Travel Or Save? What’s Best for You?

8 min read
HomeLearning HubTravel Or Save? What’s Best for You?

1. Memories or Money?

It’s a tough choice—are you more interested in making money or memories? Or maybe you’re interested in both, but don’t have the money to travel at this point in time. If you’re torn between the two, consider this cliché yet true quote:
“Travel is the only thing you can spend money on that will make you richer”
Whether travel makes you rich in experience, culture, or simply gives you the opportunity to meet new people—there’s no doubt that it’s worthwhile, if that’s what you’re interested in.
Top tip: go with your gut. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to travel now, then don’t go! It’s better to hold off until you feel comfortable to set off on your expedition. But if you are ready… then take the leap.

2. Saving is a skill. Travel can teach it.

With the student budget being tough already, it’s no surprise that saving for travel is going to be even harder. But, once you learn to save, it will become a habit. Think of saving-to-travel as all part of a broader strategy to build up your saving-muscles for later on in life.

3. Travel can get more expensive with age

When you get older, the novelty of crashing at a friend-of-a-friend’s apartment in New York wears off, and suddenly it’s not as fun to sleep in the back of a rental car in the middle of Rome. One day you’ll say, “That’s it—no more hostels!” From that day on, travel becomes much more expensive. So travel now, when hostels and backpacks and friends-of-friends are still fun.
Top tip: to get the best deal on hostels and cheap places to stay, check out Hostelworld and Airbnb to book accommodation before you leave home. It’s important to shop around and look at the reviews so you know you’re safe and are staying at a good enough place.

4. Once in a lifetime

So many travel opportunities are “once in a lifetime”. Heaps of your friends are going to Europe this summer, or your friend is doing an exchange in Boston next semester. Or you hear about a volunteer opportunity for students in Cambodia. These things are “once in a lifetime”. They are opportunities that may never repeat—grab them while you can.

5. But Mum and Dad say…

…I should stop spending so much travelling and save for a house instead? Back in their day, houses were cheap and travel was expensive. So travelling had a big impact on saving for a house. Now, travel is cheaper and houses are expensive. So a trip overseas makes much less of a dent in your house-saving goals.
Your parents’ opinions are important, and you shouldn’t completely discount them. But at the end of the day, it’s your decision as to whether you want to travel or not.

6. You’re not totally abandoning lifelong wealth

Keep in mind that every time you get paid, 11.5% of your salary or wage goes into your super account.* Super is money that employers are legally required to put aside on behalf of their employees. So while you are working you will automatically earn super, which means you are never “not saving”, or building wealth.

A few saving tips for students

Whether you’ve decided to save money to put away for the future, or are embarking on the trip of your dreams, here are some tips to cut down on spending and put some cash in the bank.

Eat out less and bulk cook your food

Eating out can be expensive, so if you want to save your pennies—you may need to make the sacrifice. Bulk cooking your food, or ‘meal prepping’ can help you save money, and prevents you from buying lunch when you’re at uni.
Check out quick, easy, and cost-saving meal prep ideas here.

Buy and sell uni textbooks second hand

StudentVIP/Textbooks is the biggest free textbook market in Australia. You can save between 50%-90% when you buy textbooks. Even better, at the end of the semester, sell your textbooks for cash and help another student save while you make money.

Get a side gig tutoring

If you want to make some side cash, try tutoring. After all, if you have spent years studying, maybe that’s exactly what you are really qualified at! The biggest site for high school tutors is and the biggest site for uni tutors is StudentVIP/Tutors. Both are free to list yourself on.

In the end, the choice is yours

The choice between saving money (for say, a first home deposit) and seeing the world is a difficult one. There’s no doubt that traversing the globe expands your horizons and provides invaluable life skills like independence, strength, resilience and self-confidence. But if your priorities are different and you’d rather save your precious pennies, that’s okay too. At the end of the day it’s your choice entirely. No matter what you decide, you’re investing in yourself, so there should be no judgment from those around you.
*If you're over 18, your employer is required to pay an additional 11.5% of your income into your super account. If you’re under 18, you need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week to be eligible for super payments.

Join other Australian students that are saving with zero admin fees for balances under $1,000.

See our Fees & discounts page or PDS for details