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Saving up for travel

How to get your plans off the ground

Ready to make that dream trip a reality? Read our tips to get you through every stage of your savings journey.

Starting to save

1. Work out a budget and set a savings goal

Step one is working out how much you’ll actually need to save by estimating a rough daily budget for your trip. This figure will depend on your destination, so do your research to get a feel for the average cost of food, accommodation and travel. (Lonely Planet offers helpful comparisons for some destinations under the ‘In detail’ and ‘Planning tools’ tabs.) Don’t forget to factor in flights, kit and insurance, too.

Now you know how much you need, set yourself a savings goal within your Barclays account so you have a clear aim to work towards. This will help you stay on track and you’ll see your progress every time you log in to Online Banking.

2. Minimise your outgoings

Next, think about ways to reduce your daily expenses so you can stash away as much cash as possible. Use a website like energyhelpline to see if you can save on your energy bills and scour your subscriptions for streaming services and gym memberships that you don’t use regularly or that aren’t essential. You can use the Barclays app to cancel Direct Debits and standing orders at the tap of a button.

3. Plan a savings route

When you’ve got a clearer idea of your outgoings, work out how much you can afford to put away each month and create a realistic savings plan. Factor in times when you might be able to save a bit more – such as your birthday month or when energy bills decrease in the summer – but also remember those more expensive months (over Christmas, for example).

Once you’ve worked out the average amount you can afford to save each month, set up a Direct Debit or standing order to transfer your money straight to your savings account after payday – the fixed amount each month makes it part of your regular outgoings.

Mid-way to take-off

4. Check in on your plan

Whether your savings plan spans weeks, months or years, have regular check-ins to see if you’re on track to make your goal. If the final total is looking out of reach, try to amend your plans to make it more achievable, perhaps by changing the length of time you’re away or where you’re hoping to go.

If you’re planning on jetting off for a few months, you could also look into ways to save while you’re abroad – such as ‘work away’ programmes where you can volunteer your time in exchange for free accommodation and food.

5. Get selling

If you’re going on a big trip, think about making extra cash from things you won’t need while you’re away – whether that’s a car, furniture or excess clothes, it’ll give your savings a boost.

Before you jet off

6. Last-minute money-makers

At this stage, every penny counts, so look into ways you can make a quick buck. If you have any travel cards, you may be able to claim a refund on them, and you can get money for old gadgets by recycling them with sites like musicMagpie.

7. Update your utilities

Moving out of a rented flat to go on a longer-term trip? Make sure to take final meter readings and let your utility suppliers know, too, as you may be owed some money back.

8. Work out what you’re owed

Don’t lose your hard-earned savings on charges for using your card while you're away.

Even if you haven’t got travel plans, you can still set yourself a savings goal. Whether you’re after a new car or want to try scuba diving lessons, having a clear idea of what you’re aiming for can make it far easier to save.

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