How to Save Money While Travelling

What do you think the first thing people ask when they hear I am travelling around the world for one year?

Firstly, how much money does that take.

And secondly, how long have I been saving for?

However, this post isn’t about how to make money or save money FOR your trip, it’s about how to save money WHILE travelling. Which to me, is almost more important than saving up a TON of money you may not even need. Don’t worry though, a blog post will be coming soon about how to save money FOR travelling, for those of you not yet on the road!

Saving Money While Not Compromising Value

Nonetheless, the way that I am able to afford to travel around the world for one year without breaking the bank, is simply to find money savings in places that will still bring value to my travels. For instance, saving money by finding great deals on, as shown below!

I have spent a lot less than I expected so far, and I feel like I’ve done a TON of adventurous things that would have put me over budget.

My 6 biggest tips on how to save money while travelling are listed below (in order of how much money they will save you of course):
1. Less Countries, More Time (Saves You the Most Money!)

This might seem counter-intuitive, but I have found it to be SO true. One of the biggest expenses while on the road are your transportation costs. Instead of choosing to go see 10 countries in 10 weeks, try picking your favourite 2 or 3. That way you’ll get to see more of each country and save a TON on flights, trains or buses.

I met a lot of people in South America who were travelling all of South America for an entire year, and they thought I was crazy for going across the globe. They will probably spend about ¾ of what I will, and also be gone for the same time.

2. Volunteering (Amazing Savings When Combined with Number 1)

This next point goes hand in hand with number 1. When you stay in cities longer you are able to get more volunteer opportunities. This has been the ABSOLUTE best way I have been able to save money so far. Accommodation and food is about 35% of my total expenses, especially in Europe where prices are a lot higher than South America (my previous destination), or Asia (my next destination).

The number one way to find volunteer opportunities in almost all countries is through this this website called Workaway. (THE SERIOUS BEST THING I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT TO DATE. I CANNOT PREACH IT ENOUGH.) I heard about it from a friend I met in South America and have kept hearing about it from fellow backpackers ever since. Typically, they prefer volunteers that are going to stay for longer periods. You can find some that are only a week, but more commonly it is for 3 to 4 weeks or can be even longer if you wish. This is also why, choosing less countries and staying longer really helps to save your budget!

3. Groceries

The very obvious one here is to not go out to eat for every meal. Buy some groceries when you first get to a city so you can have something to have for breakfasts, lunches and some dinners. Don’t limit yourself too much here, you still want to go enjoy the local cuisine, but just get enough so you don’t splurge your wallet 3x a day on breakfast, lunch and dinner.

4. Don’t Drink So Much

This is probably one of the hardest things to stop while travelling, but one of the best ways to save money. A ton of money is thrown away on a few beers a day, or a couple of glasses of wine with lunch or dinner. Let alone when you are living the ‘hostel life’ and are drinking about 7 or 8 drinks every day or two. Just think to yourself if you really need that glass of wine with lunch and try to cut your drinking down to one or two days a week.

For someone who hasn’t backpacked yet this might sound pretty crazy, but trust me, especially for solo travellers, the easiest way to meet people is to have drinks with them at your hostel. Try opting for some fresh juice next time, and your body and wallet will be much happier!

5. Bring Clothes to Last You

Although shopping in each country you go to is tempting, it can be such a burden on your budget. Be sure to pack clothes that are going to last you your entire trip with enough room to buy maybe one or two things along the way. For tips on how to pack for a big trip, see my world travel packing list here!

6. Bring Your Student Card if You Have One

This one was recommended to me by a fellow University student of mine (so thank you!), and she is so right! If you have a student card, make sure to bring it with you! At all major attractions they typically have a highly discounted student price, so you can save a ton of money seeing some of the most beautiful things in every city!

Didn’t have time to read it all? Here’s a summary for you:

That’s it that’s all folks.

  • Stay in places longer
  • volunteer while you’re there
  • save money with groceries
  • less drinking
  • Don’t buy too many things along the way
  • Make sure to bring your student card

I highly recommend the first 2, they are by far the BEST ways to save money. Just think, you could be gone for three months on a trip where you spend the same as going for one! There you have it, 6 ways on how to save money while travelling.

Like what you read? Make sure to leave a comment below, and use the sharing buttons to share with your friends!

Read more on the blog here.

5 thoughts on “How to Save Money While Travelling”

  • Staying in places longer seems counterintuitive to ‘travel’ but it makes a lot of sense to get the full ‘flavour’ of an area. What kinds of things do people volunteer for while away? Anything obscure that you didn’t know there was a need for?

    • Excellent question. I have been very surprised by the amount of help people want with DIY projects. For instance, renovating their home, or starting up a whole new business in which they need help with painting, gardening, electrical, and any handiwork people are capable of. Was also very surprised to see the amount of people posting for help with watching their children, shows how trusted of a site it is!

  • Hi
    I am going to Thailand soon and was thinking about volunteering to keep my costs down , can you recommend one ? Did you volunteer in hostels ?

    • Hi Michael. I spent my first one months Visa there and wanted to see too many places so unfortunately I did not volunteer there. However I am on my way back up there and will be volunteering in permaculture in Chiang Mai!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.