How to Save & Track Money for Travel


One of the key aspects of travel is getting your finances in order to live your wanderlust dreams. It’s the least fun part of the planning process, but of course there’s no getting around it. 🤑

Ever since I started my first job out of school in 2014, a portion of my money went directly into a savings account so that I could live abroad in Scotland and travel around. I knew that a little bit consistently saved over time would amount to a large amount. Fast forward two years and I had just under $40,000 saved and left for Scotland in August 2016. Full disclosure, I did not accept or ask for money from my family. It was all me.

This process of saving for travel is multi-faceted, especially for long term (over 3 months in my books). Maybe you are going through this right now. I hope I can help you get a handle on this, because, duh, you gotta go! Below are my tips to save for travel. I have also created a free printable and fillable worksheet for you. It makes saving money as easy as getting on a plane.  ✈️

The Steps:

  1. Download my worksheet Save & Track Money for Travel. 

  2. Research how much it will cost for you to go away. I mean everything: accommodations, cost of food, flights, other transportation within destination, tour costs, activity costs, travel insurance, etc… Add between $500-$1000 onto this amount, depending on your length of travel and destination. Something always happens when traveling to make you spend more. On page two of the worksheet, enter this amount as your savings goal.

  3. Take a good look at your monthly income. Total it up and include it in your worksheet. Ask yourself and research if you can take on an extra job here and there. For instance, I did a couple short and paid volunteer jobs at conferences in addition to my full-time job before leaving.

  4. Take a serious look at your monthly expenditures. Put your total monthly expenditures on your worksheet. Ask yourself if there is anything you can eliminate or change. Essentially, you have to evaluate non-essentials as: just as important, not so important and “meh” compared to your travel goal.

  5. Set a deadline for when you want to go and put it in the worksheet. This has to be non-negotiable. Also, write it down on your planner/calendar on your phone and computer, wherever. Just make sure the date is pencilled in and you see it often.

  6. Track your savings and how much you have left to go every time you get a paycheque. This is a super powerful step as it’s all about accountability and awareness. 

Bonus tip: Read You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. It will help you work on the mental aspects of making money, along with visualizing and taking action on getting to your financial goal. 

Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Now go travel!

Those are the exact steps I followed and still do for making my travel dreams come true. I have another sheet for my 2019 travel plans in the works for either South America or SE Asia. I am convinced that without it, I would not be able to meet my financial goals.