Realistic Ways College Students Can Earn and Save Money To Travel
To earn and save money to travel, you have to be smart. On a college budget I think we can all admit that our limited money doesn’t always go towards the smartest purchases if we are completely honest, nor is saving money high on our list of talents (or on the list at all). For those of us who desperately want to travel, but are limited by our finances, it can be frustrating seeing others constantly visiting a new country or city, leaving us wondering how they can afford it…
This question comes up often and I’m sure we’ve all thought it. As a college student myself, I also struggle to find money to live out my wanderlust dreams. Being the travel-freak I am, I have found ways to accomplish my goals despite the obstacles. This of course leads to many of my friends asking me HOW I do it… and what I always say is that yes, traveling isn’t cheap, but just like any hobby, if it is important enough to you, you will find a way to do it!We all have different interests that are important to us. If you’re a music addict, then purchasing concert tickets would be more “worth it” to you than maybe it is to others. I save my money so I can travel because that’s what’s important to me. There are many ways to afford to travel that we as college students don’t take advantage of. From earning points that leads to travel credit in the future or taking a side job to earn extra cash for your travel fund, everything counts and gets you $1 closer to that next trip. Just check out this girl who saved $24,000 in college just for travel!
Get a credit card that gives back:
One of the smartest things you can do is to open up a credit card that earns you travel friendly points. Not only is opening one at our age smart to start building credit, but it gives you many perks if you choose the correct one. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and I earn double points on anything travel-related. I’ve been able to buy a last minute ticket that should’ve cost me over $900 roundtrip but ended up costing me NOTHING and instead helped eliminate a lot of travel-related costs. If you’re going to spend, might as well spend in a way you get rewarded for! If you are interested in opening up a card but don’t know where to start or which one to get, here is a great post on the best travel credit cards to read!
Join airline loyalty programs to earn miles that lead to free flights:
Similar to the first tip above in regards to earning points, joining airlines travel programs allow you to build up miles and convert them into points that can cover some or all of the costs of your flights. To get the most out of your points, pick airlines based on who you travel the most with and who you are most likely to travel with again in the future BUT also by who has the best or biggest benefits of joining their loyalty programs.
Put your book knowledge to use:
Tutoring has a lot of money earning potential. You can tutor people from your school in subjects you are knowledgeable in or even tutor children from the local school districts. I have a friend who tutors a few kids in biology and he earns $25 an hour! It is easier money and there is no long-term commitment, so there is no issue taking off for all those trips you are going to be taking ;p A great new tutoring app that links up college students who need tutoring and those who can tutor is called Tutit and I highly recommend it!
Sell things you don’t use anymore:
Another way to earn and save money to travel is to sell old processions that, as I type, are collecting dust just sitting there. Recently, I discovered poshmark, a great online marketplace to sell old clothes. They take 20% of the profit you make but it’s better than it just hanging there. For non-clothing items, the app/wesbite LetGo allows you to sell your unwanted goods to people who actually do want or need them. For instance, one thing we all have and can all sell? Textbooks! Next time you have a few hours free, go through your bedroom and make a pile of everything you will never use again or that have no purpose and turn wasted space into extra dough in your pocket!
Establish a weekly budget:
If you are like me, making budgets and actually following them can be tough. With a student life, every week is different and our schedules are always switching, making it hard for us to keep track of how and what we spend our cash on. From what I have found, when you actually sit down and see how you spend your money and then figure out how to do so more responsibly, you can earn and save a lot for those future escapes!
Birthday’s mean money for flights!:
Okay so this one is kind of a freebie in a sense that you basically just need to be alive to earn some cash… so congrats! For my birthday last year, I asked my parents if they could split my plane ticket to Madrid with me so that in the end all I had to pay was $200 for my flight and I could worry about other expenses instead. For a college student, this is one of the easiest ways to earn and save money travel.
Cut out one expensive thing you buy every week that is not necessary:
An extension to my budgeting tip, this one helps you save a lot long term by simply just cutting out something you buy often but don’t actually need. For instance, if you eat out three times a week, it can often accumulate to $30-$50/week spent just on three meals! Say you cut that down to eating out just once a week, you start saving $30/week. In just one year, you will have saved $1500(!!!)… enough for multiple flights if you do it right, or one nice vacation!
Learn a valuable skill:
Learning a skill that most people do not possess makes you valuable. For me, as a marketing major (and blogger) I have learned a lot about social media marketing, content marketing and how to use WordPress. With this knowledge, I can easily do contract work for different people or businesses who need help in these areas and earn some cash when I need to. This can be applied to most skills like being a professional swimmer and turning that into swimming lessons or knowing how to code and making websites for people (even knowing english is a valuable skill in some cases!). The options are countless and you would be surprised what talents you have can help you earn some cash! For professional based skills, I recommend signing up for Upwork which lets you connect with businesses and people who seek out your skills!
Have anymore tips or ways to earn and save money for travel? Leave them below for others to benefit from too! More travel = more smiles 🙂