Most of us have ambitions to travel at some stage in our lives. Whether your aspirations are just to have regular family holidays or city breaks, or you are looking to travel long term such as on a gap year, you will need a way to fund it. There are a lot of ways you can save money when traveling, but that doesn’t mean it is cheap.
Most of us are in a situation where our day to day lives take up most of our finances. Perhaps most of your wages are taken up by your bills and mortgage. This isn’t an unusual situation to be in, but it doesn’t mean you have to write off the idea of travel altogether. There are things you can do in order to make a little bit of extra money. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount to start to add up over time and fund the trips away we all love.
Sell Your Old Stuff!
Most of us are hoarders in one way or another. If you really think about it, you will probably find that there is a lot of stuff stored in your home that you simply don’t need. It doesn’t take much to rummage for clothes you don’t wear anymore, books you’ve read and won’t return to, unplayed games or even unwanted gifts. Some items such as CDs and DVDs have probably lost their value, but many items such as clothes keep their value relatively well.
Selling items has become easier than ever in the age of the internet. For higher value items such as branded clothing, eBay can be a blessing with lots of people searching for a vintage bargain. For household items or things you don’t think will fetch much money, Flea Markets might be the best way to make a bit of extra cash. They don’t have to take up too much of your time and even small amounts of money can add up, especially when it you are getting it for things you don’t need or use anymore.
Utilize Your Skills
Many people have a side-hustle, a small business they have started on the side. This will take a little creativity and reflecting on what unique skills you have to offer. Perhaps you are a gym freak who could make money offering personal training on the side. Maybe you play an instrument to a good standard and could teach people on the weekends? The benefit of a side hustle include not having to build enough of an income to make a living, and the extra money can often go straight in your pocket or holiday piggy bank. Use your networks to get started and offer your services or goods to the people around you. You know best what you can offer the world, but most of us have a skill that is worth paying for.
Cut Back on Expenses
I know it isn’t exciting, but the old adage is true; “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Cutbacks don’t have to be extreme, and there is no need to suffer a great deal in the short term. Huge savings can be made on things like groceries by switching to supermarket brands, for instance. Switch out your makeup brands for something cheaper, get rid of your gym membership and start running instead. Only you will know what is making a dent in your monthly finances and what you can stomach getting rid of, even just for the short term.
Cutting down on items you consume daily can make a big difference. A lot of people swear by a daily coffee to keep them going, but if you spend $3 a day in a coffee shop, that’s nearly $100 a month that could be going towards your next trip. There’s always instant coffee, after all!
Money, Not Gifts!
Christmas and birthday gifts are a brilliant tradition and a great way to show your loved ones you care, but lets face it, sometimes those socks you don’t need or the jewelry you don’t really like is not the most useful. If a birthday or holiday season is coming up, and you know travel is on the agenda, don’t feel out of line asking friends and family to contribute towards a trip instead of buying gifts. People know what an enriching experience travel can be, and may even be more willing to throw some cash into a pot which will be used to explore the world.
Generally, the older we become, the less likely we are to receive large gifts, but a lot of people who need to raise money for travels are younger people such as students. Family and friends are likely to stump up some money, and may even be delighted that they don’t have to worry about what to buy you!
Rent Out a Room
If you have an extra bedroom, there is money waiting to be earned. Accommodation isn’t cheap, and whether you offer long-term lodging or list your spare room on Air B’n’B for people who may be visiting your neck of the woods, there is the opportunity to make a significant amount of money.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but a significant amount of us have extra space in our homes. If you rent, you can even talk to your landlord about the possibility of ‘subletting’ space in your home. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend who is keen to move in, you may not even have the inconvenience of having to let someone new into your life.
A Second Job
I’ve saved it until last on the list. It may not be fun and the idea of doing it on top of your existing job probably won’t fill you with excitement, but there are plenty of part time opportunities out there for people willing to work extra. Oftentimes this sort of work will be in the form of bar work or similar, and can even be a welcome break from your other job.
Realistically, none of us would probably do this out of choice, but if you are building towards going on that once in a lifetime trip, the rewards of sucking it up just for a hours of your week can be massive. Any money you make is likely to be extra, and can go straight into the traveling fund, which will quickly add up. A temporary sacrifice which you’ll be glad you made once you’re sitting on the beach in a tropical island.
For those willing to put in the hours and hustle a little, money can start to flow pretty quickly. If you take extra shifts on at work and make some simple cutbacks too, you may find your savings building up way quicker than you imagined. Oftentimes, your money will go much further in the location you wish to travel to, making savings even more worthwhile.
All of these methods require effort. Nobody is going to just hand you money for nothing, but knowing that the end result can be a trip which will stay with you forever should give you the motivation you need.