Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Gap Year Guide Part 2: Finance

Hi everyone and welcome to my second edition of my “Gap Year Guide” which will be focused all about how I actually financed my trip.

Feel free to check out my Instagram @izzyk1998 for more travel pics ;)

If you guys missed my first post (which you can catch up with here) you will know that I traveled around mainly Eastern Europe for a month with my best friend. Now, obviously, for that time period you do have to budget and make the money last for the whole trip. This is how I achieved that. …

The first thing I’ll talk about is my actual saving goal for the holiday. Ideally I wanted to save £3000 to spend on anything related to travelling this year. I knew that I wanted to travel in May, so in September I got a job in a retailer. Since I got paid weekly, I got roughly between £156-180 a week depending on the hours I worked. It’s unrealistic to assume that I wouldn’t need money during the week, so I always made sure I had a bit of money in my current account, just to cover things like buying birthday presents, going out and a cheeky bit of shopping. But I never wanted to have more than £150 in my current account so I wouldn’t go on a crazy shopping spree and blow all my money at once. So every week that I got paid I transferred any money that I had over £150 into my savings account with the intention to spend it on travelling. Needless to say my savings soon built up.

Now I didn’t spend all my savings for travelling at once. We found a good deal on Interrail tickets if we brought them by the end of January (I believe it was January) and got 15% off for booking it at that time. And another way I was able to make the money last was by looking for cheaper alternatives to everything. I’ll be doing a specific post about accommodation, but an example of a cheaper alternative was booking AirBnBs instead of hotels because then half our savings would be gone on accommodation alone.

Another thing me and my friend did before we went travelling was budgeting our money between different accounts. I kept some of my money in my current account with my ordinary debit card since it was linked to my PayPal which is what I used to book AirBnB’s. And then the majority of my savings was transferred to my FX card. I’m so lucky that my friend advised me to get one of these cards, because they have less of a charge when you use them internationally compared to ordinary credit/debit cards. So that’s another way to save money whilst travelling between different countries.

And since it was probably a good idea to have some cash on us when we arrived to each country, we got some exchanged at our local M&S shop. We did this because there’s no minimum money that you have to exchange there. So we went halves on the currency and for the two of us took out:
  •         £100 Bulgarian Lev
  •         £150 Romainan Lei
  •          £100 Hungarian Forint
  •          £100 Croatian Kuna
  •          £150 Euros

So there we are, that’s how I budgeted my travelling for my gap year. The song of the day is It Aint Me by Selena Gomez. I tried to go into as much detail as possible for my gap year guide, but if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask me. Thank you very much for reading,

Izzy K xxx