5 Simple Lifestyle changes that can help you save for travel!

There’re a few who travel a lot and others wonder how these people get money to travel. From what I have observed, those who love to travel aren’t necessarily super rich with unlimited income. They primarily prioritize travel over other luxuries in life. Of course, there’re a small percentage of travelers who have a great financial backing thanks to well earning spouse or rich parents or family business and another small percentage manage to travel around with sponsorship from brands that cover their expenses. But not every traveler is that fortunate to fall under these categories and often travel with their own money. Assuming you’re interested in travel but wondering how to save money for travel, below are a few simple lifestyle changes which if you can incorporate, can save you several thousand rupees every month, which can then be used to book your travel.
Change 1: Avoid Swiggy/Online food ordering- try alternatives: Many of us are lazy to cook or walk to nearby restaurants and order food online. Food delivery companies like Swiggy make decent money only when order value is more than Rs 300. Because of this, they run lots of offers for orders above Rs 300. Most of us fall for this trap end up ordering 300-500 Rs worth food at a time. You could have easily managed with a 100 rupee meal and 40 rupee delivery charge, but because there’re some offers, you will end up ordering some additional items so that bill crosses 300 rupees. Also note that Swiggy might have inflated menu to make more money from the order [Check this post].

Alternatives: If you’re ordering food twice a day, that is Rs 600 to 1000 per day. Two meals doesn’t really have to cost this most. Most Andhra Messes or budget hotels can provide decent meal for Rs 70-80. There’re many home-made food delivery options to whom you can subscribe and get a meal delivered everyday for around Rs 100 or less. Or best, you can cook yourself and save a lot.

Savings: If you can avoid online food ordering and find an economic alternative, you can save close to 6000-12000 per month (assuming you order food on at least 15 days a month, and economic alternative costs 200 rupees per day, saving 400 to 800 rupees). In 12000 rupees, you can get return ticket to Bali (during a sale). Assess how much have you spent on food in past few months, evaluate your alternatives and calculate how much you can save.

Change 2: Reduce Movies & Eating out
Watching movies in multiplexes is getting more expensive everyday. A movie outing with family (3-4 people), coupled with some popcorn, eating out, easily sets you back by 2000 rupees. Is this something you can live without? I get more joy researching about my next destination than a movie whose story is predictable, action is unrealistic and tickets are expensive. Alternative: Amazon Prime/Netflix: Most new movies come to TV/online streaming services like Amazon Prime within few months (Padmavat released in end of December was on Amazon prime by end of March, just 3 months, Tiger Zinda Hai is on Amazon Prime already and so on)

Yes, not watching latest movie might not enable you to contribute actively during peer group discussions and big screen experience is not exactly same when watched on laptop/TV. But if you can save 4000 rupees a month (assuming 2 such outings) that is enough to fund a weekend trip to nearby destinations. If you love travel, you can prioritize a weekend trip over movie experience.

Change 3: Reduce unwanted Shopping
Shops and online portals want your money- more n more of it, almost all of it and more if they can. Thus they run regular sales, each sale projected as if it is the best and there’ll be no tomorrow. Truth is two weeks later there will be another sale with even better discounts. It is well known facts that most shops and portals increase price before sale and then project a fake discount. We end up buying unwanted items because it appears cheap or we fear price will increase if we don’t buy now. Words like “retail therapy”, “shop till you drop” are all coined to encourage people to buy unwanted, overpriced items. Do an assessment of your shopping in past 6 months- did you use all that you bought? Did you really save a lot- how much do they cost now? How many more sales have happened since then? You will realize that you’ve blown up lots of money. Shop only things you really need- it is ok to pay a few rupees extra for an item you really need, than buying a dozen items you may not really need, but because they are cheap. Spending habits differ from person to person, but let us assume you’re able to save 10000 rupees a month, that is 1.2 lakh rupees an year. With that much money, you can do a trip to Australia or Japan, all expense included.
Change 4: Buy a less expensive vehicle
Yes, you may be able to afford a 15 lakh vehicle. Your peers own one, your neighbors have them so you might feel the pressure to buy a more expensive car to get better social status. If you run behind social status or do things to please/impress others, you will never be able to enjoy life. You can afford a 15 lakhs car- but do you really need one? A 7 lakh car will probably serve your purpose of commuting around with decent comfort. A less expensive vehicle also means less maintenance- on insurance, service, repairs etc. Thus the money saved- 8 lakhs upfront and money saved on maintenance-can be better spent elsewhere. 8 lakhs is more than enough for a world tour. Or if you invest it wisely, you can get about 50k per year in interest alone-which is adequate for a short international trip to nearby countries- one or two countries every year!

You can also consider programs like ZoomCar’s ZAP Subscribe or managing with rental cars and check if you can manage without buying a car at all.

Change 5: Being flexible to travel when it is cheap, to wherever it is cheap.
The general travel approach is to wait for everything to fall in place-get your leave approved, ensure that spouse/friends/family members are free and interested to join, check for best season and so on and then finally book your flights and hotels. This approach usually costs more. If you’re fixed on date, destination etc you’ll have less flexibility and can’t get cheapest deals. Instead, try a more flexible approach- travel when it is cheap, to where it is cheap. Refer to this post on airlineblog on how to book cheap tickets for expensive destinations. Whenever there’s a sale book a flight ticket that costs half to one third the normal fare, with the risk that travel date is months away and there’s no refund. Once ticket is booked, if you can make everything else happen around it, then you can travel for lot less than what your last minute bookings would have cost you. By planning a bit better, you can do a trip at half the cost what travel sites sell the packages at. Of course a bit of flexibility and compromise (staying in hostel instead of luxury hotel for example) is required, but it will be worth it.

Summary: Total estimated savings per year
  1. By NOT ordering online food for 15 days a month: 12000 a month= 1.44 lakhs a year
  2. By saving on movie & dinner outings twice a month: 4000*12 = 48000 an year
  3. By NOT buying unwanted items : Rs 10000 a month =1.2 lakhs an year
  4. By buying a less expensive car and investing difference: At least 50k an year in interest

Total:  Close to 3.5 lakhs an year- More than enough for 5 to 6 international trips.

There will be many other ways in which you can save money- this depends on individual lifestyle preferences- for example giving up smoking/drinking/partying or eliminating/spending less on family functions (ex: birthday party in an outdoor venue with catering for 100 guests can touch a lakh rupees), opting for less expensive gym membership etc can help you save few to several thousand rupees. But of course, I don’t have the right to say give up everything, just travel. It is about how you can prioritize travel over thing expenditures. Do give it a thought and decide for yourself.
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23 comments:

  1. Very valid points. It is just the matter of priority in life!!

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  2. I must stop buying unwanted items and also - ordering in. I did this last month and am already feeling more rich.

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  3. Good tips 👍
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  4. As the saying goes"Necessity is the mother of invention" if one is able to set their prorities & exercise control over instinctive urge to get something instantly, can satisfy most of our needs.A good planning or budgeting exercise will also help a lot.

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  5. As the saying goes"Necessity is the mother of invention" if one is able to set their prorities & exercise control over instinctive urge to get something instantly, can satisfy most of our needs.A good planning or budgeting exercise will also help a lot.

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  6. Reducing unwanted shopping makes you a minimalist too

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  7. As always, great advice supported with numbers and examples.

    I may not be far off to say, this is the best blog on the internet.

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    1. Those are some really big words Shubham. Thanks

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  8. Thank you for sharing useful tips Shrinidhiji.we can implement every tip if we have that passion to travel.

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  9. What about someone with kid or kids as in me and my husband's case, eh, Mr. Srinidhi? Please advise :P :D

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    1. Hi Roohi
      I don't think I am qualified to comment on that- also you're based in UK, so your priorities, lifestyle might be bit different. So I am sorry, don't have any special experience to assist. I am sure you will find ways to save n travel more.

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  10. Oh we do all these except the first point. Because we haven't ordered thru Swiggy till now. :)
    Very valid points on shopping, cutting movies/outings etc. One has to be flexible to travel cheaper dates (off season) or in budget.

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    1. Thanks Nisha... Good that you've not ordered food online!

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  11. Absolutely...prioritizing is must but giving up things doesn't come easy.

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Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days- Shrinidhi

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