If you’re like me, you live for travel. Nothing beats the feeling of arriving at the airport for the trip you’ve been anticipating for months. It is always worth it, as you get to see new places and cultures, eat delicious foods you’ve never even heard of, or simply lie by a magnificent beach. However, there are significant challenges in the way much of the time.
You’re going to need to take time off work and make sure you are not needed by family or close friends during the days you plan to be gone. But it’s the financial aspect that is most pressing. Travel is expensive. Flights and accommodation are just the tip of the iceberg.
So what do you do if your travel bug is bigger than your budget? Here are 3 strategies for funding your next big trip.
1. Take advantage of credit card rewards
The easiest step to take is to find credit cards that offer travel rewards. It amazes me how many people don’t bother with credit card rewards programs at all. They are usually pretty simple to navigate. But more importantly, they reward you for doing what you’d be doing anyways.
The reality is that spending money is one of the few activities we know we’re going to engage in every month. Your credit card rewards will build up on their own, without you having to change your lifestyle in any way.
When you get a card with travel rewards, you get ever closer to your next big trip.
2. Pitch some travel blogs
Not everyone can write well enough to be featured on a blog. However, many people simply don’t realize they have the necessary skills. You don’t have to be the next Stephen King to write about your trip. All you need is basic writing competence and a creative mindset.
You also don’t need to run your own travel blog in order to make money off your writing. There are many existing travel blogs which accept pitches. If you have something unique to say or are visiting a place they want to tell their readers about, they will be happy to pay you for your work.
If you don’t have experience writing for other blogs, you won’t receive the highest rates. However, as you go from one place to the next, you’ll build a portfolio. The best part is you’ll be making money from your current trip towards your next one.
3. Start saving like a pro
One of the reasons saving money to travel with is so hard is that it’s probably not your top priority. Rent and groceries will always come first, along with money you’re saving towards retirement, or any unexpected expenses.
This is why you need to improve the way you save in general in order to make traveling a possibility. You should not have to compromise your future for a vacation. By improving the way you save towards retirement, you will find yourself able to save more in general.
To start with, you will need to get used to budgeting. Apps like Mint make this very easy, but you have to really commit. Using travel as an incentive, you’ll be more motivated to save as much money as you can every month.