Saving & Earning Money for Travel

Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to raise the money needed for travel, but there are other tried and true ways to save and earn the money you need. Budgeting for a trip can be daunting when you add up what you expect to spend on transport, food, and lodging. However, if you use these money saving and earning tips on your travels in conjunction with good budgeting skills, you’ll find that traveling the world does not have to be as costly as it might appear.

Couch Surfing

There are a surprising number of opportunities to find free lodging on your travels. Whether it be through actual couch surfing using websites or apps devoted to the practice or good old fashioned networking to find places to stay, you can avoid costly hotels. Hostels are always a solid option, as it is essentially couch surfing with a minimal fee, but if you’re looking for a totally free stay, there are still options.

If you’re planning on traveling the world with no money set aside for places to rest your head, one good idea is to look into “voluntourism”. As the name suggests, voluntourism is a combination of volunteering and tourism, generally through teaching English as a second language or helping to build homes or community projects. The beauty of voluntourism is that if you are willing to put in the time and help out, your lodging will more often than not be offered for free or compensated. Teaching abroad can actually help you come home with more money than you left with, as you can become a full-time teacher in many countries relatively easily.

One thing to remember if you plan on relying on the kindness of strangers to house you for extended periods of time is to pare down what you plan on bringing with you as much as possible. Living minimally isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but with a little practice you won’t miss what you leave behind (How to Live Minimally – Simple Tips for the Uncommitted Minimalist). Don’t be afraid to purge as you pack, getting rid of clothing or items that you only think you might use on your travels. Additionally, when on your trip take on a “one in, one out” mindset for purchases, getting rid of one item when you acquire one to make the most of your limited bag space. That being said, don’t be afraid to bring your favorite, small decoration to make wherever you’re staying feel just a little more like home.

Travel Rewards

When traveling on the cheap, it is a wise idea to capitalize on any and every rewards program that would be beneficial to your bank account. It is important to remember that though they may seem appealing, not all rewards programs are created equal. Make sure to read the fine print on any paperwork needed to sign up for a rewards program, as you can often find hidden requirements that make a rewards program pointless, even costly.

If you are traveling without money by plane to many different locations, looking into different airlines’ bonus and rewards programs can save you bundles. These programs operate under the same basic structure of earning miles that can be applied to future flights by using an affiliated credit or debit card, though there are exceptions. Several airlines offer miles for simply purchasing a ticket, or will reward miles for written reviews of attractions and hotels around the world.

You can also look into getting yourself a travel credit card specifically for your trip. These types of cards often have rewards for flights, hotels, and even attractions across the globe. When considering whether or not to get a travel credit card, make sure to look for a few key perks that any good travel credit card will have. Make sure that your card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, has decent travel point rewards for purchases made on the card, that those points are actually easy to redeem, and less-talked-about perks like travel insurance.

Alternate Transport

If you’re planning on crossing an ocean, a flight is pretty much unavoidable unless you feel like spending a couple of weeks on a boat and paying only slightly less for the pleasure. However, once you’ve reached a new continent, a whole host of transport options become available to you. Take some time to research public transport wherever you’re headed, evaluate whether or not you absolutely have to book that flight, and invest in some good walking shoes because traveling on the cheap often involves a lot of walking.

If you’re looking for an easy and straightforward way to save money while traveling, look into trains as transport. It is easy to forget the rails are a viable option for travel if you are from the United States, as trains have fallen out of favor in the last few decades. Abroad, however, trains are still very much a part of everyday life. Whether it be within a city or across a country, riding the rails is much less expensive than air fare, and is still a relatively easy way to cover great distances comfortably.

If you’re still unsure of how to financially prepare for transportation while traveling, or don’t want to share a subway car with a bunch of strangers, there are still inexpensive ways to get around. Many travelers make their way across entire continents on their own two feet, and while this is an amazing experience, it is not for everyone as it comes with a host of inherent dangers. Getting lost, robbed, or stranded are all very real possibilities if you are planning on a lengthy walk through a foreign country. If you’re staying within a city for an extended period of time, look into purchasing yourself a bicycle. Eco-friendly, ubiquitous, and relatively inexpensive, riding a bike in a new city can get you where you need to go quickly while also getting you intimately acquainted with the streets, alleys, and shortcuts in your temporary city.

About the Author:

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

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