10 tips on How to Save for that Trip of a Lifetime.
1. Want it with a passion.
2. Get a job - unless you are due a windfall or have generous parents in which case this entry wont interest you. If you have a job, try and get a better one. (I admit there isn't the best timing for work opportunities.) Next hunt down a weekend job. This stops you spending on that dangerous Friday and Saturday night extravaganza - and you come home quids in. Restaurant work always served me well and can be social and fun too. Go for one with good tips - and you get your dinner thrown in too. Then if you've got any free time left look for a filler job....dog walking is a good one or babysitting. And all the time keep a smile on your face as I promise you its all going to be worthwhile.
3. Save on rent. If you can bear to do it, temporarily move back to your parents. Or look for a live-in job. You could move to a cheap bedsit - and console yourself that you'll soon be roughing it on the road so you may as well get used to it now. And you'll be at work most of the time anyway. Is this sounding fun?
4. Be environmentally friendly. If you have a car - sell it. Get hold of a push bike and use that to get about. You'll be honing your body to a more perfect form ready for your first stint on that paradise beach. Think of that while you pull on your waterproofs.
5. Stop being a consumer. If you stop buying clothes, music, gadgets you can greatly improve your savings. Go to a prosperous town and rummage through the charity shops to freshen up your wardrobe, or wear what you've got in new combinations. Use Spotify to hear new music. As for the gadgets - just get over it. Things ultimately won't make you happy, but experiences definately do! And you'll be curing yourself of IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) at the same time.
6. Sell your gadgets, clothes, music, car.
7. Now cut out other things that you think are essential, but actually aren't. If you smoke, cigarettes should be the first to go - another addiction sorted! OK, it may not be that easy. But you could start buying tobacco and papers rather than tailormades. Take a packed lunch and drink to work and carry a book instead of buying expensive magazines. One thing I don't think you should drop is standing your round of drinks. If you scrimp on that you'll come home to no mates. It is important to maintain a bit of a social life or you'll be miserable and forget that the end result of all this is supposed to be Happiness!
Now you are ready to go, but there are still ways to elongate your trip.
8. If you have the ability to earn while travelling, that's fantastic. Travel writer, hairdressing, masseur...Working at a hostel or bar en route for peanuts may be worthwhile if its a fun place to be. I used to get free beer for carrying back all the empties which I admit is a bit desperate, but its always good to be resourceful and have your eyes open for opportunity. Drug trafficking is one I would avoid however. Bear in mind that a meagre earning/saving could create another day away.
9. Of course choosing low budget accommodation keeps you travelling for longer too. Dormitory rooms are a great way of meeting new friends and there are some incredible hostels around these days. See a great selection at QuirkyAccom.com here.
I have resorted to sleeping on beaches, in friend's cars, on hostel roofs and even the subway once - but the newer, more civilised approach to low cost travel is 'couchsurfing' - staying with welcoming strangers who can help you experience their local community.
10. If you can't save more than the airfare, look for openings for volunteer work and teaching english abroad. Actually you'll have to look carefully to find places that don't want to charge you for the priviledge.
When you next feel like saying 'I wish I could go travelling' - think again. With a bit of discipline and determination, you can. Don't just wish for it, make it happen. And every bit of what seems like a hardship will be repaid to you a hundred fold in worldly experience, life changing moments and memories that will stay with you forever.