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Travel Planning: How To Save Shit Loads Of Money Before Embarking On A Trip Of A Lifetime

[toc] To go out and travel you always need a good amount of cash laying on your bank account in order to finance your trip of a lifetime. I remember the time when I was in college and how much money I put on the side and worked my ass off to finance my travels. Nowadays, luckily, this travel blog and my other online businesses finance me well enough to work and travel around the world. However, it wasn’t like this for a long time and today I want to show you how you can save a lot of money by cutting down your daily expenses. You won’t notice much difference on a day to day basis but you’ll see a nice balance on your bank account before leaving home and saying hello to the world.

Create A Plan How You Will Save Your Money During The Next Weeks And Months:


Be realistic and estimate if your planned trip is feasible and holds up to your financial situation. Will you be able to save enough money or would it be better to cut down your plan to make it more realistic? The more realistic it is, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

Short and Long-term goals:

Your savings plan should definitely have short-term and long-term goals. Create milestones along the way of how much you want to have in the bank by each month and what you would like to finance. Maybe you want to be able to pay for the flight in month three already?


With the information in this post, write down a list of how you want to cut down your expenses by removing unnecessary things.


Once you see that there is more money flowing in than flowing out, check what you have done, if you could do it better and what else you could improve in order to save even more money!

Create a new travel account

The best way to motivate yourself is if you can see how the numbers are rising. Start a new account with your bank and start transferring money. Once you know how much money you can save each month divide it into small portions. Create automatic transfers with small amounts for every 2-3 days, a bigger amount for once a week and a big amount once a month.

Let’s say you can actually save up to 500 Euros per month
Transfer 5 Euros every two days = 75 Euros per month
Transfer 50 Euros every week = 200 Euros per month
Transfer 225 Euros once a month = 225 Euros per month
= Total of 500 Euros that you will put on the side each month to fund your travel dream

You think this isn’t possible? If you have a regular income, I’m sure it is, if it isn’t that’s ok, just scale it down and see how much you can save with your income!

I recommend the DKB Cash Account by the Deutsche Kredit Bank. I’m using it myself and is in my eyes the best bank for travelers in Europe. I will tell you more about it later in the post!

Here Is How To Save A Shit Load Of Money Before Embarking On A Trip Of A Lifetime

1. Get rid of your car

I know, you can’t. You need your car to drive to work, school or wherever but there is an alternative called public transportation that is pretty reliable. You might want to give it a try. A few years ago, I leased the latest Mini Cooper for almost 400 Euros a month for four years. Shit, that was so expensive. I told myself that I absolutely needed this car. On top of the 400 Euros, insurance had to be paid, gas to get from A to B… overall a car is a luxury object that you don’t really need. I could have gotten around with public transportation for at at least one fourth of the price if not less but I decided to opt for the comfy solution and its always more expensive.

Today I live in Berlin, if I feel the need of the comfy solution, I use one of the car sharing options and end up paying 30 cent per minute driving. On average I pay around 90-100 € for transportation per month and this includes about 5-10 car sharing rides and a monthly card for all public transportation in Berlin.

A year without a car and I can go traveling for a long time!

Alternatives to driving around with your own car:

  • Bike
  • Bus
  • Walk
  • Car Sharing

Savings= 300 Euro per month!

2. Change from a phone plan to prepaid 

Do you really need this phone plan where you can call  all networks for free, have 2 GB of data included and unlimited text messages? How many people do you really call each month? How many text messages do you send? Seriously, how many TEXT messages? Are you sure that you send out that many? Or do you use iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to send messages? See! You are probably fine with a prepaid internet plan and some extra Euros to make a few calls. 

I’ve had phone plan for years. In Germany you can only close deals of at least 2 years and I’ve had a plan for ages, the super duper plan with everything included calls in Germany and Abroad etc… cost? 90 € per month. My most expensive bill in the last 6 years was around 250 € for just one month!

I have now changed to a prepaid version and only pay 30 € per month and have 2 GB of data and enough to make the few national and international calls that I do from the road. Otherwise, I simply use Skype!

Savings= 60 Euro per month! 

3. Eating out

I go out for lunch almost every day. Every day I spend between 5 and 15 Euros on lunch. That’s a lot of money every month that I spend for only ONE meal of the day. How about brown bagging your lunch? You can save shit loads of money on that.

My cost for lunch per month is between 250-300 Euros. Brown bagging my lunch would help me to save a lot of money.

I’m working on a new food blog where I want to show how easy it is to cook a delicious meal at home. You could easily take the left overs from dinner the night before with you or create a delicious and quickly made sandwiches.

You can save between 5 to 10 Euros per meal, per day. That’s 225 Euros if you take the average of 7,5 Euros!

Savings= 225 Euros per month!  

4. Get rid of your Kindle

I can’t believe that I’m saying this but you know what the problem with the Kindle is? While it saves a lot of space in your backpack and you can carry around many books in this little device you will automatically read more and the logical consequence is that you will buy more books. This is good, the only problem is that you can’t buy second hand books for your Kindle. Now, there are two options. Option one, you subscribe for AmazonPrime and you have the chance to rent many books out of their selection. Chances are, that only a few are appealing to you. Option two, you go back to hardcover books and rent them at your local library, if this is no option for you, you can buy and sale used books on Amazon or Ebay. If you are lucky, you even make a profit from this!

I for instance  read about 2-4 books a month on my Kindle. On average each ebook on Amazon costs 12.50 Euro the used paperback version is usually 3-4 Euros cheaper!

Savings= 14 to 32 Euros per month! (14 Euros if I would buy used paperbacks, 32 Euros if I would rent them from the local library)

5. Rent out a room

If you have too much space and pay too much rent how about renting out your apartment on peer to peer networks like AirBnB? To finance some of my travels I often rent out my apartment when I’m gone to make some extra cash and finance my rent.

I pay 750 Euros rent a month and on good months make about 500 to 600 Euros with AirBnB wich leaves me with a rent of only 150 € on good months! You could also just rent out your apartment on weekends while you are visiting your parents or staying with friends.

Savings= 500 Euros per month! 

Tip: Register your apartment on AirBnB today and see what it is worth!

6. Get rid of cable TV

When I was living at home with my parents I though TV is for free. During the years living on my own, I learned how many things we take as granted even though we don’t really need them. Cable TV costs around 20 Euros per month. On top of that services like Netflix or Sky cost another 10 to 20 Euros per month. I invested 50 Euros into a DVBT receiver and still enjoy TV but save myself a lot of money every month.

Savings= 20 to 40 Euros per month!

7. Cut down your credit card expenses and stop paying for your bank account

If you have debt your interest rate might be one of the reasons why you are paying much more than you should. Try to remove your debt and change to a credit card and bank account that doesn’t charge you anything. A good alternative in Europe is the DKB Cash where you pay no withdrawal fees and no account fees.

I used to pay 10 € withdrawal fees when getting money at other banks and abroad. One particular month I paid over 100 € in withdrawal and banking fees. With the new DKB Cash I cut this down to zero!

Savings= 100 Euros per month!

Tip: Open your FREE Bank Account with DKB today and start saving a lot of money!

8. Sell your stuff

Look around your home. How much is there that you haven’t used in months? I’m about to do an electro detox and getting rid of all the stuff that is just collecting dust. I love gadgets and have accumulated a lot over the years!

In my case I’m sure I can still get around 2.500 to 4.000 Euros for the things laying around here that I don’t use!

Savings= 2.500 Euros once

9. Stay in with friends

When you meet with your friends, what do you usually do? Go to a restaurant and have dinner followed by drinks at a bar? How much do you spend on such a night out? 50 Euros? Maybe more?

Invite your friends to your place, every body throws in a few Euros for a nice dinner that you will cook and bring a nice bottle of wine and just sit around the table chat or do it the old fashion way and play a board game. I know, it’s weird but it’s a lot of fun. We should do this more often! Alternatively, you could also rent a nice move on Amazon or iTunes and make a movie screening at home. Do it once or twice a month, you’ll save a lot of money!

Savings= 50 to 100 Euros a month!

10. Cancel your Gym Membership

How many times have you been to the gym after setting your new years resolution? If you don’t go at least 3 times a week you should consider canceling your membership and find alternatives. You could go running outside or you could just show up for yoga classes and pay a little bit more per class but end up saving money per month!

There are many alternatives how to stay fit. Check your smartphone, there are many apps to do sport at home and still be connected with your friends and see their results. I’m doing a push up challenge with friends and can exactly see how many push ups they’ve done, this motivates me much more and it’s only 1,99 € once!

Savings= 30 to 80 Euros per month!

11. Reduce your coffee consumption

How many coffee do you buy every day? At least one right? Maybe two? And how much is each coffee? 2 Euros? Maybe 3 Euros? I know it’s not that much, but sum it up. 5 coffee a week (Monday to Friday) are 20 coffee per month. That’s 240 coffee per year. If you would only get one coffee per day you can save a lot of money. Think about it!

Savings= 40 to 80 Euros per month! 

12. Stop Smoking

If you don’t smoke, good for you. If you do, consider stopping or at least start to roll your own cigarettes. I used to smoke. A LOT! Between one to two packs a day. In Germany a pack of cigarettes is about 5 €. 1,5 of those packs are 7,50 Euros per day for cigarettes. I spent 225 Euros per month just on nicotine. I quit about 9 months ago and already saved over 2.000 Euros.

Savings= 75 € month ( if you smoke a pack every two days)

This Doesn’t Apply To Everybody And All Lifestyles

The 12 points I just mentioned are to give you an idea of how much and where you can save your money. If you, for instance, decide to reduce your coffee consumption, cancel your gym membership, stay in with friends more often, get rid of cable, and change your phone plan. You could easily save up to 280 Euros a month!

Don’t believe is doable, check out this post of my friend and fellow travel blogger Kate and how she saved over 13.000 USD in just seven months!

How Much Money Do You Want To Save?

Let’s say that in 18 months (1,5 years) you want to embark on a trip. If you decide that you need 10.000 Euros for your trip of a lifetime you will have to save 555,55 Euros per month to have the desired amount on your account in 18 months.

On top of reducing your coffee consumption (50 €/m), cancel your gym membership (40 €/m) , stay in with friends more often (100 €/m), get rid of cable (30€/m), brown bagging your lunch (150 €/month) and change your phone plan (60 €/m) you could start to get a second job and freelance on platforms like eLance and Odesk which will help to get the extra 125,55 € you need and start working on your new blog, which you will run professionally and will help you finance your travels in 1.5 years! 


The excuse, I don’t have money just depends on the sacrifices you are willing you make to fulfill your travel dream. If you really want it, you will find a way how to finance your travels. There are many ways on how to save money for your trip of a lifetime. It just depends on how committed you are and the sacrifices you are willing to make.

Sebastian Canaves
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