It’s not a casual question, either, as most people know someone of limited means who still seems to book a cool trip every year or two. While it might look mysterious, there are a lot of ways that you can fund your travels.Keep reading for ten different options that can help you join the ranks of regular travelers.
Americans spend nearly $800 billion each year on leisure travel alone. For the travel-hungry and cash-strapped, though, there is a pressing question at work. Where do people get the money?
1. Careful Management of Your Finances
It’s not the most exciting option, but reworking your finances is one of the most accessible ways for people to find the money for traveling. Just as your work will expand to fill the available time, your expenses expand based on your income.
Here’s the thing. A lot of expenses just don’t justify themselves because you get limited value from them. A few common examples include:
- Gym memberships
- Magazine subscriptions
- Streaming video service subscriptions
- Eating out
Canceling unused memberships and subscriptions, as well as eating out less, frees up money that you can put away into a travel account. It’s a longer-term solution, but it will get you there.
Okay, okay, the lottery isn’t exactly a sure-fire method of making money for traveling, but it can make the process more fun. Of course, you shouldn’t spend all that money your saving on your gym membership to buy lotto tickets. You can spend a dollar a week buying one ticket.
It adds a little excitement to the process when you see the lottery numbers each week.
3. Teach English Abroad
If you don’t mind the idea of living abroad for six months or a year, you can look for jobs teaching English as a foreign language. Granted, you must work while you’re there, but it changes the travel game.
What you get in exchange for that work is an extended opportunity for experiencing the local sites and culture. You aren’t beholden to a strict schedule the way you are on a traditional vacation. Even better, you do it on someone else’s dime.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, consider a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification. You can find online courses for the certification.
One popular option for those looking for a travel lifestyle is freelance work. This can work especially well for writers since all you really need is a laptop and a reliable WiFi connection. If you’re still studying and you want to start freelancing, you should definitely consider this option, since it will help you get an extra income, it will give you real-world working experience, and will also provide post-grad networking opportunities.
The pitfall is that you must establish yourself in advance, which can take a while. You need an online presence, such as a website and a social media profile or two.
These help you establish a little credibility. They also serve as contact points and a little free advertising. You also want to focus your efforts on finding clients who need recurring work done, as it reduces the need to drum up business.
5. Make Travel Your Semi-Pro Hobby
Ever heard the term travel blogger? The conceit is that you get paid to travel, which can prove true eventually. What travel blogging really does is help you open doors.
You do that by picking a niche and working it hard. Let’s say that you’re really interested in traveling in the Pacific Northwest. Make that the focus of your blog. By zeroing in on that area, you inevitably become an expert on the region.
It also means that businesses in the region will prove more likely to, for example, comp you a hotel room or give you meals. Getting some of your expenses covered this way can make travel more affordable.
6. Remote Job
A remote job and freelancing are not identical, despite how some people describe them. With a remote job, you work for one employer and put in a 40-hour week. The upshot is that your employer doesn’t care where you do your work from, as long as you do your work.
So, let’s say that you’re a programmer. If you invest in a good notebook computer, you realistically can do your job while sitting at a cafe in Paris or on a beach in Belize.
7. Sell Pictures
If you travel, it means you get a golden opportunity for taking pictures of the places you go. Most travelers just take pictures for their own memories. You can take it up to another level, though.
You can post your photos onto stock photo sites and sell licenses for them. Of course, it’s more complicated than that.
You need well-edited photos to start, so that means investing in decent editing software. You also need images that sell.
Also, consider taking a photography essential course to up your photo game.
8. Passive Income
Let’s say you go the route of travel blogging and build up an audience. You can leverage that audience into passive income by writing an ebook or ten.
For example, you can write an ebook about traveling to a specific city or a specific state. You can also write about travel-specific subjects, like eating while traveling.
Let’s say you get some traction as a travel blogger or ebook author. You can turn that into funds for traveling through sponsorships.
Companies that specialize in travel gear will sometimes sponsor a trip, as long as you’re willing to use their gear on the trip and talk about it on your blog or in your next ebook.
10. Temp Work
You can also fund travel with temp work. A few common options include summer camp worker, fruit picking, and even local modeling. While it does cut into your walking around time, it also makes the trip vastly less expensive in the long run.
You Can Find Ways to Fund Your Travels
There are a lot of options for you to fund your travels. Some are long-term strategies, such as adjusting your finances, teaching abroad, or freelancing.
Others are shorter-term strategies, such as taking on temp work or securing a remote job that lets you start traveling very soon. The big takeaway is that you can find ways to pay for travel or ways that will pay you to travel if you look for them.
Looking for more travel tips, advice, or ideas? You’ll find them over in our Articles section.