Traveling can be expensive. Trust me. I get it.
It’s hard enough to balance everyday expenses, like rent and student loan payments, without trying to add in flights and lodging for an exotic vacation.
Here are some things that have helped me.
Please note I am not a financial advisor and the advice below comes solely from my personal experience and may not work for everyone.
- Sell your stuff
Most people have too much stuff. So why not declutter and make some extra cash? Garage sales, consignment stores, and online marketplaces like Craigslist make it easier than ever to get rid of unwanted items. This probably won’t yield a ton of extra cash, but would you rather have that vintage typewriter or a round-trip ticket to Japan?
- Keep a change jar
This may sound silly, but keep your spare change and hoard it in a jar. You’ll be surprised how it slowly starts to add up over the course of the year. I usually end up using this as spending cash on my trips.
- Get a side-hustle
Got a hobby or skillset? Put it to work! Are you crafty? Sell your wares at a craft show or online! Do you like kids? Earn some extra cash as a babysitter or part-time nanny. From pet-sitting to freelance writing to driving for services like Lyft or Uber, the options are nearly endless. Your day job can pay your bills, and your side-hustle can pay for travel.
- Set up automatic transfers to a designated travel savings account
I have an automatic weekly transfer set up from my main checking account to an online savings account with a high interest rate. I don’t even have to think about it. In fact, I go out of my way to pretend that this savings account doesn’t exist unless I’m making travel plans.
- Credit Card Reward Programs
Many credit cards offer travel perks. I have a card that rewards me with frequent flier miles for every purchase. I put all my daily expenses on this card, and then I pay it off in full every month with my paycheck. I also made sure to sign up for the card during a promotion that awarded me an additional 50,000 miles if I spent $1000 in the first three months. This last tip may not be for everyone, but it’s been working for me. Just be sure to do your research to find a credit card that is right for you.