Don't Take the Bait – How to Avoid Running Out of Money When You’re Traveling

It’s a horrible moment when you realize your finances won’t be able to get you to your trip’s planned termination point. It can be downright debilitating to discover you’ve been taking the tourist bait all along and spending more than you needed to.

Fortunately there are solutions to the problem. Unfortunately, they may put a kink in your solid eat, beach, massage routine you’ve been working on.

To help ease the pain I’ve put together a few suggestions to get that money back where it belongs, in the hands of those people that will be taking it from you a lot later on.

First thing to do is to take a look at a post I wrote a couple of months ago titled The Great Traveling Money Bleed (and how to stop it before you’re broke.) It’s important because it brings to your attention little places were you can save in order to keep from running out of money in the first place. When you’re traveling your funds seem to evaporate without having to do much work. In the post are the 10 best ways I could think of to help stop you nickel-and-diming your trip’s premature end.

To summarize the post:

  • ATM/credit card fees
  • money exchanges
  • overtipping
  • what I like to call shop-loss
  • gift giving
  • extravagant tours
  • the traveler’s demon – alcohol
  • the traveler’s weakness – food

Curtail your expenses – it’s of the utmost importance. Flagrant taxi hailing, hotels beyond your means and most destructively, subjecting yourself to huge financial dings like changing your flight dates or having to buy a new tickets because you missed your flight, these things will send you home long before you want to. Keep an eye on these guys and you’ll be smiling all the way back to the massage table.

Remove the necessity to stay in a hotel every night if you can’t afford to. Stay with friends, couchsurf, utilize HospitalityClub, take a look at apartment stays, do what you need to do to accommodate yourself more cheaply. Which should also include a stint…

Volunteering – put your youthful energy to work. GVI is a probably the best resource for volunteering opportunities abroad.  Also very good is Volunteer Abroad. Not only will you keep your karma quotient high, you’ll feel a lot better about getting those massages.

Or else you can do like John Houseman does and make money the old fashioned way, earn it:

Generate an income by:

  • Working – Teaching English is probably the most accessible way to work abroad. Dave’s ESL Café has a great list of teaching gigs the world round along with a slew of other resources. You were born with the birthright to the world’s favorite language. Might as well use it.
  • Digital nomading – digital nomads are sexy. Sexy nomad AlmostFearless set up this great job search tool that lists opportunities for working from the road on your computer.  Also, a company called FreePursuits has a good list of location independent jobs to give you ideas on how to work, maybe even while getting massaged.
  • Blogging –  Note: that you have to be  serious about doing this. It takes a lot of work for what often ends up being a fairly marginal return, plus you might spend more time online than being on your trip. But if you have the will, turn to Nomadic Matt. He’s made this his raison d’etre. Take a look at his tips – he has an ebook.
  • Create an online store for your photos or your handicrafts. If you have a stockpile of work at your disposal this is a great way to bring in some income without having to do much. It won’t be a fortune but at least you can feel like you’re doing something.

There are a variety of ways to keep yourself from running out of money that aren’t illegal. But if your thinking about going that direction, perhaps watch this clip first.

And don’t forget, the first step to running out of money on your trip is to book your trip! Feel free to take the first step and price out a great route at the link below!