If you’re like us, you’re always planning your next trip including how to afford it. These are great ways to save money for travel, no matter where you’re going!
Seven creative ways to save money for travel
1. Tutoring College Kids
When I was planning to go on my first big trip, I was in the middle of my college degree going to school full time with one part-time job already. I knew I needed more cash, but I wasn’t sure how to get it. I had just finished a semester in a course with an A+ so I messaged the teacher letting her know I really enjoyed her class last semester and would love to help tutor students who were struggling with the material. I asked her to mention that I was willing to help and give students my contact information during her classes and she did!
I charged $20 an hour to help kids study for exams and complete their homework assignments. I put all of this cash directly into a wine bottle that I could only get the money out by breaking (then I couldn’t cheat by borrowing from it). I made $600 that semester just from helping people out and could work on my own homework while they solved problems!
Think of a skill you have that others want or need to learn. For example, maybe it’s playing guitar, singing, teaching kids how to read, etc. Then look on Craigslist, Care.com, or just google opportunities near you to find some that fit. Good luck! Then to make sure you do save money for travel, put it in a jar that has to be broken 🙂
Jess from Thrifty Traveler Tips
2. Take Advantage of Bank Promotions
I’m not sure about other countries, but in the United States, many big name banks run promotions where they will literally pay you to open an account with them. There are rules and conditions of course, but most times they’re pretty feasible. I found that taking advantage of these promotions are an easy way to earn money for travel.
For example, Chase Bank is currently running a promotion where they will give you $200 USD for opening a new Chase Total Checking Account. The conditions are as follows:
- You cannot be a pre-existing Chase Customer
- You must put $25 USD into the account when you open it
- You must have a direct deposit made to the account within the first 60 days
Once all the above conditions are met, the $200 USD will be deposited into your account! What an easy way to save money for travel?
Kiyoko from Footsteps of a Dreamer
3. Ditch Your Phone Number
Monthly phone plans are super expensive. What if I told you it’s possible to get rid of your plan and give up your phone number without sacrificing your connectivity to people or the technology that you crave? I still use my phone nonstop–all day every day– for surfing the internet, browsing Facebook, watching Netflix, and writing blog posts. But it’s been over 2 years since I’ve had a phone number or a monthly phone plan.
We live in an age where technology and messaging apps have made it possible to have phone conversations with people without needing a phone number. So why are you still paying for one?
Here’s how it works:
While at home, you can use your phone like you always do to access apps and the internet by connecting to your home internet WiFi.
For texting friends, use Facebook Messenger or any other messaging app to text instead of your phone’s built-in texting.
For phone calls to family or friends, use Facebook Messenger to make phone calls.
While away from home (with no access to your home WiFi), you can connect to public WiFi spots and then use your phone’s internet and apps just like you normally do.
Business calls are a little bit trickier — If you need to call a place of business, schedule a doctor appointment, or maybe just phone a friend who doesn’t have Facebook Messenger installed, you won’t be able to rely on any messaging apps to place phone calls.
Here’s what you can do instead:
You can get a free phone number through Google Voice, and then you can use that to place phone calls directly to any phone number from within the Google Voice app. I used this method a few years ago when I couldn’t afford a phone plan at all.
A Spouse or Partner who has a Phone
I need to place phone calls so rarely that I no longer use Google Voice (I barely ever used it). Instead, I now just borrow my boyfriend’s phone anytime I need to make a business call. He lives with me and has not given up his phone plan, so it’s easy to wait until a time when we are both at home to briefly borrow his phone for a quick call.
Make phone calls from work
If you have your own office or work for a company that will allow you to make an occasional personal phone call, you can use your place of employment to make important calls that can’t be made through Facebook Messenger.
If you need to place an emergency phone call (like 911 here in the United States), your phone will still allow you to place the call even if you have canceled your phone plan and no longer have a phone number. You won’t have to worry about the dangers of being stuck somewhere in an emergency without the ability to call the police or an ambulance.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you adjust to a life without a phone plan (or phone bill), and the speed at which you can save money for travel will quickly make up for it!
Jillian from Adventure Dragon
4. University Studies
If you’re looking to earn a bit of extra money, look on the boards by your local university for studies looking for participants. If you’re healthy, you’re likely to qualify for many studies that require volunteers to serve as the control in the experiment. More invasive procedures are likely to pay more, however, if you have just an hour, you’re likely to earn $20 (or more) from sitting in a room following the instructions. For one study that I did, I was served lunch and given a newspaper to read over the course of an hour while getting paid $20 per hour.
Studies that require monitoring are likely to pay better, so if you’re open to returning the university once in a while, you’re likely to reap the benefits. My husband earned over $1,000 for a study that simply required him to drive his car with a monitoring device installed inside.
Karen from -Wanderlustingk
5. Teach Your Native Language on Italki
If you’re looking to make a few extra bucks and save money for travel, you can find almost unlimited opportunities to do so with people interested in learning your language. If your native language is English (or you feel comfortable teaching it), this is easy as it’s one of the most needed languages for non-English speakers.
While you can find all sorts of places to teach your language, I suggest Italki because not only is it the most well-known by far, but the website also allows you to clarify if you have teaching experience or not. This is great for us travelers because not only do we not need any type of experience or certifications, but you can meet students from all over the world and learn about their cultures. Language learners search for “community tutors” when they’re interested in simply practicing the language, as opposed to having a formal lesson, so native speakers are welcome.
If you are a native speaker or fluent in another language that is not local to your area, you can also advertise in the local library, Craigslist, Facebook, etc. In this case, when you aren’t so directly compared to other people teaching the same language, you can also charge more for an in-person meeting.
Jamie from Crashed Culture
6. Pet Sitting /Pet Boarding
I’m not sure how things work in different countries, but I found that pet sitting is one of the best ways to save for a trip. I stumbled across the idea a long while back when I met a couple of really cool entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. While they kept talking about dogs, it made me realize just how few facilities are available for cats in the neighborhood where I stay. That’s when I started cat boarding.
There are numerous spin-offs of this idea. You could think of dog walking or maybe pet sitting where you look after the pet in its own home. Or you could set up a safe environment in yours. One of the biggest advantages of looking after other people’s pets is that you get a chance to know them better and you know who you can trust with your own. The next step is swapping itineraries and holiday schedules so that your baby (don’t judge, my cat is my baby!) has a safe home where he/she is loved. It goes a long way to saving money and giving you peace of mind when you are on the move.
There is one thing that you need to keep in mind and that is safety. Ensure that you know where the local vet is and have an emergency contact number. Also, ensure that your house is cat/ dog proofed and that all potentially hazardous/poisonous objects are out of reach.
Penny from Globe Trove
7. Planning Ahead
Over the past two years, I have been able to travel more, even though my income is the same, and I have a full-time job. How do I do it?
Instead of always focusing on taking a week-long trip, I plan trips on long weekends, and on regular weekends as well. Obviously only being gone a few days saves on expenses for hotel, eating, and fun money.
My second money saving tip for traveling is instead of always traveling alone, with your significant other or immediate family; go with a friend or extended family member. I often travel with my gal pals. You save a lot of money when you only have to pay for half of the accommodations.
Sometimes you can even save on the airfare too, by booking an all in one vacation package with your friend. I use cheaptickets.com to plan most trips with my friends. It isn’t the answer every time but certainly has worked well on several trips so far.
Val from Maple Leopard
If you’ve been wondering how to save money for travel, we hope these tips helped! And, if you have any others don’t forget to let us know in the comments.
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