If you’ve got wanderlust, chances are your travels are going to cost something. But unless you’re taking a cruise around the entire globe or visiting Antarctica, your trip probably isn’t going to cost you as much as you think it will. So how will you pay for it? Here’s a few money-saving travel hacks to get you started:
1. Do Research and Stay Realistic
Are you planning on making travel a full-time part of your life? Do your research – decide what you want out of your adventures. Do you want to be playing the long game of making a career out of traveling or are you more interested in shorter expeditions? Do your research and decide which option is best for you and your future goals. There are many career travelers who live penny to penny, so consider your current lifestyle and stay realistic about your plans.
2. Avoid Debt
Traveling is appealing to many. It offers relaxation, physical endurance challenges, the ability to experience things you wouldn’t normally at home, plus the thrill of planning, organizing, and executing your trip. However, if you’re going into debt paying for your travels, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth about the trip.
Reframe the way you budget and resist going into debt to fund your adventures. Instead of thinking about what you’re earning, think about what you’re not spending. Save money by eating out less, buying things that aren’t essential, and finding ways to compromise on your expenses, such as working out at home instead of spending money on a gym membership.
It takes discipline to limit your spending, but it’ll be worth it when you can pay for your travels in full without the worry of debt.
3. Earn your Travels
Imagine the sense of reward you’ll feel if your adventure is fully funded ahead of time. Take the time to save for your travels and consider them a personal investment in yourself. There are many ways to cover expenses related to your trip. As you save, consider using the best bank you can utilize for international travel purposes.
Budget your expenses out for a few months in order to save for your trip. If you can’t reach your savings goal by the time you want to go on the trip, you may have to push it back a few months. And that’s OK!
4. Travel with a Charity or Mission
Traveling with a charity or mission is a great way to support a good cause and fulfill your wanderlust. However, don’t expect a charity, family, or anyone else to completely fund your travels. If you decide to support a particular mission or charity with your travels, don’t anticipate not contributing any expenses. There are resources available and money to help with charity and mission trips, but you need to put in the work to make the asks and fundraise for your trip. Be sure to draw a line between money you raise for your own trip expenses versus any money that might also get donated directly to your trip or charity.
In some instances, a charity or mission might offer to pay for your trip in exchange for fundraising a certain amount of money, but don’t make this your expectation.
5. Get Your Trip Sponsored
Do you travel occasionally for work, or do you participate in sports like running, cycling, or triathlons? You may be able to get some of your trip sponsored. Many sponsors will fund some or all of your trip in exchange for using their products or logo and sending photos in return, writing reviews, or taking video. If you’re going on a trip that requires gear, you may be able to save money by instead getting the gear paid for in exchange for photos and reviews as well.
If you’re traveling for a charity or mission purpose, you can use crowdfunding to help fund the trip and associated projects. Making a film, documentary or writing a book? You can consider crowdfunding for these purposes as well. Just don’t expect anyone to crowdfund a trip for personal reasons, not as a way to help others or fund a larger project. People will know if your intentions aren’t good.
7. Stay Local
When traveling internationally, it can get expensive depending on where you need to fly and stay. By staying “local”, you can potentially save money. If you live in the States, this might be a trip to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean. You can save significant amounts of money by traveling to other countries that don’t require a trip across an ocean or large amounts of land mass.
Work hard and get creative! Your next adventure is just around the corner if you plan ahead and do your research.