There are some things you can cut right now before your next trip to save a bundle for your vacation. Along with more money, these saving tips will also help you save time to more things at home. Cutting out a few of your non-essential but regular monthly expenses can open up a world of possibilities in any budget travel or otherwise. Some of the items suggested in this list may be painful to part with at first glance but not when you add up how much you’ll save month after month when you’re enjoying dinner on some of the top beaches in Europe. What is your priority – watching life on cable TV or actually living it? www.travelrows.com
Cable Television – Most of where you can save is by cutting out non-essential entertainment either partially or completely. Let’s begin with cable or satellite television if you subscribe to any level of it. We’d recommend cutting it completely so you aren’t paying anything to watch television. It may be a tough adjustment at first but one you can overcome by planning other activities in its place. You can also consider using your computer or laptop as a television as sites like Hulu offer recent network shows and plenty of older series on their site.
DVD and CD Purchases – Consider purchasing individual songs from iTunes or steam movies from other services like Netflix to cut down on your overall cost and reduce the amount of “stuff” you accumulate. That will make things lighter for you physically and also help you from overspending on things that you won’t use – like the junk songs on a CD or that DVD you’re not quite sure about.
Alcohol – A non-essential, albeit a fun, way to pass the time alcoholic liquids are expensive. Much more so than any other drink, and the same goes for tobacco. It’s tough to cut these completely out of your budget if they’re already a regular part of your life but you can certainly cut back for big savings. A good method is to set a weekly limit and stick to it.
Luggage – Don’t bother with expensive suitcases or more bags than you really need. People tend to pick fill their backpacks, no matter how big or small they are. Save yourself the stress and expensive of buying multiple or sets of luggage because they don’t do you much good. Most people can get away with a 65 liter backpack. Here are some recommended RTW backpacks that won’t cost you much more than $200.
Communications – You won’t need your fancy cell phone overseas. Your digital nomad laptop can replace many of the small personal gadgets like cell phones that require monthly charges. You can use Skype to make free calls to other computers for free or to phones for reasonable per minute rates. Skype is just one of the great connectivity tools you can use to reduce your monthly subscription fees.
Camera – If you have an SLR or are passionate about photography and can afford a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera then go for it. However, for regular travelers a point and shoot digital will still take good enough pictures. The quality of these little cameras is improving and you can always edit them on your computer afterward. You’ll also save a few thousand by sticking to a basic digital camera.
Other Ways To Save At Home
Reduce the amount of energy you use around your home by installing a hot water heater timer, getting a programmable thermostat adjusted to the EPA’s recommended values, and insulate your home in the basic ways. Saving for your travels comes down to reducing what you already spend money and time on. Even modest reductions can result in big savings.
Ideas for earning some extra money for your vacations
Saving is only a small part of getting ready for your next trip – you can easily earn small amounts of money that add up by using some online tools and old fashioned methods. Take a look around your home and you’ll see a plethora of things you can slowly sell, without even losing their value. For example you can use sites like Amazon to sell off your old CDs and DVDs but back them up before doing so.
You might be able to make a small amount of money but still keep your tunes on an iPod or other portable device; yet another one of ways to go green as well. Look around to all of the junk you’ve got lying around – the stuff you haven’t touched in ages. It can and should go, but for a small price. Add it all up, combined with figuring out the cheapest places to travel, will give you more ways to travel as you want to.
You can also set up limits to donate items that you aren’t able to sell after 30-60 days (longer for seasonal items). While you won’t get money upfront for most donations you can keep the receipts and deduct the donations from your taxes.
That might not help your very next trip but can be part of your long term savings if you put aside all of your charitable donation refund for part of a vacation. Another unconventional way to find extra money lying around is to look in toll booth returns for extra change – it’s a place where for some reason you can also find bills occasionally. We know it sounds weird but do hope that you’ll give it a try and see how much money you can find over the course of a week.
Put Your Skills To Use
Do you know another language, are good in math, or have some other specialized skill? Consider tutoring others or looking for freelancing gigs that let you provide your services of flat or hourly fees. You can also advertise locally at your library, school, or other ask other public institutions if they might need your skills. Give yourself a leg up by creating a basic resume or having a list of qualifications handy and don’t forget to report the income when you do your taxes at the end of each year.
If there’s a university nearby or you happen to attend one, check out the bulletin boards and ask the various departments if they’ve got any research or medical programs going on. Most do and you can earn a pretty good amount of money by volunteering to help a research student conduct experiments. Don’t worry though, it’s typically things like taking tests or answering questions. Most medical research would only apply if you have a particular condition to be studied.
Focus groups are another easy way to make some money for an hour or two of your time. These are marketing research groups that will have you watch TV, take taste tests, or fill out questionnaires on a specific topic to help better advertise them. It’s not rocket science and you get paid anywhere from $50-200 an hour in most cases. Sign up to one of the local focus groups in your area and they’ll give you a call when you meet some of the conditions they are looking for. Participating in a focus group just once and month can be a great way to earn easily for your next trip.