Traveling is an expensive albeit life-changing hobby. If exploring the world is a priority for you, don’t let airfares and lodging fees stop you from pursuing your dream of scuba diving in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or hiking the great Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Here are six budget travel tips and tricks for everyone, from young adults to retirees, to keep in mind during your next financial brainstorm.
Open a travel fund
We all had piggy banks when we were younger; they served as emergency funds for all our most treasured childlike priorities– new toys, losing double dog dares, and running after the ice cream man. The same goes for traveling in adult life. Figure out how much “play money” you have after every pay check, and set it aside to curb your next wanderlust craving. The best way to make your travel fund work efficiently is to have money automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account each month. Just like a savings account, it’s best to make sure this account is held at a different bank than your checking account to avoid carelessly moving funds around to purchase other big-ticket items.
Sell your valuable stuff
Regardless of their intrinsic value, some items have a sentimental price tag, some don’t. I certainly don’t recommend getting rid of anything near or dear to your heart, but purging an old jewelry box may be a good way to conjure up some cash. Worthy.com is a secure online solution for selling your diamonds that is fast, honest and easy to use. Why not sell an old diamond ring and help finance your next dream vacation.
Worthy is dedicated to providing you with the ultimate service and assists you every step of the way taking the worry out who to sell to that you can trust by letting you know exactly what your diamonds characteristics are. They’ll provide you with a market value analysis and once you send your diamond via insured mail, they clean, photograph and partner with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for a complimentary grading report. Worthy works to bring you the fairest market value for your diamonds while providing truly stellar customer service every step of the way (you can read real reviews here). Knowing the real facts is key and helps you set your reserve price for the Worthy auction. You are in control. Simple as that.
Plan the most inexpensive trip possible
This seems intuitive, but it’s not usually so simple. In order to plan the most inexpensive trip possible, you may need to make some preferential sacrifices. You unfortunately must be somewhat flexible on travel dates and destinations in order to get great air, bus, or train fares. Here are some of my favorite websites to check with flexible date searches and price comparison functionality: AirFareWatchDog, Kayak, and FareCompare.
Next, after swallowing those transportation fees, plan frugally for your accommodations. Browse hotel booking sites like booking.com, Kayak (again), or even Airbnb to review available pricing, and book when you find a bargain. Keep in mind that there are also free accommodation sites, like Couchsurfing.com, so they may pique your interest if you can overlook a frightening number of documented horror stories.
Lastly, one of my favorite budget travel tips is to consider swapping digs with a fellow traveler for a few weeks or months! You can list your home on homeexchange.com, which gives you the opportunity to find someone in your dream destination who’s reciprocally enthused about checking out your neck of the woods– just like Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. The more detailed your home description (including high quality photos, house rules, local attractions, etc.), the more likely you are to attract a swapper. Similar sites include LoveHomeSwap.com and HomeforExchange.com.
Rent out the stuff you don’t need
If you’re planning on being gone for any prolonged period of time, consider renting out your home or car. List your place for sublet on Airbnb or Craigslist. Beware that choosing someone to occupy your place, especially if you are going to resume living in it at some point in the future, is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if you’re going the independent Craiglist route. Establish a rational, detailed, and most importantly legal screening process beforehand to find the best tenant for your house, condo, or apartment.
You can also make a pretty penny renting out your car on sites like CarNextDoor.com or Turo.com. Creating a free listing is easy, and once you describe your car and upload some high quality photos, you’re ready to go. The only upkeep is to constantly ensure your calendar is up-to-date so travelers know when your car is available and when it isn’t.
Get paid to travel
Here’s an equally brilliant and terrifying idea– if you have a passion for travel, why not make it your profession? Consider teaching English, becoming an international tour guide, or even considering a career as a flight attendant. For more information about the many ways to earn a living through your passion for wanderlust, click here.
Seek out scholarships
Seeking out scholarships is another option for financing that dream vacation of yours! Worthy, a leading online marketplace for selling that old diamond ring of yours, is now accepting applications for its first annual Worthy Women’s Professional Studies Scholarship. This new scholarship program is designed to support and encourage women to restart and renew their lives as they restructure from an unforeseen life-changing event. Their goal is to help set women on a new path regain control of their new lives and to, of course, be the best they can be.
The Worthy Women’s Professional Studies Scholarship 2016 offers multiple scholarships of up to $2,500 per recipient to women pursuing new careers. Applicants must be enrolled at or accepted into a Professional Studies Program at an accredited college or university in the United States for the 2016-2017 school year. Candidates will be assessed based on the subject and content relevancy to their new career, as well as the reasoning or rationale behind their chosen new career path. Submissions will also be evaluated based on applicant essays, which require candidates to offer meaningful and thoughtful response(s) to an essay question. For more information about this awesome scholastic opportunity, click here.
Did I leave any good budget travel tips and tricks off the list? I’m all ears if you have any worthwhile inclusions!
Thank you, Cooperatize, for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.