Money saving ideas for your solo trip

You’ve booked the flight, now you need to start saving for your trip. One of the best ways to save is to set up a standing order with your bank to deduct your savings as soon as you get paid. That way you won’t be tempted to spend it.

Fundamentally, there are two ways to get more money, either by increasing your income or decreasing your outgoings. If the thought of saving for your trip feels like a lifetime away, here are some money saving ideas so you can be on your trip faster than planned.

N.b. If you're ready to plan your solo trip but are unsure how to do it, read my how to plan a solo trip article. 

Ways to Increase Your Income

1. At work ask if you can work overtime. If you’ve been due a rise for a while then now is the time to ask about it. Are there are bonuses that you can work towards or work courses you can do to increase your salary? (especially if you’re aiming to be there for a few months).

2. Can you take on a part-time job in the evenings or the weekends such as waitressing or bar work?

3. If you have a background in administration, apply to become a virtual assistant or look for freelance work through Upwork.

4. Sell your services on Fiverr – Can you do voiceover work? Design colourful presentations, change documents into Kindle versions? Think about what skills you have and set up a profile. All services start from £5/$5 and you can include extras at a more premium price.

5. Become an Uber driver – If you like driving and have time in the evenings or the weekends then consider becoming an Uber driver. You get to choose your own hours and put your earnings towards your next trip.

6. Sign up to complete surveys – Okay, so this one won’t be paying for a night in a 5 star hotel in New York but for a few minutes as and when you can, you can earn a few pounds or dollars to help out. Some surveys reward you with vouchers instead of cash but you can use these to buy things for your trip.

7. Babysit for your neighbour – Ask around your neighbourhood if anyone needs a babysitter and help out a neighbour whilst earning some money.

8. Apply to be a TV extra or a mystery shopper for some extra cash. This isn’t regular work but if you have a few months before your trip starts, you can sign up

9. Use a cash back website and receive Amazon vouchers or another payment in exchange. You can always use these to buy some travel products for your trip.

10. If you own your own apartment or house, rent your spare room on Airbnb or get a lodger temporarily.

11. Consider moving back in with your parents or downsize until your trip.

12. Apparently you can even earn money with your Fitbit, through Achievemint, a website which rewards you for doing healthy things. Just connect an app and earn points for your (healthy) activities. 

13. Is there a skill that you can freelance with to supplement your income? Are you a Reiki practitioner, can you cut hair, give massages, or teach anything?

14. If you travel frequently you could use the reward points that you accumulate to pay for your next trip. You may have airline mileage points or hotel points, which can be cashed in for your train tickets or your next stay in a hotel. You can also increase the number of points that you earn by applying for reward point credit cards that offer signup bonuses.

15. If you have full-time employment in the U.S. consider reviewing the W-4 form on file with your employer. This form tells your employer how much will be withheld from your pay for taxes. If there you have claimed any allowances or general withholdings that you can forego, that will give you more money back at tax time. You can use this 2022 W4 calculator to get a better idea of how any adjustments will impact your overall taxes. Ultimately, your take-home pay will decrease a little but that should equate to a larger tax refund. Because a tax refund has the potential to be substantial, a lot of travellers rely on their tax refunds to fund a sizable portion of their trip. 

Money saving ideas for your solo trip

Decrease Your Outgoings

This way looks at reducing your outgoings and any bills you may have so you can start saving for travel instead:

1. Look at ways of consolidating any debt you may have to reduce the payments or pay one monthly sum.

2. Do you need all of your subscriptions i.e. satellite TV? If not, cancel it.

3. Cancel your gym membership and get a membership such as Gaia for $9 a month to do yoga or fitness classes, or just run outside.

4. Sell what you don’t need on Ebay or have a car boot sale (garage sale).

5. Do you own a car, a motorbike or even a motorhome? Whatever you own, think about how much tax it will cost you whilst you are away. Is it worth selling it and buying another one later? Gumtree is a great site for this. – This is only for those of us who are considering travelling long-term.

6. Have clothes swopping parties instead of buying new clothes. Recycle your old clothes in H&M whilst receiving credit for new ones.

7. Walk or bike to work instead of taking public transport or driving.

8. If you have to drive somewhere, sign up to BlaBla Car to share your petrol costs.

9. Instead of going out with your friends, ask them to come round to yours instead for a cheaper night.

10. If you do have a night out, drive instead of drinking and having to take a taxi.

11. Cook meals instead of going to restaurants.

12. Only buy what you really need instead of what you want. Think that every £20 you spend could be an extra night’s accommodation on your trip.

Other Money Saving Ideas

There are other ways to make money such as medical research testing and cuddling companies! Whatever method you use to cut back and save money for your trip, remember that every day is a day closer to your goal. You will get there 🙂

Useful Websites

  • Airbnb Rent out your spare room
  • BlaBlaCar – A car sharing service where you get paid to take passengers
  • Gumtree – Sell your things
  • Ebay – Sell your things
  • Stickk – Set your saving goal

I hope this post has helped make solo travel easier for you. Do you have any other ways that you save money for your trips? Let me know below so that I can include them. Thanks x

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