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How are you able to fund your travels?

Looking for any tips on how to afford to travel? How are you currently funding your travels?

13 Answers

top answer by
Justin from Phoenix

It's easy - don't live extravagantly.

I have a 2006 Subaru that's paid for. It gets good gas mileage and doesn't cost as much as fancier cars for registration, maintenance, insurance, etc.

I don't have cable or satellite TV. My phone is pretty plain but functional. I don't do sports events (and when I do, it's a minor league team).

Stuff like that adds up.

7 thanks

answered by
Michael from New York City

For me, I've been lucky enough to work for an internationally focused company with a heavy presence in Europe.  So being from the US, that's allowed me to travel on someone else's expense to places all over Europe that I probably would not ever have seen. 

In addition, it's just "saving" whatever I can and looking for deals as my discretionary funds are challenged   :)    Also, being extremely flexible with your itinerary.  For family travels I am patient and wait for the right specials, whether air or hotel.  I even save money by renting folks vacation homes - which in many ways not only saves you money, but is a better and more unique experience.

3 thanks

answered by
Alay from London

This is my mini-guide to funding long travels. Happy to elaborate and share more

Regular saving:

I used to put 10% of any pay-cheque aside. 

Now I just transfer all my money to a savings account, maintaining a set 'living fund' (around a grand) in my main account to tide me over. This helps budgeting as I find you always live within your means, and spend what you have.

Effectively, hide your money from yourself. Helps with budgeting

Live cheap:

Cook at home, take packed lunches, make tea/coffee at the office rather than at Starbucks, cycle/walk when possible, don't buy expensive or excess clothes

Also use Freecycle, timebank, swapshop etc to get what you need

Travel smart:

Couchsurfing, carpooling, friends and family - these are the way. By staying with locals you not only sleep cheap or free, you also have local guides to take you to the cool places, avoid the tourist-traps, and stop you getting ripped off and tricked.

Carpooling is the new hitching. I got back from Cologne to London just chipping in for petrol. Met some cool girls on the way.

Dig around your address book/Facebook and see who's where. Use and abuse your friendship group. You can always repay the favour.


There are thousands of cool places to volunteer that offer free food and bed in exchange for a bit of your time. Avoid the ones where you pay $1000s to 'volunteer', their are genuine places that need help that won't charge you. Check out for low- and no-cost placements. Again you travel cheap, meet locals, get good advice and can have some pretty awesome adventures. 

I worked with Capuchin monkeys in Bolivia for a month or two. Just me and a few guys hiking through the jungle every day to act as social workers to rescue monkeys. The most amazing experience of my life.

Hope this helps


2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Great question--

I have a certain amount of money taken out of my account each month that goes directly into savings. At the end of the year there's at least a few hundred bucks that goes into the next year's travel fund. Also, about once a month or so I empty all my pockets, purses, etc. of change, put it in a jar and then bring it to the bank at the end of the year and put it in the fund as well. I don't carry cash as much as I used to so there's not as much in there as there used to be but it still makes for good mad money. 

Usually in the months before I know I'm going to go somewhere I really, really cut back on all the little money-sucking expenses like coffees, eating out, etc. I used to write the amount of whatever I didn't spend on a piece of paper each day and put it in the change jar and allow myself to transfer that much into the fund but I'm not that ambitious anymore. ;) It really does show you, though, how much you spend on that kind of thing! I also try to find whatever I might need for a trip on sale throughout the year (walking shoes, luggage, etc.) so I don't have to spend a lot at the last minute. 

2 thanks

answered by
Samia from Bangladesh

Being the miserly soul and saving well. Do note that I work in Bangladesh so my income is not THAT great... but its good I am not crazy about gadgets or shoes/ clothes/eating out -so to live modestly. 

I also look out for partial sponsorship events to attend... or live with locals when I travel. 

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Quinn from Hanoi

Hi Tonco,

There plenty ways to earn vs travel at the same time. Nowadays lots travel business including hotelier, tour operator and travel company are offering free stay, free service when you are able to make a good review for them on some of the famous review  sites.

My other suggestion to travel with your limited budget is trying to explore the local travel way so you can save lots of money but the problem you need to deal it is language and sometime lack of information. Hence better to make a detail to where you go like : how to get there, where to stay.

Other tips to get a free stay you can check out this community where people can find a free place to stay :

Hopefully all of my suggestions could help . Please do not hesitate to contact me ;)

Have a nice day to you

2 thanks

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

I think how you save and how you travel also depends on your age and whether you are stuck in a corporate or 9 to 5 job. For me, a 40 something year old woman with a mortgage, and a nine to five job, it's about saving money and time. I take one big trip overseas for a month and a couple of smaller trips around the states. My flight is always covered by frequent flyer miles. I put everything on my card and pay it off diligently at the end of the month. Even my property taxes. I get extra miles by following blogs, looking for extra points on day today items I purchased online, and doing questionaires. I always have a subjecy to change itinerary that I have researched for the best rates on lodging for my needs. At the end of the month when bills are paid, I add to my savings. As someone else said, meet new friends every year that live in different parts of the world. I invite those people to come and stay with me in Los Angeles and they usually offer the same. Next year I'm spending 5 days in London and v in Ireland with a couple of friends that I have met through my travels. They have both come out and stayed with me in the past. So my bottom line, preparation and research, money away every month, friends that live abroad,, and frequent flyer miles!

1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Edna from Paris

I graduated in 2010 with $700 to my name and have been traveling ever since, by finding jobs in each country I move to, from working on a TV show in Singapore to being an English tutor in Paris. I also try to find countries to live in that are good 'hubs' for travel (e.g. Singapore for SE Asia travels; Paris for European travels). Through this I've been able to travel while also building a career as a sports journalist and travel/food writer.

I wrote about it in detail here:

1 thanks

answered by
Jared from Sydney

I'm currently not funding any trips because the last one put me slightly in debt! A lesson in making sure you stick to your budget!  


Just put a little bit away each week! Cutting down on eating out and other everyday luxuries also helps - but don't overdo it! The occasional dinner here and there doesn't hurt! 


Sometimes you just need to plan a year in advance and stick to a thought out budget. Have expenses like flights and accomodation and set days you have to pay them by and save accordingly. Travelling can be remarkably cheap if you follow a few basics - travel in the off-season (usually winter), stay in less luxurious accomodation and travel in groups for cheaper rates.

1 thanks

answered by
Vince from Sarasota

If you have a nice and desirable house or apt. you can do home exchange.

Use VRBO or Airbnb or similar. 

Try to baby seat houses and their pets. 

answered by
Rae- from Toronto, Ontario

I have no debt, when I want to get away I pick up some extra work for a few weeks, and start surfing the net for ideas :)

I like others have said, also dont spend much at home, I think of it as wasting money on a dinner out in Toronto that could mean so much more in Costa Rica

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Costa Rica (country)

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

Jacey and I travel extensively with our jobs. She is on the road 10-12 days a month, and I'm away from home 4-6 months a year. While not always ideal, or convenient, our jobs allow us some freedom and flexibility when not away from home. We are also able to accrue hotel points and airline miles as a byproduct of this. We take advantage of credit card offers for hotel points and airline miles as well.

answered by
Cat from State College, Pennsylvania

Tax returns, monthly vacation fund and motivation to be out of here.

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