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creative ways to save money for travel pinterest pin

Looking for creative ways to save money for travel? Traveling is a dream for many people, but it can be intimidating to think about how much it costs to make it happen.

If you’re tired of hearing ideas like:

  • Create a budget
  • Limit spending
  • Create a Travel Fund
  • Bring your own food
  • Cook at home

You’ll find a list of creative ways to save money for travel, including some unconventional methods you may not have thought of before. Whether you’re planning a short weekend getaway or a long-term adventure, these tips can help you save money and make your travel dreams come true!

Once you’re done make sure you check out my posts on planning a weekend trip on a budget and ways to save money for your next vacation. Let’s get you traveling more and spending less!

Host a Group with Trova Trip and get paid to Travel

TrovaTrip is a company that specializes in hosting group trips for travelers. They offer a wide range of trips to various destinations, including adventure trips, wellness trips, cultural immersion trips, and more. But what I love about TrovaTrip is:

You get paid to host the trip AND your itinerary is free. CHA-CHING!

This is a unique and creative way to earn money while traveling. You can organize a trip for a group of people and get paid for it! If you have a large network of travel enthusiasts or people that want to travel but do not want the stress of planning it for themselves then this is it!

How it works

Hosts log in to TrovaTrip and create a custom itinerary based on interests and budget, and TrovaTrip will handle the logistics for the trip. They handle accommodations, transportation, activities, and meals. They also provide a local guide to help each traveler navigate the destination and ensure a smooth experience.

As the host, you can put on workshops during the trip to gain a deeper connection with your travel community. After all, part of the reason that they are coming on this trip is that it’s hosted by you! Plus your portion of the itinerary is covered and you earn a commission on each confirmed traveler.

TrovaTrip is an amazing opportunity to travel the world while also making money. Plus, with your itineraries, you’ll be able to make some travel dreams come true for others as well!

Travel and work using Remote Year

Instead of taking time off work, planning a trip, and paying for everything separately. You can travel abroad while still working and bringing in that paycheck! Remote Year is a program that allows you to work remotely while traveling. They organize travel programs for people who already have a job working remotely.

How it works

You can choose from different programs that last 1 month, 4 months, or 12 months, and they will provide you with accommodation, workspace, and travel arrangements. This way you can experience different cultures while still working your day job!

The idea behind the program is to provide a structured, supportive environment for remote workers who want to travel while also maintaining their professional obligations. Once you book your trip, you’ll gain access to a community of fellow remote travelers, events, discounts, and more!

promotional graphic with a picture of a couple taking a selfie with a mountain background promoting readers to join the free facebook group "lazy budget travel tips"

Find work or volunteer opportunities Abroad

If you’re looking to travel long-term, finding work or volunteer opportunities abroad can be a great way to experience new cultures. Websites like Workaway and HelpX connect travelers with hosts who offer free accommodation in exchange for work. This can be a unique way to not only save money on accommodation and food but also immerse yourself in the culture and surroundings.

How it works

You (solo), you and your partner, or you and your group apply to help out a host in your desired destination. There are verifications that take place and conversations about what is expected of you during your stay with a host.

Some hosts will require you to help out 5 hours a day and in exchange, they will provide accommodations and some meals. And then there are other hosts that will only require a couple hours of help in exchange for accommodation while you’re on your own for meals.

Either way, it should be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Of course, this is will not be for everyone, but if you really enjoy seeing the world from a local perspective it can be the opportunity of a lifetime.

posting in red rocks state park in sedona, arizona
Red Rocks State Park in Sedona, Arizona

Become a House Sitter

Alternatively, you can find people who need someone to house-sit for them. House sitting is a great and creative way to save money for travel abroad – you stay in a host’s home for free in exchange for taking care of their home and/or pets when they are away.

And it doesn’t have to be difficult to find a house. With the help of websites like TrustedHousesitters.com, HouseSitMatch.com, and HouseCarers.com, finding and booking a house-sitting gig around the world is easier than ever.

How it works

Through these websites, you can search for available house-sitting opportunities in the country or region you’re traveling to, compare different opportunities, and connect directly with the hosts to negotiate a contract. This way, you can find the perfect house-sitting opportunity to save money on accommodation abroad.

It’s free to join these sites and browse, but there is usually a small fee to apply for sites and connect with hosts. But if you compare the fee to how much you’d likely pay for accommodation you’re still winning!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information provided in this post is for educational and informational purposes only. The decision to work abroad and the process of obtaining a work visa in a foreign country is complex and varies based on many factors, including the chosen destination's visa requirements and regulations. It is your responsibility to do your own research, verify the accuracy of the information provided, and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this post and are not liable for any consequences resulting from your decision to work abroad.

Rent out your home or apartment

If you own a home or an apartment you may want to consider renting it out while you travel. You can use sites like Airbnb and VRBO to rent out your home and help offset travel costs.

Remember that this can be time-consuming and a bit stressful because you’ll be dealing with other people in your home and all the logistics/risks that come with that. But without risk, there is no reward and if you’re able to come up with a good plan it can be really worth your time.

Use Travel Credit Cards to Your Advantage

screenshot of my credit score via Credit Karma
My real credit score via Credit Karma

One of the best ways to save money on travel is by using travel credit cards to your advantage. By finding the right travel credit card and maximizing its rewards and perks, you can earn points or miles that can be redeemed for free flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses.

I know that people think that the credit card points game is a scam or that if you want to rack up enough points to really save money on travel you’ll need to spend a lot of money that you don’t have.

Not True!

If you educate yourself and actually understand how to use and maximize credit cards then you should never spend more money than you normally would. But then there’s also the statement about credit score. Many people think that having a lot of credit cards alone affects your credit score in a negative way.

The number of credit cards you have does not matter as much as how you use them. If you don’t believe me, believe Experian when they say “there’s no correct number of credit cards to have”. As long as you understand how your credit works and follow the rules of having good credit, you’re in the clear.

At this moment, I have about 12 credit cards and my credit score is consistently over 800. 😉

If you’re new to this whole thing, don’t forget to sign up for my free Travel Hacking Beginner Checklist!

screenshot from credit karma showing Payment History, Credit Card Use, and Derogatory Marks have a high impact on your credit score, but the total number of accounts is of low impact on your score
Payment History, Credit Card Use, and Derogatory Marks have a high impact on your credit score, but the total number of accounts is of low impact on your score

Find the Right Travel Credit Card for You

The first step to using travel credit cards to your advantage is finding the right one for your needs. When looking for the best travel credit cards, look for the ones that offer rewards for travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars. Some cards may also offer bonus rewards for spending in specific categories, such as dining or gas.

It’s important to consider the annual fee and interest rate of the card, as well as any additional benefits it may offer, such as travel insurance or airport lounge access. Do your research and compare different cards to find the one that best fits your lifestyle and travel goals.

But don’t be frightened by annual fee cards. Generally, the cards with the best perks and the best sign-up bonuses are the ones with an annual fee. But in many cases, you may be able to get more value out of the perks of the card…like a lot more value.

What you want to be careful of is not paying your statement balance on time and in full. Not following those two rules will negate any value or perks you get from the card.

Maximize Your Travel Credit Card Rewards and Perks

Once you have a travel credit card that works for you, it’s time to maximize its rewards and perks. Start by using the card for all of your travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars. This will help you earn rewards quickly and efficiently.

Look for opportunities to earn bonus rewards, such as signing up for a new card or taking advantage of special promotions. Some cards also offer perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and hotel upgrades, so be sure to take advantage of these benefits when you can.

If you’re not sure where to start, get my free travel hacking beginner checklist. I do my best to lay things out in a really simple way because I was overwhelmed when I first started and I don’t want you to be!

Looking on through the Castillo San Felipe del Morro onto the town of Old San Juan
Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Use Cashback Apps and Websites

Cashback apps and websites like Rakuten, BeFrugal, and Dosh can help you earn cash back on your travel purchases. Simply sign up for the app or website, make purchases through their links, and earn cash back on your purchases.

Some of my favorite travel sites to activate cashback:

If you are interested in which site is currently offering the most cashback, credit card points etc. make sure you visit Cashback Monitor first before activating an offer.

Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs

Taking advantage of loyalty programs can help you save money and give you some great perks at the same time. It’s super easy and FREE to sign up for airline, hotel, and car rental loyalty programs. You can also stack credit card points and cashback onto loyalty programs which gets you to your travel goals even faster.

posing on the beach with the ocean behind in Bimini
Hanging on the beach in Bimini

Learn Travel Hacks for Saving Money

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your trip. In fact, by maximizing your spending and taking advantage of various perks you can find yourself staying in places you’ve never dreamed of!

The biggest expenses when traveling are the cost of flights, accommodations, transportation, and food. However, there are many ways to find cheap options that still offer quality and comfort. Here are some tips on how to find the best options for you:

posting at montana Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Montana Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Open a High Yield Savings Account

I know I mentioned that having a travel fund is a boring way to save money for travel, but hear me out. Usually, when someone says they have a travel fund, they are referring to a normal savings account they have with their bank OR a sock filled with cash in their underwear drawer. There is no in-between.

Either way, they are likely earning little to no interest on the money that they have in this “travel fund”. That’s where a high-yield savings account comes in. With a high-yield savings account you have the potential to earn 20 times more than with a normal savings account.

This is by far the easiest way to save money for travel because you don’t even have to do anything but add the money into the account and then while you sleep you rack up that interest.

In the words of Warren Buffet, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” Nobody wants that. And yes, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account to make it easier to save. Most of these accounts don’t even have any deposit requirements to open an account and it’s completely free.

Look for free or low-cost activities

You’ve saved up for your dream trip and now it’s time to make the most of it. Look for free or low-cost activities, such as visiting parks, museums, or local festivals and markets. Consider purchasing a CityPASS or attraction pass that gives you access to multiple activities for a discounted price.

By planning a cost-effective itinerary and seeking out unique experiences, you can make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.

holding out passports

Bottom line

Traveling can be an incredible experience, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Remember, saving money for travel doesn’t have to be this long drawn-out process that makes you hate this trip before it even begins. It is a fun and rewarding experience that you will always remember!

So start planning, set a goal, and use these tips to help you make your travel dreams a reality. Bon voyage!

Want to Travel More for Less?

Become a Budget Traveler! Head over to my start here page and grab my free budget travel cheat sheet  – it’s packed with valuable tips to help you create your own winning budget travel strategy.

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