8 Ways to Fundraise Your Next Trip

By Jaci Alonso

So, you want to go on a trip.

Maybe backpacking New Zealand for 7 weeks or going to Mexico for a travel conference. No matter what kind of trip you want to take, they all cost money. Traveling is definitely not the cheapest hobby out there. It is a challenge, but that is what makes it exciting.

Some of which I have used myself, others, friends have used and have gotten some serious dough.

1. Scraping algae and barnacles off the bottom of boats

Yes, this is a tad (okay a lot) specific. If you haven’t read my previous post on this blog, I have lived on a sailboat for the past 7 years with my family. “Normal” teenage jobs, like babysitting, dog walking, and mowing the lawn, were/are not very available to me. So, I came up with some of my own “normal” teenage jobs. One of which includes scraping green algae of the bottom of boats. It is gross, and messy, and quite demanding, but pays pretty good. Depending on the size of the hull (bottom of the boat), the algae and barnacle growth, and whether or not you use scuba diving gear, it could take you up to 12 hours of underwater time to finish all the scraping. TIP! Make sure to wear gloves, having green algae on your hands is not very pretty!

2. Busking in big cities/ tourist traps

For those of you who are musically inclined, and for those who are not so musically inclined, busking is a great way to feel like a part of a community and honestly, it is just pure fun. The key here is making sure your act or set of songs is entertaining. Get creative! Luckily for me, this is when being obnoxious is very helpful, it draws people in. I would suggest doing this with family members or friends. It makes the whole experience much better. I would also suggest finding the perfect busking spot. Big town squares are perfect, as well as looking for the obvious tourist traps. Get out there and perform!

3. Sell unwanted things online

Let’s be honest, we all have things lying around the house that we just don’t use. Maybe it is old textbooks, clothing, or jewelry. You can sell your unwanted items on popular sites like eBay, Kijiji, and Craigslist. Along with selling your own items, talk to fellow family members and friends about becoming a personal salesperson. Post and sell some of their unwanted items and get a percentage of the funds made.

4. Crowdfunding

Besides selling unwanted stuff online, this is the most “ordinary” idea on my list. I have not personally tried crowdfunding, but I have friends who have used it to help fund some of their trips. The two most popular crowdfunding sites are GoFundMe and Kickstarter. So, this is how it works. You will first write a post, make a video, or design a presentation that shows the importance of your trip. Be sure to include why people should help fund your trip. Maybe you are doing some volunteering on your trip, or you are working towards a much bigger life goal of yours. Whatever it is, make sure it is well thought out. Then you will post your crowdfunding site to all your friends and family. You can also think about making detailed letters, explaining your trip and why people should help fund it, and send them to loved ones who may not be on the internet that much.

5. Commission from artwork

Getting money from something you love is extremely rewarding. For people who do arts and crafts regularly, selling your work on sites like Etsy and Redbubble is a great way to earn extra cash. It could be jewelry, artwork, painted shoes, literally anything you can think of. Be creative and have fun!

6. Farmers market

Maybe you live on a farm and have fresh produce, or maybe you have a recipe for some amazing homemade jelly or rustic bread. Farmers' markets are not only a great spot to sell your home goods, but to also really connect with a certain community. Look up different markets in your local area.

7. Tutor in-person or online

This is another “mainstream” idea on my list. Whether you are extremely good at math or are fluent in 2 or more languages, tutoring can be a great way to make money as a teen. If you have family friends who need or want a tutor, that’s great! However, sometimes we do not have that immediate outlet. There are multiple companies online who hire teens (over the age of 16 usually) to teach English or other languages to kids around the world.

8. Online writing/ photography contests

Over the years, I have come across multiple online photography and writing contests. Some of which are specifically for teens who travel. One, in particular, is a writing scholarship. They offer up to $1000 for first place. I know a few different travel magazines also host contests for young adults who travel.

I wish you the best of luck to accomplish your traveling goals. Never stop dreaming of exploring the world!