From Pocket Change to Plane Ticket

6 tips for saving money and turning your travel dreams into a reality

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The travel bug has landed. For those of you who are craving adventures that broaden your perspective and connect you with new places and cultures in meaningful ways, a service-learning opportunity with Global Service Corps may be exactly what you are looking for.  The next step in fulfilling a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer or study abroad experience in Tanzania or Cambodia is finding the funds to make it happen.

This may seem daunting at first but as with any pursuit, the journey working towards your goal can be more empowering and achievable than assumed.  And to help your dreams come to fruition, here are some tips that have helped prospective travelers, just like yourself, save the money to travel abroad.

  1. Set your goal. Decide what time of year you want to travel and for how long. Global Service Corps offers start dates in each month so volunteer participants are able to choose a time and length of stay that works best for them.  After deciding the number of weeks or months you will be traveling, you can compile a list of all the expenses and set your financial goal.
  2. Set up a savings account strictly for your trip. Calculate how much you can afford to deposit into your account each month.  When a paycheck arrives, make that deposit and leave it there.
  3. Cut Back Expenses. Many times we live with more than we need. Rethink some of these lifestyle purchases and be surprised at what you might save.
    • Cooking at home is a much cheaper option than eating out.  Have potlucks with friends is a great alternative to meeting at a restaurant
    • Rethink Caffeine – You don’t have to give up your love for coffee, tea or juice. Instead of heading to a café just brew or steep your own and watch your travel account grow.
    • Gym Membership – If working out at a gym is a part of your lifestyle, consider running outside, biking or jumping rope at the park to save the monthly fee.
    • Mode of Transportation – If you own a car, supplementing your miles with public transportation, walking and biking can help offset gas and parking costs.
    • Movie Night – Instead of paying huge markups to see movies in theaters, make a night of it at home! Rent a flick, make popcorn and call your friends.
    • Living Space – If you are renting and paying more than you would like, consider looking for more affordable housing.
  1. Reach out to friends and family.  You never know who might be inspired by your story to volunteer abroad and want to help out.
  2. Stay flexible and positive.  Like working towards any goal, there may be times where progress feels slow.  Don’t worry! Some months will be better than others. Continue doing what you can and keep the dream alive.
  3. Make some money. Organise a fundraising event with friends, get creative and make crafts to sell at your local market, clear out your wardrobe and sell some of your old clothes on Ebay.

For more ideas to help you gather the funds to volunteer or study abroad with Global Service Corps, feel free to contact us at gsc@globalservicecorps.org. Here’s to your journey!

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