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Saving for Travel – Complete Guide with 27 Tips

Saving for travel guide – Money rules the world, and unfortunately, traveling isn’t free. If everyone always had enough money at their disposal, many would certainly embark on one great journey through life. But since most people are dependent on normal jobs in the office, in the workshop or from other local jobs, many have no choice but to save money for a trip and then explore the world for a while.

In this guide we give you tips on how to save money for a vacation, but also how to save a lot of money during your trips. In this way, you may be able to significantly extend your stay. Let’s start with our savings tips before your adventure starts.

Saving for Travel

Before you go on a trip, it is of course important to have a basic amount of money at your disposal. Accommodation, living expenses and flights to the destination must be covered before you can finally start. It is also important not to forget the running costs at home. It plays an important role whether you are only planning a short stay of 1-4 weeks or whether you want to travel longer. We will now explain both scenarios and the possibilities for cleverly implementing them in more detail.

Saving for a Short Trip

Traveling for a short time is the most common and easiest thing you can do. Employees in particular often cannot help themselves. The advantage is obvious: For a short trip, you hardly need to worry about your job and raising money shouldn’t usually be a problem either.

As an employee, a bonus, holiday or Christmas bonus is often enough and the big adventure can begin. Quickly hand in your vacation to the boss and off you go. Since you usually have between 25 and 30 days of vacation available in Europe, it is also not that difficult to travel for a month or even two months, as long as you plan your vacations on bridge days and public holidays. Overtime can also help to get the necessary money or be converted into free time.

Of course, it always depends to a certain extent on the mindset of your boss, but as a rule, many superiors understand their employees’ vacation requests. We ourselves worked for a company for a long time, where 4 weeks vacation was not a problem.

A particular advantage is that you continue to get your salary during your paid vacation and you are therefore also on the safe side financially… As you can see, a permanent job is a good background for traveling carefree and forgetting everything else.

But if you are a student, traveling may not be that easy… Then it is best to follow our tips for preparing for a long-term trip, even if you only plan to be on the road for a short time. Alternatively, it always makes sense to talk to your parents about your plans, they might support you in your project if you can tell them some good reasons why traveling would benefit your life and personality.

The experience you gain while traveling is definitely worth its weight in gold, it makes your personality more interesting, and it is not uncommon for applicants with travel experience to be highly regarded by HR managers, since they have also gained their own experience away from the university campus.

Tip: As a student, consider a semester abroad or an internship abroad. This often costs you nothing at all and is a great opportunity to further your private and professional/school education.

Saving for Travel

Save for Long-Term Travel

It is often long-term trips over several months that cause the greatest problems in financial terms. It will then no longer be possible to work and even the vacation days will hardly be enough to be on the road for several months. Quitting your job is often the only option, unless you are a student or can manage your own time as a freelancer/self-employed person.

Here we explain step by step how you can properly save a large sum of money and make your long-cherished dream of a long-term trip to Southeast Asia or around the world a reality.

Quit Your Job

Many people shy away from radical and definitive steps such as resigning. On the one hand, we can understand when you have built something up and enjoy your job. On the other hand, you will never get out of your routine and discover new things! Many employees have little joy in their job anyway and only stay in their employment out of laziness and fear – if that’s the case with you, then you should definitely not hesitate and change something in your life. In general, we have summarized several variants and options for you here in order to “properly” quit your job or to get free time for a nice long journey to self-discovery.

Unpaid Leave

Not everyone is lucky enough to work in a company where this is possible. However, many large corporations support their employees in such projects and sometimes give them the opportunity to take a break from their job for up to 1 year! Of course, you will not receive a salary during this time, but you are still on the safe side and can definitely return to your old job. The variant is ideal even for anxious people to explore the world.

Possibilities for Students

Students can easily travel during the semester break or stay away from lectures. Make up your own mind, but as a student you are usually pretty flexible!


If you can’t get time off, then you have no choice but to resign. However, do it wisely! Try not to walk in bad blood, you might have a chance of being hired again later. It is also important to inform superiors well in advance and to play with open cards. In addition, it can often be advisable to leave the company voluntarily in economically difficult times – you can often even ask for a fairly high severance payment for the termination of a permanent contract in bad times – try it out and try as much as possible in the personnel office to get your favour. Also, the clever use of remaining vacation days and overtime can often extend your trip by another month by getting your full salary while you are already travelling! A great thing…

The most important step: Create a separate bank account!

For us, opening a completely separate account is the most important and first step to laying the foundation for your big journey. This newly created account is only for your travel savings and must be isolated from all other cash flow for now. In any case, the account must be free of charge, ideally it should even be with a bank other than your house bank and includes a credit card with which you can later withdraw money worldwide free of charge. This is the only way you can really separate your finances properly and have to overcome some hurdles to spend the money.

The free with debit card is a great option to open such an account.

The opening of the account is particularly well done. All you have to do is download the app to your smartphone and use your cell phone camera to confirm your identity – that’s it! Zero paperwork!

Why to open a separate bank account?

  • You can manage your budget away from running costs
  • Nothing will be debited from this account (contracts etc.)
  • The account balance corresponds to 100% of your future travel budget
  • Every single amount that is paid in increases the travel fund and the motivation to save

Save a lot of Money for Travel – Tips

After you have opened your separate account, it is time to gradually fill it with money. First of all, you should transfer all your previous savings and free capacities to the newly opened account, as a kind of basis. If you don’t have any savings, that’s no problem either! Here we show you how you can really save large sums for travel relatively quickly.

Sell Your Car

The car is the biggest cost hog for most people. Insurance, tax, maintenance and upkeep costs for petrol all add up. It is not unusual for this to add up to several thousand dollars a year. Not even considering the depreciation! When you sell your car, you not only save a lot of money, but you can also free up a large sum immediately. If you really want to travel for a long time, there is probably no way around selling your car.

Cancel the Cell Phone Contract

The good old mobile phone contract – indispensable for many, but in our eyes often extremely expensive. Even small data packages cost a lot of money and many will probably pay between 50 and 100 dollars a month. If you now extrapolate that over the year, it comes to a good 600-1,200 dollars, which corresponds to your flight or the cost of living for several months in Southeast Asia… We therefore recommend that you cancel your contract at the next opportunity and get a prepaid card instead.

Party Less

In addition to the unpleasant consequences of alcohol consumption and the bad smoky air, it is above all the wallet that suffers from going out. No party starts for less than 50 dollars today, 50-150 dollars per weekend are quickly vanished! If you extrapolate that for the month or for the whole year, you can easily save around 5,000 dollars a year or even more if you are a regular clubgoer.

Cancel Other Contracts

Netflix, Spotify and other entertainment subscriptions are essential for most people nowadays, but once you’ve freed yourself from them, you won’t miss it. Why pay when you can get tons of videos and entertainment on demand for free on YouTube.

Unnecessary insurance (mobile phone insurance, legal protection) and home savings contracts are always worth considering to cancel. Just take a quick look at your account and look at the outgoing positions or debits that went to insurance companies that were never used and make a courageous decision to change something.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is an addiction and also extremely harmful! Stop it, save money and benefit from general well-being. Anyone who has normally smoked a pack a day saves around 2,750 dollars per year, which is extremely good for the travel budget.

Cook for Yourself Instead of Going to Restaurants

Admittedly, you can save yourself to death, but try to cook for yourself more often and go to the restaurant less. As convenient as eating out may be, you can save money by cooking yourself. Alternatively, you can simply go to your mom or friends more often.

Sell ​​Unused Things

Who does not know that? The expensive mountain bike hasn’t even seen the mountains yet, the DVD collection is gathering dust and you don’t have time for the game console anyway? Away with it! What you don’t use now and haven’t used for a while will only lose value.

The chances that you will ever seriously miss these things are slim. Make money from everything you can. This also includes books that have already been read, unnecessary furniture and decorative items, bicycles, sports equipment, hi-fi equipment and much more. The sooner you start decluttering and getting rid of old things, the sooner you will feel freer and the extra money in the account can increase your holiday budget enormously.

An unused mountain bike and a games console that hasn’t been switched on for months can add up to more than 700 dollars in your pocket in one fell swoop. A lot of money in Southeast Asia!

Of course, there are many other ways to save or to get money. Be creative, open a flea market stall or do whatever comes to your mind…

Save a Certain Percentage of Your Income

While you are still working before your trip, you now have to show iron-hard discipline and put as much as possible on the side. It is best to transfer a fixed monthly amount to your specially opened savings account. Every dollar you save now is available later on your travels and you can have a good time! Always keep this in mind and transfer as much money as possible from your Daily account to the Holiday account!

Prepare Properly for the Trip

In addition to the savings options already mentioned, you should also make sure you spend your money wisely. A number of expenses (such as flight & hotel) are unavoidable, but can be extremely influenced in your favor. From booking flights and hotels ahead of time to subletting the apartment, there are many starting points where just the right timing can save you good money!

Book in Time

Booking right on time is one of the most important ways to save money. If you book your flight too early, for example, there are no promotional offers yet, if you book too late, the cheapest seats are already sold out. The right booking time can also play a major role when booking a hotel. In general, you should always book accommodation well in advance if possible. This takes away a little flexibility from you, but protects you from nasty surprises. Accommodation is often quite expensive during the high season and is often fully booked. For example on Koh Samui in Thailand! If you want a hotel there over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you need to reserve well in advance.

In general, you should observe the following rule of thumb for the right booking time with regard to flights:

  • Flights from Europe to Southeast Asia are cheapest around 19 weeks before departure.
  • Flights from Europe to South Africa are cheapest on average 19 weeks before departure. The cheapest month to fly is May (approx. 683 dollars), the most expensive December (approx. 892 dollars).
  • Flights from Europe to the USA are cheapest on average 25 weeks before departure. The cheapest month to fly is February (approx. 572 dollars), the most expensive July (approx. 982 dollars).
  • Flights from Europe to the Caribbean/South America are cheapest on average one week before departure. The cheapest month to fly is January (approx. 717 dollars), the most expensive July (approx. 907 dollars).

Note: Due to the Covid crisis, these statistics may vary slightly.

Use Error Fares

Error fares are so-called price errors in the system of airlines, hotels and on booking sites. It is not uncommon for extremely cheap flights to be snagged for just a few euros. There is no guarantee that you will get this flight at this price, but the airlines often grant cheap prices out of goodwill and for reasons of customer loyalty.

If you want to profit from error fares, it is super important that you are fast. It is not uncommon for these to only be available for a few minutes or hours and then already booked out or corrected.

Avoid High Season

Another way to save a lot of money: Avoid the high/peak season. It is often enough to arrive a few days or weeks after New Year’s Eve or Christmas and you’re good. Cheaper accommodation and more relaxed prices in general then prevail again. Even when big events or national holidays are coming up, accommodation is fully booked in many countries and in popular locations.

Traveling in the off-season (rainy season in Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, etc.) can also have many advantages. Tourist traffic is much lower, prices are more relaxed and nature is particularly beautiful and green.

Rent or Cancel the Apartment

Subletting your own apartment is a good way to prepare for a long-term trip and also gives you the opportunity to earn a small income. It is best to search in advance on relevant platforms and in Facebook groups for interested parties. If you live in a flat share, you can offer your room. For very determined people who definitely want to stay away for a year or even longer, liquidating the apartment is also an option. This frees up your monthly budget and you can increase your holiday budget even further by selling furniture.

Even if it may be difficult for many: Maybe there is also the possibility to move in with the parents for a while? So you can put a lot of money aside in advance and store your belongings there during the duration of the trip.


While we have previously recommended that you cancel unnecessary insurance, there is one you definitely need! International health insurance is elementary and protects you and your family from financial ruin if something should happen to you. Your local health insurance does not cover you abroad and if you have even the smallest injury or fall ill, everything has to be paid for in cash. A simple broken leg or a week-long hospital stay due to dengue fever can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

Not to mention the cost should something worse happen to you! Quite a few travelers have already moved naively to foreign countries and in the end could not pay their medical bills or are now in debt due to medical emergencies.

Therefore, take out international health insurance for the entire travel period. From our own experience, we can recommend SafetyWing, which transparently presents its services and exclusions and is also quite cheap. Regardless of whether it is a short or long-term trip, SafetyWing offers the right insurance package.

Conclusion: Although you cannot initially save by taking out international health insurance – if bad things happen, you will be saved from financial ruin and can take care of your health without having to worry about financial matters!

Do a Medical Check-up Beforehand

As already mentioned, you have to pay for all medical bills abroad first. It’s all the more stupid if you get sick right at the beginning of your trip and then have to deal with it. It is therefore best to have a check-up done while you are still insured through your job. So you can be sure that you are not missing anything.

A visit to the dentist is advisable, as many foreign health insurance companies exclude exactly this. It may also be advisable for female travelers to go to the gynecologist you trust in advance.

Travel bag travel preparation

Cheap Travel – Money Saving Tips When Traveling

If you have now saved your sum X and the journey begins, you can still turn many screws to extend your trip or stretch the budget for more luxury. With the following tips you can save a lot of money when traveling, you just have to know how!

Travel with Hand Luggage Only

Traveling with hand luggage saves money, especially when booking flights with low-cost airlines such as AirAsia. If you can reduce everything to 7kg and get it compressed to hand luggage size, you can save yourself the fees for extra luggage. There are now even a number of clever backpack solutions that have specialized in the needs of backpackers.

Take Snacks on the Plane

Another tip for flying with a low-cost airline – meals and drinks are almost always not included in the price and have to be bought on board, which is expensive. If you take precautions, you can save some money and also have a lot of delicious things with you. Before boarding you should pack your drinks and snacks in your backpack. It has already happened to us that the cabin crew forbade us to take our own drinks on board when boarding.

Travel Together

Traveling together and thus taking a hotel room together, renting a car or sharing other costs for transfers is extremely easy on the holiday budget. If you don’t have a travel buddy and you’re traveling alone, it can be worth looking out for travel partners in Facebook groups, possibly only for partial stages.

Even if that’s not your thing, it’s always worth being open and talking to people. For example, upon arrival at the airport, you can be on the lookout for other travelers who also want to take a taxi. Just ask if you want to share the vehicle – hardly anyone has anything against saving money. This can also work for tours. The more participants come together, the cheaper it gets. Just ask around in the area or at the hostel if anyone would like to join the next island trip.

Eat Like a Local

Local food is extremely cheap, especially in Southeast Asia. So eat like a local, visit the small restaurants and try new dishes more often. These often cost only a fraction of the Western cuisine and are also much tastier. It is also important that you do not necessarily go to a restaurant that is at the top of TripAdvisor or that is overcrowded with tourists. Here you can be sure that the price level has now adjusted to tourist demand.

Go Like a Local

Choosing the right means of transport on site also helps to save. Often the taxi is the most expensive option! Just look around at how the locals get from A to B. Use public transport, including unusual ones such as the river boats in Bangkok. Uber and Grab can also save money. The taxi apps show the prices very transparently and protect against rip-off.

If you want to cover longer distances by bus and train, then we recommend the 12Go booking platform in Southeast Asia. There you can easily compare the connecting routes and options and the prices are displayed transparently! Omio is ideal for bus and train routes in Europe and America.

Sleep Like a Local

Sleep Like a Local means that you don’t always have to stay in a 5 star hotel. A simple guest house or hostel usually does the trick and is also much cheaper. You can also choose more remote neighborhoods and places where few tourists otherwise get lost. The prices there are often much lower. But always keep in mind that more remote areas often require more expensive transport, which ultimately could not justify the savings.

Avoid the Tourist Areas – Or Sometimes Not!

Those who avoid tourist areas can often save. But it is sometimes also advisable to travel to a tourist area, as there is often an oversupply of accommodation and there is a real price war. For example, rooms on Phuket in the main town of Patong are particularly cheap, as the large number of hotels simply does not fill up. It is therefore best to search online in advance in several places around your destination for your next accommodation.

Compare Prices

A price comparison is never a mistake, both at home and when travelling. Before you accept the room rate in a hotel, it is worth comparing on hotel search engine. For flights it is always advisable to carry out a price comparison. On AirGuru you can automatically search multiple websites for the cheapest flight offers.


House-sitting is the latest trend when it comes to staying in great places for free. If you’re open to doing specific jobs or looking after homes and estates, then housesitting is a great way for you to save money when you travel.


Even if couch surfing is a little too personal for us, it can be a great way to make new friends and stay for free around the world. People who are open minded and still looking for a local adventure might well consider couch surfing.


When on holiday, the rule applies almost everywhere: negotiate! Especially on markets and in tourist areas, the prices are often three to ten times higher and negotiations are mandatory to even get a fair price. As a rule of thumb: You can actually bargain and haggle for everything (taxi, souvenirs, clothes) except for food. Haggling is also inappropriate in supermarkets or large shopping malls.

Street Hawker Bangkok - Onyourpath

Earn Money While Traveling

Many adventurers and travelers, once on the move, want to extend their trip. But with a limited budget and no income, this is difficult to achieve. Here we explain how you can earn some money while traveling.

Work as a Freelancer

In many countries, especially in Southeast Asia, but also in America, you are not allowed to work, and certainly not with a tourist visa. So if you want to make money, you have few options. On the one hand, you could travel to a work and travel friendly country like Australia and earn money there for a while. On the other hand, it is always not a bad income if you rent out your apartment or similar in your home country.

You can also try your hand as a web worker. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. For example, as a freelancer you can earn your money anywhere in the world. Various platforms offer payment if you write high-quality texts for customers, do translations or take on other activities on the Internet.

Here is an overview of the best sites for online jobs:

Cost for a Trip to…

After all the tips listed here about saving for your vacation itself, you are now wondering how much money you need to be able to start your adventure. That’s why we’ve put together a rough overview of the costs for a trip to the respective country as a “normal traveler” in this section. Normal traveler means you will definitely not be staying in luxury hotels, but neither are you staying in shared hostels.

Thailand (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – from 500 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 650 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 400 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 200 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 200 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 1,950 dollar

Bali (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – from 780 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 680 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 300 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 200 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 190 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 2,150 dollar

Vietnam (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – 690 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 600 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 400 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 200 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 100 dollar train tickets p.p.
  • Total = 1,990 dollar

Philippines (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – 630 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 900 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 400 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 150 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 200 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 2,280 dollar

South-East-Asia-Trip (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – 500 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 800 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 450 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 250 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 450 dollars p.p.
  • Total = 2,450 dollar

Colombia (2 weeks)

  • Flight from Europe – 720 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 300 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 200 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 50 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 100 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 1,370 dollar

Mexico (2 weeks)

  • Flight from Europe – 690 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 400 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 100 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 30 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 80 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 1,300 dollar

South-America-Trip (1 month)

  • Flight from Europe – 690 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 800 dollar per room
  • Food and drink – 400 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 150 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 250 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 2,290 dollar

Hawaii (2 weeks)

  • Flight from Europe – 920 dollar per person
  • Accommodations – 1,500 euros per room
  • Food and drink – 700 dollar per person
  • Tours + free time – 300 dollar p.p.
  • Local transport – 1000 dollar p.p.
  • Total = 4,420 dollar

Note: If you travel with two people, you can usually halve the cost of accommodation, excursions and local transport (except for domestic flights and entrance tickets, of course).

Do you have any other tips on saving for travel? Leave us a comment below!

(Insgesamt 53 Besuche, heute 1)


At OnYourPath is all about travel. Find out everything about the most beautiful travel destinations around the world and get valuable tips about hotels, travel preparation, food & drink and many other topics. OnYourPath is your authentic adventure blog by travelers, for travelers!

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