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This might come as a surprise to you, but I planned my first world trip in 2 months. I had an idea, I bought a ticket and I left. This sounds silly because most travel agencies recommend at least 6 months planning for long-term travel, but I did it anyways and I was fine. I’d do it again tomorrow, if only I had enough money… money always seems the problem. So here’s how to save a lot of money for your next weekend trip, world trip or just ANY trip, because these money savers help me to continuously travel all the time! It’s not always about saving money because sometimes it’s hard to even get a job, then it’s more important to travel smarter and learn how to make more money and travel cheaply.
The biggest home takers?
Stop buying new things, start enjoying the things you have.
Once you change your lifestyle, saving is easy. If you set your mind on travelling and understand that experiences are more worth than things, saving money is easy. One thing I didn’t want to give up was my gym membership, but you can stop paying for the gym and start running outside and doing home workouts.
Staying healthy is very important for me, so I always pay for a gym if I’m home, especially because I always gain weight and stop my regular workouts while travelling 😉 Part of this is giving up candy and pleasure food, you’ll stay healthy and save a lot of money.
Save on food by using this (eats-nonib287ue) discount code for UberEats, it’s not much but you need food anyway. I’m always very happy with small discounts off food.
I don’t have a car, but if I’d have one, I’d immediately stop using it. Walk everything (if that’s doable) so you’re staying healthy too and practice for long hikes.
I visited the library more often to read magazines (this would save me about $40 a month worth of magazines) and planned my travels with all the travel guides they have there.
With Evernote Premium (claim your free month here) you can easily scan articles with your phone to your notebooks, and later search in the pdf files if necessary – must!! This is how I collected most of my information.
Another smart thing to do is, bring stuff from home and get them in advance. Most investments are worth it. I knew tampons are super expensive in Asia, so I brought them from home. Unfortunately, I had to share them with a friend who wasn’t as smart, so I still ended up paying $25 a box (at home it’s $2 a box, iek).
Same with medicines and knowing where you’ll be travelling to. I knew tiger balm (works great on mosquito bits) would be cheaper in Asia, so I did not buy them in advance.
Barter more, if you want something, ask if you can do something in return to skip the money transaction.
If you have a job, ask for a raise. If you have a business, raise your prices.
Start with decluttering your home and sell everything you no longer need. This was my favourite part because it helps clear out your home (you’re likely to leave it anyways if you’re planning on long-term travel), and you learn to live with less, one thing that’s necessary on the road.
I started promoting affiliates of things that I was using anyway, and earned a couple of hundred extra by just promoting the links on social media using this strategy (you don’t need a big following for that, you can even use Pinterest with this strategy, just make sure you reach millions of people as detailed here if you’ve just a couple of followers.
I’ve created a list of programs that will pay you month after month once someone uses your link to buy a product, which was a great way to earn passive income while travelling.
I literally stopped buying everything unless I could bring it with me on the road, or eat it up. But I also spent less on food and groceries. I always invited people over instead of going to the pub or eating out.
I’m lucky because as a blogger and journalist I can often enter museums with a press pass, or get invited to new openings and party’s, so I’d usually not pay for fun things, but I still had a social life.
Once I was on a mission to make more money, I couldn’t stop decluttering and trying to sell my old stuff. It’s really addictive! It’s an awesome feeling you’re selling something you had for two years and you sell it for almost the price you got it. But that doesn’t happen that often, usually people only want to pay $1 for something you got for $50. but don’t feel defeated, the more time you have, the better deal you can get.
I initially wanted to make $1000 from my stuff, selling everything (I knew I was leaving my house, so most of my furniture, my fridge etc. had to go). I’m obsessed with organizing and tracking so of course, I created an excel sheet to track everything.
In the left column the things I wanted to sell, next to that the price I wanted and next to that what people actually paid. Sometimes that was more, more often the same amount. Just make sure you keep track of your sales, or it won’t feel as satisfying.
You can start with promoting affiliate links on your blog or social media, start a blog and focus on getting traffic and ads (also read: 50+ blogging networks to sign up to & earn money blogging).
Pick up freelance jobs (on the side).
Become a master side hustler. Sign up for stock photography websites and submit photos.
Get an easy nanny job that allows you to watch kids in the evenings while working towards your own (travel money) goals. I invested in a money coach to clear some of my money blocks, so I could eventually earn more money (it helped!).
And don’t forget to turn-on these videos in the background as this company pays you to watch video playlists (also read: this company pays you $2700 a year to watch videos).
The funniest way I travelled smarter? I discovered hostels. LOL. I know, I always thought I could pay long-term travel on a hotel life, but uhm no, I couldn’t and didn’t want to in the end. When you’re on the road, it doesn’t matter where you sleep as long as it’s cheap so you can do that snorkel trip. So there I was, browsing my way to the cheapest hostel each night.
I use Booking.com, to find the cheapest (but still decent) hostels possible (sort by lowest price). Sometimes I even changed hostels daily when I felt really adventurous because it saved about $20 a night, which is almost a daily food/activities budget – so it was worth it. Download the Booking.com app, or book your stay via the website, most places offer free cancellation WHICH IS LIKE THE BEST. Just reserve your spot and plan your route later.
Traveling cheap is all about having options! If you book your hostel a day in advance, you’ll pay more than if you book it 4 weeks in advance. I learned that Asia and places where it’s cheaper than home are more fun to travel to anyways because it feels better to spend less than home than more on a daily basis. It just seems so logical to long-term travel if you can live on $50 a day somewhere instead of the $120 at home right?!
If you have the time – travel slowly. Slow travelling is always cheaper than wanted to see everything in a specific time span.
I skipped going to travel agencies to book my trips. I’d especially suggest this when you’re travelling slow, so you can really take your time to check out the cheapest trips. Viator helped me big time, comparing prices, booking fun day trips and seeing the prices for over-night trips.
Most overnight tours I did I booked via the hostels I slept in, if they have a mini travel agency, you should check that out because it’s probably the cheapest option.
Do your research and research ‘free things to do’ in a city. You’d be surprised how much fun things you can do for free! I’ll create a few free guides soon because I always create a free itinerary in my Moleskines and I’d love to share them with you.
Get a credit card that works with your favorite hotel chain like Chase Marriott. Get knowledge about how airlines work. I started watching flight ticket prices on a daily basis and I still do. Subscribe to newsletters from major airlines. Learn flight prices and understand when it’s cheap to travel. I check Skyscanner daily and always check ‘cheapest price from’ your location to learn what’s cheap.
Never book domestic flights a week (or less) in advance because it’ll be the most expensive. Never pay too much. Sign up with your favorite Airlines loyalty programs and earn benefits.
Know the difference between Australia, the United States and Europe. I don’t mind flying with budget airlines in Europe because most flights are less than 1 hour. But I realized soon that a budget airline in Australia is the worst because you can easily fly for 6 hours to another place that seemed relatively close by on the map.
Bring food and an empty bottle of water to your plane flights and fill the bottle of water after security. This way it will be super easy to travel cheap!
Sometimes booking a room or apartment via Airbnb (claim your $35 discount code here!) is cheaper than a hotel or hostel because you can cook and really rest.
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