How to Raise Money for a Trip: Advice That Will Skyrocket Your Savings

How to raise money for a trip - F*ckity bye - funny travel blog

The most common excuse you’ll bump into when asking somebody who wants to travel why they haven't done it is that they don’t have enough money.

Of course, most of those people haven’t gone through the trouble of figuring out how much money it even costs to go where they want to go (unlike the smart souls who arrived at this article via my free course on how to travel the world) but like the psychics they are, they just know  they don’t have enough.

I'll take a break from being a jerk for a moment and admit that the statement of “not having enough money to travel” is more often than not the truth for those who say it. After all, who has an extra grand or two just lying around their house, am I right?  (drug dealers)

The beautiful thing about the free world though is that money can be made and simply changing the way you look at a dollar could make your travel savings explode! This article will help you do exactly that and ultimately, help you figure out how to raise money for a trip!

Morning hike through the Tea Fields in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia | | photo by Ryan Somohano
I dreamed of seeing Malaysia for years but let not knowing how to raise money for a trip hold me back. I then applied the advice I'm about to share with you to my life and soon after, I was taking morning strolls through Malaysia's famed tea fields.

At this point, you're probably wondering what life-changing, singular piece of financial advice I'm going to give you that will "Skyrocket Your Travel Savings". The advice I'm going to give you is essentially a means of finding free money to travel.

"Free Money?!"

That's right, free money. The phrase that launched a thousand scams.

And for a one-time low payment of just $29.95, I will show you, from the comfort of your home, how to make more money than you’ve ever imagined!


Just kidding.

When I say “Free Money” I don't mean the kind that you have to rob banks or get scammed by people online to try and get. I use that term to describe the act of auditing your spending habits and re-prioritizing the money you already make/have to funnel it into more meaningful places in your life.

While that might not sound as sexy as having money fall down on you from the heavens with no effort, I promise you that if you're anything like me, finishing this article and applying its wisdom to your relationship with money will not only help you answer the question of how to raise money for a trip but will also change your life.

The Realization That Changed My Financial Life

I needed about $2400.00 for the first serious trip I had dreamt up to South East Asia and only had a small fraction of that in my bank account. One day I was having a "how to raise money for a trip" brainstorming session to help come up with the cash I was missing and that got me thinking about my spending habits

Cue life-changing realization.

I was in college at the time and the four days a week I was on campus I would spend about $7.00 on lunch ($5.00-foot-long from Subway and a coke). That added up to $28.00 a week and more disturbingly, roughly $1200.00 a school year.

Man... for someone with no money, I sure had a lot of dough  to give to a sandwich shop. (dough  because dough is a term people use to refer to money and bread is also made from... never mind.) But since I was spending the money in small $7.00 doses rather than just writing Subway a $1200.00 check every school year, the gravity of eating out for lunch four times a week didn’t register with me.

I started digging deeper to see what other spending habits were slowly eating away at my bank account so I could assess whether they were worth the total yearly investment I was making in them. It turned out that there were a lot of ways I could shave a dollar here and there from my spending that would equal something massive at the end of the year.

Armed with that newfound information, I started bringing lunch from home to school almost every day, hand washing my car instead of paying to wash it, renting movies more often and going to the movies less often, taking the bus or train as opposed to driving when it made sense and much more!

Within a year, I had three-quarters of the cost of my Asia trip sitting in my savings account just by making small lifestyle changes that I hardly even thought twice about. I then applied for a small scholarship and took on a couple of freelance gigs to make up the difference and WHAM!

Just like that I was off to the humidity-ridden, bike exhaust saturated, beautiful South East Asian destination of my dreams!

Hanoi, Vietnam motor bikes driving in the street during the month of May | | photo by Ryan Somohano
My first day in South East Asia (Hanoi, Vietnam). Dodging motorbikes took some getting used to but you learn to love the chaos they add to your daily routine!

How People Reacted to My Life-Changing Saving Strategy

When I told people my story of scaling back my spending to funnel money into my travel fund the reaction I usually got was, “Wow, you cut back on everything! It must have been a really crappy time in your life saving all of those pennies!”

My response was always:

1. My savings were a lot more substantial than pennies.

2. If I had  felt any sacrifice while figuring out how to raise money for a trip, it would have been totally worth it for the life-changing experience South East Asia provided me with.

3. Saving money never felt like a sacrifice to me, it felt empowering.

The idea that you have control over your money... That you don't need the things you think you need and the fact that most of us are richer than our habits lead us to believe is an incredible realization that can set you up for long-term happiness and wealth for the rest of your life.

So ask yourself, “Where is my money going?". A Netflix subscription? Eating out? Smoking?

What would it mean in savings after one year  if you could cut that stuff out?

Smoking for instance:

If you’re burning through a pack daily, you’re looking at about $6.00 per day (maybe more if you live in a high tax state). Cutting that out of your life would save you $2000.00 a year! (and also from lung cancer)

Also, would you look at that!? As an added bonus, that musty smoker’s smell you used to have is gone so you’ve just bagged yourself a hot new girlfriend/boyfriend!

Bravo! And now... you're spending a bunch of money on them which exceeds the savings you earned by cutting smoking out of your life...

Anyway, you get the picture!

My Challenge To You

Write down all of the things you can think of that you regularly spend money on. Some examples could be campus parking, fast food, movie tickets, a streaming subscription, cell phone bill, cable bill, rent, groceries, etc.

Make sure you dig as deep into your spending habits as possible. Even note those things you do semi-regularly like your once a week pumpkin spice latte, bi-weekly car wash, and whatever else.

Once you have a good idea of where your money is going, ask yourself, "What can I cut out, swap out or reduce and if I did, what would it mean for me savings-wise in twelve months?"

BTW, this process does not have to be painful! There's definitely room for compromise and all that takes is getting a little creative.

For example, try asking to borrow a friend’s Netflix subscription instead of cutting yourself off of it all together. When your friend calls you a freeloader, ball your fists, open your eyes as wide as they go and start trembling while slowly tilting your head to the side. Your friend will either throw holy-water on you or get so scared and confused that they'll hand over their account!

Wrapping Up Advice on How to Raise Money for a Trip

The adjustments you make to your lifestyle to save money for your next big trip are completely up to you. Just know that the more honest with yourself you are about what you don’t need, the faster you’ll be able to answer the question of how to raise money for a trip and the quicker you'll be off to the destination of your dreams!

Sunset on an overcast day in Bali, Indonesia silhouette | | photo by Ryan Somohano
Watching the sunset on a beach in Indonesia was one of my travel dreams that came true. What's yours going to be?

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Following along with my A-Z course on How To Travel The World? You’ve made it through the first (and most important) article in Step Four: “How To Get Money For Traveling”. I urge you to take this information to heart and really rack your brain to come up with ways to save. When you’re ready, here’s a link to the next article in this series and as an added bonus below, I’ve written out an extended list of ideas of ways to cut back and save!

If you have no idea what course I'm talking about and are interested in a fun, free (fun & free, not fun-free... we'll have a lot of fun) comprehensive course on How To Travel The World - Click here!

More How to Raise Money for a Trip Saving Ideas:

  • Canceling your cable subscription
  • Inspecting your cable bill and making sure you’re not being charged for odd "tacked on" services (I’m looking at you Frontier with your “internet security bundle”)
  • Threatening to cancel your cable subscription unless you receive promotional rates
  • Canceling your home phone (if you have a cell phone)
  • Making sure you’re not paying recurring monthly fees for online services you don’t use (eFax, QuickBooks, etc.)
  • Downgrading the subscriptions you’d like to keep to less premium/cheaper versions more in line with your usage habits
  • Bringing lunch from home to work or school
  • Renting out your spare room
  • Getting a roommate
  • Asking for a reduction in your rent rate (I got $50.00 off mine just by asking. That's $600 a year towards travel!)
  • Canceling your Netflix subscription
  • Canceling your HULU subscription
  • Sharing a Netflix subscription with a friend
  • Sharing a HULU subscription with a friend
  • Being mindful of your utility usage (electricity, water, gas)
  • Seeing if you qualify for reduced utility pricing (most cities offer reductions for low-income customers)
  • Seeing if you qualify for reduced internet pricing (some providers offer a discount on internet for low-income customers)
  • Negotiate lower rates on your auto insurance
  • Take public transportation as much as possible (I love taking trains!)
  • Instead of going to the movies, rent a movie and buy some snacks from the dollar store for a home movie night
  • Instead of going out, invite your friends over or go over to their place
  • Negotiate a raise
  • If you’re a student, consider taking online classes to reduce the number of days you commute to campus
  • If you’re a student, stack all your classes on one or two days to reduce the days you commute to campus
  • Don’t pay for campus parking passes! Instead, find nearby street parking that is not restricted by permits
  • Shop off-brands at pharmacies and grocery stores (Kroger string cheese is every bit as good as Kraft!)
  • Make gifts for people on holidays and birthdays rather than buying things (a heartfelt card is a better gift than anything you can buy at the store)

Got more savings ideas? Leave them in the comments section below! I'll include my favorites in this article during future updates!