Planning the trip of a lifetime usually hinges on one thing: Cost. Money management will invariably be the difference between you ending up sunning yourself in that private Maldives Villa you’ve dreamed of, or ending up stuck catching rays in your back garden. Whether you’re planning that perfect family holiday or leaving the rat race for an unlimited period of backpacking, if you set your mind to saving for it, it can and will happen for you. These 7 steps will help you get started on your savings journey:


Plan Your Vision: 

Get a clear mapped out plan of exactly where you want to go, for how long and set a strict deadline on when you will leave. Whether it’s New York with the family or South East Asia as a solo traveler, each holiday comes with it’s own unique set of expenses. Time of year is obviously an important factor in the cost of travelling to most places and so keep this in the back of your mind. Be real with yourself on what you can achieve in the time you’ll have to save and define your vision of what your whole trip will look like.


Image of someone tracing a map with a pen. Planning your dream holiday in advance will help you save money


Make It Your Focus:

It’s easy to say to yourself that you’ll follow through with your dream, but that’s nothing if you don’t make it your focus and take the steps to achieve it. Write down the day in which you plan to leave or set your phone screensaver as a picture of your destination. You can go one better by booking a flight or placing a deposit on part of your travel plans well in advance. This will make the whole thing real in your head and help you begin to really zone in on taking steps to put that money aside.


Evaluate Current Bills: 

Evaluate your current outgoings and see if you can streamline any bills, direct debits, phone plans etc. Switching utility providers or even gym memberships can save you a significant amount each month that can be put straight into your travel fund. If you’re planning backpacking across the world, then consider moving home or splitting rent with more people if this is an option for you. Cycling to work instead of driving will save you a surprising amount over a few months and will do you plenty of good for that beach body too. These slight adjustments to your current financial position will mean that you can begin saving straight away without a painful change to your current lifestyle.


Image of three one hundred euro notes and a credit card. Being ruthless with your budget will help you save money for your travel dreams


Needs VS Wants:

Crack out the Tupperware and start making them home lunches for work everyday. This can also form part of a healthy eating regimen saving you plenty of money each month while feeling better about your health. Ditch the expensive coffees from chains and replace them with a decent store bought alternative. This will mean you won’t have to sacrifice your caffeine hit for the sake of your travel fund. As your dream trip approaches, try to heavily curb your social life if this is usually a major expense. Just imagine that every drink you pass up on here can mean a cocktail or two on the beach of that tropical paradise.


Put A Distance Between You And Your Savings: 

Unless you have the self control of a saint, being able to bury your travel fund in a far away place will mean that you only work with the money left in your account. Weekly or monthly credit union direct debits, bank savings accounts, money cards and even the classic piggy bank are all good ways of putting your money in a place that makes it difficult to dip into. You’ll be surprised at just how little you can survive on when you don’t have easy access to your usual cash flow.


Image of someone dropping a coin into a porcelain piggy bank. Putting your money away where you can't access it is a good way to save money for traveling


Make Extra Money: 

Now with websites such as “Ebay”, “Depop”, “Etsy” and “Fiver” people can easily make money from selling old clothes, accessories, craft items, appliances and even their skills during their free time. By setting up an account on these types of websites, not only will you be able to make some extra cash but you may also get some bargains on travel bags, accessories and other items that otherwise might eat into that travel budget. Of course the more traditional version of this would be to begin giving grinds/tutoring sessions in subjects you may be an expert in, teaching an instrument you specialise in and shopping charity, second hand or budget travel shops to pick up those important items for less.


Book Smart To Save Money: 

On top of all of these adjustments to your daily outgoings, booking the various elements of a holiday or trip as it gets closer can be the best opportunity to make a tonne of savings. Having loyalty rewards, frequent flyer points or sign up discounts across airline carriers, transport companies and booking websites will allow you to make small savings across everything you book. Use an incognito browser also when you’re looking up flights on multiple sites to ensure you get the best offers. Avail of early bird offers on tours, theme parks, activities etc to save big before you even get to your destinations. This article from Sky Scanner notes that the optimum time to book a flight is always 7 weeks in advance of leaving. This helpful guide from TripAdvisor also details the best time to book for savings when looking at hotels across the world in the summer period. This will be a useful resource as prices vary greatly depending on where in the world you’re planning to go.


Image of a person holding a credit card next to a computer screen. Booking smart and at the right times will help you save money on travel plans


You could also save those last few penneys by insuring your holiday against the costs involved with possible flight cancellations, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances that may impact your travel plans. Get a great value travel insurance quote that wont make a massive dent in your travel fund today.