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Budget travel: How to save enough for your wanderlust wish list

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Though travel has become a lot more accessible and cheaper to do than in the past, it can still put a heft dent in your finances. If you’d like travel and need to keep the spending within the boundaries of a budget, see our tips below on how to take on the world, without becoming broke in the process. 

Add savings to your budget

The most obvious on the list, but arguably the most important as it will be your largest contributor. It’s always advisable to have some savings aside if you are able to afford it – add it to your budget. Find ways to make extra cash by getting a part time job or selling some of your goods online. It also helps to collect coins, and to have a certain amount debited to a saving account each month – no matter how small that amount is.

Put your money away so that you don’t spend it and lay low before your trip. When its down to the wire and you’re broke in the moment, have an inspiration board or even a wallpaper saved of your upcoming travel destination as motivation to keep saving. In order to reap the rewards to come, one needs to remain resilient.

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Cut costs 

Look at your month-to-month budget and see where you can save on costs, no matter how small. This may mean staying away from luxury groceries, or ordering in less for a couple of months. 

When it comes to your trip, be aware of specials on accommodation and travel – making bookings on apps other than websites will normally be on special, or by joining a site for the first time.

Certain days of the week may cost more – research, be flexible and prioritize. Unexpected costs will arise (the fees of exchanging currencies, buying the wrong train ticket, needing to eat something extra…), so having some money aside for these! Finally, don’t forget your student card if you have one.

Work abroad

If you’re able to, consider the option of working abroad. There are many opportunities to work in exchange for accommodation, part time jobs, freelancing or volunteering. It can be a rewarding way to remain in a country for longer and to immerse yourself in a foreign country. It will allow you to be there and save up, which will then garner a budget of its own to either bring back home or to extend your travels.

A lucrative market for South Africans at the moment is teaching English. This entails a few hours of daily work in exchange for accommodation, food and a salary in some cases. Lookout for agencies as they can guide you through the process of applying for the correct visas and assisting you to get sorted once you arrive in the country of your choice. 

It’s (still) about who you know 

Any links to people in a foreign country are helpful. This could be in the form of accommodation, general assistance or prepaid transport. Reach out to friends and network for this one, as any curbed costs on your travel budget will be helpful. Even if you don’t know anyone for this trip, make friends while you’re there for future. 

Beg and borrow for the budget

It really isn’t necessary to buy things before you leave. If you are able to, borrow from your friends and family. This could be a clothing, a luggage bag or a camera. Trust me, you’ll want to save everything you can for the trip itself. If begging is necessary, then so be it.

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By sticking to these tips on how to save and cut down on costs, you’re likely to reach your budgeted goal in no time. Remember, there is no one easy way to budget – one needs to consider all of the above in a holistic sense. Once you arrive in your destination of choice, there are other budgeting tips you’ll want to consider to keep your trip cost savvy. 

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