Saving Money For Travel

by May 12, 2020Travel Resources29 comments

Oh boy, when my mother reads that I’m writing posts that talk about saving money for travel, finance, and budgeting she is going to laugh her head off. In addition, my partner in crime Gordana will testify that she spends a lot of time keeping Rudderless Travel grounded on the tarmac in order to stop my endless money tree imagination from soaring……into debt.
It’s not that I’m terribly bad with money…it’s just that I’m not particularly good with it either.

Right off the bat, I can think of 2 reasons why I have debt and the first is the false sense of security I’ve developed from having a cushy government job. I always think I have enough for everything and then I always end up overspending on everything. Number 2 is simply the cost of my hobbies. I was never really the person to spend money on clothing and shoes and eating out but my hobby/side hustle besides travel blogging does include: videography, photography and video editing. From the latest DLSR Camera to its Lenses, plus my Go Pro, Drone, Tripods etc.

Shit, I have more camera bags than Kim Kardashian has Coach bags. Visit my Store to see all the gear I own and use and the cost of all. Trust me it’s an expensive hobby.

Now, I know what you thinking: “If you’re so bad with money then why the hell are WE here?”

Right, well despite all of my money woes and what people (my mother) may think. When it comes to saving money for travel, I’ve always been good at that. I’ve never put any travel costs on my credit card that I couldn’t pay back right away with the money I saved.

saving money for travel

But in all honesty, I would never try to run a section on this blog that talks about budgeting all by myself without bringing in the big guns. So I partnered with Danielle Desir, a Financial Analyst and Grant Specialist by trade from The Thought Card.

  • Hey, Danielle, I’m so glad you’re here. Now when I save money I got into the habit of saving a fixed amount that comes off my paycheque biweekly and automatically transferred to a bank with a high-interest rate called Tangerine (more info at the bottom). Since Tangerine is not my regular everyday bank money gets saved in an out of sight out of mind fashion.
    What are your thoughts on that and before we get into the subject of saving? Why should we save money prior to travel?

Hey, Chris! This is an excellent plan and I actually do something similar – the American version. I started my travel fund years ago with Ally Bank. Ally Bank is one of my top picks for U.S. travel-friendly banks. Ally Bank offers high interest rates (higher than most) and I don’t have to worry about monthly service charges or account balance minimums.

Also, since I complete most of my travel-related transactions online, having an online bank is convenient. Every pay period, I set aside a specific amount of money for travel in my travel fund. This is all done automatically through my employer via direct deposit. Although autosaving is great, I urge you not to stop there.

  • How do we create a plan to save?

The first thing that I would suggest is to create an all-purpose budget. Number crunching aside, having a budget means simply having a game plan. Most people dread budgets, but budgets have been my saving grace. With a budget, I’ve been able to save for many trips around the world. And, I also used my budget as a tool to pay off my student loan debt. My budget is a simple Excel spreadsheet. I update it often and routinely compare it to my spending.

  • What are some ways to save?

When it comes to travel, there are two major savings categories.
Pre-trip savings are things that you do to save money before you spend your first dollar. This includes auto-saving with a travel fund and reverses budgeting. There are also lots of apps that you can use to help.
The second way to save for travel starts while (and after) you start spending. This focuses on using your money wisely. This includes cheap flight deals, error fares, redeeming points and miles and more.
Why go on one trip when you can spend the same on three trips?

Related: 006: How To Get A Flight Refund During & Post Pandemic (with Danielle Desir)

    • Are there any apps that can help us to save?

    I recently discovered Digit and I love it! Digit makes saving money easy with automation – I don’t even have to think about it. Digit is a handy app that is available for both Android and Apple devices. With every transaction, it saves your spare change by rounding up to the nearest dollar. All you have to do is connect your checking account. Digit handles the rest. In the last two months, I saved $111 without even noticing. This will come in handy for my upcoming winter weekend in Sweden!

    • Thanks, Danielle, I never actually thought I would enjoy talking about budgets.  Those are great saving tips. 

    To help you get started sign up for Digit free and use Danielle’s Digit referral code. (Must be a US resident)
    For my fellow Canadian residents, open a Tangerine Account using my Orange Key 14589030S1 and get a $50 Bonus! 

    Danielle Desir

    Danielle Desir

    Travel Writers, Financial Expert & Podcaster

    Danielle Desir is a Travel Finance Strategist that uses her financial background and knack for financial planning to encourage affording travel. On The Thought Card, Danielle shares planning strategies, saving tips, flight deals and even talks about her student loan repayment journey.

    About the Thought Card. The Thought Card is a travel finance blog that specializes in affording travel and making it a financial priority in your life. The Thought Card shares travel planning and saving strategies, cheap flight deals and practical personal finance tips like how to pay off your student loan debt and save for


    Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product, I may earn a commission. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. Please remember that I never recommend a product just for the commission — I only recommend something I genuinely believe in, trust and/or use personally. The small income I make here will help in maintaining this blog. Thanks for your support!