Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees. In the case of travel, nothing comes for free, and whilst there are ways to make money on the go, such as freelancing etc, it’s always a good idea to build up a safety cushion before jetting off, if at all possible.
So, other than that elusive money tree, how can you fund your travel plans?
1) Get plan savvy
It’s important to save money at the initial booking stage, because any costs saved here can be put towards the more fun parts of your break. Do a search for cheap flights, and consider indirect if it works out considerably cheaper. This does take a little longer, inevitably, but it also means lower costs. As for accommodation, consider hostels; before you say it, they are considerably better these days, and many are akin to hotels.
2) Freelance on the go
If you’re planning a long trip, then freelancing whilst you’re away could be a good way to make money, meaning a regular income whilst you’re travelling. Head to reputable sites, like oDesk, and build up your reputation. Remember you will be required to pay tax on anything you earn, as you will need to be registered self-employed, however you could make enough to continue your travels whilst earning. Be sure to check out local rules on working if you’re going to find bar work etc, as you may find this is impossible without a permit.
3) Have a clear out
Before you head off, have a massive clear out and put what you don’t want on eBay. What you think is rubbish, could be someone else’s treasure, and the earnings will mount up.
4) Shop around
If you’re going to have to pay bills whilst you’re away, e.g. your phone, then consider changing companies if you can, or asking your company to freeze your contract. Not all companies will do this, and it is at their discretion, however, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
5) Consider extra work before you go
Saving every spare penny you have before you embark on your travels is probably the best way to stockpile your safety net of cash. Consider a second job to go alongside your main income, such as a few shifts in a restaurant or bar, and send out a mass email to several asking for work. It’s usually by sending of the cuff emails that you find opportunities. Even two or three shifts a week will give you enough to put away.
6) Live like a local
Whilst you’re away, try and do things the local way, rather than the tourist way. This is always going to be the cheapest route, so just chat to the locals when you arrive, find out where they go to eat, and how they get their shopping etc, and then just follow their advice. This also has the double advantage of true travel experience, and exploring the local culture.
In the case of a huge trip, it really is worth sacrificing your social life a little pre-departure, to enable a better time away whilst you’re there. You can’t travel without money, but being a little clever before you go, and maybe earning whilst on the go, will mean you can enjoy it all the more.