How to afford to travel


Everyone agrees that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. But how can you afford the travel of your dreams?

How to Afford Travel – Tips for Saving Money for Your Travel Dreams

How to Afford Travel – Cut back.

Ouch you say! No Starbucks? No cable tv? No eating out for lunch every day? Check out movies at the library for free instead of renting them?

Well, yes….and no. Financial gurus suggest all spending is a choice. Whether you choose Starbucks on your way to work or choose to save the money so you can buy a coffee in Spain these choices that are all within your control. It is easier to cut back when you have a goal and feel in control of your choices. So, just cut back where you can.

Make a choice that doesn’t seem too painful. Think of your goal. But, still live in the moment and if that daily sandwich from the Burger Joint is your definition of happiness then go for it. Just be aware of your choices.

How to Afford Travel –  Grow your own vegetables. 

I love to garden and grow things we can eat. My favorite things to grow are lettuce and herbs. Every single thing that comes from my garden is fresh, yummy, chemical free and…way cheaper than from the grocery store.  With just a $2 bag of seeds and even a very small space, you can grow your own salad. Here is Tom Thumb lettuce growing in my front yard.

How to Afford Travel: Grow lettuce

You can even incorporate vegetable plants into your front flower beds if you don’t have room for a traditional garden. I love Rosalind Creasy as a true authority on the matter. I’ve had vegetables  in my flower beds since I started reading her books. This book is worth the price. I’ve saved SOO much money in groceries with the information I’ve learned. Right now I have lettuce, mint, tomatoes, chives and cilantro growing in pots in my courtyard.

This great book by Ivette Soler talks about ditching the grass in your yard and converting the space to gardens that GIVE you something rather than lawns which TAKE time, water, effort, etc. Start small with one corner of your yard and see how much money you can save on food! Put that money in the travel fund!

If you think that gardening is back breaking work that requires weeding and expensive dirt and compost, think again! I used the information in this wonderful book Lasagna Gardening to grow more food that I ever had in the worst possible growing spot in Denver, CO. The soil was a hard as a concrete driveway! The growing season was short! You, too, can have a simple garden and grow food in your own yard. Give it a try! Save money on produce and put that money in the travel fund!

How to Afford Travel – Cook more.

I hate to cook. I really do. The way I see it cooking requires a lot of time to plan, shop, prepare, cook, and clean up after. BUT it only requires seconds to eat. It just seems like a waste of time!  But….when it comes to saving money for travel I’m willing to make certain choices!

Aside from making lots of salads from stuff I grown in the garden, I also make at least one inexpensive meal a week. What is an inexpensive meal? Well, beans make a great meal that feeds an army and costs very little. Here is my favorite black eye pea recipe! Cheap and tasty.

Cheap Black Eye Pea Soup by The Educational Tourist

1 bag of dried black eye peas (soak over night)

1 large onion – chopped

1 large bouillon cube – chicken

1/2 head of green cabbage shredded

1 package of mushrooms, sliced

I bunch arugula or spinach

salt, pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Boil beans till they are soft and then put in a crock pot. Brown onion and mushrooms and add to crock pot. Add bullion. Let soup simmer on low for at least 2 hours. About 30 min before you are going to eat add the greens – cabbage and arugula or spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Makes enough to eat now and still freeze a second batch for another night.

See just how much you can save on food! This book Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day has some wonderfully easy and cheap recipes!

If you are more of a cook than I, you’ll love The Frugal Girl, who has a zillion tips on cooking rather than eating out. She has tips on saving money on groceries by planning meals ahead and doing lots of your own cooking.


Take a sack lunch to work. You’ll save calories and money at the same time. Use your lunch break to go for a walk to get in shape for the trip at the same time.

Brown sack lunches, How to Afford Travel: Take your sack lunch

Packing lunches doesn’t have to mean dreadfully boring meals like peanut butter and jelly. Get some fun ideas, shake it up, AND save money for your travel dreams!

How to Afford Travel –  Earn more.

Stop laughing! It can be done! Consider taking on a second job. Even a small amount of money can add up.

**Babysit – even one gig a week can earn some serious bucks over the year. Try a service – they love hiring adults.

Like Seeking Sitters


**Tutor for a subject – have kids in your neighborhood? Sometimes a person who is NOT related to kiddo can get through to them!

**Teach a special skill – Know how to bring the heat with your baseball skills? Play the piano? Love to garden?

**Build websites – If you know your way around the web, your skills are in high demand!

**Tax refund? Put it in the travel fund!

Get some great ideas here! Think outside the box to save money for the trip of your dreams! You CAN make it happen

How to Afford Travel –  Look for deals.

Why pay more for something than you have to? There are lots of options for saving money.

**Coupons: Some people swear by websites like Groupon or coupons in the weekly paper or online.

**Schedule large purchases like cars and appliances or the best possible prices. Kiplinger has a schedule.

** Online shopping: Good deals are online! Try DealNews or Brad’s Deals when you need to shop.

**Consider second hand. From clothes, to sporting equipment, to appliances, second hand objects often have a LOT of life left in them. Look at consignment shops, ebay, and Craig’s list and save a lot!

How to Afford Travel –  Travel smart

** Credit Cards

Use credit cards that earn miles. I love this tip –  I even pay for $3  things with the credit card. It all adds up! Also, sign up your regular bills to go to the credit card – more miles!

**Mileage Programs

Join the mileage programs for airlines. My MIL gets her checked bags free from this! It saves $50+ on every trip.

**Carefully choose WHEN to book.

When you book your trip matters. According to, Tuesday at 3:00 pm is THE time to buy tickets.


Here are more tips from Angie’s List.


**Clear your cookies.

After shopping around for the best deal. Clear your computer’s cookies to revert back to the lowest price.

**Use online sights to wait for the perfect fare.

Know your dates for travel quite early? Keep an eye on this great website for lowest fares. They watch and contact you with great deals.


Megan at Travel.Paint.Repeat. suggests the site EVReward where you can shop online and earn rewards. Her site has lots more tips for flying around the world on a dime!


How to Afford Travel –  Pay yourself.

Everyone has heard  ‘Pay yourself first.’ meaning put some money aside from each paycheck for savings before you do anything else. Excellent advice, but not what I’m talking about.

I mean, pay yourself to do things you might otherwise pay someone else to do.

**Wash your own car.

**Clean your own house.

**Paint the fence/change the oil/color your hair/paint your own toenails.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:  After you do something you would have otherwise paid someone else to do, immediately put the money in your travel fun. You won’t feel deprived this way. You aren’t giving up something – you are choosing to put money towards your dream. Big difference!

Plan. Save. Daydream and make your dreams a reality!

How to Afford Travel: Dream

Happy travel planning and daydreaming….

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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1 Response

  1. September 15, 2014

    […] You feel like you are more of the ‘save money and then go on a trip’ type of person? No worries. Read about saving here. […]

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