How to save money while traveling abroad

From hiking the mountains of New Zealand to exploring ancient ruins in Rome, traveling abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime. Adventuring in an unfamiliar country and immersing yourself in a new culture is something that everyone should get the chance to experience, but it can be financially stressful. 

Man hiking up a hill in Mauritius. He learned how to save money while traveling.
Conquering the world while saving for more trips!

Luckily, traveling doesn’t need to cost a fortune. There are a lot of creative ways to save money. There is no magical shortcut, and creating an affordable traveling experience takes time and effort. While this may seem daunting, it will all be worth it for the priceless memories you’ll make along the way. 

Ready to get started? Read on to discover some tried and true strategies that will help you travel abroad without breaking the bank. Happy saving!

How to save money while traveling? Here are 5 ideas!

A woman at a food stall in Graz, Austria. She is smiling because she's eating delicious street food and saving money while traveling. There are two hot dogs and a beer on the table.
Street Food = Delicious Food = Budget Food!

Live with a Budget

First things first: create a travel budget. Learning how to budget your money (and sticking to this budget) is one of the most essential skills you’ll need when managing your money abroad. Begin by doing a little bit of research. Understanding the cost of traveling in the country you are visiting will give you a better idea of how much you will be spending while you are there. 

Then, design a spreadsheet tracking all of your known expenses, including hotel or Airbnb costs, food, and international flights to and from your destination. By tracking your essential expenses, you will start to understand how much money you will have left over to spend on any extra splurges, such as day trips and dining out. Knowing how much you are spending will also limit your impulse buying.

From dealing with an unfamiliar currency to resisting the high-end restaurants calling your name, it may seem overwhelming when you start to budget. If you can, try to practice budgeting before you leave for your trip. Set some goals for yourself, and see how you do! After all, practice makes perfect. 

Secure a part-time job (or three!)

Woman in a cafe working from a laptop while she travels the world.
Thinking of how to save money while traveling? What about getting on online job?!

If you have any wiggle room in your schedule, picking up an odd job here and there is a great way to make some money on the side. You will be thankful for the extra change, which will help fund leisure activities that would have otherwise been unaffordable.

Check out science labs at local universities looking for volunteers, local call centers, and dog walking gigs. Is there a restaurant in your neighborhood hiring part-time waiters? A local family in need of a weekend babysitter? Keep an open mind and be flexible — traveling abroad is all about embracing new experiences!

While job hunting, make sure to take certain factors into account, including your visa type. Depending on the country you are traveling in, there are different rules and regulations regarding employment available to foreign visitors. Even if your visa prevents you from working in the country you are visiting, numerous job opportunities are available online, including online tutoring. From teaching languages to helping with SAT prep, there is a high demand for online tutors, especially for more challenging subjects, like math. Take initiative, and learn how to become an online math tutor

Secure a Scholarship

Woman standing in the middle of a pedestrian bridge. She has a backpack in her back. She going to study abroad.
What about studying abroad?!

If you are studying abroad for a semester or a full year, one of the most appealing ways to fund your experience is through a scholarship. While it might take some extra work, this is money that you never have to pay back, so it’s well worth the grind of filling out application papers and writing personal statements.

Good news! There are hundreds of scholarships available for international students looking to study abroad, from general scholarships to specialized funding schemes, to those offered by the university themselves. With so many study abroad scholarships available, it seems silly not to apply for as many as you possibly can. Searching through all the options out there can be a monumental task, so here is a list of easy scholarships to apply for. 

Cut back on unnecessary purchases or vices

Whether it’s a daily morning latte or the Uber you take home after a night out, sacrificing small luxuries for the duration of your travel experience will go a long way. Try out more affordable options. Buy groceries and cook homemade meals instead of eating out. Walk and take public transportation rather than opting for a more convenient Taxi ride. If it helps, add up the daily, weekly, or annual prices that these everyday treats cost and have it go towards an exciting weekend adventure. Do you really need that scented candle or that expensive cocktail? Probably not. Pocket that change, and save it for a weekend trip to the Scottish highlands.

Woman wearing a red coat looking at the shelves of a shop. She is thinking how to save money while traveling, then she won't buy anything.
Buy or not to buy, that is the question!

Sell your old items

If you’ve got a closet full of bits and bobs you never use anymore, now’s the time to capitalize on your old things. Even though it might feel painful to part with some of your childhood possessions, it’ll all feel worth it when you are zip-lining through a forest in Costa Rica. Your bank account will thank you later. 

If you want to go all out, host a yard sale! Advertise the event on social media and invite your friends, family, and neighbors. Put a price tag on whatever you’ve got, from used books and furniture, to board games and old records. It might seem like junk to you, but one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. If you have a lot of used clothing, buying, trading, and selling clothing items online is becoming a hugely popular trend. Here are some of the best places to sell your clothes online

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Creative and effective ways to save money for traveling abroad. Things you can do before or during the trip. These save money for travel tips are easy to follow and you can apply on your day by day life, things like creating a travel budget and following the budget, getting side jobs and even selling stuff you don’t need anymore. It’s easy to spend money while traveling, but it can also be easy to save money for traveling and while traveling.

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