So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided you’re going to take leave of reality for a year and see the world.
Now the hard part: planning the trip and starting to save up.
There are some pros and cons
The good news is that there’s no need to live on bread and water for months-even on a modest income you can still start saving considerably.
The bad news is that it does require commitment, hard work and some sacrifices.
You maybe be less of a social animal and your friends circle might dwindle.
However every cloud has a silver lining so don’t despair…living life off the beaten track can be fun.
Here’s my 5 top tips to jumpstart your cash reserves for the trip.
1. Pick a good savings account
Try and set aside a fixed amount every month. Do some research as to where to bank your money- there are a good range of savings accounts out there. If you set aside 100 pounds a month to start with that’s a minimum of £1200 saved for the year plus interest.
Compared to say investing your money in stocks and shares, this is a much more safer and risk free way of building up your cash reserves for the big trip.
2. Socialising at the weekend-Party in the house!
Friday night out with a few friends at your favourite local bar can quickly become a big drain on your savings.
Try something different. Invite friends over at your place and enjoy your drink of choice. Plus you can play the music you all enjoy.
If you do feel after a few weeks you need some release and want to head out-go early and take advantage of drinks promos at the chains bars and pubs of Wetherspoons, Lloyds or Slug and Lettuce.
3. Free Movie Tickets?
Register at See Film First and get invites to special screenings of new movies before they hit the big screen.Tickets are offered on a first come first served basis so it can be hit and miss but still you are guaranteed success every now and then.
Another option is getting an Orange Pay As you Go Sim and for the cost of a text message , every Orange Wednesday, you get a 2 for 1 ticket. All you have to do now is a find a friend.
4. Back to the basics: Have a packed lunch
Resist the lure of meal deals and great lunch offers-bring your own packed lunch.
Get a crispy fresh baguette from your local bakery or superstore, some nice cheese, maybe some fresh sliced tomatoes or for something different get a jar of pesto sauce, add a dollop of that to some cheddar-yum a great sandwich! Some fresh fruit and hey go wild -get a bag of your favourite crisps and hey presto: a lovely packed lunch.
Or maybe stuff the leftovers from last nights meal?
You will save at least 60 pounds a month taking a packed lunch.
5. Become a day tripper or an armchair traveller
Saving for the big trip might mean sacrificing on those weekend breaks but hey adventure and travel can be found anytime and on any budget.
Try some cheap day trips to places of historic interest within a short radius-bus or coach trip
If it’s a nice day go for the packed lunch option and dine al fresco.
Its amazing what places you can see on your local bus network so if you have a monthly bus pass for work-max it to the limit on weekends.
Or given that we have winter around the corner if it’s a not such a nice day… Pay a visit to some of your local museums and indulge in an afternoon of art and sparking your creative self.
Worst comes to worst. Become an armchair traveller!
Pay a visit to the local charity shop and stock up on some quality second travel guides and books at throwaway prices. Try and google the cuisine of the place you reading up on, rustle up something…invite your friends over and have a themed ‘night’, maybe grab a film in that language to make it more exciting. Saving money for that RTW trip can be a ‘trip’ in itself, broadening your horizons and making you open to trying new things.
A great way to prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead….