Friday, May 23, 2008

how do i save for a trip?

ask anyone why they don't travel, and the answer will almost always involve money, or the lack thereof.

and i don't really blame them. even with the advent of budget travel, going on a trip can really cost a lot, especially to us who get paid with currency that doesn't seem to want to stop depreciating. i strongly feel, though, that money is better spent on travel and seeing new places than on outrageously priced clothes or expensive cups of coffee at the most happening coffee joint.

travel sites like brave new traveler has a few tips on saving for your trip. lucia byttebier offers 5 steps to save money like buddha. a more life-altering approach to saving can be found on brave new traveler's drastic ways to save money for your trip.

i would also like to share my own money saving/money making tips that allow me to tick off one travel goal after another. i started this love affair with travel some time in 2003, and i haven't stopped since (until this year, because i'm saving for my big bang trip). i started out with nearby luzon destinations, then branched out to visayas and some parts of mindanao. a couple of years ago, i decided to start conquering asia, and i've now been to hong kong (twice), macau, and singapore. i try and stick in a tiny trip whenever i can, so i can explore as much of my world as i can.

here are the ways i make some money for my trips. these really helped me realize my dream of seeing the world, albeit in a slowly-but-surely fashion.

1. earn extra income
this is especially crucial if you're going for a trip out of the country (though sometimes, local destinations can be just as expensive!). let's face it, the money we make here in good ol' pinas just isn't enough to get us enough money for a good, long trip. luckily, there are plenty of opportunities available today, thanks to the internet.

if you have a flair for writing, there are plenty of firms out there looking for content writers. i've done this a couple of times in the past, and have to admit that it's not for everyone, but if you keep your eye on the prize, you'll do just fine. put your spare time to use, write up a storm, and earn some extra money. i usually check out craigslist for some openings.

there are also web design and graphics jobs out there for the more artistically inclined. if you have friends in the entertainment, events, or advertising industry, they might be able to get you some rakets by helping out in an event. for those addicted to the internet, there are blog commenting jobs available. these usually don't pay that well, but if you can comment by bulk, your income can really pile up.

i always keep in mind, though, when i'm slaving away at one of these jobs, that they're not fancy, easy jobs. they can take up a lot of time, but on the upside, they get you some money. some people may scoff at the rates, but i always remind myself that every little bit helps. i was able to buy myself a laptop and a trip to singapore just by doing two months' worth of work at one of these opportunities. so before you say no, try it out first.

2. bring your own lunch
i know a lot of people who bring their own baon to work everyday. as for me, i do it 2 to 3 times a week, so that i don't feel like i'm shortchanging myself. it's a good compromise, because i get to save money, and still have that freedom-to-choose-whatever-i-want-to-eat feeling. :p

3. just water for me, please
when i find myself eating out, i usually forego ordering a drink, unless the place is known for really delicious milkshakes. ordering softdrinks or juice can really add a lot to your bill. so why spend that much, when water can do the trick. it's healthier, too!

4. avoid the malls
when i worked in ortigas, i hardly had time to stop and window shop in malls, because i was always hurrying to get home. then i found that my spending has been drastically decreased, because i am less tempted to buy stuff. because of that, i decided to lessen my trips to the mall. the more you see new things, the more you will want and spend. if you really must go out and get yourself something, do it in divisoria, or at an ukay-ukay where you'll find cheap funky finds.

when temptation is extra strong, and i find myself about to buy something, i ask myself what that amount would get me in (next travel destination). a 500-peso blouse can get me two nights in surfer's inn in la union, while P1,000 can get me and my barkada a filling meal in kinabuchs in puerto princesa. when i think about it that way, the temptation easily fades.

5. in vs. out
nowadays, i find myself saying no to nights out, and preferring to just go home and curl up in bed with a good book. some would say it's because i've gotten older, which may be true, but a better explanation for this behavior is my hardheaded intent to save and see the places i've been dreaming about.

these tips work really well for me, but there's a chance it might not for you. the general rule of thumb when it comes to saving is to cut down on excesses. try and analyze your spending and see where the bulk of your money goes.

if you think you're having too many cab rides, take public transportation instead. if you notice how your money just disappears after a night of drinking, then take the drinking down a notch. just keep your eyes on the prize, and you'll be flying off to that dream destination in no time.


gino said...


kegler747 said...

Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

hi :) this helps a lot. thank you very much for posting this.

Kat The Nomad said...

great tips djong! "keep your eye on the prize" is right on target! but more importantly, someone has to dare to dream first (which we obviously aren't having any difficulties with haha. ;-)

i'm planning on saving 50% of my daily allowance for a sem break 2009 or summer 2010 trip. not a big bang like yours though (*turns green with envy*), just enough to get me to kul or hkg and back (and probably a 3rd visit to angkor if cash-willing (haha!). big deal right? but here's the thing: i won't be asking my parents for a cent (okay probably some dough for travel expenses heehee) but airfare and accommodations will be shouldered by moi as i don't want my dad hightailing me anymore! i'm freaking 21 and i still haven't traveled on my own!! how pathetic is that...?! hmmm.. so anyway yeah i'm blabbing...hehe danggit i do hope i stay on track with this one. i sooooo badly wanna travel ALONE. (see how pathetic i am?! haha)

looking forward to more entries djong! and i wish you well on your big bang 2009!! don't spare any details! ;-)

Kat The Nomad

Anonymous said...

this helps a lot. good post! :)