Top 10 Mistakes When Saving for a Trip

Last Updated on 31 August 2021 by Dan

Hello everyone! I’m delighted to host a guest post today on mistakes when saving for a trip or holiday. Our post is from Mary Catherine, who is the founder of, a Personal Finance website that helps people make their money work harder. She is a self-taught finance nerd and features Personal Finance Expert in GO Banking Rates and Yahoo! Finance.

Please do check out her great content – for now, over to Mary Catherine!

The 10 Mistakes when saving for a trip

How much will your holiday cost? How long will you have to save for it? There are a lot of factors that go into this, and the answer is different for everyone. But no matter what your situation is, people make some mistakes when saving up for their getaway, which you should be aware of before putting away money.

Don’t let these ten common mistakes hold you back from going on a trip! Follow these tips and learn how to create a budget, what kind of spending habits can help while planning your getaway and which ones should be avoided at all costs!

Not Creating a Budget when saving for a trip

A lot of people think that budgeting means giving up your fun and not enjoying life. A trip is a perfect time to practice budgeting because you will have a concrete goal in mind; saving up for it! If you are already planning on going on a trip, your budget should have a section devoted to it. Using a budget like the 50/30/20 could help you save for your trip and get your money management in order. 

Make a list of the things that you want to do. It is helpful to plan, even if you don’t know the exact dates of your holiday; it will give an idea of how much money you need in total, and how much each item costs. You can then use this information when comparing the prices for what each site offers – some might be more expensive than others, and you’ll know that it’s because of the things they offer.

Not Getting a Commission-Free Debit Card

By using a debit card that charges you a commission, you pay more for your holiday every time you use it. Debit cards charge you when transferring to another bank, withdrawing from an ATM and using foreign currency – all these things add up!

Be sure to check whether or not the card you’re looking at has any hidden fees or charges before applying. You can then use it for all your transactions and keep your money safe at all times.

Digital banks like Starling Bank make travelling a breeze offering no transaction charges or withdrawal fees when abroad. You can open an account in minutes, and it is free to do so!

Sunloungers by a swimming pool - not a mistake when saving for a trip!

Not Saving Throughout the Year

The best time to start saving for a trip is when you are not really in the mood or have an urge to spend your money on something else. You can’t just wait until the last minute and expect to save enough. It’s much easier to put away £50 every two weeks than trying to save £500 in 2 months.

Many people start saving when they want to go on a getaway, and the idea becomes an obsession. It’s not healthy to constantly think about it and keep through willpower alone. 

The trick is to make saving an automatic process – put your money aside by setting up direct debits or standing orders. With this, you’ll have the cash ready to go whenever you are.

It Takes To Save Up

It takes a lot longer than you think to save up for long-term goals such as going on a trip. Even if you take away all your savings and use your credit card, it is still possible to be left with plenty of debt. 

What you need to do is lower your lifestyle and save the difference. If your fantasies involve going on a luxury trip, finding ways to cut back will be difficult.

Not Planning for All Costs when saving for a trip

When saving for a holiday, it’s easy to think about the main expenses; plane tickets, hotels, food etc. It’s nice to be able to splurge out a bit on your departure date or spend time exploring every corner of the city you never had the chance to visit before. 

However, you need to remember that there are other costs involved too – getting at least one extra suitcase is just what every one needs!Take a picture of how much space everything takes up, and you can then gauge how many outfits or pairs of shoes you need to take along. 

Not only that, but you should also think about other necessities such as money for tips and souvenirs. Don’t forget your travel insurance either.

Not Maintaining your Emergency Fund While You’re Saving up for Your Holiday

Many people don’t bother to put money aside for any unforeseen circumstances, but they should. You might be tempted by other things or need to make an urgent repair at home. 

All these things cost money, and your future trip shouldn’t be the only thing you’re saving up for. So make sure that your trip isn’t the only thing you are saving for to prevent you from going into debt for unforeseen circumstances. 

Excessive Spending on Things That Aren’t Related to Travelling

Think about this tip, and you will have more to spend on your trip!

When planning for a long-term goal such as going away on holiday, it is essential to start thinking about your lifestyle. You may need to cut down on certain luxuries, such as eating out all the time or buying new things every week – but it will be worth it in the long run.

Using Credit Cards ‘ seems like a great way to make sure you’re always covered. But while credit cards are undeniably convenient, if misused, they can cause serious problems. When spending money, consider using cash or a debit card that tracks your spending instead; it is much harder to buy things impulsively because of the physical nature of money. 

Travelling girls by a beach successfully avoiding making mistakes when saving for a trip

Not Picking the Right Time to Travel

Different times of the year have different prices, depending on the location and time of day. The best thing is to find out when the cheapest days are and get as many days off work as possible. There are plenty of sites online that can help you plan your trip; a great one for getting cheap flights is Sky Scanner.

Leaving Things to the Last Minute


Leaving booking your flight until the last minute might seem wise, but it can be an expensive gamble; airlines have strict rules about how far ahead you need to book your seats. 

You might be tempted to save money by booking your flight when the cheapest flight is available. Still, if you don’t book early enough, there won’t be any seats left, and you will end up paying more than someone who booked a few weeks earlier.


Make sure you have enough time left on your passport. It takes time to get renewed. You could end up paying a lot more if you don’t leave enough time or even worse, not being able to go on holiday!

Travel Insurance

You should make sure your insurance is up to date before leaving on holiday because if anything goes wrong, it could end up costing a lot more than necessary!

Not Taking Advantage of Apps and Rewards

Taking advantage of these could save you a lot of money and make your trip way cheaper than it would be without them. Many apps exist to help you get rewards for using programs that usually cost money, so why not take the chance? 

Mistakes When Saving for a Trip: Final Words

It’s essential to plan and take the time to think about how you can save up for a holiday. You don’t want it to be your holiday, that is the reason you go into debt. 

This article has given some great tips on making your trip as affordable as possible so that travelling doesn’t become too costly or stressful.

Over to you!

Have you made any mistakes when saving for a trip, or have another tip of your own you’d suggest adding? We’d absolutely love to hear from you – please leave your comments below!

Other articles on saving money when travelling

If you’re looking to avoid making some of the mistakes above we’ve got some great articles here at the Wilderness to help save you money when travelling. Check out our guides to booking a great value holiday and how to get the best exchange rate for travel money!

And that’s it!

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