Creative Ways to Make Money for Travelling

I’ve done some strange jobs in my time to make money for travelling. From pretending I was a student at Sheffield University so I could address envelopes to their students, to packing RiceBoy Combos, to serving Jedward sweets at the Jingle Ball in London. When you need money for travelling you take it where you can get it right?

Money for travelling

Want some of this? You’ll need some cash first…

Enter competitions

This is (usually) free and you can yield top results. Don’t always go for the big prizes though as these will be the most competitive. You could win small and often and sell on the products (see #3) in less significant competitions. Entering travel-related giveaways can also save you money on your travels by actually using the prizes. As you may know, I’ve had some success at this, although I wouldn’t have dreamt of selling my winnings on.

Try gambling?

I’m only saying this because I’ve known a few people to have success at this, namely my brother. ‘Gambling’ might seem like a dirty word, but where do you draw the line? I love a go on the lottery and have won a tenner or two in my time; I genuinely believe I’ll win the jackpot one day.

Money for travelling

All the scrimping and saving will be worth it when you get here…

Sell your stuff

We all know to put stuff on eBay, but if you can’t be bothered with the upload just go back to the old school and have a boot sale instead. This used to be the highlight of my month when mum, dad and me would take to the fields and set up our wares. It’s a quick and fun way to get rid of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make much on eBay and just aren’t worth the posting fees, like clothes and CDs. Unfortunately I don’t have anything left to sell, but my laptop – and that’s not going anywhere.

Freelance on the side

Websites like freelancer.com or peopleperhour.com have one-off freelance jobs you can bid for. It depends on your industry whether they’re any good though. As a writer/editor I managed to get around £180 for two jobs on peopleperhour.com, but I found that as the weeks went on it was far too competitive to ‘win’ the jobs. The people who did win them were getting paid peanuts for their troubles. When I factored in the amount of time it took to put together my bids and email people, I decided it wasn’t worth it. Give it a go though – you might have more success than me.

Money for travelling

Get money for travelling and see the world

Bob a job

Remember when scouts used to go around and get a bob for a job? No, nor me, but I’ve been told about it many a time. I admire their work ethic. When I was 10 my friend and me set up a business washing cars to get money for sweets. Yes, I was that addicted. Unfortunately the company went into liquidation after two weeks due to staff disagreements, but on the two Saturdays we did it we got quite a lot of money, or so I remember.

The lesson here is to ask around to see if any friends, family, or friends of friends are looking for someone to help clean out the loft/weed the garden/babysit the kids. Even if you just get a few ‘bob’ for the job, at least that’s more money in the pot and keeps you away from the bars, shops and restaurants that suck up and spit out your money for travelling.

As soon as you decide that you want to go on a big trip abroad, you should start saving your money. That extra beer on a night out now could be a night’s accommodation in South East Asia. If you’re dedicated to making the most of your time abroad, trust me, more money = more fun.

Just say no

One of the top ways to save money is to cut down how much you say yes to activities with your friends and family, in other words, just say no. If you could just cut down your weekly going out to once, twice or even not at all you stand to save a fortune. If you do decide to go out just say no to that extra beer, to that nightclub entry or desserts. And say it firmly and without a fuss, otherwise you’ll become a night time bore.

Say no to gigs and festivals

Save in an ISA

When you start making money you should keep it in one of the banks’ cash ISAs to maximise saving. Every year the government decides on an allotted amount that can be saved tax free and with a higher interest than normal (£5,760 in 2013/14). It’s up to you to make the most of it. Different banks offer different interest rates so make sure you shop around to get the best one for you. If you’re saving for over a year make sure you check your rate at the end of the financial year as some banks will push it right down again.

Keep out of mischief

I saved for my big trip by staying in and researching how much fun I was going to have, rather than spending my hard earned cash. The best free distraction is the internet: read travel blogs, check out travel sites and start looking for opportunities to travel for free, make money as you travel online, or even better earn money while you’re out there. I can assure you there are plenty of opportunities out there.

VickyFlipFlop in the Northern Territory

More money means you’ll be able to do fun stuff like this ^

Work hard

Spend all your time working to help with the above. The more money you can store away now, the better time you’ll have later. Show that you’re a hard worker in your job and they might even offer you a job when you get back, or even freelance while you’re away. If you want it that is. The more time you spend working, the less time you spend spending!

Sell your stuff

There are loads of websites out there from Gumtree to eBay to everything in between where you can sell your possessions in return for good old hard cash. This will also help you streamline your life, and get rid of the tat that’s been dragging you down. It doesn’t take long and they only charge a small fee – turn your junk into travel money!

Have you got any more ideas for making money for travels, not including getting a job of course…

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tagged in long term travel


  1. by Rich on August 20, 2012  9:41 pm Reply

    Market research is also a really good one if you can find it. Often around £50 for 90 minutes of discussing some New product.

  2. by Simon on August 20, 2012  10:35 pm Reply

    I found the same thing with bidding on freelance work; people were completely pricing me - and everybody else - out of the market by working for peanuts! Not a great system, in my opinion - but fantastic for the people who need work done.

  3. by Peter Lee on September 8, 2012  7:55 am Reply

    The tips sound quite good and after all the die hard travelers will be ready to do anything to earn money to materialize their travel plans.

    • by Vicky on September 13, 2012  6:33 pm Reply

      This is true. Any money gets you that little bit further :)

  4. by Josie on September 9, 2012  1:28 pm Reply

    How about stock photography? Sites like iStockphoto showcase photographer's pics of all different subjects -- including travel. Got a knack for it? It's a good income stream. In my case, I do freelance writing, (but not for the sites you mentioned that pay little), and my husband takes the photos. From both sides, the small stream of money helps keep us in spending cash!

    • by Vicky on September 13, 2012  6:33 pm Reply

      Excellent idea. I know my brother has just started trying to do that so I'll find out how he's got on with it. Do you know which are the best sites?

      • by Josie on September 13, 2012  8:25 pm Reply

        Hey Vicky,
        There are a few good ones, but they all have a different focus, (hehe, a photo pun)
        Here is an excellent site that gives tutorials, workshops and a great newsletter about selling to stock sites:
        Hope you find it useful!
        Happy travels,

  5. by Arianwen on November 10, 2012  6:32 pm Reply

    I'll probably sell some of my junk when I get back to the UK - if it hasn't rotted in the garage while I've been away! Should have thought of that before I left really!

  6. by Andy on November 11, 2012  8:02 pm Reply


    I think that there are definitely a lot of competitions that no one knows about out there. I agree that this could be a great potential source of income while traveling.

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