How to Earn the Money to travel
Travel can be expensive. – Just the basics for the cheapest flight, eating snacks or making your own meals, and staying in hostels can really add up and that’s when you are being creative and as frugal as possible. Add in entertainment, a hotel, a cab ride and the price really jumps up.
So let’s talk about ways to MAKE money, not just wants to save money or to reduce your travel costs.
Start a Weekend Job
I already worked a Monday – Friday job but we wanted to save for vacations. So I started working the weekends. I did not say these ways to save money were easy and it certainly was difficult working 7 days a week now, but I had a goal in mind and was determined to make it work.
There are lots of weekend jobs you can do to save some extra money in the Vacation jar. The easiest are probably hospitality jobs. I worked before as a bellman and valet. You could also pick up some shifts working at a restaurant or bar on the weekends.
Find other sources of income
One thing I looked for was ways to make money while I was already at my day job. The easiest way for me to do this was with gumball machines. Yes. I started with maybe 10 gumball machines and placed them at apartment complex offices, restaurants, bars, car service centers, waiting rooms, gas stations, you name it. I quick grew up to almost 50 machines. This made for a low investment business and one that I could do 100% on a weekend. A few machines I could service, fill, clean and take out the money by going only once a month. At 50 machines over 30-40 miles it would take a full day to collect all the money and refill them. The nice thing is that this type of business makes you extra cash for your vacation dreams while you are sleeping.
I took the gumball concept a little further. I started setting up arcades. I would buy used arcade games at arcade auctions and then place them at restaurants, YMCAs, and even in corporate offices. Every few weeks our entire family would go and clean the games, make sure they worked, repair them if needed and collect and split the money 50/50 with the location. Now arcade games are much more involved than gumball machines. You investment is more, you have to move them around and they are very heavy, and they break and are costly to fix. But if you start out slow, this is a nice way to make extra vacation income.
We have done several businesses like this by starting small and offer a good or service and then slowly growing that business to make extra money to fund our travel bug.
I will tell you about one more idea. For at least two years we would spend our weekends at craft shows, festivals, and church events. For about $50 you can get a booth space and sell your crafts, art, food, etc. This is a nice way to make extra income and some people we met actually make a good living out of it. Some people travel from show to show selling their product. So attend a small local festival or craft show and see what people are selling at their booths. You also want to ask the seasoned professionals what the best shows are in your area. The best shows booth space books up sometimes a year in advance so you have to book your space quickly. Depending on what you are selling at a show like this and how much proof that item gets you, you could quickly exceed your vacation goal just doing a few weekend shows a year.
Traditional Ways to Earn Money
In this article I tried to get you thinking outside the box and gave examples of things we did to earn money on the weekends, while we were sleeping with coin operated machines, and by creating some service, food or craft to sell. So look at your area, your skills and expand on one of these ideas.
If that is not your cup of tea, you can always earn some extra money a traditional way. Deliver pizzas, ask friends you know for any odd jobs or people they know that are hiring. Babysit or offer tutoring. Pet sit, clean homes, cut lawns. There are countless ways to make extra cash. Again it is WORK, that’s why it’s called WORK. It’s not easy and you need to be focused and keep your eye on the prize, your Dream Vacation.
This all sound great but I can’t do this because…
I want to dispel the myth that YOU can’t do this because of X excuse. You can do it and can make it happen if you want to. It may not be easy but it’s possible. We worked weekends at craft fairs for over two year. We had a six month old baby and would work easily 14-16 hour days every weekend, nonstop with a baby in arms. I would then go home Sunday night at midnight and unload a 22 foot trailer and take it to the storage facility, then load it back up again the next week and drive to the next craft show and do it again. When it wasn’t the weekend I would work my other job. It was not easy but we had a goal. And I have seen people that take on so much more and succeed. Build a support network of family and friends and start earning your vacation to your vacation dreams.