So I thought I would write a post on how to save enough money to take a RTW trip as this is one of the most common things I’ve been asked about my upcoming trip. I’ve been saving now for a couple of years and although it was tough at first, I found that eventually you do get into a routine and fingers crossed it’s for the greater good. Work for 24 months, take 18 months off. It has a nice ring to it right? I hope so!
I planned my some of my trip through a company called Round the World Experts; they are a subsidiary of Flight Centre who are huge so I figured I was pretty safe. I know it seems a little amateur using an agent but I figured this will really help me out as a first timer. Hopefully I will get better at this travel stuff and get used to it more as time goes by. One thing I did read a lot into though was Travel Hacking. I literally spent days stalking people in Flyer Talk who effectively travel the world for free all on flier miles they’ve accumulated from masses of credit card sign up bonuses! I was like, yeah, I want a piece of this pie. It turns out though that most of these people are from the States and they have crazy credit card sign up bonuses there. I genuinely think I could travel the world for free if I lived there. Nevertheless, I did find a few offers in the UK and decided to take advantage of them (thank you good credit rating – I am proud of that). In the last couple of years I signed up to the Amex Gold, the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card and the Lloyds Premier Avios. They all had pretty decent sign up bonuses once you hit a certain threshold of spending within a 3 months. I was very lucky too as I recommended a few of my friends to the Amex Gold which meant more miles for me. YAY. My miles are currently stockpiled as I said I will use them when I have been on the road for a little while and funds start to look grim.
Another sacrifice I made was my daily lattes. Paying over 2 quid for a coffee five days a week soon adds up. In fact, I would say I’ve managed to save well over a grand over the last couple of years just from resisting the coffee goodness of Costa and them delightful toasties that are close to a fiver a pop (not that I did that everyday- I’m not a millionaire).
I also curbed my nights out, not completely but instead of going out every single weekend I made sure that if I did something, it was only every other weekend and it wasn’t too bad either. Maybe I am getting old and boring. Also, the money you save on not having to buy a new outfit every weekend is insane. When my friends asked me how much I’ve managed to save up for this trip they were gobsmacked, but it is just all about control and I actually found saving up addictive once I hit certain thresholds.
Finally, a major cutback was my car. I got rid of it and started taking the bus. Eugh. Sometimes it is a pain in the arse but overall, I saved myself over a grand a year on insurance and God knows how much on tax, fuel, MOT, etc. etc. etc.
Anyways, the moral of this post is that, if I can do it, anyone can. Seriously, just have a bit of self control and it is worth it in the end.