Smart Planning For Long Term Travelling: Saving Money

So on the first instalment of Smart Planning for Long Term Travelling, I gave you an overview on the financial aspect of my travel plan specifically on choosing the cards that I’ll be taking when I leave. This time around I’ll be helping you generate ideas on how to save and earn money for your upcoming trip.

Since I have decided to travel on March 25 onwards, I technically have 68 days to generate additional funds. And the best way to generate your travel fund is to cut spending.

Smart Planning For Long Term Travelling: Saving Money

Set a Budget and Stick With It

There’s no sense in setting a budget if you’re not gonna stick with it. It’s like writing a plan and throwing it to the trash bin afterwards. I started with listing the things that I need and trimmed it down to the basics.

a. Rent: I’m sharing my flat with a friend so I wouldn’t have to pay for the whole rent. If you’re renting a flat by yourself, I suggest you move to a cheaper one or share your flat with another person. This is the best way in immediately cutting the cost by half.

b. Bills: I cut my phone line last year so that’s already a big savings. I’m minimizing my prepaid consumption nowadays to make sure that I stick with P300 ($6)/month. If there’s a need to send a message, I simply send an FB message instead or use Chikka (free text messaging services online)

c. Food: I have started to plan my meals ahead so I can just buy everything in the grocery and cook it myself. I also stopped eating outside and it gave me a huge savings. A meal in a nice restaurant would easily cost you P500-1K ($12-$20). I cut my consumption on yoghurt, cream cheese, and meat. I switched to vegetables, milk, fish and tofu. Why? It’s cheaper and technically healthier. And the biggest savings of all, say goodbye to a $3 Starbucks Frappe.

Stop Buying Stuff

Stop buying stuff and other things that you don’t need. You wouldn’t be able to afford even the cheapest holiday abroad if you keep on spending your hard earned money on things that you know will just end up in the closet.

For me, since I know that I’ll be travelling for soon, I don’t spend a dime on anything anymore aside from my basic needs (and a pack of ciggies-which I know I should quit soon). I won’t even buy any travel gears like quick dry shirt, micro fiber towel or other stuff.

I’ll just utilize whatever I have. It wouldn’t make you less as a traveller if your shirt is not quick dry or if your bag is not Northface. I’d rather spend the money on accommodation and food once I’m on the road.

If you really think you need those items, find other ways to get them without spending a dime.

Stop Paying for Things that you Don’t Need/Use

I know this topic overlaps a bit with what I’ve mentioned above but I just want to elaborate more on this.

a. Unsubscribe: Do you have a magazine or newspaper subscription? Now is the time to unsubscribe, almost every information is now free online. If you really feel the need to buy them, buy back issues, it’s cheaper than the newly published editions. Or just borrow from a friend who’s also a subscriber.

b. Check your Phone Plan: If you’re just using call and text and paying for a data plan that you’re not using, switch or downgrade to just a call and text plan. Or better yet, switch to prepaid, you won’t be using it after a few weeks anyway.

c. Cut your Credit Cards: Do you have multiple credit cards? Choose the best cards to bring with you and terminate your other credit cards. You don’t want to pay the annual fee for something that you’re not using, do you?

Do you have any other ideas on how to save money for a long backpacking  trip?

Previously: Smart Planning for Long Term Travelling: Money Matters
Next: Smart Planning For Long Term Travelling: Earning Money for your Trip


  1. These are very useful tips and the hardest to keep for me would probably be sticking to the budget 🙂 We are also planning to backpack this year and part of our agreement is to refrain from eating out, watching movies, buying new gadgets and basically spending less and saving more.

  2. basic tips that are often over-looked. thanks flip!

  3. Hi, your post is an inspiration. It’s really nice to read too other people’s attempt to save just like myself.

    For me, I lay everything in an excel worksheet. I mean first I determine the basic income I have for the rest of the year, plot my basic expenses like food, rent, family support, card payments etc, after determining the excess, then I budget it for things like travel, personal purchases, and savings (if i have any. lol)

    Then I try to stick to the budget and adjust it to reflect the actual.

    On scrimping.
    1. No more Starbs (whenever I successfully fended off a temptations, I add 150php to my travel fund)
    2. No more posh restos that can easily cost 300-500 per meal,
    3. Since I have laid out my annual travel sked, all i have to do is wait for seat sale that can cost me around 300-1k per rountrip airfare.
    4. Also, whenever possible, I commute to and fro airport via the NAIA Loop shuttle (5am earliest depart from Taft Terminal- php25.00 only) – that can save me around 200php roundtrip.
    5. I eat before going to airport to save on airport food costs.
    6. I bring baon for breakfast or lunch for short trips. Usually bangus tocino para di madaling mapanis, then rice na lang bibilhin.
    7. Also I bring baon to work.

    Literally cutting the credit cards, best and easiest way to save. =)

  4. exactly, downgrade! It’s not how much you earn but how much you spend! 🙂
    will be in Coron around March with some PTB. hope to catch you there, kaso Coron pala kame, galeng ka na dun. hehe

  5. I’m amused with your first photo – did you take this one?
    Makes me think I should paste that in my wallet to remind me about saving money.

  6. Great advices. I actually think that even people that don’t plan to travel should cut on spendings, shopping etc to save the environment 🙂 We’ve become a little bit too much of a consumer society.

  7. awesome tips flip. i must say i am always guilty on overspending specially on food 🙂

    and if something with a “confessions of a reluctant sex goddess” comes along, i would likely to buy that too 😛

  8. Stop buying things you dont need, agreed! People accumulate so much junk… I only realized this when it was time for me to sell it all haha

    • same here and i ony realizes it after my first backpacking trip… we really dont need much material things to survive… thanks for dropping by 🙂

  9. Great tips. A few years ago I looked through my budget and made cuts to it. It’s amazing how much you can really save when you dig into things and get rid of anything you don’t need. Cutting out pricier food and coffee ended up saving me a lot of money. Plus, I moved in with my fiance which ended up saving me a lot too.

    One big thing that saved me a lot was cutting out TV. I just cancelled my subscription and let the tv sit unused in my house. I saved so much money doing that. Whenever I wanted to watch something I just looked something up on the internet or popped in a movie.

    • i agree, its been years since i kicked the tv out of my life and i cant believe that life is so much better without it… i used to be a tv junkie but not anymore…

  10. This is a great post with a lot of solid advice. I actually took all that advice a long time ago in preparations for my RTW trip & TRUST ME everything you wrote on here really does help & makes a HUGE difference.

  11. amen to all of these, man. Start saving, and invest your money wisely, for us it’s traveling!


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