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Five Ways to Create a Travel Fund

For the longest time, traveling for leisure has alway been considered to be only for the rich, what with the expenses of airfares and hotels, not to mention the cost of daily expenses. Thankfully, innovations have given us budget airlines, affordable accommodations and cheap local costs.

Still, you need money to go to places, as it’s a rare thing to be offered a free trip. To fund your wanderlust, you have to find ways. Here are five suggestions to help you get going.

1. Get a job

Or at least, a means to earn money, preferably in a legal and honest manner particularly if you want to travel abroad. A salaried job guarantees you funds every payday, and you can set aside certain amounts to build up your travel fund. If you take on side jobs or do freelance work aside from your day job, you can use what you earn from there for your trip money. Last year I saved enough to fund two local trips and one trip abroad thanks to perseverance and patience. Set a budget, and build from there.

2. Sell your stuff

There is truth to the adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’ve enough secondhand books and clothes to prove it, and with that idea I’m sure you have something that will be of interest to someone. Do a thorough house cleaning, and if you have items that you no longer use but are in good condition, sell them. Price the items reasonably, then hold a garage sale or put them in an online store. I’ve sold clothes, toys and a lot of books that way. It may be a slow go at the start, but every little bit helps.

3. Market your skill or hobby

One of the things I do for fun is draw and paint. Friends and family have approached me to create something for them and often give something in return. If there is something that you love doing, maybe photography or crafts, you can sell these. Set up a store on Etsy, or sell them on Zazzle or CafePress. If you have an Instagram account, check out InstaCanvas where you can sell prints of the photos that you take.

4. Barter

In the olden days before money was invented, people would exchange their goods and services for other people’s goods and services. You can do that now, like maybe run errands for a neighbor in exchange for a few bucks. I earn a little by doing small things for my relatives and neighbors, all of which go to my travel fund. In the United States they call it doing odd jobs and are often done by teens who want extra money. Do it during your spare time, and charge reasonably.

5. Put up a wishlist

It’s now a modern practice for couples to have a wedding registry when they are getting married. Here they list down the things they want to receive for the occasion, and guests can use it to avoid duplicating gifts.

In that same way, you can create a travel registry. Nina Fuentes of justwandering.org did this for her Morocco trip, and a co-worker of mine did the same for their honeymoon to Europe. List down activities, things, food items, accommodations, fare — anything related to your trip. Add the amount that you need or wish to raise, and people can donate the whole amount or a portion of it. You can make use of sites like gofundme or kickstarter, or set it up on your site and use PayPal or other options (bank deposits, wire transfers, etc.) to receive the money. Offer something in return to your donors, like a small souvenir or postcard, to encourage them to give.

It’s a wonderful thing that travel is becoming more affordable these days. But with our personal expenses plus other payables, we need all the help we can get to fund our love for travel. Keep at it, and soon you’ll be visiting all those wonderful places on your travel list.

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