The hardest part to travel is finding the money to do it. Ask anyone about to go on a holiday and they’ll tell you saving for it wasn’t isn’t easy, that it takes commitment and sacrifices. But don’t let a bit of hard saving put you off. Below are my top tips for scraping the money together to ensure you have an unforgettable holiday. CREATE A SAVINGS PLAN Saving money to travel takes time and dedication so start a savings plan to ensure you capitalise on your savings. Ask yourself the following question; is your holiday feasible against your salary or are you dreaming too big? Will your savings be enough to cover the costs of your holiday? Will you have some money left over when you get home from your holiday?

TRACK YOUR SAVINGS Create a spreadsheet and track your earnings against your expenses, and determine how much you can save per pay packet. Then calculate how much you’ll have by the time you want to travel. Put some short and long term goals in place i.e. I will save $1,000 a fortnight and I will have $5,000 savings by the time I get on the plane.

START A TRAVEL FUND Open a different bank account, preferably one not linked to your everyday account and put your savings into this. I always use my ING account in Australia. As I don’t have a Eftpos card for it and it takes 24 hours for withdrawals to come through, I never touch my savings.

REDUCE YOUR EXPENDITURES Coffee: Cut back on coffees. Luckily I don’t drink coffee but if you do, try having one coffee a day or one coffee every two days, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save. The same goes for lunch too. I only splurge on lunch once a week. Buying lunch can cost $10 to $20 in Australia, so if you buy lunch every day of the working week, you can save $50 to $100 a week!

Also, imagine not being able to eat dinner at a seaside restaurant in Positano because you ran out of fun money? No doubt you’ll be regretting hose last few dinners with friends back home? And there is nothing worse than holiday FOMO (fear of missing out) so make some sacrifices on home soil – you’ll be thanking yourself later when you find yourself sipping guava margaritas on the beach in Mexico. The same applies for going out at night. Forget about it! Give FOMO the flick and indulge in some couch nights. The money you save will be better spent on your holiday.

FREEZE YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP I wouldn’t encourage quitting the gym to save money before a holiday because there is nothing better than feeling fit and good about yourself on your travels. But I would advise letting your gym now two months in advance (most gyms require one months notice) that you’re going on a holiday and you want to freeze your membership until you get home.

AVOID NON TRAVELLERS Surround yourself with friends who understand and appreciate the effort you are putting into cutting back on costs and the sacrifices you are making on your social life to travel. And avoid non travellers who prefer to spend their money on expensive clothes and nights out – you don’t need their expensive distractions to undo all of your hard work and savings.

DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF I’ve never met anyone who has stuck to his or her savings plan down to the last cent. We’re all human and slip up every now and then. But this is not an excuse you can use on the regular. If you do slip up and splurge out, recognise why you did and make sure you save extra harder the few weeks after so you get back on track.

TipsJaharn GilesComment