Hello! Right now I am skint. I only just have £100 in my bank account but fortunately I have finally heard back from one of the jobs I ...

How I afford to travel


Right now I am skint. I only just have £100 in my bank account but fortunately I have finally heard back from one of the jobs I was offered and had my trial day yesterday! Everything seemed to go well and I start properly on Saturday. However, it's minimum wage and I haven't been given many hours. On the plus side, it's money and that's all I can think about right now! I don't actually get paid until a few days before I go away so any spending I do before then if going to be a loan from my parents. Monthly salaries aren't fun.

You may be thinking, how on Earth have I just been on holiday for two weeks and then heading to Tanzania in a matter of weeks for another two weeks?! How can I travel with only £100 to my name? Well, it's simple really: everything is paid for. Well, with Tanzania I still have expenses and my seven days of back packing to pay for but I'm working on that. And here's how:

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Before I book my trip, I do an awful lot of research. It seems like a lot of work and effort and stress, and I'm not denying that it is, but in some ways it's exciting. I check out all the things that are available to do in the area, what cities have the top attractions, and where boasts the most beautiful beaches. I don't always go for beaches but in the case of Tanzania, it's why I'm heading to Zanzibar for a few days! Once you've gathered enough information about where you might like to go, search the prices. I recently looked into doing a safari in Tanzania and I found it's cheaper to travel from Moshi to Arusha, stay over night in a hostel then do a one day safari and stay a second night in Arusha than doing a one day safari from Moshi or even a two day safari from Moshi. It may be a bit of messing around but you get it a cheaper price and you get to visit another town that you may not have thought about before! Research can take a lot of time, but use that time to see all the amazing things you can do and get yourself excited and motivated to go!

How much?
Once you've chosen somewhere you'd like to go and you've managed to work out how much it might cost, it's time to work out how to earn and save all that money. Before booking to go to the Dominican Republic I was constantly working out how much I would have to put away to be able to afford it by the time I had to pay it. For me that was simply putting £60 in to my savers account for 9 weeks straight. In the end this gave me more than enough to cover the holiday! Having two different accounts helps as you can transfer your savings in to one and not touch it!

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Saving the money:
It's all fine when you've got the money to save but what happens if you don't? How do you earn the money and keep hold of it? Well, I'm not going to be the one to tell you to get a job. I suppose it's common sense so I'll leave that one up to you. But if you're earning, how do you keep the money ready for when you're going to book? How do you stop it from slipping out of your contactless card every time you walk in a shop. Yes, we all go out with the intention of not buying anything but we all make mistakes. Cut down on the mistakes. Only buy the essentials and if you have to, write out lists detailing exactly what you need. Make meals plans so you aren't buying anything you don't need and will probably throw away at the end of the week. Walk to work. Walk to the shop. If you have to, only drink water when you go out with your friends (it's FREE!). Do everything you can to reduce your overall spending which will allow you to put that little bit extra away each week. It's definitely worth it in the end!

Now is the time to spend a large lump sum of money. I always try make sure I pay off the full amount in one go but if you really can't manage that, and you are guaranteed the money soon enough, then you can often pay in instalments. For my Dominican Republic trip, our deadline for paying the full amount was in April, even though I booked in January. This gave me the chance to slowly decrease the amount in my bank account by £200 every two weeks, reducing the amount of stress on me, since I usually get stressed out if I have to pay a large amount which leaves me with little left. Before you book, don't forget to double check your pricing again. Things may have changed since you did your initial research so it's best to double check as there may be a new place a bit cheaper for you. That, and flight prices are forever going up and down!

Travelling on budget:
So you're finally on holiday after all that waiting and saving up! Luckily you managed to save up just enough to pay it off and you have a little money for spends on top. However you don't have much else. I always make sure I purchase my foreign currency before I go so it gives me a total amount that I can spend. A lot of the time you pay for hostels or tours when you get there so use a post-it note to keep that money aside and don't use it. With whatever money you have left, divide it by the number of days you have and don't let yourself go over. Any money you don't use at the end of the day, hide it away and save it until the end of the holiday where you could buy yourself some lovely little souvenirs. Don't forget to haggle and get those prices down. Start just below half and work your way up until you can both agree on a price. Also, don't just go to the first bar you see. If you see one then there will be another close by which might just have cheaper beers! Finally, if you haven't booked any tours, don't just go straight to your travel reps, speak to the locals or look on TripAdvisor and you will likely get a much cheaper price! If you're at a hostel, it is very likely that they will know someone who can get you a really good price and pick up! If you think it's too much and it is out of your budget then just say so, they will either stand their ground or magically they'll have a better price for you!

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My final tip would be, if you have any money when you get back in the foreign currency it's best to keep it. If you're like me then you'll probably go back at some point and even if you only brought back £10, that's £10 you physically can't spend in the UK. It's the best kind of way of making sure you don't spend and then you can save up! Otherwise, use social media and see if you can find anyone in your local area who might be going to the same country and they may be willing to buy that little bit off you!

Saving for a holiday can be hard, even if our motivation to go is high, and sometimes no matter how much we work to earn money and save as much as we can, it still doesn't turn out to be enough. In some cases, you have enough money and you've booked the holiday and choose to pay in instalments but you can never guess what is going to happen in life and it may be that you can no longer afford it. So you've spent all that time getting excited and now you can't afford to go. There are other options to help you out. For example, Auto Advance offer logbook loans as a lower rate alternative to payday lending by using the value of your car as security for an agreement. My car could get me around £1120 which would cover the cost of a holiday, especially a budget holiday, if I were to need it! So never fear, there is always another way because no one can ever know what life might throw at you!

How do you save money to go on holiday? Have you ever booked a holiday then realised you couldn't afford it because of life?

- KC xx

*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

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