In fall of 2014 Mum and I took a trip to Costa Rica. We spent a wonderful week among the beaches and rainforests, and never once used our bank accounts. You may think it sounds impossible, but it’s not! Here’s how we did it:
Pre-Determine the Cost – We found a ridiculously good airfare sale and booked the tickets first. With a good guideline for cost, we could then estimate the total needed for our trip. This gave us a goal for our saving and fundraising .
Have a Yard Sale – With an eye on making money for travel, we both did a massive house cleaning and put together a joint yard sale. Its a lot easier to get rid of things when you think “do I want purse number 24 or do I want a Pina Colada by the pool?” All of those old video games and DVDs were potentially a nice dinner out. We stuck signs on the side of the road, put a notice on the local internet message boards and Facebook, then set our wares on the driveway for a Saturday of making money in the sun.
Consignment Shop – Some of the items we pulled for the yard sale were brand name and nearly new. For these possibly more lucrative items, the better bet was to use a local consignment shop. By starting an account with the store, they handled the holding and sale of our goods. We got a percentage of the final price in our account and cashed the check at the end of the month. Easy-peasy! If you’re in the Atlanta, GA area, check out Finders Keepers.
Craigslist/Ebay/etc – For some of the items weren’t purchased in the yard sale, we listed them through an online sales site. Some smaller or specialty items we choose to list on eBay, while larger size items went on Craigslist for a more local sale. When selling items through Craigslist, I always make arrangements to meet people in a public place during operating hours, giving my contact information only after a time and place have been agreed upon.
Cash in Your Gold Jewelry – Ok, we didn’t actually do this for our Costa Rica trip, but we’ve done it since to help cover other travel costs. First try for jewelry was the consignment shop, but there were some that were just so out of fashion, or in just fair shape, that they won’t take it. Places the buy gold look at the weight and carat content of your pieces and pay market price per ounce. Those old gifts from ex-boyfriends that you didn’t like to begin with can now become an all-inclusive hotel!
With a lot of purging and a little extra work, we were able to fully fund our trip! I admit, it did help that I had recently down-sized to a small apartment and had a lot of items to sell, but even a little search through a neglected drawer, your old coin collection, or making room in your closet for new fashions could be the answer to funding your next vacation!