TRAVEL TIPS

50 Ways I Saved (A lot) of Money to Travel the World

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They say planning leads to progress. I don’t know who they are — but they’re right.

When I had the idea (or maybe it was more a ‘calling’ of sorts) to travel the world, I was fearful that I would never be financially able to travel the world unless I won the lottery, came into possession of a money tree, or joined some form of group involved in illegal activity that would result in riches (piracy I could do if it means coming into possession of the Black Pearl and a mascot monkey).

The idea first popped into my mind many moons ago, so long that I have no idea when the notion of travelling the world full time really came about in my mind. It was a distant dream I never thought could become my reality – but it has.

When I first said to myself “I want to travel the world full time”, I too thought it was a crazy idea. I was pessimistic that I would ever be able to afford full time travel, especially since I would have to save every penny for my dreams myself.

My parents have never funded my travels.

Here’s how I did it:

brooke saward

The 50 Ways I saved (A LOT) of Money to Travel the World

Before I had even booked my one-way ticket overseas, I was on a super-saving mission to fund my dream of travelling the world. I stopped paying $5 for coffee and convinced myself my homemade brew was the next best thing. I stopped meeting friends for dinner and instead invited them over for a homecooked meal. I had a few glasses of wine at home with friends and didn’t purchase overpriced drinks in bars anymore. I stopped buying expensive takeout and learned to cook for myself. I have been a vegetarian for 10 years, so saved money with my plant-heavy diet. I would eat what was already there in the fridge or pantry instead of satisfying my cravings. I walked to the supermarket instead of driving.

I sold my car and hitched a ride to work each day. Thus I didn’t have to pay car insurance, petrol, or car servicing. I stopped buying new clothes – there was nothing wrong with the old ones anyway. I sold old clothes at a local market and walked away with $1556.00 towards my travels. I stopped upgrading everything like iPhones, computers, and various other technologies. I cut my phone plan and started using wifi only. I gave up my gym membership and took up running/bike riding outdoors. I saved oodles of money by living with my parents and offering to cook meals, clean, and run errands in place of paying rent. But when I did live out of home I was brutally economical – I wouldn’t use the lights during the day, would have shorter showers, and even charged my devices at work instead of at home. I was on a mission to save EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, ON EVERYTHING.

Gap Year Brooke Romania

I stopped buying magazines and books and relied on the internet for new knowledge, articles and ideas. I cooked my lunch meals in bulk at the beginning of the week to save on time, money and eat healthily. I even started growing my own herbs, fruits and vegetables (some more successful than others). I watched old movies instead of paying extortionate amounts to go and see new ones. I may have even raided my brother’s money box once or twice for emergency funds – but thankfully made it up to him by flying him to Bali for his Christmas present a year later.

I found new ways of making money. 

I started a blog about my love for travel, which soon turned into my full time career about my travels. I started charging money for advertising, receiving sizeable sums from Google Adsense, got paid per views for my Youtube Videos, branched out into merchandising, wrote a book, consulted for brands on social media, wrote as a freelance journalist, received more sizeable sums for affiliate programs, and started working for large corporations to endorse their products.

I learned to travel smarter.

I learned to travel smarter, not cheaper. I learned how to save money on flights, how to pack smarter to save excess baggage fees, how to spend less in expensive locations. I stopped eating out and started snacking on-the-go. I would rent an apartment for long term stays so I could cook and wash my clothes without paying extortionate hotel fees (the sooner they change this the better). I mixed it up and travelled to cheaper countries for longer periods of time – consider the likes of Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia. I gave away things I didn’t need anymore instead of travelling with so many ‘things’ and attracting more of those outrageous excess baggage fees.

I never stopped learning.

Of course there were times where I spent too much money on things I learned I didn’t need, or found new ways to do it cheaper. I learned that paying extra was not necessarily better – for things such as theatre tickets, seats on planes, or priority access. I also learned that you could go to the theatre in Vienna for 3-4 euros. I sacrificed comfort for those ghastly budget airline flights around Europe and still found the fun in it. I looked at the positives – like a beautiful view – when eating picnic after lunch picnic. I flew where the flight sales encouraged me to and made last minute decisions to avoid change/cancellation fees.

But most of all, I learned that all these little changes led to a longer journey around the world doing what I love… and no sacrifice was ever too much to live the life I dreamed of.

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  • monika@violetroots.com'
    Monika
    May 22, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Loved reading this. I’ve been trying to figure out how to cut costs and knew that I should eat at home more and go out less. I didn’t think about using public outlets for charging or some of the other tips you listed here. I’ll definitely be sharing this with my guy and hopefully we can sail away on a trip somewhere soon.

  • drialeimaj@yahoo.com'
    Jamie Laird
    May 22, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Awesome article Brooke! This is the truth! To achieve you have to sacrifice, persevere, and believe! You are a power house woman! Keep on learning and inspiring people.

  • olganikolskaya@live.co.uk'
    Olga
    May 22, 2015 at 5:16 am

    great article, I suppose…. but giving up having a fun life with all your friends and loved ones at home just to go travelling on your own… I am not sure if it is worth it!

    and the reason why you pay 5 dollars for a coffee is to be in a certain coffee shop, enjoying the atmosphere and the skill of the barristers and not simply for a caffeine fix!!! strongly disagree with that one.

  • janina_365@hotmail.com'
    Janina
    May 22, 2015 at 5:03 am

    This was super helpful! Its crazy to realize how much money is easily spent on buying food everyday so once I realized that I try my best to stop buying food so often and just eat from home. It makes a big difference!!
    XO Janina

  • thelittledaydreamer@hotmail.com'
    Kate
    May 22, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Thank you for your tips! They help me a lot 🙂

    x Kate

  • aldridge.nicole@gmail.com'
    Nicole
    May 22, 2015 at 4:39 am

    All of this and then some. I have learned how important (and simple) it is to save money WHILE traveling too – we invested in a credit card that gets us access to club rooms around the world, and use that for food/drinks instead of buying expensive stuff in airports, we use credit card points for hotel stays or stay in super cheap hostels, and try to book redeye flights to skip a hotel night altogether.

  • susannamolson@att.net'
    Susanna
    May 22, 2015 at 4:36 am

    You are amazing and inspiring. I must admit, one of my pet peeves about traveling is that every time I go somewhere I have friends at home whining and saying “oh you are SO LUCKY!” or “Man, I wish I could do that. I wish I was you.” On the one hand I do feel extraordinarily lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to travel. On the other hand, my plane tickets didn’t just drop out of the sky. I saved ALL my allowance for years, bought clothes only when I needed them (at thrift stores), went out to eat less than once a month, and put off college to work a job instead. Most Americans have the opportunity and the ability to save for traveling if they are dedicated, ready to work, and willing to make some sacrifices ( maybe even HORRORS consider skipping starbucks). You don’t have to be rich or have a fairy godmother to travel. It is all about priorities.

  • clgoyette1211@aol.com'
    Christie
    May 22, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Awesome post! I used to spend a lot of money on clothes and going out to eat, etc. But I want to save more money for travel so I’m starting to follow these tips more! I still spend money on some things like going to Broadway shows or taking a day trip with friends because those are experiences I’ll remember, but I have been really good about only buying things I need! My family is also planning to move in a few months and instead of moving all my old clothes to the new house, I’m planning to sell a lot of it to put the money toward more experiences and travel. I always love hearing your tips 🙂

  • clgoyette1211@aol.com'
    Christie
    May 22, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Awesome post! I used to spend a lot of money on clothes and going out to eat, etc. But I want to save more money for travel so I’m starting to follow these tips more! I still spend money on some things like going to Broadway shows or taking a day trip with friends because those are experiences I’ll remember, but I have been really good about only buying things I need! My family is also planning to move in a few months and instead of moving all my old clothes to the new house, I’m planning to sell a lot of it to put the money toward more experiences and travel. I always love hearing your tips 🙂

  • rae700@hotmail.com'
    Rachel @ Vagabondbaker
    May 22, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Amazing! I think you’ve nailed it, this is an awesome post!
    I thought I was pretty good at saving until I actually went travelling and learnt that I could live with very little on very little. It’s such a great feeling to shed all that stuff and not waste money on pointless things!

  • saakshi.kmr15@gmail.com'
    Saakshi Kumar
    May 22, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Wow. I loved reading this post of yours. Believe me, I had thoughts running in my head about how I’m going to right away start saving up, while scrolling through this post.
    Thankyou 🙂

  • apollo.ra@hotmail.com'
    Celestial Traveller
    May 22, 2015 at 3:01 am

    Very nice post!! Glad to see you’re an avid saver when it comes to travelling. But I have a question: I read somewhere on your blog that you left home for travelling once you finished studies. Now I read here that you were working (charge devices at work). Was it a part time job during your studies or full time? (sorry if i missed something, I’ve just recently started following you) Keep the magic coming 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      May 22, 2015 at 3:32 am

      Hello! Yes, I was working a part time job (up to 60 hours a week) alongside my University degree – which I completed via distance education so I could work so much + travel in uni breaks!

      Hope this helps 🙂 – Brooke

  • sempervigilo33@gmail.com'
    Aiman
    May 22, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing. ☺

  • elizabeth.dawe@gmail.com'
    Elizabeth
    May 22, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Very inspirational! The style/format of the blog post is great and it just goes to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

    • Brooke Saward
      May 22, 2015 at 2:08 am

      Totally agree Elizabeth! anything the mind can conceive, it can achieve!

  • carladg@gmail.com'
    Carla Genovesio
    May 22, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Love all these!!

  • shernaekerber@gmail.com'
    Shernae
    May 22, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I reckon this is the best post you’ve written on this topic yet. It just goes to show what you can achieve by being a determined badass such as yourself Brooke! xx

    • Brooke Saward
      May 22, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Hahahah best comment 🙂 Thanks S! xx

  • aljovinbacalso@gmail.com'
    Al Jovin Bacalso
    May 22, 2015 at 12:47 am

    maybe if you can visit Mindanao island of Philippines i can take you to various places.. 😀

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