Saving Money & Budgeting on the Road

So, you’re planning-or maybe simply dreaming about getting away. Maybe it’s for one week, maybe it’s for six months-but the formula to save is simple.

In my featured image is a friend of mine’s family from Sumatara, Indonesia. Om Be. This is an example of how you can save money while you’re travelling but you have to trust the process! We arrived in Sumatara in Padang, and hopped on a local bus-no idea where we’re going, just unwilling to pay a taxi 20x the money. We hop off and we still have no idea where we are, and we’re definitely not in a touristic place. No one speaks english-but we still have a lot of faith! Here comes Om Be, pulling over in his mini van with two adorable kids in the passenger seat. Speaking perfect english he asks where we’re from-and I tell him Canada, he asks if we’re lost? yes we are. Come with me he says. We hop in the van and he proceeds to take us to his family’s house, feeding us dinner, coffee and tea. Next he takes us to the best budget hostel in town and picks us up a few hours later to give us a tour of the city. YES this is amazing luck, but sometimes if you just keep travelling and living like a local you will reallllyyyyy luck out. Here’s my best advice!

Phase One : Saving Money

Sit down and write out everything that you spend money on-remembering to be realistic and honest with yourself. How much do you spend on rent? Hydro bills? Water? Transportation? Parking? Debt/Credit Card payments? Eating out? Drinking? Recreational drugs? Candles you can’t live without? Beauty routine? Gym? Clothing? Just be honest. Now, with a date in mind when you would like to leave on your adventure, and an amount of money that you would like to save, figure out how much money you would need to make every single month. How can you reduce your spending to save that much money? Does it mean moving home? Renting out one room in your house? Eating vegetarian for a while? Walking more? No more eating out? Remember why you want to save the money and sacrifice where you CAN in order to enjoy something greater! Budgeting apps can be a great way to help you save and organize how much you’re spending and saving as well.

Phase Two : Getting There

Finding budget plane tickets is an art. The best advice I could give you is all laid out right here. Friday is the most expensive day of the week to buy tickets, while Sunday is 13% cheaper on average. Take hand luggage only-embrace that minimalistic life and avoid hefty baggage fees! Open a private browser in order to ensure that you’re getting the best deals (there’s an age old theory that says flight booking companies track how often you visit and what you’re looking for, therefore if they know you’ve been looking for a flight to New York they won’t give you the best deal-because they know you have to buy anyway).  Last but not least, my absolute favourite airfare booking agent for travel is Kiwi because not only do they find great deals, but they have the option of saying from your location to anywhere-which is more my style.

Phase Three : Budgeting While You’re There

So now you’re there, you have money saved up-but as all travellers do you realize you want to stay longer than you anticipated. Or maybe you didn’t save up enough money initially for the time you wanted there-that’s okay! Here’s my best advice. If you’re in Asia-only eat street food, if you’re literally anywhere else-cook your own meals! Budget grocery shop and make your own food-and keep it simple. Eat like locals do and you’ll save a pretty penny. Travel slowly, don’t jump between towns-take public transport, stop to smell the roses on the way. Check out platforms like couch surfing where you’re able to stay with locals and couch for free-which is pretty awesome! Also look into working while you’re away through a platform like work away , where you’re able to work in exchange for free accommodation, food and sometimes cash! Don’t be afraid to try hitch hiking, trekking between cities and bringing a light weight tent to try and save a pretty penny. Depending on where you are do research and see if it’s alright to drink local water. Most of all just don’t over plan or over think and let good things come your way-as they tend to do!

Hopefully some of this advice will help you with travel budgeting !!

That’s all for now,

Laura x

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