This blog post was updated on April 24, 2017.

As legend would have it, if you want to see the Colosseum and you’re not a Rich Kid of Instagram, you’ll have to give up coffee, movies, friends, eating, socializing, fun, adventure, the vibrant color of living, et al. (Seriously, there’s even a quiz on this site spinning this tale). But I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to save big… Without sacrificing your entire social life for a year. Read on and start saving for your epic trip today!

Cut Down, Sure, But Don’t Eliminate Entirely

Woman paying for her order in a cafe

I admit it, I totally get a cappuccino every day. And while I have no shame, $15 a week adds up to $780 over the course of a year. But whenever I read advice that tells me to go without my daily dose of caffeine for an entire year, I’m out. So I’m here to tell you: Cut down, don’t eliminate.

I’m here to tell you: Cut down, don’t eliminate.

Dial back your daily takeaway lattes to 3 a week and you’ve got annual savings of $312. I’m okay with that. Plus, it’ll make my Mondays better, my Wednesdays bearable, and it’ll be a fun reminder that Friday is here! You can do the same with anything that you feel you spend too much on: If you’re doing something every day, try dialing back just a little to save big.

Set Up a Routine… Then Stick to It

Continuing off of the first point, it can be hard to dial back on an already set routine — especially if your daily plans involve other people. That’s why the best route to take is creating a routine that works for you and then sticking to it. Maybe you decide to go out 3 times a week instead of 5 — you can decide throughout the week when you want to dole those days out, or you could tell your friends that you’ll only be available Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Plus, it’s a great excuse to eat chocolate, put on a face mask, and cry over rom-coms without feeling guilty that you RSVP’d then canceled last minute.

Download a Budgeting App and Pay Attention

Woman workin on smart phone while traveling by train. Business travel concept.

There are so many budgeting apps that are aimed at helping you save. If you know that you want to save a specific figure in a year, work it into your budget and turn on notifications from your app. That one’s important: Lots of these apps will let you know if you’re getting close to your daily, weekly, and monthly spending limits and it’s not worth the space on your phone if you’re not going to pay attention. Apps like Mint, Unsplurge, and Acorns are popular apps that let you choose your budget (and what you’re trying to save for).

Pick Up a Side Gig

This isn’t applicable to every skill set and profession, but if you think creatively, I’m sure you could find a way to leverage your skills for some cash money.

You can even find a side gig while you’re already abroad

Though I’ve got a comfortable 9 to 5, I also have a part time job and freelance writing gigs that I use to supplement my predictable income. Though I use some of my extra income to keep up my cappuccino-a-day habit, I also squirrel some of it away into savings and my spontaneous travel budget. You can even find your side gig while you’re already abroad — consider swapping skills for free accommodations at many hostels worldwide. Just shoot your hostel an email before you book and ask if there is any handywork, creative work, or other work you can do in exchange for free housing.

Think of Your Paid Time Off as Breaking Even

Enjoying traveling by car

When you’re traveling on paid time off, you can budget so that you’re basically breaking even every day — that way, all you need to save up for is a flight there (which are pretty affordable nowadays). An entry-level salary will generally give you around $130 a day to work with — which is totally doable if you’re living that hostel life. Heck, you might even be able to come back having made money!

(Probably not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Do you have any amazing travel budgeting hacks that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments!

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About The Author

Content Writer

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch. Mary is a content writer at Fareportal and likes annoying her coworkers with weird GIFs throughout the day.