Under 18 Solo Traveling: How To Save For Your Trip

A trip to a foreign country always opens up fantastic opportunities for youngsters to explore other cultures, and enrich their lives with new experiences. For a trip to become more than just an idle daydream however, advance planning is crucial - chief among those being how you will fund the trip. Funding your own trip round the world can give you an empowering sense of responsibility, and no doubt your parents would appreciate being spared the expense.

When you sit down to work out your finance, and how much you'll need for the trip, it's wise to first establish just what those main items are.

Most trip expenses can be broken down like this:

  • Transport
  • Meals
  • Accommodation
  • Sites/attractions

The following are some of the ways you can successfully save for your trip:

Have a dedicated saving account

Apart from the time spent, the cost of opening a new account is always zero. If you are fully dedicated and serious about funding your own trip, then having a savings account set up specifically for your trip is a good idea. When choosing a savings-account, make sure there are no penalty fees for withdrawing your money as you want easy access when the time for spending the money finally comes.

Another benefit of having a dedicated saving account, is that it can help you to remain within your budget limits during the trip. It's much easier to keep track of how much you are spending and as the trip progresses, you keep an eye on your balance.

Work hard

If you have a part-time job already, why not consider taking on more hours (if this doesn't interfere with your studies). By working hard, you will not only earn more, but you will likely spend less, simply because you'll be busier. In the event that you can't get extra work for extra coin, you could always secure a second job. This could be in the form of helping out in the neighborhood or doing freelance jobs. In the winter, offer to shovel snow, in the summer offer to mow lawns. Turn everything around you into an earning opportunity.

Give yourself a weekly allowance

After sorting out your routine and work schedule, make a list of all your expenses. As you write this list, cancel out all the items that may not be necessary. After apportioning money for your expenses, transfer the remaining amount to the saving account at the end or start of the week. Be brutal with yourself and do everything you can to stick to those monthly or weekly savings targets.

Make use of things at home

You can always look for ways to cut down how much you spend on entertainment. Instead of going out with friends for drinks and meals at a restaurant, you could invite them for dinner. If you all come together and cook, you will be able to save more for your trip. Instead of splashing out on a trip to the cinema, you could just invite a few friends over to watch a film at home. You could spend more time on less expensive hobbies, like exercising, sports or reading.

Let someone do the saving for you

There are many online programs that help make you a dedicated saver. SmartyPig.com for instance enables you to choose a saving target that you intend to achieve. You could also be cheeky and invite your family and friends to contribute to your saving plan. After hitting your target, there are several options on how you can have your money. Apart from the safe custody of your money, these online saving methods also pay interest on your savings.

The trusty change jar

Have a large jar where you dump those uncommitted change coins. They may seem very little while in the hand but when left to accumulate they can add up to a considerable amount of money and boost your saving.

Get people to contribute to your saving program

Get friends and family members to contribute to your saving for the trip. Draw up a detailed plan indicating the budget for the trip, the places you intend to visit, the activities you have planned and the corresponding costs. Present this plan to friends and family members and get their advice on your plan. This will not only show them that you are fully committed, but also that you have a plan. Let people pick items on the list that they can contribute towards.

It may not be easy to save for that dream trip, but with time, dedication and commitment, you can set your feet on the road towards your dream destination. Start early, have a clear and detailed plan and involve the people around you.

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If you found the tips and insights into under-18's travel insurance useful, then check out our other helpful articles on travelling as an under-18.

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