Traveling Cheap and Not Breaking the Bank – Step XIII

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing ideas on how to take a trip when you don’t have extra cash. Once you’ve organized your plan and researched the cost of transportation, rooms, food and fun, now it’s time to focus on filling up your travel account to make it happen.

Begin with making sure you are making the best choices possible on your current monthly expenses. What monthly bills do you have? What exactly are you paying for and can you find better alternatives? The worst thing you can do is set up an account and never look at your bill or shop rates at least once a year. 2011-10-23 14.30.37

Once you feel confident  that your hard earned money is paying for the things that matter most to you, begin to look for ways to earn money in other ways. If you use a credit card that earns points, check to see if you have enough to cash out. Take advantage of earning points by using your card for gas and groceries, but be sure to pay it off immediately. You don’t have to carry a balance to earn points or to build your credit.

Save any gift money or gift cards you receive for birthdays, holidays, graduation or from friends. Any bonus that you receive from work is a great way to set aside funds for your trip. Depending on how much time you have, take on a side gig and save everything towards your trip. The benefit of a side gig is knowing that it’s short term and for a specific purpose.

In my previous post I shared ideas on work exchange programs, where you can get a free room in exchange for work. Some programs offer meals as well. You still need to save funds for transportation and exploring, but work exchange can definitely keep the costs down. It’s also a good way to check out a city before making the move.

As you work hard to saving up for your trip and finding ways to earn additional funds, be sure to think through an emergency plan as well. Have a credit card or access to funds in the event you run into an emergency or need to get home quickly. Hopefully this will never happen, but have a plan in place.

What side gig will you use to earn your travel money? Share your ideas and success stories. Cheers!