Saving up: Travel Tips

A LOT of people have asked me: How do you save money to travel? 

As I have yet to answer that question thoroughly, some assume I come from a 'berada' family. Unfortunately this isn't the case. But if you're a kind and generous human being, who happens to be reading this and have some spare change in your Ferrari, I welcome your friendship! Ahaha :'D

My parents stopped giving me allowance a long, long time ago. They've never bought me a laptop (I used a free hp mini laptop through my studies in UiTM, as it was a gift for subscribing to a unifi contract), and the first car I had was an old second-hand kancil that I called Wahab (they sold it when I moved to London T_T).

Nama dia Wahab cuz its number plate was WHB. One time, I had to spend my money on submissions and my front bumper was falling off due to some accident. I had to choose my cash flow - so I ended up duct-taping the bumper (it's true. Duct tape is the answer to everything). Kesian kereta ni. I hope you're happy with your new owner :(

My little hp - look at how tiny it is hehe! I used it after SPM sampai habis degree. Nama dia Darth Mini, because I spread the force of darkness on it haha jk.

I respect how my parents channel their money to other pursuits and investments, and throughout my studies I supported myself by working part time jobs (architecture is a real expensive course guys, really). I'll write more about the jobs I took in another post :) Here's some of the things I've done to help me save money to travel, while I'm studying (during in KL and London).

1. Cook. 

I do. A lot of the time. It's getting to the point where my mother is worried I am spending too much time in the kitchen instead of the library haha. I've only just started cooking in London and I admit - it's so much easier here. There's no late night mamak to waste money on, the hipster cafes here are genuinely expensive, so I don't go out a lot, and above all, the ingredients are much cheaper!

My mum keeps it real when people comment "Nampak sedapnya!" Hahaha.

I think if you're really disciplined, it's possible to cut down on food outings (I know, I'm sad as I type this too - Malaysia is food heaven). Dulu, I used to go out with my friends and say "I've eaten at home" so I just enjoy their company. Sometimes, it annoys them and they ask "then why join?? we feel so guilty eating!" (yeah sure guys hahaha) but at the end of the day, I guess my friends understand (so thankful to have friends like these). Keluar pun minum ais kosong. Really. It saves a lot.

2. Less Shopping

When people ask me to teman them shop (especially you, Eman), I tend to groan in pain hahaha. I'll probably be the one sitting on a bench waiting for people in the store. A retail therapy doesn't hurt - but I try to save them for special occasions or as self reward hehe. It's extra challenging here in UK because shopping online is so easy. I try to hide my cards whenever I'm online just so it's harder to put in details whenever I go astray haha.

Markets galore!

Explains a lot hahaha.

Most of my clothes come from preloved items, carboots, markets, or during sales. Other than that, I ransack Kai and my sister's wardrobes whenever I need baju for an event hahaha (Pretty sure I drive them crazy / loveyouguys xD). I try to put a limit of RM30 / £30 when I'm buying casual clothes. There are many avenues to look good for cheaper prices :) And if you rock it well, who cares where the garments are from :)

Sometimes I do wish I was one of those girls toting a designer handbag, a head-to-toe fashionista outfit, who can take nice #ootds and tell people where to get my 'look'. Cannot la now - because how? "Top from Uptown Sek 24, shoes from my mother, err handbag from.. I don't know I found this belakang almari tadi?" Hahaha hampeh.

But it's all good :D - at the end of the day, clothes are clothes, it doesn't matter where they're from or how much they cost, as long as you're comfortable and you feel good. I save a lot of money by avoiding HnM/Cotton On/Forever 21 (etc etc) and have skipped out on a lot of beautiful clothes for the sake of beautiful landscapes #becauseyoureworthit


3. Work part time

I used to work for a boss who said: If money is the problem, then it's not a problem. I remember thinking "ehh, easy for you to say, you're the CEO!" But later on, I realise his words hold some truth. If you really need money, there are a lot of jobs in this world. You just can't be picky. Start from the bottom if you have to. Hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih.

In London, I'm now working part time as a kitchen helper in a food kiosk. I mop, I scrub floors, I scrape grease and oil from stoves, I serve customers and I'm having a lot of fun! My co workers are great and I get free food (this has also helped me sav a lot wah alhamdulillah). This doesn't really get to go on the instagram posts because I rarely have time to take photos while working hahaha. The hours are flexible and it doesn't disturb my classes - which is the best part. If you can manage it, find a way to get an income to add to your savings :)

4. Save and keep track 

Whenever I can, I try to buy store brand/economy pack groceries, and really avoid spending. Staying at home during busy university weeks, I sometimes don't spend anything for days which is great. I set a target each month, and whenever I feel like I want to buy some hot chocolate or kebab I ask: do I really need this? Can I wait til I get home and make my own hot drink and food? Whenever I have coins, I put them in a tabung. It's pretty hard sometimes, but seeing a healthy bank account balance at the end of the month is worth it.

Sekadar hiasan. My mum wrote these expenditure notes in my book during out family trip to Bali. I've been doing the same ever since :)

I have an excel sheet where I categorise my expenditures into headings like 'university' 'extra' (travel/clothes goes under extra), 'house and bills' and 'food'. I know - this sounds super organized (trust me guys I'm really not that organized!) but since I've studied abroad, there's no one to watch out for me and I have to step up and take control. It's great to keep track of where your money goes and helps you plan things out in the long run :)

sample of my savings record :) I'm sure you have one. But if you don't, it's good to start. Keeps you disciplined hehe. 

5. Cut down expenses when travelling

This is a pretty direct thing. Book early flight tickets - wait for promos and off peak sales. Stay in backpacker dorms/cheap hostels/couch surf. Cut down on shopping (survey and find the cheapest store for souvenirs). No check in bags - just backpacks and hand carry. Cut down on eating out in a different country (find a hostel with a kitchen where you can make maggi, or buy eggs and roti to make a sandwich. Brahim, maggi and campbell's instant soup has saved me a lot of times). Find the cheapest public transport routes and always ask if there's student discounts.

First day breakfast: chirp chirp 1 packet nestum, 1 packet milo and biscuit. #gigih

Last day lunch: My 'please do not disturb' face when I've eaten maggi for 3 days straight and realise that I have money leftover for actual food. Hahaha. 

And there you go! I hope this helps you even if a little bit :)


  1. A really good write up sha and super inspiring too! Very beneficial for someone yg temahak and hanya bekemampuan utk bersyukur pada kadar yg rendah like me ‪#‎innersoul‬ ‪#‎dday‬. Great tips! will try to implement it on my next trip soon.

    You have a really amazing journey right there, keep maintaining ur focus on the destination you gonna be just fine. Istiqamah. In Shaa Allah!

    Acacia the way you adorn the obstacle, that is just something else. + in another level! Indeed. A Beautiful character never come easy.

  2. Hey I don't shop that much.

  3. this is real writing.. keep up the good work !

  4. Nama dia Wahab because nombor plat is WHB hahahaha you're so funny!! But anyway, this is a great post! I echo with most of the things you wrote up there. My mum actually got worried that I'm being so frugal, every time I call her she always desperately asks me to buy things hahaha

  5. You're sooo inspiring! I'll avoid hnm cotton on and etc from now on!!!

  6. weyyy , nice wey . it's really hard living with lots of temptations . nevertheless, that's the drive to survive , kan . Hope to see you soon sha !


  7. Thank you for writing this!!!!! I've been looking for someone that I can emulate and I found you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you and I look forward to more in your other write ups.


  9. You really saving oh god! Thanks for the tips and thanks a lot for replying my dm just now. Im so tak sangka you would reply it again. May Allah bless you kak!

  10. Thanks for sharing the useful info here. Keep up the good work.