Top tips for saving to travel

Goa beach view

So you’ve decided your going to travel somewhere.

Maybe it’s India.  Maybe you’ve booked it.  Maybe it’s still a dream.

Let’s face it the more money you have available the easier your trip will be and the more fun you’ll have.  So why not start saving now.

Buy a hot drink flask. 

Make fresh coffee at home and stop buying on the way to work. This will not only benefit your pocket but the environment also. Plastic coated paper coffee cups are not good for the environment – they do not recycle – and millions are used and disposed of every day .  Often in the recycling bin by mistake !

Do the same for cold drinks

Buy a metal cold drink bottle and take your own drink to work. Again a lot cheaper than buying at lunchtime. While it’s true plastic bottles can be recycled , often they are not and find there way into the ocean . And bottled drinks are far more expensive than bringing your own from home .

And carrying on in the same vein…

….make a packed lunch instead of buying.


To continuously motivate yourself to save put photos of your intended destination up in areas you go to frequently   – in a diary , wallet , near kettle , bathroom mirror, laptop and phone.


If you have online banking open a savings account and transfer small amounts regularly  . If you haven’t already booked – £1 a day or even £10 per week for a year covers return flights to India depending when and where you are travelling.

Have a declutter and sell

eBay is good for selling second hand goods.   You’d be surprised what you’ve got lurking around that people would buy.

Don’t go to the shops !

Have groceries delivered. Or if that’s not practical then only shop once a week for food – including any packed lunches – so you will not have to nip into the shops continuously and fall into the temptation of buying anything unnecessary. And stay off of websites where you might be tempted to spend.

Ask for money as xmas/birthday presents.

And put it away straight away in your holiday fund.

And then start planning

If you haven’t already booked start researching using skyscanner, to compare prices of flights to give yourself an indication of cost, and tripadvisor to look for accommodation. I’ve used them both for India.  If you’re looking for cheapest possible accommodation and you are flexible, I recommend booking in advance for three nights – it gives you time to settle in to an area and look around for somewhere cheaper once you are there. Many places will pay for a car or taxi from the airport if you book for a few days. There are a lot of smaller cheaper hotels / beach huts that are not to be found on the internet.

Start looking around at prices for luggage if you don’t have any and luggage accessories – luggage scales are fairly cheap and you will need them for travelling  – and a good padlock. Remember the cheapest suitcase or backpack isn’t necessarily the best value.

Don’t buy too many clothes for your holiday in India – they are cheaper there.

Check with your phone provider and debit / card providers re using abroad.



Don’t forget to pack these top ten items for India

  1. pack these top ten items for India
If it’s your first visit you might be wondering what to pack for India – it isn’t quite as straightforward as other destinations. These are the top ten items for india always in my case / backpack.
1 Malaria prevention

One of the most important of the top ten items for india is Malaria prevention. Malaria tablets and Mosquito spray. Check before you go whether you are in a Malaria zone. There are other mosquito transmitted diseases – Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Japenese encephalitis.


2. Mobile phone

And don’t forget the charger. I would advise a spare also.  Try the 10ft charger in the Amazon ad above. Why a 10ft charger ? The  plug socket may not always be near your bed and when I’m asleep i like my phone as close as possible. Or in the airport there may be sockets but people sat in front of them. You can plug it in but still sit a few seats down with the phone still on your person.

3. Power pack

The Portable Power Bank for mobile phone is another indispensible travel item – you may be out and about and not near a plug to recharge. Or on a long train journey. Or perhaps you take lots of photos and videos (guilty) or listen to music on the beach (also guilty). I’m glued to my phone at home but superglued to it in India and it’s essential that it doesn’t run out of battery. If it does simply plug it into the power pack and you have extra life – then recharge the power pack when you get back to electricity supply.  My last trip to India was the first time I had taken a powerpack – the airline I flew with – Emirites – requires them to be taken in hand luggage so don’t pack in the bottom of your suitcase.

4. Camera

Number four of the top ten items for india is a good camera. My tip – buy a memory card with as large a memory as you can afford like this SanDisk 64GB Memory Card for instance. Or maybe it’s just me – I take thousands of pictures ! I’m looking to upgrade my camera and after careful research I have narrowed the search down to these two – the  Canon EOS 1300D or the Nikon D3300 . Both great for beginners with good results, good reviews and, most importantly for me,  they both have plenty of tutorial videos on Youtube. If anyone has experience of either of these two do let me know how you’ve got on with them – or if you would advise another similiar priced camera.

5. Plug adapter

You can pick these up at airports but you will save money if you buy beforehand. Many good hotels facilitate uk plugs but smaller ones and beach shacks do not.  Take a spare , they’re easy to lose.

6. Torch

With the exception of one trip to India I experienced power cuts so this is definitely in my top ten items for India . Once while I was in the loo. And the torch was in my bag. Which wasn’t in the loo with me. It was scary. Bring this powerful yet lightweight Super Bright LED Torch . It also gets dark really quickly – not the gradual fading of the light as in the UK and depending where you are you might find it comforting to have a torch with you even if just to light your path so you don’t trip on anything. You could of course just use your phone if you have a torch in there but I would advise that you reserve your phone battery.

7. Toileteries bag

Include sanitary items, condoms, favourite shampoo/conditioner, small shower gel ( buy some there ) bare minimum make up – mascara and lip gloss in my case – toothbrush etc, painkillers,  imodium and electrolytes sachets (dioralyte), hand sanitiser, antiseptic cream or spray and any prescription medicines. Take photos of prescriptions with your phone before handing to chemist.  Just in case they are ever asked for.

8. Flip flops

I buy mine from Primark for 90 pence. I take dark coloured shoes to India – the sand on the beaches tends to stain – a white pair I took once were orange by the end of the trip and no amount of scrubbing would revert them to their original colour. Ditto with light colour bikini’s and shorts by the way. If you like something a little sturdier than flip flops but light and easy to slip on and off then these birkenstock eva sandals are brilliant for travelling – just like normal birkenstocks but waterproof.

9. Modest clothing

Generally don’t take too much clothing to India as you can buy clothes cheaply there. Research the weather for where you are going – mostly its going to be hot ! So light clothing but remember in many places you shouldn’t expose too much flesh – and for women that includes shoulders and legs. So long sleeve lightweight tops are best for off the beach in all but the most touristy areas. Men can wear vest tops and long shorts. And long baggy light trousers are also modest and good for mosquito protection in the evening. Bikinis can be worn on the beach or by the pool but leave your most skimpy swimwear at home. No thongs here !

10. Sun protection

Hat , glasses and sunscreen. You can buy hats there no problem but sunglasses I didn’t find any the quality I liked. Sunscreen you can buy but if you have a brand you trust then bring it with you.

Lastly – when travelling it is usual to obtain currency before you go. For India thats not possible. Read my blog about India Rupees to find out why.

There we are , thats my top ten items for India – what’ yours ?

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Indian Rupees