Travel Saving Tips and Ideas.
Take your own meals for lunch during the work week.
Okay, it sounds easier than it actually is! We are all busy in today’s hustle and bustle world but you want to travel right? Then grab that Tupperware container and fill it full of your favourite foods. With the weather being glorious in the UK at the moment it’s easy and healthy to make a salad for lunch. You can also prepare lunches which you re-heat in the office microwave. Anything is better than spending your travel money in a cafe or pub, you’re only financing someone else’s travel plans. Even 1 coffee a day from Costa Coffee can add up to £750 in a year!
Take surveys online in exchange for points/cash or even airline miles.
At first, I didn’t quite grasp this one but I’ve discovered that there are lots of survey apps which reward you in gift vouchers. You then use the gift vouchers for your day to day spending while saving your hard earned cash. The app I’m currently using is called quick survey and I’ve discovered that there’s no harm in telling the odd white lie, after all, they can’t check the information as I’m the one inputting it!
Open a Separate Travel Savings Account.
At the very least keep it separate from your daily cash, better still get your hands on a cash back credit card. Use the card for all your day to day spending and be sure to pay it off every month. That way you’ll not only be saving for travel you’ll be making a little extra too. Ideally, open a savings account that offers some interest and funnel as much as possible each payday into your new travel savings account.
Switch to Better Deals.
There are better deals out there for everything mobile plan, home insurance, utilities, banking the list is long. Done correctly this can not only save you money but it can earn you some extra too. At the time of writing, First Direct will give you £150 for switching your bank account. Gone are the days of loyalty as companies don’t always provide the best price and the best service, so switch and save.
Record Everything You Spend.
Apps like Trabee are amazing and once you start seeing how much you spend and on what you’ll soon cut back on those none essentials. The app Trabee allows you to set up categories like Groceries, Transport, Clothes, Entertainment etc. You then enter everything you spend into the app on a daily basis. Getting into the habit of recording your spending daily focuses you on the task at hand which is to pay for your travel. Trabee can then display a breakdown of your spending habits by category. Once I started using Trabee I soon cut out buying takeaway coffee and started to use my bicycle more to get to work.
Be A Womble & Check Your Receipts.
Did you know that more and more businesses are offering discounts on their till receipts? You don’t have to even buy anything as so many people are litterbugs these days you’ll find plenty of receipts outside shops. Companies like M&S, McDonald’s, Morrisons and bus tickets all have discounts or surveys you can complete. Completing a survey can get you a discount code or entry into a cash prize draw. An hour a week completing these can become very lucrative and the savings soon add up.
Just Ask For Some Discount.
Business is tough at the moment and companies will do almost anything to get your cash. So on any non-FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) purchase just ask for a better price, after all, you have nothing to lose. Also, thousands of businesses give a discount to anyone in the forces, NHS, Police etc. It’s known internally as blue light discount and all you need to do is ask. *FMCG’s are items like food but there’s a tip about food soon!
Buy Discount Food.
A lot of food has a sell by date or a use by date, so shopping just before closing time can get you some real bargains. I would aim to go about 1 hour before the store closes and ask where the discount aisle is. Companies like M&S, Sainsbury’s, Asda etc all do this and you can get some amazing food at next to nothing. ALDI & LIDL don’t do this as it’s not part of their business model, most of their waste food goes to charity. A great way of saving on the weekly shop is to go one brand lower than you normally do. So next time instead of buying Heinz Beans try the stores own brand. If you don’t like the taste you can revert back but most own brands aren’t made by the store it’s made by the big brands and just put in a different package.
Sell your unused clothes and stuff.
If you haven’t worn or used anything for 6 months then sell it, you’re unlikely to use it at all in the future. Websites like Gumtree, Preloved and even eBay can be great places to sell unwanted items. You’ll also be surprised at what you can sell from clothes and shoes to empty jam jars and loo roll inserts. Yep, I’m not kidding just google them and you’ll see people selling all sorts. I recently met one lady who buys clothes from charity shops and resells them on Gumtree for a profit. She told me it pays for her holiday every year.
Nights in are the new nights out and there’s lots of fun and savings to be had. Invite friends over instead of going out to save on your entertainment budget. Arranging a night in with friends and family will save a lot and is far more fun than you could imagine. Whether it’s for a game of cards, a movie or a weird game of twister, it all saves that holiday cash.
Don’t Eat Out & Avoid Takeaways.
We are all busy these days and not all of us have time to cook but with a little forethought and planning, you can save hundreds of pounds by avoiding expensive takeaways and eating at restaurants. Plan a menu for the week ahead and prepare meals in advance, alternatively get up 1 hour earlier every day and prepare meals for when you return home after work. The cost savings are huge and you’ll soon be jetting off and tucking into that all-inclusive buffet.
Quit Buying Alcohol & Pop.
Fizzy drinks and alcohol are extremely expensive and bad for you and cutting these out of your diet are not only good for your finances it’s good for your health. Start drinking more water you pocket and waist will thank you.
Use a Set Amount of Cash for Spending.
Unless you have a cash back credit card or are very good at budgeting use cash. Only withdraw a fixed amount out every week and do not spend any more. This method works because you can see what money you have for the week and take a more sensible approach to spending it as you see it going down.
Be Direct and Pay Bills on Time.
Set Up direct debits to pay all your bills and credit card, this ensures you don’t get charged late fees or pay unnecessary interest. You can also set up a direct debit from your bank account to your travel savings account. Saving £20 per week will give you £1000 at the end of a year to travel with.
Plan one day a week as a “No Spend Day”. Getting into the habit of avoiding spending will give your savings a nice boost as well as get you thinking of more ways to save. Plan ahead and prepare meals in advance and perhaps have this as your cycle or walk to work day too!
Did you know people give stuff away for free, just google free stuff near me and you’ll be amazed at what’s on offer? Now here’s the trick, search for televisions and find a working TV. Arrange to collect it and then either re-advertise it on Gumtree or pop to your local cash convertors and get some cash for it. I had no idea how good this was I got a free flat screen TV and cash convertors gave me £60 for it. All I had to do was transport it from A to B.
Save Tips, Bonuses and Extra Cash.
Sometimes we are given a tip or earn a little extra cash, maybe you help someone build a shed and they give you some money as a thank you. Avoid spending this money by placing it in your travel savings account straight away. After all, it is extra cash you weren’t counting on so it’s a great opportunity to save even more.
Restrict All Non-Essential Purchase.
Think about non-essential items for at least 24 hours before purchasing them better still think of ways you can avoid buying these items. Ask yourself “Do I really Need This” or “How Can I Do Without It”. Delaying a purchase can have a huge impact on your savings especially if you can avoid the purchase altogether. I put off buying non-essentials for 3 days now and 9 times out of 10 don’t end up buying the item.
Cancel Memberships & Subscriptions.
How many times have you signed up for a service, magazine or gym membership and stopped using it after a few weeks or months? Go through all your subscriptions and memberships and cancel any you no longer use. I discovered I had nearly £100 in annual subscriptions I rarely used, yes including Netflix.
Cancel Marketing Emails from Stores.
Lots of companies collect your email address to send you tempting offers on goods you don’t need. So hit your email app and start unsubscribing from them fast. This will take the temptation of spending your travel money and help you save. It also has a remarkable effect on tidying up your inbox too!
Plan to visit countries during off-peak seasons.
You’ll be surprised at how much better, quieter and cheaper it is to visit any destination out of peak season. Different destinations have different seasons so check before you go but places like Lake Garda or Lake Como in Italy are packed with people in the peak season but on the shoulder it’s paradise. A book worth reading is Rick Steves Europe Through The Back Door. Rick explains in great detail some useful tricks and tips to enjoy a European holiday without blowing the budget.
Always look for travel deals before purchasing a flight.
There are hundreds of comparison websites out there to find cheap flights and it doesn’t take long to find a bargain. Why not consider flying to a lesser known airport and discover a place you hadn’t even thought of. Skyscanner offers a choice to fly Anywhere in their search, so why not travel to the cheapest destination and check it out. I managed to fly from Manchester to Torp in Norway for only £13. Sandefjord is only a €3 on a train from there and is absolutely amazing.
Save on Airport Parking.
I’m sure you’ve read in the news that not all airport car park staff treat your car with the loving care it deserves. So why not avoid airport parking altogether by booking an airport hotel which gives you free parking and transport to the airport. Also, a taxi from home can be cheaper and safer than parking the car at an airport for a week. Alternatively, use public transport to get to and from your departure point of choice.