18 Easy Ways To Save Money For Your Trip To Latin America
You’ve got the travel bug and we get it. There’s nothing like exploring Latino cultures where they live–the flavors, la lengua, those warm tropical ocean waters.
First thing’s first: where do you want to go? Do some research on the cost of the trip overall–that means flights, food, on-the-ground transportation and any experiences you want to have while you’re there. Don’t forget to consider the cost of rent back home, loss of income if you don’t have benefits, pet boarding, and whatever else you can think of. Once you have a number, you have a goal. Time to start saving.
Don’t forget. *This* is what it’s all about.
Those casual lunches out and time you would have spent binge-ing “Queer Eye” (highly recommend) are far less memorable than a week on warm, sandy, Spanish-speaking beaches. Here are the best tricks up our sleeves:
Sell your old crap.
Your tía bought you some bedazzled latest trend thing that is just so not you. Sell it on ThredUp! Just don’t tell your tía, and put that extra money in the bank.
Make Airbnb a side hustle.
It doesn’t matter where you live in the country, you can always put your place up for Airbnb, especially once you have your vacation dates booked. Arranging for someone to essentially housesit for you can pay your rent that month. Be sure to talk it out with the roomies first.
The only side trips you take this year are gratis.
Camping is a virtually free way to get out of town and get a new perspective. Borrow gear from friends or head to an REI Garage Sale for major markdowns on a one-time investment in a decade of free vacations.
Pro tip: Put your place on Airbnb year round and when someone bites for the weekend, head to your local mountain/desert/lake.
Get paid to cuddle doggos.
Do not, I repeat, do not adopt a dog if you’re planning a big trip. They’re a lifetime of personal and financial commitment and they deserve all your attention. That said, you can make your side hustle be all about loving on animals. Rover sitters make an average of $40 per night in the Los Angeles area.
Be open and honest with your comadres about what activities you’re up for.
If you have the will power, you can still participate in shopping sprees and playing video games. Just don’t buy any new clothes or video games and think about all the treasures you’ll find this summer.
Cancel your most unused subscriptions.
Only get to the gym once a week? Count up the monthly savings and invest in some at-home weights if that’s your thing. Unpopular opinion: canceling your streaming subscriptions will also free up your money and time for that side hustle.
Take up hiking.
It’s a free way to get a workout in and you’ll have a chance to meet people who like doing free things as well. If you do some digging, your city might have recreational dodgeball, softball and tag football teams that you can take up for your fitness and social needs. Try something new!
K, if you don’t want to try something new, then pre-game is your new BFF.
Going out is a money drain. Once you’re drunk enough, you’re extra spendy and likely don’t even know how much you’re spending per outing. Take a look at your monthly costs, make a Jose Cuervo Costco run for your solo pre-game and plan to take only enough cash for emergencies.
Only drink water.
You heard me. Give up the Diet Coke, the coffee runs and that maca-infused raw cacao coconut drink that’s so tasty. You’ll be shocked to see the savings add up.
While you’re at it, ditch the disposable water bottles and go green.
Spend $10 on a reusable water bottle and save mad money. People spend an average of $1095 on pre-bottled tap water. Get it from the source, mi gente.
En serio, hay frijoles en la casa.
I hate to say it, but we both already know it’s true. It’s so easy to just wing it for lunch, and grab happy hour after work, but a little meal planning can save you $50 a day.
Buy in bulk.
We’re Latino. We have to talk about saving money on food because food is life. You’ll be surprised to learn that you can save money shopping bulk at a health food store versus at a cheaper chain. And they often have plantain chips. 🤤
We were bred to budget. Don’t even use trash bags, people. Just toss your trash in the bin and then straight to the dumpster. You’re saving plastic and pointless spending.
Check out travel books from the library.
The library has become a magical place for me as a freelancer. If you’re looking for a place to work, bring your café and bagged lunch to the library and receive zero stares.
Also, don’t drop $50 on travel books you’ll end up donating to Goodwill next season of Marie Kondo. Check them out at the library and return them on time.
Yup. I’m about to talk coupons with y’all.
I don’t know about you, but Target was the land of luxury shopping for me growing up. It’s where we all got our swimsuits and school supplies and just overall brings us joy as adults. You know you’re adulting when newfound joy comes in an iOS app stuffed with coupons. It’s automatic savings, for free.
If you have the cushion, invest some money.
Acorn is an app that rounds up your dollar on every purchase made and automatically invests it for you. You can withdraw your investment for free whenever you want, and the investments are so tiny, that you’ll barely notice a difference.
This experience doesn’t have to be so bleak. If there’s something on this list that you simply cannot imagine your life without, then use it as a treat for good behavior. Por ejemplo, if I can make it two whole weeks without eating out, then I’m taking myself out to Starbucks/SoulCycle/a movie.
Make it fun.
Get into some positive mental thinking.
Planning a trip to Latin America isn’t coded with feelings of scarcity. It’s all about abundance. You’re doing this for yourself. So when your mami or your friend speaks negative thinking into existence that you’re too strict, or are missing out on life, you’ll know in your heart that you’re living your best life.
Final tip: follow some travelers to remind you that this is about to be you in 6 months time.
Your feed should be aligned with your goals. If your goal is travel, give yourself the inspo you need to remember that when you’re waiting in line with your work friends at Starbucks and not ordering that $8 drink. It’s just not for you this year, and that’s great. Do you, boo.