I have always had a huge desire to travel. Even as a young teen I would go to Barnes and Noble and sit in the travel book section just looking at pictures of all the places I wanted to visit someday, Costa Rica, Thailand, Italy, Switzerland, just to name a few. I had my heart set on being able to see the world one day.
Fast forward about 10 years and I was a broke, newly married, college girl with little funds and a lack of time to be able to travel. Anthony and I were both working full time while in school, but there was no room in the budget for travel. However, I really wanted to surprise Anthony with a weekend getaway for our anniversary and needed some creative ways to save money for travel, so I googled “how to make extra money fast.” Thanks Google for being the real MVP!
One of the suggestions I found was to resell some of your old clothes and as we all know I have an affinity for cute clothes, so I downloaded the Poshmark app and uploaded a few of my old things I wanted to sell. It became a passion of mine rather quickly and after I ran out of my own things I was willing to sell I started going to Goodwill and garage sales finding diamonds in the rough. After working all summer selling clothing, I had saved up a couple thousand dollars and Anthony and I were able to take an amazing week long trip to Kiawah Island near Charleston, South Carolina. It is still one of my very favorite trips we have done together and it holds such a special place in my heart.
All that to say, if two broke college kids can find a way to save up money for a trip, so can you! Here are some of the other ways we have personally saved up money for travel.
1). Like I said above, sell your old clothes, shoes, purses, etc! I know for a fact that many of us, especially the ladies, have clothes lying around that we don’t wear. While I definitely do recommend Poshmark, be warned, it does take quite a bit of work and dedication. I spent hours and hours each week taking photos and styling my items, gaining followers, and finding great items to resell. You could also try selling through eBay, Facebook (try finding online garage sale groups in your area), or Instagram. I have also brought things to my local Plato’s Closet or Clothes Mentor, but you won’t see nearly as much profit by doing that. I typically only do that for items that wouldn’t sell online or if I needed quick money (they do pay you on the spot, you don’t have to wait for your items to actually sell!)
2). Donate Plasma. Not going to lie, I was a little skeptical of this idea at first. Anthony and I found this idea from another round of googling, “how to make money fast without having to rob a bank.” Kidding of course, but we do take wanting to travel seriously, y’all. I had never heard of donating plasma before, and I am already very wary of needles, so this definitely took convincing. Actually, let’s be honest, I made my non-squeamish husband go try it out first in case it was scary. Make sure to look up plasma donation centers in your area and go to the one with the best reviews and if you are able go at their non-peak hours so that you won’t have a wait. It typically takes two hours and you will make $50 each time you go. $25 dollars an hour, not too shabby right? When Anthony and I were saving up for Universal and Disneyworld, he went 5 times over the course of a couple of months and made us an extra $250 for our trip. I know this isn’t for everyone – but it is something we have done!
3). Sign up as an Uber driver. The best thing about doing this is it’s very low commitment. All you need is a car, insurance, and a drivers license. Then you can do it as little or as much as you want. For people who just want to make quick extra money, a good idea is to make sure you are available on nights there are concerts or special events in your city. There will be a surge of people needing rides and you can make a couple hundred in one night of work.
4). While this tip doesn’t necessarily make you money, it will save you a ton, and that’s the next best thing right?! Anthony and I didn’t think a Europe trip would be possible any time in our near future because the plane tickets are so expensive! However, when we heard our favorite travel vloggers telling about the website Secret Flying, we realized it may not be as far fetched as we once thought. Sometimes Airlines and Hotels have “mistake fares,” which means that a wrong price is posted (ex. a flight is supposed to be $400 but they list it for $40) by signing up for this website (it’s free!) or liking them on Facebook they will alert you of any mistake fares or super cheap flights. Once I found out about this gem of a website, I started checking every day looking for flights leaving from or near my hometown. We had been saving up to go on a trip later this year to Thailand, but when I saw flights for only $400 round trip to Greece (one of my bucket list destinations!) we couldn’t pass those prices up and booked them that day. It was definitely one of the most exhilarating and nerve wracking things I have done in a while, because we never make big purchases on a whim! #Noregrets though because we will be spending our 5 year anniversary in Greece and I am over the top excited.
5). Join a clinical study or focus group. Right now Anthony is participating in a study (and I am hoping to qualify for it as well) that is looking into the correlation between alcohol addiction passed down through generations. They needed one group of people that drank occasionally to be involved and he fell into that category. We found this study in our area just by once again, googling it, but you can also find some focus groups to join at this website. He is getting paid $260 for 9 hours worth of time and all he has to do is answer questions, so when you think about getting paid $30 per hour, it’s really not too bad of a gig. Focus groups are a way that companies find out what people really think of their products or their advertising. They will pay you to do something most of us love to do anyway – give our opinion!
6). Be willing to camp or backpack or stay in hostels or…The bottom line is, traveling doesn’t have to be as glamorous as bloggers make it seem for it to be fun and wonderful! We recently went to the beach with some of our friends and instead of renting a condo or a house we opted for camping. When researching camping on the beach I was amazed at how many campsites there actually were and how fast they got booked up! I had no idea it was so popular! When we told people we were camping near the beach in the middle of June in Florida, I think a lot of them thought we were completely crazy. Was it hot? Yes. But completely and totally worth it! We stayed at St. Andrews Campground near Panama City and spent four nights there. We all caravanned and meal planned to save money, and for a total of four nights the stay was only $40 for Anthony and I both. That’s only $5 each a night, so you really can’t beat that. This campsite had electricity and showers with hot water that were cleaned daily, so I can’t say we were even roughing it that much. Plus, who can complain about spending all day every day on the beach with their best friends! We also love camping in the fall at different places around Arkansas, and we hope to camp at Havasupai Falls next spring. It’s a great way to get out and enjoy travel while not breaking the bank!
Other ways we have saved up money for our travels are by house and dog sitting, limiting how much we eat out (RIP because I love going out to eat!) and the old fashioned way of working overtime. Anthony is fortunate to have a job where he can work as much over time as he wants while getting paid time and a half, and I am fortunate to have such a hard working husband who shares my passion for wanting to see the world. I will be transparent in saying that as of late, my little ole’ blog and Instagram have provided us with many opportunities we would not have otherwise been able to do. We are being accommodated in Greece by some amazing places in exchange for reviews, pictures, and video footage of their property.
All this to say, if you want to travel make it happen, because experiences are worth so much more than material things!
If you want any other tips on how to save for travel, feel free to message me!