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Saving for long term travel | Don't Ever Look Back

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Saving for long term travel

Saving for long term travel

255 days until 30 June 2011, our estimated departure date for this trip of a lifetime.

That leaves us 8 months to research destinations, organize our itinerary and book the necessary tickets/accommodation. But more importantly, that’s 8 months to save up as much money as we can to fund our travels.

We’re about 25% of the way to our savings goal but to ensure we reach our target, we need to push that extra mile and make a few more sacrifices. We’ve thought long and hard about it and have come up with three ways to slash our expenses and make extra money over the next 8 months.

Moving Back Home

Thanks to the generosity of Amy’s parents, we’re moving back there in December until we depart on our adventure. While this might not be possible for everybody, this 6 months without having to pay an expensive rent and the associated costs of living will allow us to really accelerate our savings. Instead of paying monthly living expenses of approximately $1600, we’ll soon be paying minimal board and this extra money will go straight to our travel savings.

Selling Belongings on eBay

With 2 months before we move to Amy’s parents, we have to find a way to fit a 2 bedroom apartment into a small bedroom. In order to do this, we need to declutter our lives and get rid of the junk. But as the saying goes, one’s trash is another’s treasure and hopefully plenty of those treasure hunters will be scouring eBay over the next few weeks.

Taking Lunch to Work

Until you start tracking your expenses, you don’t realise how much buying lunch each day at work really costs. During a typical month, I spend $100-$150 on buying lunches and Amy would spend a similar amount. Buying and preparing food the night before will slash this expense and should free up an extra $200 per month between us to put towards our travels.

These three steps will save approximately $10,000 more for our trip. On a travel budget of $100 a day, this means an extra 3 months abroad. Well worth it if you ask us!

If you have any other tips that can help us save a bit of extra money, please share them in the comments.

Flickr Photos: Alan Cleaver, The Shopping Sherpa


  1. Posted October 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    those are 3 great ways to save money for a trip like what you have planned – taking lunch to work and not eating out as much really does save so much money.

    Also be aware of beer consumption – most travelers don’t wanna talk about that, cos it seems to be a big part of traveling, but we save so much by not drinking every night or every weekend – on our first rtw trip we traveled around the world for 8 months with only 6.000US each and cutting out those extra things which you don’t ‘really’ need – REALLY HELP and let you travel for a longer period. 🙂

    / Sofia xox.
    Sofia recently posted..4 Of The Most Dangerous &amp Crazy Roads Around The World

    • Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Breaking old habits can be very hard though. Posted this entry on here and the same night we go and get takeaway… lucky we’ve got 8 months to make up for it! In a way we’re pretty lucky that we could limit this list to 3 things – we’re not big drinkers, we aren’t excessive shoppers and we don’t have expensive hobbies like books/cd’s/dvd’s.

      That’s amazing that you guys traveled for so long with so little money – definitely gives us a lot of hope! I think sacrificing the little things on the road might be difficult at first (particularly as we’ll probably start in the USA or Canada), but I’m sure we’ll learn a lot of things as we travel and be experts at budgeting after a couple of months on the road! 🙂

  2. Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Some great saving tips guys. Definitely cut back on the bought lunches- that can be a killer. We are currently living with Craig’s parents so we know how challenging it can be 🙂 However, we have smashed down two credit cards in 2 months- that is so liberating. We can’t wait until we are debt free so we can then put the excess cash into travel. Make sure any extra money that comes you way you put it straight into your savings account- tax returns a great boosters for this.
    We lived in the US for four years and road tripped across country. Let us know any questions you have as we can help cut your budget down. Hopefully the dollar will keep rising for when you go.
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..5 Can’t Miss Places to Visit in Bolivia

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Thanks Caz, every dollar certainly adds up! We’re looking forward to the challenge to see how much we can save and have leftovers for lunch organised for the rest of the week. 🙂

      We became debt-free earlier in the year and it really is a fantastic feeling! Couldn’t imagine tying ourselves down with a 30 year mortgage at the moment… ugh! We’re definitely on track with our financial goals for our travels, but I think even if we had $100k it still wouldn’t feel like enough!

      We’ll definitely be picking your brain about road tripping across the US – thanks again for stopping by!

  3. Posted October 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Thats a lot of savings in three small steps. You are proving to everyone that round the world travel can be done with a few sacrifices. Good luck with meeting your goal. We were talking with Globetrooper, Todd and Lauren and they said that they did very well by selling their belongings on ebay. We have had our things in storage for awhile and are thinking about selling the lot when we come back home again. It’s a great way to generate some extra cash.

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Thanks guys – we’re torn at the moment over what to keep and what to sell which we’ll be discussing in a future post.

      But considering the cost of paying for storage for 18+ months nearly exceeds the value of our possessions, it’s hardly worthwhile for us!

  4. Posted October 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant tips, i moved in with the parents and took lunch to uni to save the money too! Cutting back on spending made me want to buy los of clothes or stuff for travelling… A bit of my own will power and Poi telling me, we probably don’t need this – why are you wanting to buy that?
    But when your on the road it makes all the saving worth it! plus it makes you think buying something for over a tenner is an extravagance – thereby saving you more on your travels!

  5. Posted November 1, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Bringing your lunch to work is an easy, money-saving tip. A few other tricks I use are…

    1. Create a Travel, Savings Account. – I have work direct deposit money every week. If I don’t see it, I can’t spend it.

    2. Budget your life – It’s tough to save if you don’t know where your money goes. I’ve figured out (after putting money away into my savings accounts and paying bills), I can spend $30/week. This prevents overspending on frivolity. How much can you afford to spend each week?

    3. I wear clothes till they die. I’ll never be accused of being in fashion. Limiting my purchasing of new styles each season pays off.

    4. Never buy on credit – If I don’t have the cash, it’s not bought

    The secret to saving is simple, put more money away than you spend. But the execution takes discipline.

    Good luck!

  6. Posted December 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Great tips guys, and I have to agree with Sofia above. Cutting back on drinking will not only save you money now, but will also save you money ON the road. Like yourselves, Liz and I saved endless amounts of money our latest trip by not drinking. It’s amazing how much cheap beer, and cheap buckets of mixed alcohol add up. Not that I personally know, but I’ve heard plenty of stories of people blowing a ton of money on booze during their travels.

    If interested, I have a big list of ways to save money for your trip (still my most popular post to date), check it out when you get the chance. [http://su.pr/2x9PxA]

    • Posted December 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment Ryan. Fortunately for us we’re not big drinkers anyway so it’s unlikely we’ll go overboard but I could see how easy it is to blow the budget on booze!

      Cheers for the link, looks like I already had it saved to StumbleUpon! So much awesome advice in that post. 🙂

  7. Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Just stumbled upon you blog and glad I did!
    This being the first post I read here, I’m curious about your upcoming trip.

    I’ve met some people from Melbourne during my trip to LA and it’s definitely on my ‘to visit’ list:)
    Sofie recently posted..A travel ‘gift’ from the bank

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Glad you found us Sofie! Our trip happened last year but it was amazing… 🙂

      Hope you get to Melbourne soon and be sure to give us a shout if you do!

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