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Personal Finance How to Save Money for Travel (A 2021 Guide)

Personal Finance: How to Save Money for Travel (A 2021 Guide)

If you’re like me who is a keen traveler, chances are, with all the lockdown caused by the pandemic, you are feeling cabin fever right now. The good news is, while we’re still waiting for the world to open up, it is also the perfect time to save money for travel or any other things that you may want to spend money on.

This 2021 guide will help you make your travel dream come true whether you are looking for a city break, backpacking trip or a luxury getaway.

I worked in the travel industry for more than a decade which means I spent a huge amount of my time budgeting for my clients’ travel as well as for my travel. The years in travel taught me that I don’t need to spend so much money to get the best out of my travels – and that’s true. The knowledge allowed me to travel to Africa, South America, and Antarctica for a lot less.

Set a Vacation Budget

Before you start saving for your travel, you have to know how much will it cost you to your destination. Knowing the amount that you need to save is one important factor that will influence on how you spend your future budget.

Here are the expenses that you will incur:

  • Airfare, train tickets, or any mode of transportation
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Airbnb, hostels
  • Food: Restaurant meals, groceries
  • Activities: Entrance tickets, tours
  • Miscellaneous: Shopping, souvenirs

Honestly, I don’t spend money on shopping or souvenirs anymore. If you read my minimalist story, you’ll know why. I feel that money is so valuable that buying souvenirs for other people is not worth it. The best way for them to appreciate the place is to go there by themselves. Or show them your photos.

Before I spend my money on anything, I’ll try to remember my struggles in starting a business, all the late-night works and frustration, and I’d realize right away how to spend my money better. You may call me a prude, but this is how I survive and it works for me.

I am willing to spend money on travel because it taught me so many things that I’ll need to create another blog post for it. I spend money on travel because experiences are always worth it (more than material things). When I look back and remember those memories, it would inspire me to do better at my job and to keep on striving more.

Before You Save Money for Travel

Before you start saving money for travel, it is crucial that you have ticked off the following things from your list first:

  1. Pending debts: Do you have any pending bills that you need to pay? If no, then that’s great. You may continue saving money for travel. But if your answer is yes, then you may want to recheck your priorities first. It is better to pay off debts before getting on a vacation. Going on a vacation with pending responsibilities will not give you peace of mind, as you enjoy sightseeing.
  2. Emergency fund: Your emergency fund is not meant for your travel expenses, remember that. If you started saving for your emergency fund, then good. You may completely forget about it for now. Allocate a different piggy bank for your travel expenses.
  3. Insurance: Health insurance will cover you if you get sick, while travel insurance will cover you if anything unexpected happened in your trip such as a loss of baggage, or a flight delay/ cancellation. If you get sick before your travel that you’ll eventually have to postpone, having insurance can cover you.

How to Save Money for Travel

Here are tried and tested approaches on how to manage your finance during your travel:

Cook Your Own Food

There are no restaurants where I live currently so this isn’t a big problem for me. And even while I was still living and working in Hong Kong, I minimize my lunch expense by bringing my own lunch box to work.

Nowadays, of course, with the work-from-home arrangement, there are limited choices to even consider eating out. Cooking your own food can save you a lot of money, plus, it’s healthier too!

Whenever I travel to a new country, I’ll try to have breakfast at my accommodation for free. Hotels offer free breakfast or if not, I’ll bring some instant noodles and cook it with hot water.

Earn Extra Money

Do you know that you can start a business now with little to no money? If you got skills, you may check out these five profitable digital products you can sell right now. Otherwise, you can earn some extra bucks from selling things you don’t need anymore.

Use Price Comparison Sites

Want to make sure you’re getting the best deal? Check a price comparison site such as It provides options from different airports and flight connections. Travel Supermarket is also another website that compares deals from Expedia, EasyJet,

Use Your Points

Do you have travel points from airline memberships? How about your credit card? You may want to check your existing credit card if it provides any extra points that you can use for your travel.

I am a member of Asiamiles and I use my points in purchasing flight tickets and hotel stays. Points from my credit card allow me redeem it with meal vouchers and activity tickets.

Avoid Bottled Water

And instead, purchase your own reusable water bottle to carry around with you when you travel that can cut down your expenses.

You may refill it in refilling stations or before you leave your hotel, home or office. It is also environmentally friendly.

There you have it – simple ways to save money for travel. There are, of course, other proven ways on how to save money for travel which you can also apply in your everyday life.

All you need to is make the necessary adjustments to achieve it. Just hang in there and we’ll all travel again one day.

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