Guest Post: 4 Ways to Afford Your Next Trip

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Today's guest post comes from Jessica Dawdy of Ways of Wanderers, and is about a topic that people always seem to be interested in — how to be able to afford to travel. Jessica has been working/volunteering her way through Europe and Asia with her partner, Brent, since September 2011. The projects are varied: from gardening at a retreat center in Germany to teaching ESL in Thailand. Check out her tips:

4 Ways to Afford Your Next Trip

Let’s talk about money: It can be an uncomfortable topic, but a lack of it is often one of the major factors that holds people back from traveling as much as they want. Here are just a few ways that virtually anyone can earn extra income to save for a trip or keep money coming in during long-term travel:

Teach Online

When people begin researching how they can travel and make money at the same time, teaching ESL (English as a second language) overseas tends to be one of the first recommendations they come across. However, instead of traditional in-classroom teaching, consider the more flexible alternative of teaching ESL online.

Typically, the only requirements are a reliable Internet connection, web camera, headset, and, not surprisingly, a good command of English. Many companies only need teachers to commit to a few hours of teaching per week, making this a low-commitment way to generate extra income when you’re saving for a trip. Plus, provided that you can consistently access an Internet connection while you’re traveling, you can continue to earn money when you’re on the road.

As an added bonus, these jobs often pay in USD, which can mean a better hourly wage than you would earn teaching full-time in-classroom, where pay is typically in the local currency.

Sell Your Extra Stuff

Many people sell almost the entire contents of their home before taking off for a round-the-world trip. It’s a great way to make trip money, and it also frees travelers from the responsibility of storing their belongings while they’re away. However, you don’t need to be going on a year-long journey to sell a few things that you no longer have any use for.

Take some time to de-clutter your home and you’ll probably find some items that are still in good condition that you’re willing to part with. You can sell virtually anything on Ebay or Craigslist. You can also sell old books to used bookstores, gently used clothes to consignment stores, or even hold a big old-fashioned yard sale.

Share Your Stories

There are a number of travel sites, including BootsnAll, The Lost Girls, and Transitions Abroad (to name just a few), which will pay for well-written travel articles. Another option is starting your own travel blog, although making money through blogging requires a great deal of patience and persistence. It takes time to build a substantial following and gain the interest of advertisers.

That said, affiliate programs are a good option for newer bloggers. Affiliate programs pay bloggers a small commission for sending customers to their site. You post a link to the merchant on your blog, and if the merchant makes a sale as a result of your advertisement, you get paid. Commission Junction lists affiliate programs by category, so you can apply to participate in programs that are relevant for travel blogs, such as airlines or hotels.

Go Freelance

I used to think that freelancing was only an option for certain types of careers; however, if you take some time to brainstorm, you’ll probably realize that there are many freelance-friendly related fields that you could branch out into. For example, my background in science allowed me to land a year-long contract editing lesson modules remotely for an osteopathic school. This ended up acting as a great boost for my travel fund.

Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs if you don’t have experience. Often, it’s just about showing an employer how your skills are transferable. Craigslist and Elance are both great places to get started looking for freelance employment. Or, the imaginative can try advertising a service on Fiveer. Fiveer is a website where users can offer to do anything for $5. You’ll see users advertising everything from copywriting to “I will rawr your message as a tiger for $5”. It can be silly, but it can also be a good way to start building a network of contacts for freelance work.


Funding travel doesn’t have to be difficult. Get creative! There are almost endless opportunities out there for earning a little extra cash.

What other tips do you have for adding to your travel fund?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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14 Comments on “Guest Post: 4 Ways to Afford Your Next Trip

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  1. I’m a big fan of selling your extra stuff. It’s amazing how free you feel when you’ve got your total load down. Whatever you want to do with the money; it’s good to get rid of the junk.

      I totally agree! You don’t necessarily need to be saving up to travel – getting rid of unnecessary stuff for any reason can help you feel freer.

    For me is very interesting how much traffic you really get after publication the guest post in BootsnAll, for example? Somebody knows?

      I think it really depends, Victor. It depends on the post, where/when it’s published, and how popular it gets on social media.

    Any form of street art and selling handicraft is also a good option for those who are in touch with their creative side.
    Here’s a good website for people looking to go busking around when travelling:

    Other than that, I think the most important thing is to realise is that if you have a lot of time, you don’t need a lot of money to travel. Counterintuitive, right? Yes, but when you think about it – if you don’t have deadlines you need to meet or be somewhere on a certain day you can take that bus instead of the plane, or hitch hike instead of getting on a train. You can stay behind in a place for a couple of days/weeks/months and get a part-time job, which allows you to refill the wallet and enables to get a better feel of the place you’re at. Maybe also learn a thing or two, master the language better? (and we all know speaking the language makes it for such an easier and more meaningful trip!)

    There’s a world of possibilities for those wanting to travel. It’s just a matter of creativity, imagination, research and asking around!

    We made a moderate amount of money from selling our goods & luckily with so many internet sites as an option is easier than ever to find someone to pick something up.

    Mind you, only items we couldn’t manage to sell were books 🙁 Luckily we gave them a new home at the charity shop.

    Solid post! Question – Know any decent paying teach online websites? Specifically ESL? I was doing some research the other day, and it seems like Japanese companies are pretty good because the pay is higher.

    Great post and some fantastic tips! I tend to take the freelancing side, luck enough to have fallen into graphic and web design. Its still tough o work on he road though, but well worth it.

      Agreed! Freelancing on the road sometimes makes it challenging to find a balance between work time and travel time. It’s really important to me to keep traveling as the priority even when I take on projects.

      Yeah, it’s always tough to fit in working while you’re traveling. But freelancing is a great way to help support your travels, especially since you can do it anywhere in the world.

    Great tips. Share your stories is my favorite. Something I did was to cut down on expenses and keeping track of it in writing, so it was easier to stay accountable as well as know how I really did.

      Tracking your expenses is always a great way to figure out how to cut down on spending!

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