The benefits of travel are immense. We live on an incredible planet, and discovering the world, its cultures, and nuances can be one of life’s most fulfilling gifts. But a natural barrier to travel is cost. Once you’ve found the time for travel in and around a job, family commitments, and just everything that life throws at you, you then have to worry about the cost. I know, I get it…
Most of us view traveling as expensive, and yes, it can be. But there are certain travel hacks that can greatly reduce the cost of travel; ones that you might not have ever heard of!
Let’s take a look at 3 ways to help fund your travels before you go and even while you’re travelling to see if I can inspire you that you can afford it, more than you realise…
Ways To Help Fund Your Travels
Start a Blog
While not a short-term solution, starting a blog could become a fully-funding source for your travel budget, as well as bringing many other benefits. I won’t go into the detail of how to get a blog started, there are many resources for that, but it’s very simple to do.
You could start a blog before you head off on your travels. Just choose a topic you’re passionate about. Once the blog is setup then it would just be a matter of maintaining it while you’re travelling.
It could be that you look to become a travel blogger, whereby you blog while traveling, using the powerful combination of social media and blogging to show the world the places you travel. Why not start local and blog about your home town or city. What are the side street coffee shops that you could blog about? How about the tucked away places in the countryside that people don’t know so much about?
This forms a powerful networking source, especially if you tell these places that you’ve blogged and posted about them online. You’ll start a rapport with them and some will likely start to offer you discounts. And the larger establishments perhaps free products/coffees, or even overnight stays in return for you writing a review on your blog about them.
Over time, traffic will start to be driven to your social media accounts and blog, and by running affiliate partnership programs and AdSense on your blog, you will start to find income dripping in.
The key thing with blogging is to be consistent and patient and to never rely on it 100%. However, with energy and time, it could be an excellent source of funding for your travels.
Credit card points
By utilising credit card sign-up offers you can make huge savings on flight and hotel costs through their reward points programs.
Please note: You need to be careful using credit cards—a financial commitment is involved, and if you’ve had credit problems or have struggled to keep a firm grip on credit card purchases in the past, perhaps this might not be the best avenue for you and you should explore one of the other options.
If you’re confident in your ability to control your spending then putting all your usual household expenses and any other purchases on credit cards as much as possible can pay back with great value in terms of points awarded to use for funding your travel.
Usually, the terms and conditions require a minimum amount of spend within a specific timeframe in order to reap the benefits, but they do work. You should expect to spend $5,000 over 3 months. This might sound like a lot on paper, but if you go through your household expenses and add up everything you spend on a monthly basis; including the coffees, cakes, lunch dates, takeaways, and drinks; you’ll be pleasantly surprised, although probably quite scared, too!
How much are we talking about in terms of travel savings? If you use your credit wisely before and during your travels, well, let’s just say you’re talking international business class travel trips; depending on the credit card company and the level of your membership.
Not bad, huh?
Freelancing for a side-hustle
I’m not saying that you have to go out and tout yourself as the next best war journalist; freelancing can encompass all manner of skills, such as:
- Data Analytics
- Graphic design
- Admin Support
- Legal Support
- Customer Service
- Sales & Marketing
… and there’s many more.
What are you good at? What do you find easy to do? If you can find something that you can fit around your current work commitments, you can easily start to build an extra income in the evenings, during lunch breaks, and at weekends.
Fiverr / UpWork
Sites such as Fiverr and UpWork are great places to bid for work in various niches. The key here is to get started. There are numerous success stories of people earning a few extra bucks here and there, to developing a full-time income; enough to actually replace their permanent employment.
Both sites, and most that are similar to these, are so easy to get started with:
- Set up a profile
- Bid for work (or clients come to you)
- Complete the work
- Get feedback
- Get paid
You don’t have to get involved with the view of these being full-time commitments. However, by leveraging these combined with social media, you’re likely to find paid work within a week; sometimes within a day! All from the comfort of your home or coffee shop, and you get to choose the work you do!
How’s that for funding your travel dreams?
Time to Start Planning Your Travels
Let’s be realistic; you’re not going to wake up tomorrow with thousands of dollars to fund a trip around the world (unless you sell a bunch of stuff). Most people fall down in their travel fund saving because they’re expecting this to happen instantly.
However, by combining different saving and funding methods, funding your travel isn’t as hard as you might think, and is most definitely worth it.
Good luck with planning your trip! Get inspired from the very beginning and create a vision board of where you’d like to go and how much it will cost. This will set you a target and drive your ambition to make it a reality.
Author: Moni Raad is Editor in Chief at On The Move Toronto, a blog that covers relocation, immigration, and moving to Toronto. She is an entrepreneur at heart who successfully founded and operated several businesses over the years. After immigrating to Canada in 2008, Moni wanted to share her first-hand expertise on how to immigrate, settle-in, and make Toronto home for all the newcomers and people aspiring to immigrate to Canada.