Ways To Save To Travel More in 2022 and Beyond

“Mo’ money, mo’ problems,” a famous philosopher once said. “Mo’ money, mo’ travel” is a more accurate statement, in my opinion. There’s no way around it, the more money you have, the more that is at your disposal. That doesn’t mean you can’t still travel on a budget and stay in cheaper places. But, still, having extra money on your side will never hurt when you’re traveling.

However, it can be difficult to save money to pay for travel. Many people have any number of debts: mortgages, car payments, student loans, taxes, etc. It can seem like you’ll never get to finally visit that place you’ve always wanted to.

With just a few adjustments, you can easily begin to save money to pay for your next getaway – wherever it may be. Below, you will find some of the top ways to save for travel that have worked best for me and others I know. I hope they help.

Track spending

Track spending is one of the top ways to save to travel more

This is obviously one of the best ways to save money for travel. Quite simply, if you don’t know how much is going out and where it’s going, then you can’t target key ways to save. I sometimes fall victim to this, but I always try to come back and track my spending to make the necessary cuts.

Take the time to make a spreadsheet or just pen and paper and write down the things you’re spending money on each month. Excel/Google Sheets templates are available to do all the dirty work for you. There’s no reason not to use it if you’re serious about traveling.

Food, subscriptions, candy, clothes — whatever it is, write it down. Just writing it down on paper doesn’t mean you have to stop spending money on it, but at least you see it and be more aware of where your money is going. That’s especially true when, like me, in many ways you spend money, you don’t even have to take out your card. You typically just press a button on your phone/computer.

Or even worse, nothing at all as it draws monthly without you even seeing it. And this leads us to the next point.

Cut subscriptions


I mentioned this above, but I think it’s an important point that needs its own section. Cutting subscriptions is one of the best ways to save for travel. When I was saving up to go abroad in 2016, I realized that the amount I was saving wasn’t going to be enough. When I’d check my bank statements, I’d continually be reminded about my little subscriptions with different services. Netflix, PlayStation, Amazon, HelloFresh, and so on. All of this adds up fast.

While these apps and services are convenient, they’re not necessary. You can find plenty of free entertainment to replace Netflix. Or you can Google free recipes and buy the food yourself to save a bit of money — instead of using HelloFresh. We need to be reminded that these things are convenient more than anything.

This isn’t meant to criticize any one of these or to discourage anyone from using them. This is going to be an entirely personal choice. Different people want/need different things.

It’s crucial, however, to be critical when looking at your subscriptions. This is a large area to save money every month. If you eliminate two services that cost you $15 each per month, that’s $360 in a year that you save. Considering $15/month is starting to become “cheap” for subscriptions, the potential for savings is way higher if you have more expensive subscriptions.

Open a savings account

I say a savings account, but any account will do. Have a separate account into which you can put money, which can be your “travel” money. This will help you put it in an area where it can’t be touched, so it can build until you’re sitting on a giant pile of money.

I recommend using Acorns and using it as a savings account. If you don’t know what Acorns is, here’s a quick summary:

Note: At the time of writing, Acorns is only available to residents of the US.

  • Passive investing
    • Money will be invested for you, but you can determine what type of portfolio you would like
    • You can make weekly investments to continue to add to your total
    • Money accrues faster than in a savings account
  • Round ups
    • When you make a purchase, Acorns can automatically invest the remaining total to the next whole dollar
      • If you make a purchase of $7.35, .65 cents will be withdrawn and put into Acorns
      • Every $5 in “round-ups” will be invested
  • Cheap
    • Can invest for as low as $1/month
      I often recommend Acorns to people because I think it’s a great way to get some extra cash, far faster than in a savings account. It is subject to the whims of the stock market, so you could lose some money. But, as many say and history shows, the market always recovers and typically does better.

Before I left to travel in 2017, Acorns had helped me to earn an extra $300 — on top of what I had already invested. Do you know how much an extra $300 can help in Southeast Asia?

Ultimately, whatever you decide to put cash aside, just put it into an area where you don’t touch it and make regular deposits to it. Even if it’s $10/week, it will all add up, and that plane ticket purchase will never be sweeter.

Eat in more

Cook your own food


Note: For brevity, delivery is going to be included in “eating out”


Not only do you save money by eating in more, but you also get to better those cooking skills and show your inner Bourdain. And, let’s be honest, knowing how to cook a meal for yourself isn’t a bad skill to have in your tool belt.

The average American household spends around $3,000 per year on eating out. When considering that American families eat out around six times a week, that’s almost $11/meal. And when you consider that it is around five times more expensive to eat out than it is to cook at home, there’s a large chance to save some money here.

You don’t have to stop eating out altogether. If you eat out five times a week, try eating out three instead. It may not seem like a large difference, but even if you reduce it by two times a week, you’re saving close to $100 per month — or $1,200 per year. That’s a lot of money for travel by making a pretty small change.

If you need some help finding some easy recipes, here are some good sources to get you started:

  • AllRecipe
    AllRecipe is one I’ve used many times in the past. It’s easy to find recipes. You can sort by ingredient, meal, holiday, etc., and find a meal that is just as good as the ones you find in a restaurant unless I’m cooking for you. Then you should probably order take-out and pay the extra.
  • Yummly
    I actually discovered Yummly while researching this article. I began using it and have become a fan of it since. It’s quick to find a recipe based on what I’m feeling. And they have a feature to quickly add the ingredients from a recipe into a shopping list which you can reference from their app.
  • Betty Crocker
    Who doesn’t know the name Betty Crocker? Betty Crocker is a household classic in almost every American home and brings some of the best recipes. There are recipes for all situations, and all are easy to follow.

Sell things you don’t need

Have a garage sale


It will sound strange, but this has become one of my favorite ways to save money for travel. I would always hold on to things for far too long, always saying, “Well, what if I need it one day?” knowing I definitely won’t. It’s become enjoyable to get rid of things I no longer use and to get some easy cash that I will use.

I’ll give away my generation here, but I’ve found that a life that leans more toward minimalism has been much more rewarding. Whenever I stay somewhere for too long, I inevitably accumulate a bunch of…stuff. Typically, 90% of it sits unused on a day-to-day basis.

So, when I return home, it’s nice to rid myself of some things that I’ve been holding on to unnecessarily. Old laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.? Sounds like money that could go toward a flight to Croatia. An old box of comic books that haven’t been touched in years? Is that extra pocket change for Latin America I hear jingling in your pocket? There are many opportunities to make a bit of extra cash, and it all adds up to go a long way on your future trip.

Really take stock of the things that you do and do not use regularly. If you can find some things to sell for your travel savings, you’ll reap the rewards later on your trip. That, or some person will just try to steal it all from you in a park in Barcelona. It’s all the luck of the draw, I guess.

Reduce drinking

Say no to alcoohol


This one is going to be largely personal and probably controversial. So let me put it bluntly. Alcohol is expensive, especially for what you tend to get out of it. And by that, I mean a massive hangover and often some regrets. Good times are sprinkled in there, but I can’t remember them because of the hangover.

This was one of the easiest ways to save money for travel for me because alcohol has never appealed to me much in the first place. And I can understand why some people wouldn’t want to give it up to save some money — which is fair. If you’re a person who enjoys drinking because it’s your release from the noise at work, home, and the like, then keep doing it. Look to the other ways on this list to pick up the slack.

But if you’re someone who can go either way on alcohol, this is another area to save a lot of money.

With the average American household spending $565/year on alcohol (some cities made it over the $1,200/household mark), there’s no question that a lot of money is spent on going out for drinks. Considering that many people will go out to eat before going to a bar or club, in addition to money spent on “drunchies” and other drunken purchases after leaving the bar/club, the costs (and potential savings) climb even higher.

Pick up a side job

Pick up an extra job

Covid kicked the ability to pick up a side hustle into full gear. There has never been a better time to use your computer and your current skill set to earn some extra cash and pad that travel account.

You can teach English online, which I covered in this article. There’s also the ability to get on iTalki and get your own students. In addition to English, there are opportunities to teach other subjects. There are options to teach Computer Science, Math, History, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Test Prep, and almost every other subject you can think of.

Here are some popular options to teach online:

If you’d enjoy making video lessons/curriculums, then you can easily create your own course and post it on sites like:

If you have writing experience, you can find freelance copywriting or content writing on websites like:

There’s also the ability to start your own blog and get writing/affiliate marketing/SEO experience. These are just some options — people are always looking to find competent individuals to help them with their websites, blogs, newsletters, etc.

Not a writer? How about if you’re more into design? I worked with a graphic designer on my logo, and there were many options to choose from, as many freelance designers use Fiverr. In addition, you can find work on the same websites as mentioned above.

Design isn’t your thing either, eh? Well, here’s a list of more jobs that you can find online if you have the skillset:

  • Development & IT
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Admin & Customer Support
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Legal services
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Translation

We live in the best time to not “put all our eggs in one basket”, and the ability to earn cash doing things that we treat as hobbies has never been better. Think of the extra trips or extra time, you can add if you do something you already do — you just sell it. This isn’t one of the best ways to save for travel. This is one of the best ways to make money for travel.

Refinance credit card debt

Refinance credit card debt

If you happen to be someone who has racked up some credit card debt, and it’s really making travel difficult, just know you’re not alone. Nor is it anything to be ashamed of. I had a decent amount of credit card debt when I decided to travel pretty much full-time. This immediately made me wonder if I had made the best decision considering I didn’t know how I’d manage to pay it when I was traveling. I continued to explore options.

For me, one of the best ways to save money for travel was to refinance multiple forms of debt together. In addition to credit card debt, I also have student loans to pay for. I’m the classic millennial story. And no, I’ll probably never own a home.

There are many options to do this, but I used Lending Club. I simplified it by combining about five different payments into one, and I saved about $100/month simply because I was getting crushed by interest rates.

I took most of the debts I had that were above the interest rate I was offered with Lending Club — which wasn’t terrible, especially considering the interest rates I was paying already — and combined them into one. In addition, Lending Club gave me a concrete plan for paying my debt off, which I always struggled with. Managing your finances is a learning game, and I learned early on that I didn’t know a damn thing.

So it’s best to research this area and see if it can help you. Talk to someone you trust who is more knowledgeable on the subject. Trust me. People are always ready to show how smart they are.

There are other options that are better and worse than Lending Club. It will mostly depend on your credit, as is usual with loans. Here are some of the options, but I cannot comment on them as I have not used them personally:

If you are someone who has some debts and you notice the interest rates are considerably high, it isn’t a bad idea to explore your options to refinance and get on a path to paying them off. The sooner you pay them off, the more money you have at your disposal. It can often save you a lot of money. Take it from someone who’s been there.

Conclusion

There are many ways to save money so that you can travel more. Saving, cutting, selling, and refinancing are just some ways to do it. However, these have been some of the most effective ways to save for travel that I have found. And I hope that they will help others have the chance to travel more as well. Maybe we’ll meet, and we can buy each other a beer with all the money we’ve saved.

Have any other suggestions to save money for travel? I’m always open to finding newer and better ways to save and earn so that I can see more of this planet. Let me know in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Ways To Save To Travel More in 2022 and Beyond”

  1. I’m hoping the Beanie Baby collection did not go the way of “Sell Things You Don’t Need.”

  2. An other great article : Nice one!!
    Travel dirt cheap is my mantra.
    Bikepacking (with wild camping) is probably the cheapest. Lots of pros and cons but its a great way to connect with the places you travel in and off course great exercise.
    Motorbiking (with wild camping) is my other preferred way. OK you got to spend on fuel and bike hire (or buy/sell) but you get to explore further / quicker and with great flexibility.
    Public transport has always worked well for me too. Great way to connect with my fellow passengers.. No wild camping but night buses or sleeping in bus terminals have helped keep costs down. and i am a 3rd class ticket kinda guy.. and off course a bed in a dorm doesnt break that piggy bank.
    Hitch hiking.. not so common these days and needs a bit of patience. Worked well for me thru East Africa a very very long time ago.
    Help out for room and board when its time to recharge the travel batteries for a few days
    Keeping it local : I eat street food, never buy water (use a water filter), have learnt to sleep anywhere. The best thing about keeping it local is it significantly enhances my connection with the locals and that for me (apart from seeing awesome wildlife) is always the highlight of any travel experience.

    1. Thanks again, Sweet!

      Yes, traveling cheap does provide an excellent way to connect with locals that you aren’t going to get in a private car, or Elon Musk’s Tesla.

      Maybe I can connect with you and we can work on a post about cheap travel in the future?

      Thanks,

      Kyle, The Travel Runner

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