If you’re anything like me, you love traveling especially when it comes to experiencing new cultures or visiting faraway lands. Even so, planning vacations can be stressful if you don’t have enough cash to do it. It doesn’t need to be this way. You can actually save up money while keeping your current career by using these tips. In fact, I’ve used all of them myself! And they work. But first, let’s look at what you can do if you’d rather not quit your day job.
I’m fortunate as someone who works from home full-time. My wife does too. We both have our own businesses, which means we make more than enough income to pay off debt faster (and travel even more). Of course, everyone has their own circumstances. Some may live with family, others may rent rooms out. Whatever you choose, there are ways to earn extra money without quitting your day job.
You should already know how to work from anywhere with Wi-Fi. You’ll just need to find jobs that allow remote workers. Many companies hire freelancers to handle various tasks such as customer support, blog posts, social media updates, etc. There are lots of websites that connect you with those opportunities.
Freelancing sites are great places to start since most of them offer tools to help you manage projects and clients. One popular site is Upwork, where you can get paid to write articles, take pictures, design logos, proofread documents, etc., depending on your skillset. Another option would be Fiverr, where you can get paid $5 per gig for doing pretty much whatever you want.
Of course, you could always go into business for yourself. Start a company selling something online or offering services like consulting, web development, graphic design, photography, writing, translation, etc. The possibilities are endless. This is especially true if you plan ahead and research what types of products/services will sell well in different countries.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out other freelance bloggers’ portfolios. There are tons of them on Pinterest.
Another great alternative to working from home is telecommuting. Although it isn’t possible everywhere due to local laws, it’s getting easier because of technology. More employers are starting to recognize the value of having employees who aren’t chained to desks.
It’s easier than ever now to connect with coworkers via video calls. Skype is a good example. Or maybe you prefer Google Hangouts instead. Both are free, easy to use, and available almost anywhere. Just search “Skype” or “Google Hangouts” in any browser and sign up for an account. Then, you can begin making calls to anyone within your country (or beyond) for no charge.
There are plenty of other apps that can help you communicate with coworkers back home. Slack, Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, etc., are all examples of communication platforms that can work wonders for small teams.
As mentioned above, you can also set up shop on Amazon and eBay, where customers can buy locally made items directly from you.
The hardest part about saving up for a vacation is finding the time to do it. After all, we only have so many days each week. So how do you fit in a trip somewhere exotic? Here are some ideas that might inspire you.
First, consider taking a few days off during weekends and holidays. That way, you won’t feel guilty about leaving work early. Plus, you’ll probably end up going anyway because you planned it that way.
Second, think about how much time you spend at work each month. If you can cut it down by half, then you might be able to squeeze in a weekend away. This is especially true if you work a regular 40 hour week.
Third, try to find a place close to home that allows you to sneak away for a quick weekend escape. Oftentimes, hotels will give you a break if you stay overnight for less than three nights in a row. Also, airports often have cheap last-minute deals.
Finally, ask your boss about flexible hours. If he agrees, see if you can put in a request for a few weeks before you leave. You never know until you ask.
Whether you work remotely or not, you can still save money. Below are several tricks that helped us stretch our dollars further.
Shop around for better prices. When shopping online, compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Be aware of sales and promotions. For example, some stores run flash deals every week or two while others have daily specials. Use price-comparison engines to find the best deals.
Compare hotel rates. Sometimes, hotels themselves can offer cheaper rates. In addition, there are websites dedicated to helping travelers find the cheapest flights and hotels. Kayak is a popular choice for flights while Hotel Tonight is perfect for hotels.
Use coupons. Sign up for emails from reputable coupon sites. They send out discounts to subscribers. These usually range between 10% to 50%.
Try Uber Eats. Instead of eating at restaurants, order food delivered from nearby eateries. Food delivery services like GrubHub are also a good idea. Eat less meat. Meat costs more than vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, grains, etc. Learn to cook vegetarian dishes or simply eat healthier.
Find free things to do. Check out your city’s tourism website for suggestions. Local attractions often provide discounts to students and seniors. Look through community calendars, too.
What’s Your Plan?
Hopefully, you’re inspired to explore your options and figure out how you can afford to travel. Now it’s your turn to share your plans. What did you decide to do? Have you tried any of the strategies listed above? Please tell us about it in the comments below!