How to Pay for Family Trips
Mission Possible

How to pay for family trips. For most of us this takes planning.

You simply must be able to pay for your tickets and most of your food and lodging along the way, unless, of course, your going "global-freeloader-style", which means staying with friends (new or old) or relatives. See: GlobalFreeloaders.com Even then, you'll need some money. How can you get it?

Our best plan has been to consistently save 10% of all our income. Faithfully, this goes into a travel fund. Yes, it may do better for retirement to put this in mutual funds, but we consider travel an investment in itself. You simply must look at it this way. Travel is an investment. It's an investment in your family, the vision you put before your children and an investment in the welfare of mankind. Travel is money in the bank. Trust me. Go. And take your family. If you can't afford to all go together (we have seven children), then take one or two children at a time.

Other ideas for how to pay for family trips are:

Garage sales. We all have too much junk anyway. I've made as much as $500 on garage sales and never miss the stuff I sold. Usually friends who live on a busy road will gladly let you use their yard. Having a sale on a busy road means no advertising and lots of shoppers. Price things to sell.

Save your loose change. You'd be surprised how fast loose change adds up, especially if you use cash rather than plastic.

Get air miles from a credit card. Only use your card if you can pay it off every month. If you can pay it off faithfully, choose a credit card that gives you air miles, preferably one mile or more for every dollar. Air miles add up faster than you think. We've flown to Europe free several times this way, paying only taxes.

Special projects. Car washes, bake sales, house-cleaning, and other short-term make-money events can all add to your trip savings. Good at reupholstering? Get several chairs, cover them and sell them.

More ideas for how to pay for family trips.

Sell extra stuff on Ebay. Maybe it's winter or you have no generous friends on busy streets. From the comfort of your home, you can sell all sorts of unwanted items on Ebay and make a profit.

Sell old things to antique store owners. I have friends who own an antique shop and often they buy things from me that I no longer want which they can sell in their shop.

Sell things at a consignment shop. Some consignment shops sell more than others, so find one that does a brisk business, find out what sells, and bring your unwanted items.

If it's a mission trip where you'll be helping people once you get there, often friends and family are happy to help with a donation.

How to pay for family trips? The key is having a GOAL. Once you have a goal it's normal to start reaching it.

At any rate, start early to save and scrimp and save and scrimp. You'll be amazed at how motivating and even fun it can be to say no to activities like eating in restaurants or going out for a movie. Instead save the money for a wanted trip.

It will pay off when you finally go and can enjoy yourself without the worry of paying it all back to the credit card company later....ouch.

I often use credit cards when I travel. They are convenient and I love the air miles I get...BUT I always make sure I've saved up enough cash ahead of time to pay for the monthly bill.

Family trips are possible!

Kari Anderson is mother of seven children and owner of the online pearl company, KariPearls.com.Her family has traveled extensively all over the world.

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