Tips for Saving Money to Travel

Cailin traveling cheap in Prague - Tips for Saving Money to Travel

I have made it my goal/job to travel the world for a living. Many people that I know that live back home in Canada, or that I meet on the road, often ask me why and how I do and can afford to live my life like this. There are many different factors of course that play a key role into living the life that I do and I will share some of my personal best tips here with you.

Amex Gold Rewards Card - Tips for Saving Money to Travel

1. Benefit from travel rewards cards

I have been a long time Amex Gold Rewards Cardmember and it has been my favorite Card to date because I earn 1 point for every dollar spent and 2 points for every travel related dollar that I spend. So if I purchase gas for my car, or a hotel room, with my Amex I earn double rewards points that I can then use to buy flights, hotel stays, concert tickets, luggage, and more. The points earned with the Gold Rewards Card are also conveniently transferable 1 to 1 to Avios or Aeroplan – this is just one of the Card’s TripFlex benefits that let me travel the way I want to.

If you have friends who like to travel or want to meet up with you around the world somewhere, Amex has a great Refer A Friend program where you can earn points with your family and friends just for getting them to apply and be approved for an Amex Card as well. Then you can each earn points that add up quickly and be traveling together in no time.

Whether you already have an Amex or are thinking about signing up for one, the Refer A Friend program is great for everyone. To learn more about it and/or to refer a friend right now check out: americanexpress.ca/referafriend

Once your information is entered into the site at the link above you can then refer your friend via email or even as simple as Facebook. If I were to refer just one friend, who was then approved for the Card, I would get 10,000 points which is up to $100 off my next flight and, in exchange my friend would earn 25,000 points (with a minimum spend in the first 3 months). Plus, the Gold Rewards Card has no annual fee for the first year. That is just a great deal in and of itself.

enjoying my luxury villa rental with friends in Mallorca -Staying in a Luxury Villa with Travelopo in Mallorca, Spain

My luxury villa in Pollensa on the Spanish Island of Mallorca

2. Save on booking accommodations

I have written before about the best ways to save money while traveling through Europe (which also basically applies for traveling anywhere in the world) and my favorite tip from that post is to save money on accommodations by renting apartments as you travel. Of course hostels will always be the cheapest option but sometimes it’s nice to just have a place to relax by yourself and not be worried about loud snorers, the security of your belongings and messy people. Also depending on how long you are planning to stay in one place they can sometimes work out to be a better deal than even a private room at a hostel.

Months before your trip, start scouring apartment rental sites. For shorter stays when a hostel or hotel might work better, check out one of many booking apps like the Amex Online Travel tool, which allows you to use your Amex rewards points to redeem for travel!

travel money saving jar - photo by flickr user shiny things - tips for saving money to travel

image by Flickr user Shiny Things

3. Have a coin jar

Lastly, the trustiest money saving tip of them all – save your money in a coin jar. Every time you come home empty all of the change in your pockets into the change jar and don’t allow yourself to ever take any back out. Literally duct tape the lid shut so that you have to fight to get it off when you are finally going to travel. It can be amazing how much the daily change in your pocket can add up.

Hopefully some or all of these tips will get you on your way to saving money for your travels. If you have any other great suggestions leave them in the comments below.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own and I truly do love my Amex Gold Card.

23 Comments

  • Reply
    Cest La Vibe
    December 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    A travel rewards card makes sense for anyone who knows they want to travel more but doesn’t know where to start. After about a year of using it, you’ll have enough miles to take a trip!

  • Reply
    Kellie
    November 28, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Thanks for the helpful post:) Have you tried any other rewards card? I’ve heard good things about this one and the Chase Platinum card for travel rewards.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks Kellie! I have personally only used Amex. I am also Canadian so I don’t think Chase works for me anyway :)

  • Reply
    Keryn
    November 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Making coffee at home is a HUGE money saver for us. It’s amazing how much we have spent in the past. Even if I buy the better beans, and not the cheap stuff we are saving cash for our next trip. Maybe I should put that savings in the coin jar? Might help me cut down on coffee too. Ha!

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      That sounds like a great idea!! It’s amazing how simple it can be sometimes to save a little bit of cash by doing things like making our own coffee :)

  • Reply
    Himanshu
    November 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

    All are easy to follow tips. I must soon own a Amex now.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I highly recommend it! I love mine! :)

  • Reply
    Monica
    November 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I’ve heard of the coin jar idea so many times – I guess it must be useful to many people :) Personally, I guess it wouldn’t really work for me – I prefer saving in the bank :)

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      It gets harder these days too when so many times we use our cards instead of cold hard cash, but whatever works for you is best :)

  • Reply
    Karilyn
    November 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Love the coin jar idea as well. we have one only because my husband doesn’t like carrying around so many coins. I need to just start packing it away for a rainy day trip!! We don’t use the Amex card, but also LOVE our travel points card. We have gone on a trip every year for the past 3 years off of points!

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      You should look into the Amex too, the points are great and can be used for so many things! Save all the coins you can! :)

  • Reply
    melody pittman
    November 22, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I’m an AmEx Platinum member and I feel the same kind of love. I don’t stress too much with using the rewards programs because i get frustrated and find them annoying but they certainly can be beneficial for those who have more patience than I. LOL You are very young to have developed these savings starters, you should be proud. ;)

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Oh Platinum!! So fancy! You get into a bunch of airport lounges with that as well right?
      I think I get my saving habits from my grandmother! lol

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 21, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    These are all solid saving techniques. We have started using AirBNB this year and have found that it saves a lot of money over a hotel and is still really comfortable and convenient. We also like to put money from our paychecks directly into a travel fund that builds up over time.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks Laura! That is a great idea as well :)

  • Reply
    Hugo
    November 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    My coin jar keeps growing!

    When it comes to booking accommodation, I’m very flexible, but feel like besides trip duration, in some places the market is so crazy that is really hard to get good deals.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Thats true. Some places it is nearly impossible to save a dime but then other places like Prague amaze me at the savings.

  • Reply
    Gemma
    November 21, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    We saved, surprisingly, a lot from the coin jar! Another tip – don’t go window shopping, you don’t that stuff!

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Oh its true, I have definitely window shopped and spent money that I shouldn’t have! lol

  • Reply
    Jackie | The Globetrotting Teacher
    November 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I’m a huge fan of using miles and points for travel. I use the points I earn from my travel rewards credit cards to book flights and hotels all over the world. It’s definitely worth the time and effort. I love how you included a coin jar in your tips! We have 2 of them and it’s always a pleasant surprise when we cash it in for travel!

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks so much Jackie. Both are surprisingly great ways to save on your trips! :)

  • Reply
    Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver
    November 21, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Some great tips. I love the coin jar idea. I need to be better about that. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      November 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Megan, glad I could inspire you to hopefully save a few!

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