8 ways to save money for travel, tips and suggestions, ouritalianjourney.com

Save Money For Travel

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Why is it so difficult to save money for travel? Travel enriches our lives. It’s the one thing you can buy that makes you richer. That’s one of my favorite sayings… and it’s true. Most people tell me they don’t travel because they don’t have the money. I get it. It’s sad to think that when we are older and perhaps have a bit more money, sometimes we are not in the best health to be able to travel.

It can easily come down to spending money on stuff you don’t really need, rather than taking that money and putting it towards an adventure or vacation. Here are seven tips that might help you make your next vacation a priority:

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1. Set a Goal or Intention

The first thing you should do is set a goal and/or an intention. An example of an intention would be “I am going to travel to Italy for three months,” or “I want to stay in Italy for three months and also visit Greece and France.” If you journal, write it down as it makes you more accountable. Some people use vision boards which is a great tool. I’m more of a visual learner so that idea works well for me. It also then becomes “real.”

Just saying you will save money for a trip in “x” amount of months is unrealistic. Life gets in the way. This is true for anything you save for, not just travel. There is a chance if you are disciplined enough (not me) that you could actually do this effectively. Chances are, however, you will get sidetracked by something else that becomes more important.

Most of all, make it attainable. Saying you’ll set aside $100.00 a week might seem like you’ll get to your goal sooner rather than later, but can you actually do this each and every week? Take the time to research how much it will cost during the timeframe you want to travel to actually arrive there. Create a spreadsheet on what the cost of the travel itself, food, excursions, local transportation, and lodging might cost. Always overestimate rather than underestimate, but make it realistic. Once you know how much money you’ll need, take a look at your monthly budget to see how long it will take to save up for the trip.

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2. Share Your Plans With Family & Friends

Share your goal or intentions with family and friends, perhaps even colleagues at work. Again this makes it “real” and perhaps they will keep you accountable by asking you from time to time how your plan is working. Ask for help in keeping motivated and if they see you purchasing unnecessary things that might derail you. Close friends and family can do that – perhaps not work colleagues.

3. Travel ‘Off-Season’

If you have a job or go to school, you might be limited on when you can take vacation time. Generally, you should avoid traveling during the ‘high season due to higher costs. Most flights and hotels will have higher costs during these peak times. The higher costs might cause you to stay a shorter amount of time. Many airlines and lodging places will offer lower or discounted prices during the off-season.

Research where your vacation destination is to determine this season. It might not be during Christmas or New Year but during a timeframe when an event is taking place. For example, our town hosts Lucca Comic and Games at the end of October each year. Prices of Airbnbs can double during this week-long timeframe.

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4. Do You Really Need More Stuff?

If you’re an online shopper, you need to ask yourself, “Do I really need this or do I just want it?” The reason I mention online shopping is that you will probably be doing that alone. There won’t be a friend with you to remind you that although the shoes are beautiful, aren’t you saving for your upcoming trip? There is a distinctive difference between need and want. Take a moment and think.

Look at your monthly subscriptions and ask yourself if you need or just want them. Do you really read the newspaper every day or completely read a particular magazine from cover to cover? Does a friend get it too and perhaps she/he can save it for you to look at once they are finished? Do you watch everything your cable television package offers or could you take a portion of that and set it aside for your goal? Are you really going to the gym or yoga class every week or just once in a while?

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things aren’t important in your life, especially when it’s health-related. I’m just asking the question if you are using your monthly/yearly subscription effectively when perhaps you could find a suitable YouTube video.

5. Save Money on Utilities & Such

When your energy bill comes, research to find out if you are getting the best rate. Of course, this can only be switched when your current contract ends. But think about if other suppliers offer discounts for new customers.

One of the biggest expenses for us in the States was our cellphone bill. It still flaws me that for the same service, our bills in Italy are so much cheaper… and for the same thing. We researched and found a carrier that was a great deal less for similar services. It’s worth a bit of time and investigation, anyway.

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6. Avoid Dining Out

Avoid or at least reduce the times you eat out at a restaurant. This is an easy way to save lots of money for travel as you are particularly in control of this one. Begin packing your lunch for work or school rather than going out with colleagues each day. Your homemade sandwich will be much better and for a fraction of the cost of eating one out. Daily stops at Starbucks, drinks after work, and school will all add up quickly. You might be surprised.

Believe it or not, also planning your home-cooked meals for the following week will help with expenses. When you only go to the grocery store once a week, you have less temptation – especially if you shop when you are hungry. That’s a no-no! You always will buy more when you are hungry – it happens to me all the time. Make a shopping list and plan for the week. When shopping, stick to the list.

7. Use Travel Credit Cards if Possible

This one might be difficult, as you don’t want to be in too much debt. But if you have to charge something, why not use a travel credit card and get points for traveling? When we lived in the States, we charged everything. The caveat to that is we also paid off the balance each month so we didn’t go down the rabbit hole of finance charges. But that was easier as we got older. Know you’ll get there too! Travel points on these cards can add up and save you money on airlines, lodging, and much more.

8. Celebrate & Think Outside The Box

Let’s face it, saving isn’t easy for any of us. But if you put each tangible amount into context, it might help. For example, if you notice you’ve saved $500.00, you can tell yourself you’ve just paid for the week’s stay in Bari, Italy at the BnB you choose. When you hit milestones, pat yourself on the back. If you budgeted $150.00 for food for your few days in Verona – be excited. Check that line item off your list.

I suggest you don’t look at the big picture of saving for a vacation. You do need to do this initially, but once you have the numbers, set your goal to achieve each line item separately. Break down each part and celebrate that particular achievement for each segment of that trip.

Save Money for Travel Conclusion

Saving is difficult for everyone. You might get sidetracked by a sudden expense and need to borrow from your travel savings. We know it happens – it’s life. Try not to let your plans go as your adventure awaits – wherever it may be. If you fall down, pick yourself up and continue or start again. You can do it. Visualize where you want to be. Sitting in a piazza in Rome or on a beach in Aruba. Whatever it is, you can make it happen.

If you have any travel savings ideas, please let us know in the comments. We’d be happy to update this post, give you credit, and include them.

Ilene from Our Italian Journey, ouritalianjourney.com

8 ways to save money for travel, tips and suggestions, ouritalianjourney.com


  1. Thank you for a great post with some really good ideas. The “Cooking at Home” idea can be taken a step further to incorporate dishes from the country that you will be visiting. Nothing better than trying to execute some “classic” dishes and then try them in the home country. It will keep the excitement and motivation to save going.

  2. Hi guys
    Read both your books and enjoyed
    My wife & I travel to Italy 3-4 times per year since 2015. Just turned 60 & about to retire
    Love Rome best – we are looking at houses in Frascati, just south of Rome- love the City- have friends & relatives in the area
    Our goal is to live 2 months Italy & 2 months in Florida ( we live in West Palm Beach)
    My grandpa & grandma were born in Calabria but don’t know about doing dual citizenship?
    Anyway most likely pulling the trigger this year- we love doing train trips all around- favorites Bologna, Milan, Verona, Parma
    We just spent a few weeks in Trieste- amazing- then drove up to Austria for another few weeks- totally different but amazing in its own way
    Spent Valentines Day in Paris – train from Milan- really cool
    Maybe we come to Lucca in a few months- was there few years ago & loved it
    I own a Construction Company and my wife has an Insurance agency- we plan to sell them soon- with the buildings, the properties, and call it a day- just keep our house here
    I’m fluent in Italian, my wife in Spanish
    I grew up in Westchester, NY, she’s originally from Colombia. We have 4 kids & lots of grandkids!

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment! Wow… 3-4x a year? Wonderfull- we should meet on one of those trips! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving a written review on the site you purchased. It makes such an impact for ranking and we’d sure appreciate it!

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