5 Must Haves To Save Money Whilst Travelling

February 24, 2020
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cameron highlands tea plantation save money whilst travelling

My family and I have been travelling the world on a budget for 6 months now.  More impressive is that we still have enough money left.


Over the last six months, we have gradually found our groove with this travelling lark.  With this comes a few lessons learnt and few items ditched.


We always knew that this was going to be a trip on a budget so we wanted to do whatever we could to keep the costs down.  There are five items that I recommend to anyone wanting to save money whilst travelling:


Small suitcase/backpack

If you buy a giant suitcase, you will fill a giant suitcase.  It does matter how much you need when you have the space to fill you will fill it.


Therefore, it is great to start off with a small suitcase or backpack.  We are travelling with backpacks that are smaller than the maximum allowance for cabin bags.


This means that we can nearly always take our bags on the plane with us and avoid paying extra to check them.  On top of that, it means that our luggage is easy to transport around.


When we arrive in new locations, we have choices about how we get to our destination.  We have carried our luggage and walked in the past.  But we have always been able to fit in a normal size car or on a bus or a train.


It is a huge money saver for us.  It is always my top recommendation for anyone looking to save money whilst travelling.  Go small.  Go light.


Shampoo bar

I learnt this one a bit late.  When I left the UK, I pack small travel size bottles of shampoo.  These are expensive, but luckily I had some Boots point from all the vaccinations we needed to have.


However, once they run out I was very reluctant to replace them.  Plus, with only taking hand luggage I had to watch the size of any further purchases otherwise I would just be looking at throwing them away again before the next flight.


Shampoo bars are the perfect solution to this.  You can take them on planes, they last ages and you won’t have to keep buying replacements.


Tote bag

This one might seem a bit ridiculous but hear me out.  Nearly every country that we have visited is working to reduce their single-use plastics.  This means they are charging for plastic bags.


For us, one of the big ways that we have been able to keep our costs down is by shopping locally and preparing meals.  To do this, you need to carry stuff back from the shops.


A simple tote bag will make you more willing to shop and save you the plastic bag charge at the tills.  Small but it all adds up.


Water bottle

I love my water bottle like it a third child.  I take it everywhere with me and it has seen so many great places.


It is also a fabulous way to save some money too.  In places where the water is drinkable from the tap, you can fill up your water bottle before you leave.


If you can’t drink the tap water, then it is far cheaper to buy water in larger 5-litre bottles and refill your water bottle every day.


We have also found them brilliant in airports.  We take them to the airport empty, head through security and then use the readily available water fountains to fill them up on the other side.  Saves us loads compared to buying water when we get there.


Sewing kit

There is nothing worse than losing a button when you are away or finding a ripped seam in your trousers.


Back home, I have sewing supplies and repair holes and whatnot in our clothes.  Therefore, I knew that it would be worthwhile to take a needle and thread with me.


It has been fabulous.  I have repaired trousers, sewn on buttons and even stitched up a cuddly monkey who beginning to lose some stuffing.


All of these items are still going strong now and have saved us the cost of replacing them with a quick repair job.


What items do you take that save money whilst travelling?

Do you have any items that you always take on holiday?  I am sure there are many more examples and I would love to hear them.

save money whilst travelling

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

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13 responses to “5 Must Haves To Save Money Whilst Travelling”

  1. AffiliateLabz says:

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. I’ve never tried the shampoo bar idea, but I love it…what a great way to avoid the 100ml rule at most airports!

    My packing tip is if you have a lot of things that need charging via USB, buy one of the 3 USB plugs from ikea (or get a travel adaptor with several USB sockets) so you only have to take 1 plug and cables pack down really small.

  3. Great ideas here! I always take a tote bag too, just because they’re so convenient. My list is pretty similar to yours, though I need to get better at packing light… 😉

  4. Jennifer says:

    Great list! We also travel with our favorite essential oils that boost our immune system, Thieves hand sanitizer and Thieves spray to keep us healthy. No one wants to get sick while traveling!

  5. ireayotomiwa says:

    Sewing kit! Yes, that’s a brilliant tip. It’s a lifesaving and very essential to pack while travelling.

  6. I totally agree with almost all the tips given but one that entices me the most is the sewing machine tip. I have never imagined myself carrying a sewing machine or even though of carrying the smallest of them. So thanks for making me realise something i didnt.

  7. Jo says:

    A water bottle is super important while travelling! I’ve been surprised by the number of times I’ve been unable to find water to purchase while in an unfamiliar place.

  8. Sophia Inza says:

    I so agree with the water bottle! I used to buy so many on trips, and it has become so much easier and more practical to use a refillable one! 🙂 great tips!

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Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.


I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.

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