One of the most common answers to the question “Why don’t you travel?” is, “It’s too expensive.” or, “I can’t afford it.” However, with some careful consideration and planning, there are lots of ways to make and save money. In this blog post I intend to share some of the methods which I’ve found most useful.
The first thing to do when evaluating travel expenses is to make a complete list of things that you’ll need. This will include the obvious, i.e. hotel, transportation (getting there/leaving, plus within the area), and food. It will also include potential costs such as souvenirs and any tours, museums, or other events which you may plan to participate in. In order to correctly evaluate your expense list, you will need to do significant research into each of these expenses as cost varies per location.
Once you have an idea of how much your trip will cost, you can begin saving and earning money. The blog the Thrifty Nomads written by traveling couple Jen and Ted has some wonderful tips in their article How We Afford to Travel (& How You Can Too). To begin saving, they sold their belongings. This could be spare furniture, old clothes, unused jewelry, books, decor items, etc. Secondly, they limited their spending habits. This could be purchasing one Starbucks a week instead of five; one outfit a month instead of one per week; one Harkins movie per month instead of everyday in the summer; eating out only for special occasions; etc. Lastly, they worked multiple jobs and picked up extra hours when possible. Most restaurants are always looking for servers, and often allow for flexible schedules; picking up a couple night shifts a week could easily gain you a few hundred extra dollars. Tutoring positions are easy to pick up, either at community colleges or universities. Babysitting, pet-walking, or house-sitting are also quick and easy ways to spend a few hours and gain a few $20’s!
In addition to finding ways to save money at home, the Thrifty Nomads were also able to find ways to save while on their trips. First, they “travel cheaply” by maximizing their budget per trip. To do this, they sought cheaper housing alternatives instead of staying at a hotel. Ways to do this include finding houses available to rent via AirBnB, or choosing to petsit/housesit overseas via TrustedHousesitters, Housecarers, or Nomador. No matter where you’re looking to travel to, these websites offer enough variety to be worth looking into; plus, they save you much more than staying for a week in a nice hotel! In addition to choosing a more unique lodging option, the Thrifty Nomads also recommend cooking in-house more than eating out; using public transit as opposed to car rentals or taxis; and travel slowly in order to maximize memories and also take advantage of lower flight costs.
The last major recommendation that the Thrifty Nomads’ article had to offer was this: to work while traveling. Personally I think this is a brilliant idea. Many jobs, full-time and part-time, allow you to commute from home and what better way to take advantage of this than to plan a trip around your commuting availability? In addition, you can easily pick up an online job rating places/events; doing quick data entry for companies; online tutoring/teaching; etc. The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is look for them.
Now, after everything we’ve discussed in this post, are you even more inspired to travel? I know I am. If you’ve done anything to earn or save money for your traveling adventures, I’d love to hear from you!