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Basic Training: How to save for your first big trip

Aug 21, 2015

There's nothing quite like the thrill of planning your first big overseas trip — the anticipation of stepping out into the great unknown for months, or even years, on end.

Before you head off on your big trip, try and cut out all possible discretionary spending. Photo: George Fetting

  • This is the third in a series of stories for anyone just starting to manage their own financial future.

You don't have to necessarily know where you'll wind up, or who'll you'll meet along the way. But you do need to know one thing: how you're going to pay for this grand adventure.

Here are a few things you'll need to consider:

The destination and the time of year Will you be sipping cocktails in Monaco, learning to speak Spanish in Buenos Aires, or flitting around Asia on the cheap? And will you do it in low season, or when everyone else is doing it too – and prices rise accordingly?

Where and when you're planning to go will have a huge impact on your budget.

"If you travel over in Europe during their peak summer season, you're adding another 20 per cent at least," says Dr Adrian Raftery, a senior lecturer in financial planning at Deakin University.

Accommodation and transport Dr Raftery says while formulating your budget, you should think about the style of accommodation that suits you – camping, five-star, hostels, cheap guesthouses, couch surfing, Airbnb? – and do the sums.

The same goes for transport. Will you go the slower but cheaper route of catching buses and trains, or do you intend to crisscross the globe by air? The faster you travel, the more you tend to spend.

To work, or not? Working overseas can give you different experiences and skills, and help you travel for longer. Consider how long you can afford to flit about before finding a job. Maybe you're hankering to pull pints, work in a ski resort, temp or find something completely unexpected on the way.

Saving up Extremely awesome holidays can call for extreme savings measures.

Whatever you do, don't even think about funding the trip via credit card or personal loans. Dr Raftery says bad spending habits can set you back years.

Instead, in the lead-up to your trip, he suggests cutting out all possible discretionary spending – including rent, partying, subscriptions, eating out and even your car.

"As a footy coach once told me – the pain doesn't last, but the memories will," he says.

Original article published in The Daily Telegraph on 21 August 2015

Tags: 101 WaysBudgetChartered AccountantFamilyTravel

Author: Larissa Ham


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