you go! However, calculating a final number might not be exact. The first three items are things I spend before I depart, leaving only my daily expenses as the variable cost. Now, let’s split up each item.
Cost of flight – 99% of the time, this will be your biggest expense. The cheaper your flight, the more money you’ll save – I’ll elaborate on what you could do to minimize this cost later.
Cost of accommodation – This will most likely be your second biggest expense. You could spend very little here, but it really depends on what you value. More on this later.
Tours, etc. – If you want to book any tours or day trips from a provider, add in the associated cost here. If you’re dead set on going somewhere you’ll want to book these early as space may fill up. I like to use Airbnb Experiences, Viator, or Klook if I’m trying to book a tour. Usually you can tell how good the tour is by reading the reviews.
Daily expenses – I usually set aside $50-$75 a day regardless of where I’m going. If I’m in a country with a higher cost of living, I would set aside the amount in the higher band, and vice versa. Realistically, you could get away with $50/day in any country. However, I like to play it safe, so I always set aside at least $75/day. It’s always better to overestimate than to underestimate. If you overestimate, you could potentially end up with money left over when you come back!