Want to travel more? …Or maybe just a little more often than you get to travel now? What’s stopping you? It just takes a little planning and creativity, and anyone can do it. We want to help you find ways to save more money for travel!
Like anybody else, our money doesn’t grow on trees. And whether it’s for budget travel, luxury travel, or a hybrid of both, we have to work hard to save for our travel adventures, and then do everything we can to make the dollars stretch to ensure that there will be more traveling in the future.
‘Do more with less’, that has always been one of our mantras.
So here is a short list of things you can do to save money and help make your travel dreams come true…
#1 Get a good travel rewards credit card …but use it wisely.
There are several good rewards credit cards out there to choose from. Do your research to find the best travel rewards card for you. And then, while sticking to your budget (you have a budget, right?), use it to pay your everyday expenses such as groceries, fuel, clothing, and so on. Rack up those reward points!
The trick? Don’t go into debt! Pay your credit card off in full every month.
Going into debt is not going to help you realize your travel dreams. To rack up those redeemable points, use your travel rewards credit card on your normal monthly purchases for everything that you can charge… Groceries, fuel, any expense that you would normally use your debit card or cash for. This takes a little discipline to pull off without getting yourself in trouble, but the hassle is worth it.
#2 Find a travel rewards credit card that comes with a hefty bonus.
Several rewards cards offer a huge introductory bonus when you open an account and use it for a certain dollar amount in a given period of time. If you are using it to pay bills that you are planning to pay anyway (and then paying the card off at the end of the month) this is not difficult. Paying the entire balance each month ensures you won’t be charged interest fees and that you remain debt free. Many of these cards come with a $95 annual fee but we easily rack up several hundred dollars a year to be used for travel, so it pays for itself.
#3 Use your travel rewards credit card to book your travel plans whenever possible.
A good rewards credit card can really boost your travel budget not only with the points earned on your purchases but also for discounts when booking flights and other travel expenses. Shop around for a good rewards card that suits you. Check out the Chase Sapphire card. This one has been good for us, and it paid for our tickets to Belize!
#4 Coupons & Rewards
Shop around and find good deals. Groupon Getaways is a great virtual travel agent but there are all kinds of other travel planning sites out there. If you are like me you never pay full price for anything. We all know that shopping around for sales is one of the best ways to save a buck, why pay full price for your adventuring? Skyscanner is the way to find the cheapest flights. We find the best deal on flights by using Skyscanner and then book thru our rewards credit card for even deeper savings. Is that cheating?
#5 Save on autopilot (put a little money away each month).
A hundred dollars a month or ten dollars a month, whatever you can afford, setting up a savings account with an automatic monthly transfer makes saving way easier. Chances are you will hardly even miss that money you are stashing.
Not only will your savings add up faster than you think, the main benefit is that you don’t have to think about it and you won’t be tempted to push it off for ‘next month’. I find it harder to save if I have to manually transfer or deposit the money because something more urgent will always come up.
By setting up an automatic transfer to a travel savings account, chances are you will hardly even notice the money is gone.
#6 Earn extra money by renting out your extra space with Airbnb.
For us, this one is huge. It’s always good to diversify your income and Airbnb is a really fun way to do it. Do you have an extra room or a little extra space? Set your place up and welcome travelers through Airbnb. Not only will you earn a little extra cash for travel, you will get to meet some of the most interesting people!
When our kids got older, the two thousand square foot house started to be a bit much for us so this is exactly what we did. Our rec room, which is pretty much the whole downstairs of our house, was going unused. We really didn’t need this much room. Instead of letting all that space go unused we pulled together some furniture including a twin bed and a big comfy couch, hit IKEA for a few needed items, and listed our space on Airbnb…
We are hooked! Airbnb may not be for everybody but we love being hosts. Travelers get a cool local experience and we get money to stash for our next trip!
If you are new to Airbnb you can sign up with this link to earn credit, $27 for the first time you travel and $80 for the first time you host.
#7 Get more involved in the Sharing Economy to earn Money for Travel.
There are all kinds of sharing economy sites popping up around the net to help people put their unused stuff to work, you just have to find them. For example, if you have adventure gear you can make a little extra cash-to-stash by renting it out to other adventurers. When you are done here, check out StokeShare’s website to learn more. We haven’t tried a lot of these sharing economy sites yet besides Airbnb and Uber (get a free ride with Uber here). If you do try any of them (or have already) we would love to hear how it works out for you!
#8 Save Money for Travel by Quitting Bad Habits
What is eating up your cash flow that you would be better off doing without? How much money could you save every month if you finally quit that thing your conscience has been nagging you about? Drinking, TV, coffee, shopping, smoking? I’m not here to make judgments on your lifestyle but there is probably something in the back of your mind that you know you would be better off doing without. I’m sure many of us have habits that add up to expenses that we could use for better things, like travel.
Here is your incentive to make that lifestyle adjustment and finally quit! What better incentive than a life of adventure!?
#9 Save Money for Travel by Trimming the Budget
Every six months or so I like to scour our monthly budget and cash flow to see where we can trim the fat. Do we really need a landline now that we all have cell phones? Are we getting the best rate on our car insurance? Are we spending more than we need to on eating out and miscellaneous shopping?
You know what they say… A penny saved is a penny earned. It pays to be frugal! Keep an eye on your monthly cash flow. Ensure you aren’t wasting your hard earned money.
The more you trim from your budget, the more you can save for seeing the world!
#10 Your turn!
Tell us and everybody else in the comments below how you get creative to stash money for more travel!
We are working on how we can go location independent and make the 9-5 nomadic. We would love to have jobs that we could take on the road and work from anywhere. Until then, we have to be creative. Our plan is to fit in as much travel/fun/life as possible. Any tips you guys have to share on making that happen are gladly received.
Now, let’s get out there and explore what this world has to offer!