10 Creative Ways to Save for Your Next Cruise

Carving out moments for relaxation and adventure is more important than ever in today’s fast-paced world. Yet, for many, the dream of going on a cruise feels financially out of reach.

With how things are financially for many of us, saving up for that dream holiday can seem like a distant, if not impossible, goal. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be?

A ceramic piggy bank with sunglasses sits on a sandy beach, with a single dollar bill inserted in its slot. In the background, a large cruise ship is visible on the ocean under a sunset sky with scattered clouds.

Having something to look forward to can make all the difference in these challenging times. That’s why I’ve put together a collection of creative ways to help you save for your next cruise without upending your entire financial life. Read on to find out more.

1. Monetise a Hobby

How about turning that hobby into a little side business? Whether you craft beautiful pieces, capture moments through photography, or bake treats, there’s something special you can do with it. 

Someone putting some coins into a jar. They also are holding a pen and have a calculator.

It’s not just about making some extra cash (which is great, of course) but also about doing something you love and adding to your cruise fund at the same time.

Starting out doesn’t have to be big or daunting. You could begin by selling to friends and family or through social media. Marketplaces online are also a fantastic place to showcase your work. 

The best part? You set your pace. There’s no pressure, just the joy of your hobby and the bonus of getting closer to your dream cruise.

2. Automate Savings with Apps

Have you ever wondered how nice it would be if saving money were as easy as spending it? Well, guess what – it can be! 

With the magic of technology, specifically savings apps, you can automate putting money aside for your dream cruise. These apps are like having a savvy financial assistant in your pocket, one that helps you save without even having to think about it.

Piles of coins, growing each time with a plant growing out the top, with a coin jar.

Some apps work by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar or pound and saving the difference. Imagine buying your groceries and knowing the small change from that transaction is being tucked away towards something exciting. 

Watching your cruise fund grow bit by bit, with minimal impact on your daily life, is smart and incredibly satisfying. It’s a perfect way to make saving for your cruise automatic and stress-free. So, why not let technology do the hard work for you?

3. Set Up a Monthly Direct Debit with Your Travel Agent

Imagine having a personal cruise fund that grows every month without you even having to think about it. Convenient, isn’t it? 

This is precisely the benefit of setting up a monthly direct debit with a travel agent when it comes to planning and saving for that dream cruise. For example, if you’re from the UK, Cruise 118 is the agent I’d recommend that offers direct debit payments. They often have fantastic deals that can make your dream cruise more affordable than you might think.

By deciding on an amount you’re comfortable with and setting it to automatically transfer from your bank account to your travel agent, you’re putting your cruise savings on autopilot. This ensures consistent progress towards your goal without the hassle of remembering to make manual transfers. It’s one less thing to worry about in your busy life, and the savings add up quickly.

Woman paying off her credit card on her laptop

This approach is brilliant because it seamlessly integrates your cruise aspirations into your monthly budget, making your dream holiday an integral part of your financial planning. Plus, it’s entirely flexible. Should your circumstances change, you can adjust the contribution amount, ensuring that saving for your cruise remains achievable and stress-free.

4. Dedicate Unexpected Income

Imagine this: you’ve just received a surprise bonus at work, a generous gift from a relative, or maybe even a small windfall from a tax refund. While it might be tempting to splurge on the spot, a savvy move could bring you closer to your dream cruise: dedicating this unexpected income to your cruise fund.

A woman being handed a cheque from her boss at work.

Think of these unexpected funds as little boosts. Whether it’s a significant amount or just a modest sum, every little helps. Redirecting these surprises into your cruise savings can make a big difference over time, turning what might have been an impulse buy into a cruise.

This approach doesn’t just apply to large windfalls. Smaller amounts, like a refund from a returned purchase, can contribute to your goal. It’s about adopting a mindset where you see these financial surprises as opportunities to get closer to lounging on the deck of a cruise ship.

5. Leverage Cashback and Reward Points

Here’s a little secret that can turn your everyday spending into a fund for your dream cruise: leveraging cashback offers and reward points. Yes, that’s right – the money you spend on groceries, fuel, and even those little treats can help you save for your holiday!

Someone holding a cashback credit card.

Most people use credit cards, loyalty programmes, or apps for their daily transactions without giving much thought to the rewards they offer. But with a bit of strategy, you can optimise these to boost your cruise savings significantly. It’s about making your money work double-time for you.

Start by checking out credit cards that offer cashback on purchases or points that can be converted into travel vouchers or even discounts on cruise packages. Similarly, many loyalty programmes with supermarkets, retailers, and even petrol stations offer points that can be incredibly valuable if used wisely.

The key is to use these cards and programmes for purchases you would make anyway and then funnel the rewards straight into your cruise fund. It’s essentially free money towards your holiday. Just be sure to pay off credit card balances in full each month to avoid interest charges, which could negate your savings.

6. Start a Savings Jar for Loose Change

Now, let’s go back to basics with a method as old as time but still golden: the savings jar. It might sound a bit old school, but keeping a jar for your loose change can be a surprisingly effective way to bolster your cruise fund. It’s the physical act of saving that makes it so satisfying you literally see your money pile up day by day.

Someone putting some coins into a jar. They also are holding a pen and have a calculator.

Start by finding a jar, any jar, a big old coffee jar, a mason jar, or even a decorative vase will do. Place it somewhere you’ll see it every day, like on your kitchen counter or by your front door. Every time you come home with loose change in your pockets, drop it into the jar. Make it a habit, a part of your daily routine.

You can even turn it into a fun family activity. Encourage everyone in the house to contribute their change. You might be surprised at how quickly it all adds up. Count it out and deposit it into your cruise savings account every so often.

7. Create a Dedicated Cruise Savings Account

Setting up an account specifically for your cruise fund separates your holiday savings from your everyday spending, making tracking your progress and staying motivated easier.

Opening a dedicated savings account is a straightforward step with a powerful psychological benefit. It shifts your mindset from vaguely saving for a holiday to actively building a fund for a specific dream cruise. Each deposit becomes a commitment to your goal, reinforcing your determination to make it happen.

Someone doing their online banking on their laptop.

When choosing an account, look for one with a competitive interest rate to boost your savings. Some banks even offer incentives for regular deposits or no withdrawals, perfect for a long-term savings goal like this.

The best part? You can usually set up automatic transfers from your main account, ensuring you’re consistently contributing to your cruise fund without having to think about it. Whether it’s the change from your savings jar, cashback rewards, or a portion of your paycheck, knowing it’s going straight to your cruise account makes saving feel less like a chore.

8. Smart Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is something we all do, but have you ever considered it a potential source of cruise savings? By adopting smart grocery shopping habits, you can significantly cut down on your monthly food bills and channel those savings directly into your cruise fund. It’s all about buying smart and wasting less.

Woman and a girl doing shopping in a supermarket.

First up, planning is your best friend. Before you head to the store, take stock of what you already have and plan your meals for the week. This simple step can prevent impulse buys and ensure you only purchase what you need. Plus, embracing meal planning can lead to healthier eating habits as a bonus.

Coupons and deals are next on your smart shopping list. Look for discounts on items you regularly buy, and don’t be afraid to switch brands to take advantage of a sale. Many stores also offer loyalty programs that can lead to big savings over time.

Also, don’t overlook the power of buying in bulk, especially for non-perishable items or products you use frequently. The initial cost may be higher, but the per-unit savings can be substantial. Just be mindful of storage space and expiration dates.

Another strategy? Adapt your meal planning to align with the week’s discounts. If, for example, tomatoes are less expensive than bell peppers, seize the chance to explore various tomato-based dishes. This tactic adds variety to your diet and ensures your budget remains in check.

Lastly, consider the reduced-to-clear sections for items close to their sell-by date that you can use quickly. It’s a great way to grab a bargain and prevent food waste.

9. Host a Garage Sale or Use Online Marketplaces

Let’s talk about turning clutter into cash and, ultimately, into cruise credits. Hosting a garage sale or selling items through online marketplaces is a fantastic way to declutter your life and boost your cruise fund. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. You get a cleaner, more spacious home and a happier cruise savings account.

A garage sale in a garden, selling clothes and other items.

Start by reviewing your home and gathering items you no longer need or use. This can be anything from clothes you’ve outgrown to books you’ve read to gadgets gathering dust. The rule of thumb here is simple: if it hasn’t been used in the last year, it’s probably ready for a new home.

Next, decide on your selling strategy. A garage sale can be a fun, one-day event that turns your front garden into a marketplace. It’s a great way to meet neighbours and engage with your community, all while making some cash. 

Alternatively, online marketplaces like eBay and Facebook Marketplace offer a wider audience and the convenience of selling from your home. Each platform has pros and cons, so consider what might work best for you and your items.

When selling online, take clear, appealing photos of your items and write honest, detailed descriptions to attract buyers. Pricing items reasonably will help them sell faster, adding more quickly to your cruise fund. 

10. Cut Back on Non-Essential Subscriptions

In today’s digital age, it’s incredibly easy to accumulate a variety of subscriptions and memberships, streaming services, magazines, fitness apps, and more. While each one might seem like a small monthly expense on its own, they can add up to a significant chunk of your budget. Redirecting these funds to your cruise savings can be smart, and here’s how you can do it.

Woman and a man looking at their online shopping subscriptions on a laptop.

First, take an inventory of all your current subscriptions and memberships. You might even be surprised to find some you’ve forgotten about or no longer use. Once you have your list, evaluate each based on how much joy or value it brings. Ask yourself, “Do I really watch all these streaming services? Could I switch to a cheaper gym or workout at home?”

The goal here isn’t to strip away all your pleasures but to prioritise them. Perhaps you find that you mostly watch shows on one streaming service, meaning you could cancel the others. Maybe that magazine subscription is nice to have but not essential, especially if you rarely have time to read it.

Once you’ve decided which subscriptions to cut, take action and cancel them. It might feel a bit difficult at first, especially if it’s something you’ve had for a long time. But remember, every dollar saved is a dollar you can put towards your dream cruise, making this temporary sacrifice well worth it.

For the subscriptions you decide to keep, see if there are cheaper plans or family-sharing options that could reduce your monthly expenses. Many services offer various tiers or discounts for longer commitments, so it’s worth checking out.

By cutting back on non-essential subscriptions, you’re saving money and making a conscious decision about what’s truly important to you. And as your cruise fund grows, you’ll find that the experiences awaiting you are far more valuable than any subscription could ever be.


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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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