A new year has come and with it resolutions to do more, eat less, and hopefully travel a little (or a lot!) I’ve highlighted my top ways to save your travel funds so you can hit the road, but I knew there had to be more ideas out there I had missed. I asked a few traveling friends to chime in with one tip to maximize your money before and while you are on the road.
Michelle from Wandermom: Plan ahead! If you choose to visit a destination months in advance, you have time to research prices for flights, hotels and other travel services. You will quickly get a sense for typical prices at that destination and that can be powerful information because it allows you to determine whether any deals or special offers you find are really good value or not.
Linda from Travels with Kids: Start collecting smashed pennies as your family’s souvenirs. They only cost 51 cents, and take up no space in your suitcase.
Allison from Tips for Family Trips: We have a jar that reminds us what we are saving for. In addition to putting some money away in a savings account every month, we add all of the change we find on the dresser, in the couch and in the laundry to the jar.
Jenna from This is My Happiness: We cut out one monthly expense. Nowadays with the evolution of technology, it’s easy to find ways to cut down or cut out cable bills, phone bills, subscriptions, etc. If we find a couple of those monthly bills to cut out every month, the savings really add up!
Another idea…we have 2 dogs and used to have to pay someone to housesit (or pay a lot to kennel them, which we didn’t like). Even though we paid a young woman just a little every day, it really added up! We decided that we’ll never do that again, so we started asking around and very quickly found someone to housesit for free, wanted a quiet place to stay a while.
Another way to save is to add stops onto flights so you get 2 trips out of one set of airplane tickets.
A final one is to rent out your house when you are gone. We have cousins who rent out their house on Airbnb every time and even if it doesn’t get rented the whole time, they make some money. They live in a much cooler location than I do, though.
Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure: Before you make a purchase or spend money compare that to how many days of travel, lodging, plates of food, etc., you could get instead. For instance, do you really need to spend $40 on a brand new pair of pants when that $40 could get you 2 nights lodging or pay for 20 meals while traveling (depending where you’re going).
Leah from Leah Travels: I’m a big believer of out of sight, out of mind. This theory holds true with excess money in my banking account. I have six different accounts, but one is strictly used for travel. I pour as much money into that one as possible.
Amy from Atlanta with Kid: Look at your big expense and choose one area to cut just so it’s easier to stick to it first. For us, it’s eating out so we focus on that area. Once we master the budget on that we move on to the next big expense that we can cut. It’s like a step by step for budget-phobia.
Bethany from Flashpacker Family: Host Airbnb guests in your spare room. It’s virtually no extra work other than making up a bed and supplying a few towels but brings a welcome injection of cash into your PayPal account which you can either take out or use to pay for Airbnb on your own travels! It’s also nice to see your hometown through the eyes of a traveler.
Colleen from Travel Mamas: Do a home exchange! You get lots of room to spread out, potentially separate rooms for each family member (allowing for better sleep), and the conveniences of home (like a fully equipped kitchen) all for no (or almost no) money. Plus, if you exchange with a family with children, your kids will be treated to a slew of toys to play with during your stay. Exchange with faraway friends, family members and acquaintances, or pay a minimal fee to join a site like HomeExchange.com or Homelink.com to trade with other travelers hailing from locations around the globe.
Daniel from The World of Deej: When possible, I pick up gift cards while doing my grocery shopping. Most stores now have gift cards for Expedia, Orbitz, and Disney, so I just add one to the grocery bill and toss it in a drawer until we need it. You can also buy Visa gift cards that can be used anywhere, but those often come with a fee which sort of defeats the purpose of saving…”
Aleah from Solitary Wanderer: I maintain separate bank accounts: one I use for my daily expenses, one for travel, and one to forget (to be remembered only in cases of medical emergency).
Lillie from Around the World L: Get rid of your car! (Read point #1)
Jeremy from Living the Dream: I put all of my spare money I get out of an ATM in a secret jar in our apartment such that I never have cash in my wallet other than what I need it for. After a few months I’ll end up having $300-$400 in the jar that I otherwise would have spent on useless junk and vending machines at work.