How to travel without breaking the bank

By Aimen Siddiqui
Fri, 07, 22

You can easily save enough cash for a decent trip abroad. Here, I will share how I save for my trips....

How to travel without breaking the bank


You think only people with a hefty salary can afford an international trip, right?


Are you pushing back your travel dreams because you can’t save enough money to afford a trip? With good financial planning – and through the use of traditional savings methods – you can easily save enough cash for a decent trip abroad. Here, I will share how I save for my trips.

The BC method

Are you familiar with the term ‘BC’? It is often called committee or com-ay-tee! It is an informal fund – often started by elders in the family – where members make a fixed contribution each month to help members of the fund have access to interest-free loans.

Here’s a fun fact: my first international trip to Dubai was only made possible because of BC. In 2016, I took part in a 10-month-long committee worth Rs25,000. I had to submit Rs2,500 per month. The committee started in November, 2015 and ended in August 2016. In July, I got my cash – TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND! Since I was earning a meagre amount back then, this cash was a blessing for me. I used the money to book my first international flight – that cost around Rs29,000.

I prefer this method because it has a small effect on my monthly expense. It is easier to take out Rs2,500, Rs5,000, or so every month than to save a huge chunk of money. Travelling wise, the amount helps you cover a big expense – tickets or hotel booking.

Essential shopping

My main monthly expense is my cats’ food. Apart from the meat that I normally buy from the local chicken meat shop, I have to buy treats and wet food for one of my cats. For this, I have to make monthly trips to Naheed. Now, when you are in a supermarket, you end up buying things you don’t need. A tub of ice cream? Yes, why not! A new flavor of chips? YES! A can of chilled ginger ale? A thousand times yes! These impulsive purchases lead to a couple more thousands in your bill.

Our aim is to cut down non-essential expenses. So, don’t fill your trolley with items that you don’t need! When I am saving for travel, I time myself. I don’t spend more than 15 minutes in the store – this doesn’t include the wait time at the billing counter. I pick the essential items and refrain myself from picking anything else – not even a Rs100 Lay’s packet.

How to travel without breaking the bank

Make use of the credit card

A credit card can be a life saver if you use it diligently. Many banks offer you to pay your outstanding amount in installments. This feature has helped me not to go totally broke after my trip. I usually shop on credit card and pay three or six monthly installments to pay off the debt.

But before you swipe your card left, right, and center in a foreign land, make sure to call your bank’s helpline to learn what their policy regarding installments is – ask them about the one-time processing fee, mark-up rates, and other related charges.

Transfer the money in the savings account

At the starting of each month, list down your expenses – include entertainment expense as well. As soon as the salary credits in your account, use it to pay the bills, rent, your home contribution, etc. Take out some cash for commute and food. Transfer the rest of the money in the savings account that you don’t use often. Forget about the money and don’t take it out!

A savings certificate

This is a sort of extension of the above point. If you are unsure whether you will be able to stop yourself from using the money you saved in your account, you can consider buying a savings certificate. Short-term savings certificate can be purchased by depositing cash or cheque at a National Savings office. The minimum deposit amount is Rs10,000. You will be entitled to a small amount of profit, which is due on the completion of the maturity period, on these savings as well. The good thing about the certificates is that they can be encashed before maturity – but not earlier than one month from the date of issuance. The maturity period of these certificates are three months, six months, and one year. With no cash in hand, you won’t end up spending the money you were saving for the trip.

How to travel without breaking the bank

Booking choices

The booking options that you choose can also help you save some money. Booking sites such as has time-limited deals that you can check out before confirming your booking. When you make non-refundable bookings, you get to lock lower prices. The same is true for air tickets. Non-refundable tickets – or flights with a long layover – may offer a lower price. Many banks also offer discounts on card holders – don’t forget to check your bank’s offers.

Some more information

What follows is not true to the original topic. These tips are not about how to save money, but mostly talk about how to make more money. But I am sharing these here because they do help you expand your travel budget.


If your workplace allows you to do freelancing on the side, this is a great way to earn some extra cash. However, I would personally advise you to not overburden yourself if you already have a demanding job.

Small loan

Umm, again, this isn’t a much-preferred way to finance your trip, but this isn’t that bad either. If you have friends or family members who may give you a small amount of loan for the trip, you can take that.

What’re you waiting for?

Saving money isn’t easy. But if you believe in deferred gratification, you would take the hard pill of not touching your money and setting it aside for more important things! Trust me the moment you land in a new, unexplored foreign location, you will know that you have made the right decision.