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How I saved up to travel abroad for the first time

The Geekly Gal - Save To Travel

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Before #travelgoals become popular among millennials, it has always been my dream to travel abroad. I was 20 years old and I’ve never set foot on foreign soil. I’ve always wanted to see the world.

So when I graduated from college, I knew that the first thing I would want to do is to have enough money and fly abroad for the first time but my problem is how?



During my first few months of working, I was only earning around 20k. While it is standard for entry-level workers, I also have my own bills to pay and a lot of wants. It also doesn’t help that I am a shopaholic who impulsively purchases every single thing that I like at first sight. I also tend to eat out a lot and by a lot, I mean every single day. I would crave for a subway sandwich, milk tea, coffee, doughnuts, churros, brownies and all the sweets I could ever find.

Save for Travel

I Use To Think I Cannot Afford to Travel

While I was doing some personal accounting, I realized that I was thoughtlessly spending too much money. A tall size of coffee from Starbucks can cost about 150-180 pesos, milk teas are also around the same price. If you give in to your cravings, you are spending 3000-3600 pesos for a whole month if you buy them every weekdays.

That’s around 16% of what I use to earn already. Imagine that in two months, I could have purchased a round trip ticket already in nearby Southeast Asian countries.



Traveling is not cheap. If you are born rich then it won’t be a problem. I am not rich but I was lucky to realize that it is not impossible for me. I just need to bide my time and save for it. If you really want to travel then you have to make it a priority.

Budgeting = Discipline Yourself

I always tell myself  “eyes on the prize”. If I really want to travel then I need to save some money. Even if it means that I won’t have my Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks or Pearl Milk Tea from Dakasi or Tiger Sugar, it will all be worth it. Instead of eating out during lunch, I tried packing my own lunches (like a healthy tuna sandwich or spaghetti). I even got to the point where I would eat leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.

I was not used to that lifestyle. It was a slightly tough adjustment that I needed to get used to. But I always remind myself that all will be worth it in the end. Let’s call the situation delayed gratification or suffer now and enjoy later.
Saving - The Geekly Gal

Budgeting Rules

How I managed to afford traveling with my income? It was just a really simple technique called the 40 30 20 10 rule. Every payday I would split my salary in the percentage of the corresponding numbers.

40% would most of my basic expenses such as bills, food, and transportation. The 30% goes straight to my traveling funds. I even opened a separate bank account for this so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend it. The 20% would, of course, go to my savings which is also kept in a different bank account and the remaining 10% is for whatever luxury that I want to but whenever I don’t buy something, I just put them in my travel fund as well.

This method worked wonders for me. Within two months, I was able to afford the roundtrip ticket from Manila, PH to Hanoi, Vietnam and within 4 months, I have as much as 30,000 pesos that will serve as my pocket money during my 8 day stay in Vietnam.

You can also do another budgeting rule by yourself. Another known method is the 50 30 20 rule. 50% for the basic expenses, 30% savings and 20% for luxuries.

The Geekly Gal - Vietnam

Would I do it again?

Heck yes! Budgeting can be hard at the beginning but the results are rewarding. You just need a little bit of discipline and determination to make it happen. Now that finally I was able to have an experience and I couldn’t wait for more adventures.  I currently have two upcoming international trips that I booked now this year and I am excited about it!



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5 responses to “How I saved up to travel abroad for the first time”

  1. Thank you for sharing your tips on saving up. Regardless of where you want to put the extra money you have saved, the important thing is you know how to manage your finances at a young age. It’s inspiring to hear this from a young lady like you. Good luck on your next trip. Looking forward to your next entry for your upcoming international trips.
    (PS: Caramel Macchiato is ❤ )

    • Priorities like bills, savings or other investments comes first but travelling second for me. I figure i can cut out some unecessary things in order to actually afford travelling, i guess it is worth it. I realize I am actually pretty lucky already to have a job that pays well. And yes Caramel Macchiato is just ❤️ 😍😍😍

  2. I used to be single and I was broke because of traveling! haha Good thing I married someone who is like you haha He likes budgeting too and I am so happy because of how our vacations turn out to be! 🙂 More of your travel tips please!

  3. It takes a lot of self discipline to avoid temptation for saving. This is a very good tip indeed! I did try the rule for sometime and I keep on breaking it! huh! too much temptation around! And I have lists of places to travel at. This boost my confidence to save for my next travel again! =)

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