Yesterday I asked you has the global economic crisis is affecting your travel plans, and for the most part it hasn’t – although as Priyank mentions, it does have him a little worried. Before you cut your own plans however, consider the following unconventional ways to fund your travels.
- Sell Your Old Books and CDs – Unless they’re for reference, most books are dead weight once you read them. Lighten the load and sell back your books as soon as they’re read to get the most value back. I prefer Half.com, which makes it easy to sell books, CDs, and DVDs and reimburses you for most shipping costs.
- Take the books you can’t sell after 60 days and take them to a public library, they’ll buy them for much less but at least you’ll have more than nothing and be 1 book less at that.
- Download free eBooks instead and stick to a single carry on.
- Grab Extra Change From Toll Booths – Chances are you are missing the ‘rejects’ coin return below most toll booths. Drive through the toll booths that are unmanned or exact change only and stick your hand in the coin return – many times you will find part, all, or twice as much change as it cost you to get through the booth.
- You probably won’t make a net gain, but could save a few dollars a month. Or save all of the change you find and put it aside for some small travel essentials.
- Tutor A Language – There are plenty of high school and college students who are struggling with their language classes. For a few dollars an hour you can provide them with some homework help. Check for signs on college campuses, church, or Craigslist.
- Only know English? For longer trips find a job teaching it at your destination in exchange for lessons. (Either way, you should know a few words before you go, here are the 12 best ways.)
- Medical Research and Focus Groups – When I was in school I participated in a number of medical tests and surveys for extra money. The medical exams usually consist of sitting in front of a computer (to test reactions), getting an MRI, or giving blood. It sounds creepy but you’ll be helping a Master’s or Ph.D student complete their thesis and add to the general body of medical knowledge. Not to mention around $50-150 in cash for an hour.
- Focus Groups – Are generally surveys or interviews about a movie, music, a company for marketing purposes. You’ll be paid a small amount of (again) cash for your time. The Gilmore Research Group is a good place to begin.
- Beware of Google and Craigslist scams.
- Use Your Travel Blog – Earlier in the week I listed 6 ways to make money with your travel blog.
None of these methods are designed to make you rich – and that’s not the point. Using airline recession tactics and being proactive in generating extra money can expand your simple travel budget. Saving all of your money from a second temporary job, for your travels for example, is an exchange of time for money – better than using credit. Using your time, knowledge, and possessions you can finance even the biggest travel plans.
Don’t think it can be done? Be inspired by One Giant Step and Clearly Enlight.
[(top only) photo by: Dave Austria]
Cool stuff Anil, and thanks for the mention !
Like you said, I’ve sold lot of my books recently (your first tip), sublet my apartment and yeah my blog (website) is self sustainable (your last tip).
There are some very stupid sounding but implementable ‘lifestyle’ ideas too – all of which I have implemented 😛
– Buy a medium coffee instead of large. Savings per day ~ $0.7, savings per year ~ $210.
– Dry your laundry indoors. You eliminate the use of humidifier and save ~ $1.75 per load. Yearly approx ~ $80. Plus electricity bills and ‘feel good about environment’ (yay!)
Like I said these might sound silly but they surely work 🙂
If you can track down a good focus group in your area its definitely worth the time and you can make a few hundred extra a year. One good one is called TAI – in Denver, Tampa, and New Jersey.
I’ve done a few evening studies with them over the past few years and its paid between $75 and $200 for giving my opinion on soda, jeans, and beer among other things. Companies like this care about what young people thing about branding, logos, design, and copywriting – so your voice is valuable to them.
That one and other focus groups you don’t have to actively seek for either. Some you can fill out a form our get on their roster after the first time and when one comes up that suits your demographic they’ll email you.
Its a great idea – so long as you don’t mind being taped or watched through the one-way glass. Not bad for a few evening hours when you might just be watching TV.
I don’t think it’s silly at all – people (especially in the US) tend to overlook small savings. That will change though as the economy tightens and credit becomes less available.
Good tips – thanks. Around your house, doing things by hand saves lots of money, like drying laundry.
Thanks for letting me know about TAI. We spend so much time doing nothing for nothing (like mindless TV surfing) when, with some motivation, can bring in a few extra bucks so sitting somewhere else.
Your time and knowledge can be traded for money, we often forget that.
How about work harder instead of selling everything you have in your apartment? 🙂 I love all my old books and cds, btw
Not only would you make some extra money and save time, you lighten your load so it’s easier to move around if you’re backpacking often or full-time.