Travellers have one thing in common, whether you’ve been bitten by the long-term travel bug or just desperate for a holiday – any holiday! – and that is the question of how to pay for it.

Since the credit crunch many of us are (at least, we should be) a bit more wary of getting ourselves into debt, and more interested in saving money wherever we can.

But if you’re itching to get on the road, it’s hard to wait until you can afford to travel – especially when a really good value deal lands in your inbox. Before you reach for the credit card, put these easy savings tips into action and you might find your travel fund fattens up faster than you were expecting it to.

1. Identify your most expensive bad habit – and give it up

We’re used to giving things up at New Year or for Lent, but often “I know I ought to” isn’t quite enough motivation to keep you sticking with the sacrifice once the traditional “giving things up” season is over. For a more compelling kick up the behind, work out exactly how much you spend on your bad habit (you know the one!). Be completely honest with yourself – nobody else cares, and you’re the only one who’s missing out on fulfilling travel and relaxing holidays because you’re frittering money away on biscuits, booze, smoking, trashy magazines, expensive shoes, saucy website subscriptions or whatever. Do the maths – daily spend x 365 days = exactly how much you’re losing a year. Or if it’s something you only do every work day, daily spend x 240. Even spending £1.50 a day on sugary foods to get you through those boring afternoons in the office is costing you around £360 pounds a year – that’s easily a week in the sun if you play your cards right.

2. Cancel any unused subscriptions

Maybe you signed up to an online film-streaming website with a “2 months free” introductory offer, and forgot to cancel it. Or you joined a gym in Jan but the real you prefers walks in the park and lunch with friends, so you’re just not making the most of it. No need to beat yourself up about it – but don’t waste any more money. Check through your bank statement and make sure you’ve cancelled every direct debit that isn’t netting you anything useful or significantly improving your quality of life.

3. Research the best travel deals providers now

You will need to take care not to give into temptation, but while you’re saving up it makes sense to find out where you’ll find the best discounts the moment you can afford to travel. Don’t just look at websites – find companies that are active on social media and who send out legitimate deals in e-newsletters (instead of tempting you with the promise of discounts but then just using your email address to try and sell you regularly-priced products). Travelzoo are particularly good at social media and treat their followers well by posting travel deals as soon as they go live.

4. Join a utilities price-checker scheme

It’s one thing to stop wasting money on biscuits, but some things you can’t do without – healthy food, shelter, warmth, light – and there are dozens of web tools available to help you spend less on all of them. For example, MoneySupermarket has a scheme that’ll send you an email the moment you start paying more than necessary on energy – just enter your existing provider, and when another one starts charging less, you’ll get an alert. Likewise look for supermarket price comparison tools that tell you where to find the cheapest groceries.

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