It can seem nigh on impossible to save enough cash to jet you away to soft sand beaches and tropical jungles, but it can be done if you observe some important rules. Dreaming of far reaches where glassy oceans caress idyllic beaches is all well and good but if you don’t formalise a saving plan you will find the dream never becomes a reality. Here are our top tips on saving up for your gap year.
Set a goal
Ask yourself: where do I want to go? What do I want to do? Make this a tangible goal by setting up a travelling fund, which you only put money into. Set a date for when you want to leave on your travels but don’t be too unrealistic. For inspiration and reminders that will keep you going on tough days, put pictures up of your desired destinations and stick pins on a map of where you want to go.
Create a budget
You need to answer two questions: how much money do I need to save? And how many days do I have to save it? You can then work out your outgoings and how much you can store away each month. As you get nearer your D-day ramp up the pace and cut your spending severely, so no nights out, new clothes or expensive food. You can also save more with buying budget travel insurance, food and almost anything now a days. This will give you an extra boost just before you leave and you will have the reward of a holiday so the pain will be durable.
Beware of temptation
Heading to the pub for an after work drink can quickly turn into a drunken evening of splashing cash and forgetting your saving rules. Partying is one of the main reasons that stop people being able to save for trips. If you do venture out, don’t take your bankcard!
Clothes shops are just as lethal, it is very easy to wander into Top Shop and become intoxicated by material desire buying everything in your sight. So try and avoid the high street at all times.
Quit smoking and save money and your health, a two in one bonus.
Cut public transport
Run, walk or cycle to work, if you can. Trains, buses and tubes are mighty expensive and that £3 a day can add up to a hefty saving at the end of a month.
Bring in pack lunches to work, buy your groceries in bulk and take a coffee thermos around with you. If you cut out every day expenses you will see the money amounting in your bank and it may well be more than you think.
Take this mentality for the organisation of the trip as well, book the cheapest travel insurance, flights and hostels.
Take short showers, don’t run bathtubs of water and turn your heating on for less time during the day and use a hot water bottle to fight off cold spells. You will be helping the environment and your pocket simultaneously.
Don’t give up!
Saving, spending less and working harder can feel draining and you will have blue days but keep in mind the rewards of what your saving for and do not give up.