London hustling for curry


8 ways to bulk up your bank account before travelling

Published April 30th, 2015

It’s no secret that we need money to travel and after working as a consultant at Student Flights for eight years, I’ve realised that everyone’s budget can vary from stupidly dangerous to wildly excessive. Some are happy to ration a can of tuna over three days and sleep on the beach, while others want to rent jet-skis and order room service. No matter which style strikes your fancy, here are my tips on how to bulk up your bank account before travelling without having to sell a kidney on the black market.


Matt is sound as a pound in London.


1. Start squirrelling

It’s a basic fact that if you can’t access your money, you can’t spend it. So choose one of the dozens of travel money cards available to the Australian market and don’t keep it in your wallet. Your Student Flights consultant can even hook you up with a Multi-Currency Cash Passport in-store! Then start depositing a chunk of your weekly pay religiously. The best part is one of these bad boys will also save you money during your travels with awesome benefits like no-fee withdrawals.



2. The coin trick

After you get home from a night on the bevvies with a pocketful of shrapnel, chuck it into a shoebox under your bed and forget about it. I did this for about a year before taking off and ended up with over $600 in silver and gold, which I cashed in to pay for some last-minute items like my backpack. I’m either the smartest man alive or have a slight drinking problem.


3. Become a coupon queen

It’s not very realistic to say you’re going to stay in every night avoiding your friends and social functions before not seeing them for ages. So why not ride the Honey Boo Boo wagon straight to Thrift Town? Websites like Groupon (yeah, they still exist) can turn a sad night at home into a cheap night at the local tapas joint. There are heaps of discount apps available as well; check what’s available in your local area.



4. Shake your moneymaker

Your grandparents probably told you that money doesn’t grow on trees and unless you’re a banana farmer, then they are absolutely correct. Why not get another job for a few months before leaving? Not only will you be making extra coinage but also you won’t be spending any either. Double whammy!



5. Sell the farm

See that acoustic guitar in the corner of your bedroom that you never learned to play? Sell it. Those rollerblades are never ever going to put on again. Flog ‘em. You’d be surprised how much crap you have that never gets used. I put a bunch of stuff on Gumtree and sold the lot in less than two days. Really surprised that dude bought all my old undies though…



6. Plan ahead

You can save thousands of dollars on your travel arrangements by booking at the right time of year. Tour companies like Topdeck and Contiki offer huge earlybird savings if you secure your spot well in advance, and airlines offer some pretty hefty discounts too. Student Flights also puts on massive travel expo sales throughout the year that will keep even more cash in your pockets. Ask your consultant when the next one is.



7. Find a cheaper place to sleep

Consider moving back in with mum and dad for a little while or even pitching a tent in your mate’s backyard. Rent is usually the number one expense for Australians. You’ll save even more when mum cooks dinner for you and she’ll appreciate the quality time spent together before her little baby heads overseas.



8. Buy your travel gear secondhand

You don’t actually need a brand-new backpack. It’s going to be scuffed and torn after the first flight, plus you won’t look like such a noob when you turn up at the first hostel. Jump onto eBay or Gumtree and find yourself a pre-loved gem for a fraction of the cost.


Matt Castell

If you could make travel a full-time job would you? I am. I've been called a "jack of all trades" many times over the ten or so years spent wandering the globe. Always looking for new skills to learn, whether it be lion taming or flying helicopters... I'll give it a go! Being a Travel Agent for Student Flights has been the top pick so far though!