Planning a trip, yet you’re strapped for cash? Selling your kidney on the black market or handing over your soul to work 80+ hours a week isn’t the answer! Save yourself some stress (and save your precious body parts) by using these 15 simple ways to save money for traveling the world.
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Before we get into the post, let’s take a trip down memory lane…
It’s 2016. I’m a broke college student. And yet, here I am, planning a spring break trip to Greece with a couple girlfriends.
But that’s not all… I’m also planning my first ever solo backpacking trip to Southeast Asia.
At that time, I was desperately trying to make as much money as possible. Trying to figure out how I was going to fill up my travel fund jar so I could live out my dream of wandering the world.
And you know what?
It happened. In March of 2017, I figured out enough travel money to hop on a flight to Greece for 10 days, as well as buy my ticket to Bali, Indonesia!
Funny how life works out like that, right…?
Well, it’s not just about all the stars aligning and manifesting my way to a life of travel.
I strategically figured out how to save money to travel, as well as make enough on the side to fill my travel fund piggy bank.
Wanna know how I did it? Keep scrolling, you little scroller!
15 Simple Ways to Make & Save Money For Traveling the World
Whether you have 1 hour a day or 10 hours a day, there a bunch of different little ways you can bring in extra money to fund your travels (or just fund your life).
And, even better, most of the following ways to save money can be done online! Great for those who want to make money while traveling, too.
Build a Blog
I know, I know, how cliche right? A blogger telling you to start a blog.
Although, while I don’t make much from my blog, it’s a great little way to bring in some extra moolah on the side, as well as a place to document my adventures to inspire others.
Plus, so many bloggers around the world are making a living from their blog and achieving a life of complete freedom. Sound too good to be true? You never know until you try!
My suggestion is to figure out what you’re passionate about and go from there! Chances are, there are people out there in the world who’d love to listen to what you have to say.
The first step is to just create a blog; my recommendation is to go with Bluehost.
Their self-hosting service is super duper affordable (under $4 per month — less than a cappuccino!), I’ve found their customer service is exceptional, you can install WordPress (which is what you should definitely go with) with just one-click, and you can buy a premium theme right through their MOJO Marketplace. Awesome!
If you want to know more about starting a blog, click here to read my post on 10 things I did WRONG when starting a blog (+3 things I did RIGHT).
Become a Freelancer
Have a skill you can turn into an online gig?
For example, do you have copywriting, graphic design, social media, digital marketing, or even transcribing experience? You can definitely take those skills and find paying jobs online as a freelancer!
One of my favorite places I find a lot of freelance jobs is through a website called Upwork.
Hundreds of jobs are posted everyday from all over the world; writing, content creation, video production, transcribing, social media marketing, translating, and more.
Additionally, if you’re already a freelancer and need help ramping up your clientele, check out this course on becoming a Six-Figure Freelancer.
For the past 2 years I’ve been a part of the Six-Figure Freelancer Academy and my knowledge on how to amp up my freelance business has skyrocketed!
In this academy, you learn all about:
- How to cold pitch companies (the right way!)
- Why mindset is a critical part of up-leveling your business (and why a little-known thing called JST is your best friend)
- Essential tips for applying to online jobs (with a magical little thing called a GCL)
- How to not overpay the tax man (tips on how to reduce your taxes)
- How to negotiate like a freakin’ PRO (get exactly what you want from a client — without being demanding!)
- And more.
I absolutely LOVE this academy! The content is invaluable. Click here to check out the Six-Figure Freelancer Academy.
(Psst, if you’re not sure you could cope with the world of freelance or online blogging, here’s a story on why being a digital nomad isn’t for everyone!)
Answer Online Surveys
Seriously, this little way to make a bit of extra cash could not be easier!
Out of the three, Swagbucks is most definitely a favorite amongst money-savers. Probably because you can go beyond making money just by taking surveys.
You can watch videos, shop at your favorite stores, and even play games. Sign up for Swagbucks here to check it out for yourself.
Whether you have just a few minutes or a few spare hours, taking surveys to pass the time and make some extra $$$ couldn’t be easier!
Before I jetted off to Greece and Bali in 2017, I was attending university and working from home for a strategic marketing firm.
Thus, my couch and I got to know each other very well… okay, so I was most definitely the laziest from home worker you could ever meet.
BUT, while I was sitting on my butt doing some social media work, I also had another tab open to a super cool website called User Testing.
Through this website you can test other websites and apps (there’s a phone app). For each website or app test, you earn $10. Pretty sweet, eh?
In just one day I earned $40 for taking 4 tests… and the best part is that each test takes under 10 minutes! Click here to sign up for User Testing.
Stop Going Out Every Weekend
If you’re someone who loves to go out with friends every weekend, sorry to break it to you but… alcohol can be really expensive! Especially if you live somewhere that has fancy bars and a high living cost.
For example, I just went out in Minneapolis, Minnesota a few weekends ago and only bought a couple drinks… yet that set me back a good $20.
Like whaaat? That’s $20 less dollars that could get me by for a whole day in somewhere like Thailand or Indonesia.
Case in point: if you can (or have the willpower), stay away from the bars and save your money. Or grab a six-pack and drink at home! I assure you, you’ll save more money than you think by cutting down on the amount of alcohol you consume.
Cut the Caffeine
I know, how typical right? How many times have you seen someone mention cutting out coffee to save money for other things? Probably a lot.
Although this has been said multiple times across the internet, many still fail to grasp how much a cup of coffee costs — especially when it’s from a place like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Let me break it down for you: if you buy a $4 fancy coffee from a shop 4 days out of the week, that costs you $16 per week.
Times that by 52 (because 52 weeks in a year) and we’re at $832.
Let me say that again for you in bold — $832 dollars that could go towards traveling the world.
Nuts, right? $832 could literally get you by for a month in an affordable Southeast Asia country if you’re on a tight budget.
My point? Make coffee at home (where it costs just a few cents) or just cut it out completely. Remember, each dollar counts!
Sell Your Unused Items
Have a few pairs of shoes collecting dust in your closet? Or a bundle of shirts and pants you don’t wear any longer? Or even a couple handbags you got as a gift last Christmas you’ll never ever use?
Sell those items to make a few extra bucks!
A few of my favorite buying and selling websites/apps are:
Cut Down on Monthly Expenses
If you haven’t taken a look at your monthly expenses in a while, now’s the time.
While you might be a bit apprehensive to come face to face with what you spend every month, it’s essential to do so to figure out how you can save money in order to live your traveling dream.
For example, if you’re spending that cash money on a bunch of different TV tools, like cable, a set-top box (like DirecTV), Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Starz, etc., it’s worth cutting that down to two, or even one.
Instead of paying for all of those, just stick to one!
Additionally, if you can try to contact your phone provider or insurance provider to reduce your monthly bills.
For example, if you don’t use as much data as you’re allowed in the month, give your provider a call and ask if there’s a plan which is more affordable and better suits your usage habits! Click here to read more on lowering your phone bill.
Regarding your insurance, sometimes you might have quite a high deductible, yet you never ever use it because you’re as healthy as a horse.
If that’s the case, you might be able to give your provider a call and reduce your monthly payments! Click here to check out this post on reducing your healthcare costs.
Stop Buying Unnecessary Items
How much of your income goes to unnecessary items? Probably more than you think. There’s one big heck of a difference between needs and wants.
For me, I spend money on things I don’t need, like coffee, eating out, movies, new clothes, unhealthy processed food, and monthly memberships.
One helpful trick is to break down your unnecessary spending into two simple columns: one for needs and one for wants.
As mentioned earlier, everyone wants Netflix… but no one needs it. Just like no one needs that extra beer or that new pair of pants.
Furthermore, here are a few things to stop buying to save some $$$:
- Alcohol & Coffee (as mentioned above)
- Restaurant & Fast Food (cook at home!)
- Gym Membership (make a home gym or go outside)
- Things you can’t pay off on your credit card (because who likes paying interest?)
- Video Games
- Ditch your landline (who the heck uses a landline these days when cellphones exist?)
- You get the point…
Download a Money Saving App
One of my favorite things to do is ruthlessly track my monthly expenses and save money wherever I can.
That’s why I love this money saving app called Digit that automatically tracks and monitors your spending habits and strategically puts away a small amount every day to help you save!
Here are some benefits of the Digit app:
- Monitors your spending habits.
- Puts away small amounts each day (that really add up!).
- State-of-the-art encryption to keep your data safe.
- Money is held at FDIC insured banks.
- Super duper easy app to use (extremely simple layout!).
- Easily set goals (and watch as you achieve them!).
- 1% savings bonus (yep — they pay you!)
- Unlimited withdrawals.
- Absolutely no account minimum.
Interested in trying Digit for yourself? Click here to download the app and start saving!
Get a Better Rewards Credit Card
Okay, okay, so I know this may sound like I’m going against all the advice I have above but some travel credit cards have fantastic benefits and bonuses which can actually save you money in the long run.
For example, when I signed up for the Barclaycard Arrival+ Card they had a bonus of 50,000 miles when the cardmember spent $3,000 in the first 3 months.
And, as you can imagine, hitting $1,000 a month isn’t hard — especially if you’re like me and you ask friends and family to charge things to your card to help you hit it (obviously, they paid me back LOL).
In addition to the 50,000 bonus, there was a 10,000 sign-up bonus, which equaled to 60,000 bonus miles! To put that into perspective for you, I paid for my $600 plane ticket to Bali with those miles. A nice little way to save some dollars!
Right now, I’m using the American Express Delta Airlines credit card to build up miles! I have over 100,000 miles at the moment, which will easily cover a round-trip flight to Europe, Asia, etc.
Additionally, if you want more info on travel rewards credit cards, click here to check out the best travel rewards credit cards from The Points Guy.
Donate Blood/Plasma (& Get Paid*)
*As far as I know, this is only in the US, but you can donate your plasma and get paid for doing so (I suppose it wouldn’t be called donating then).
While this isn’t the case in other countries, companies like BioLife will pay you a couple hundred dollars for donating plasma every two weeks or so! Cool, right?
Although I’ve never done this before, since needles give me the creeps, it’s a good option for those who aren’t opposed to be poked and prodded!
Move Back Home
I know… what a depressing thought. Who really wants to move back home and live with their parents?
Not me (even though I do when I’m back in Minnesota). But my goodness, living with my parents during my university days saved me a ton of money!
Think about it: depending on where you live, rent can easily cost most than $500 a month (and that’s cheap!).
If you’re starting early in the travel money saving game, you can easily put away an extra $6,000 a year just from living at home! That’s a good chunk of money, eh?
Sign Up for Travel Savings Newsletters
While this post is about making and saving money for traveling, who doesn’t like saving a bit of money when traveling, right?
That’s why I’m signed up to a number of different travel newsletters that help me save some dough when booking flights, hotels, and even rental cars.
A few of my personal favorite travel saving newsletters include:
Get a High Yielding Saving Account
The day you get paid, it’s smart to put a good ol’ chunk of it into a savings account — where it can’t be touched and you can be tempted to deplete it!
One of my favorite ways to make a few extra bucks without even trying is through my high yielding savings account with Synchrony Bank. This is an online bank in the United States that has an interest rate of about 2%.
This is pretty good considering most banks tend to hover around less than .5% (yes — half of a percent).
Just in the last year I earned about $60 from doing absolutely nothing than other feeding my savings account with hard earned money. Pretty awesome!
Well, folks! There you have it. My 15 simple ways to make and save money to travel the world. Most of these ways are super duper easy to do and can easily make you a few extra bucks here and there each day.
Just think — a plane ride and new adventure is just waiting for you! Save up dat dough and get out there, kid.
Do you have any little-known ways to save a few bucks here and there? Or any odd ways to make a couple dollars? Let me (and others) know in the comments!
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- 10 odd essentials I’ll never travel without