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How I can afford to Travel the World


Tips on How To Save for  a Trip

  1. Check your phone bill
Change your plans
Photo from Techie Gadgets

Yes, we live in the social media and technology generation, but do we really need that unlimited internet?  Do we need to pay Php 1500-2000 a month? Check out your plan and see if it’s working for you.  Globe has a service now where you can monitor your usage online.  I realized that I really didn’t need unlimited internet. I have wifi at home, and in a lot of places now, so most of the time, I only need my data plan when I have to immediately post on my social media channels. From my monthly bill of Php 1400, I reduced my plan to “My Lifestyle plan” and I now only spend Php 798/month:

Php 499 for unlimited call and text to Touch Mobile and Globe

Php   299 for 1.5GB worth of data

That’s an extra Php 600 savings.

If I need to message someone who uses SMART or SUN Cellular, I just use the social media channels like Facebook, Viber, or Whatsapp. Most likely, that friend is online.

Check out globe my lifestyle plans if you can work out a way to lower your bill  here.

  1. Cut down on your coffee
Photo from Pexels

I used to spend Php125-175 on coffee every day.  I love coffee shops; that’s where I work, I hang out, and that’s where my friends and I spend hours and hours just talking.

But really, do I need that Php 125 drink every day? Aside from the extra calories, it’s unnecessarily quite heavy on the budget.

  1. Check your credit cards/reward cards for possible freebies
3. Card
Photo from Copykick

BPI credit cards, for example, give out Chow king or Jollibee coupons once in a while. If you are to spend for grocery or for utilities, then at least check out what offers your cards can provide so you can use that one that provides the most benefits. Some cards provide discounts on rooms, flights and other things. Learn your credit card’s worth and use it to your advantage.

At home we have BPI Skymiles Mastercard and a Citibank Premier Miles Signature Visa. Both credit cards earn airline mileage, but Citibank wins with the Php30 to a mile compared to BPI’s  Php 45 to a mile. For foreign currency transactions like USD or AUD,  Mastercard gets the lead, having only a conversion charge of 1.75% as compared to Visa’s 3.525%.

Tip :Read the article that The Travel Guy Shops wrote about  the best credit cards in the Philippines. 

  1. Check out your utilities
Photo from Pixabest

Is there something that you don’t necessarily need?I got rid of the TV cable service in my room. I stream most of the stuff, and watch the local channels anyway.  I also ditched the landline. I realized I hardly ever use it.If you do see a need for it, then at least keep it to just one (we used to have two).

  1. Check your bank for savings/investment options
Photo from Flikr- Ken Teegardin

Banks have various products to help you save. You can set a specific amount to save automatically on a monthly basis.

Better yet, if you don’t need the money immediately, ask your bank where you can invest for the period of time that you can afford not to use it. At least, your money is growing and it is not too accessible that you get tempted to use it.

  1. Plan ahead
Plan ahead 2016
Photo from Pixabay

Back when I was a preschool teacher, I knew exactly when the school calendar would end. I knew when I was free; I knew when I could leave. In effect, my friends and I could plan ahead. We thought of destinations, pegged dates for it, then signed up for airlines’ newsletters so we can be alerted when they go on promo.

Sometimes you can get an airline ticket for hardly anything. Heck, you can now fly to Australia for Php9,000 roundtrip,  if you’re lucky to catch that promo, as compared to the usual Php 40,000+.  Check out credit card promos too. They often tie up with airlines and offer hard to resist deals.

  1. Have a garage sale
garage sale
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

My friends and I are a big fan of this. No money? Get rid of everything you no longer use.

There are a lot of clothes rotting in your closet; if you’re waiting to fit in them again, chances are you probably won’t. If you haven’t used it in 6 months, sell it.  Have a garage sale and earn money from these items.

Similarly, if you see a garage sale, take a look. There might be a lot of good second hand objects, coats, clothes, bags that you can get for a really good deal. It’s a win-win situation.

Even better, now there are sites like and Duriana where you can sell your garage items online.  These have  a wider reach, plus they cater to more people. Just put a little bit of effort into photographing your pictures and posting them for sale, then tadaa!!!… you’ve converted something into cash.

  1. Cut down on the Movies
Photo from Wikipedia

I spend a minimum of Php 500 for a movie outing.  Cinema tickets cost an average of Php 250, plus snacks, plus lunch or dinner after, plus parking fee. Movies have gotten way too expensive. Buy DVDs or stream and watch with your friends at home. Throw in some popcorn or Boy Bawang  or Tuna Mayo + Crackers—–perfect for a good hang out.

  1. Cut down on the Alcohol
Photo from Flikr-Waren Rohner

Clubbing and alcohol? Cut down on the alcohol expense.  If you must indulge, then buy them at the grocery and gather at a friend’s house—–play spotify, grab some chips, play a game  of “have you ever” or anything. This allows your to still bond with your friends while less heavy on the budget.

  1. Eat cooked food at home and cut down on the fast food.
Photo from Freestock Photos Biz

Eat at home instead. If you have to meet out, then just go out for dessert or coffee—-that’s a lot cheaper than another Php 250-500 on a full meal.

  1. Give up the gym membership,
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

No, I am not telling you to sit all day and be unhealthy. Once you get the feel of how to work out then there are a lot of cheaper alternatives.  You can go biking or running around the village.  You can invest on a pair of dumbbells and you will be fine.

There are a lot of Apps on your phone that you can follow to exercise; use these.  For exercising, you need discipline, and not a membership.  If you must, then apply for a month or two then revert to doing things on your own. Ask your friends, you may have one who is in the field who will gladly give advice, or if you are lucky, make your exercise program.

  1. Attend Free Seminars
Photo from Tendenci

I come across a lot of those at Eventbrite. You can always pick up valuable lessons/skills from those workshops that may help you earn some extra cash on the side. Some of them are free.

  1. Become a freelancer
Photo from Pixabay

A lot of people offer services online. Find out what skills you have and put it to good use. Check Upwork, Freelancer and other online jobs. You can come up with something for sure, and you can do the work even while you’re on the road.

Tip: Enroll in for HR benefit perfect for freelancers and Small Medium Enterprises. You have HR benefits despite not being in a company.

  1. Download an Expense Tracker App
Photo from Google Play

These will help you keep track of your money. Set aside a small amount each week or month for your travel fund.  This is how I partition my own earnings each month: one part for savings/investment, another part for utilities, and still another for my travel fund. Having a definite amount for utilities will help you stay within budget and not overspend.

  1. Reduce the monthly spa, nails and haircut
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

You need these, but assess when you do need to have them.

Learn how to do your own nails; just keep them tidy.

Get a good hair stylist and have him/her cut your hair in a way that’s easy to manage and you won’t need a lot of maintenance.

Instead of going to the spa, ask your friends and family to give you a 5-minute massage if you are stressed.  Or do home service massage instead; it’s only Php 250 during weekdays for 1.5hours. It saves you the trip, its way cheaper, and you get what you need.

  1. Opt for basic clothing

It is easy to style basics however way you want. Go for mix and match. Have key pieces that you can use in many ways.  Don’t go for the too colorful and too trendy ones. If that’s the case,  you will find yourself having to buy more and more clothes.

  1. Check out grocery promos
Photo from Wikipedia

Look for possible  buy 1 take 1 items, and also check the double your points days. It will help you save because eventually you can deduct from your grocery bill, that seems almost good as cash.

  1. Rent out your extra bed space/room on AIR BNB, or find a room mate

I didn’t do this, but it’s a possibility you might want to consider.

  1. Do free activities
Photo from Torange

Instead of planning all the expensive trips while you are in your home time, go hiking, go museum hopping (they offer free entrance days), go to parks and enjoy the scenery. Look for the cheap/ free stuff you can do with your friends so you can still continue to live your life while you are saving for a trip.

  1. Cancel your subscriptions
Photo from Autodesk

Check your subscriptions and see if you really need them.  In a digital world, it is easy to read/research online.

I guess as a Filipina, I am lucky to still live in my parents house rent free, as majority of young Filipinos do, until married. I used to work as a preschool teacher, and yet despite my small salary, I managed to travel for 3  months every summer (March- June)  with whatever I saved.  Find out on my next article how I stretch my cash and make it fit.


31 thoughts on “How I can afford to Travel the World

  1. Haha, as your travel buddy I can testify that you really do these things. The great thing with travelling is that you learn to cut the clutter, stick to the essentials, and become more creative about ways to have fun. Pretty sure a lot of people have been wondering about your ‘secrets’ and here they are! 😉

  2. I think you have alot of good points here. I often here people i say i can afford to travel what they really mean is i wont sacrifice anything to travel. My rule is do i need this or do i want this there is a big difference

  3. Great tips – I agree that alcohol is a big saver when you cut down, and perfect reasoning on the gym membership – you need motivation not monthly fees – absolutely!
    Happy Travels 🙂


  4. You have a great list of tips here. We travel for a month every year and have been able to do it by opening our home to International students for homestay for a few months each year. We have really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and getting to know more about their cultures and at the same time it has funded our annual travels.

  5. Absolutely agree with these – this is precisely what we did to save for our big trip. The main ones – cutting out alcohol and eating out – in a place like London you save a ton of money by doing this. Also the gym membership, with a little discipline you can do a morning job with a few park exercises using just body weight and voila!

  6. Seems that you got everything covered to save some money. I’m already doing most of them as well. Zero coffee and (almost) zero alcohol here. Always trying to optimize!

  7. It’s amazing how countless the ways we can save if only we take a good evaluation of our daily lifestyle, no? Holding a garage sale is a good idea! Last year, I sold a big bulk of my wardrobe. Some of them were sold for Php50, Php100 but when they all added up, wow! I could buy a plane ticket to a nearby country. 🙂

  8. Great tips – I personally really resonate with all of the “cut down” tips, because I think that the biggest thing to saving is always sacrifice. People need to figure out what they want more, A trip, or their daily coffee. It all adds up, and the reason we’re able to travel is because we don’t eat out and we cut out alcohol, smoking and coffee from our lives. Might sound like a boring existance but not when you consider we’re then tarveling the world for 6 months out of each year!

    Nice post 🙂

  9. A lot of helpful tips there Karla especially for the millenials 🙂 While you’re streaming movies at home, pair your chips with some of Pickings dips and spreads! Shameful plug there haha! Ill try the Expense Tracker app ! Great job girl!

  10. Awesome tips! I think you’ve covered everything! Would love to add more but yep, you got it all girl haha. I really do back you up on the coffee and alcohol expenses. They add up incredibly quick and that money can be put to way better use 🙂

  11. Awesome suggestions and very practical methods. I cut down on the drinks, spending no more than $5 per week which has saved me a ton of money. Also trying to buy groceries that are on sale (though eating at home and decent food is more expensive than eating out where I live), and a few other things. Every little bit helps. You guys have mastered it! 😉

  12. All very good tips. In the end, the most important thing is to make it a priority if you want, you stop spending on other thigns so you can travel more. All the rest of the tips to save are great too but it starts there

  13. Great tips, that are doable for anyone! There’s definitely a lot of ways to cut back on things, downsize, and save money. Every little bit counts!

  14. These are some great tips. We have a tendency to eat out at restaurants … A LOT. So when I feel a budget pinch, eating at home is a quick and somewhat easy solution for us.

  15. I’ve cut down on things that most people think are so important. I used to get my nails done all the time, but like you said, I learned to do them on my own. It may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up.

  16. Great tips but I guess I can’t do no. 8 unless I have a big screen or maybe a projector at home. Hehe. I still love the beauty of huge screen as the real essence of cinema. Though I love buying DVDs as well but for shows with more than one episode. A lot of disciplined is must to do all these! Love your management. 🙂

  17. Great tips for saving money! I do almost all of them. After all, it’s better to have travel experiences and memories than materialistic things (specially the ones you don’t really need).

  18. It’s interesting how I have done, or am still doing, most of the items in your list. I couldn’t agree more on most of them! ANd hence, I managed to travel solo and not planning to stop anytime soon. 🙂 Here in Norway, going to a frisør salon to get a haircut is really very expensive! Luckily, I have curly hair, so I do my haircut and all my beauty-regime by myself. I also tried setting aside some travel money, but I had to stop for the next couple of years to give way to study funds. 😛 Love your list! Many should read this, tbh.

  19. I never got a chance to travel before being married. Right now, it’s really a stretch for our budget to raise a family. Your tips are super helpful. I really have to watch for my expenses!

  20. Hi, Karla. This is Jen Villarosa of Invest Manila. I think you’re list is really helpful, for I’ve been asking myself the same question on how my friends could afford it. And so, it all boils down to priorities. I would love to travel the world too, but I think I need to same more cash first for an emergency and retirement fund. Anyway, thank you for this. It will still help me save more money and allot it to other things.

  21. I cut down on eating out and ordering food and going on concert outings… its saved some money, I use that to invest in mutual fund schemes(:

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