Traveling is great, but it can also be expensive.
However, there are ways to get around the costs that come with globetrotting, and crowdfunding is becoming more and more popular in our social-media-savvy society.
For those of you who don’t know what crowdfunding means, it basically boils down to getting other people to pay for something you want.
So, here are a few ways to crowdfund your next trip.
First, select the site that’s right for you
Do your research, and select the crowdfunding site that’s right for you. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Kickstarter is a great place to go if you need money for a project, so if you want people to help fund your trip on this site, you have to get creative. If you’re writing a book about the ivory trade in Africa and you need to fly to Kenya to conduct an interview, Kickstarter might be a good place to get money.
If you don’t have a project and are strictly looking to take a trip, try sites like Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and FundAnything. These are popular crowdfunding sites that allow fundraising for literally everything.
There is also a travelcentric site called Trevolta that could come in handy. Trevolta is an online community of travelers where you can keep a blog of your trips and even pin locations and share photos. But the coolest part is that you can use that travel community to crowdfund your next trip — which might be more effective because you’re pitching to a group of people who are already very supportive of travel. It’s also a good place to attract corporate sponsors that are looking to support people who have the traveling bug.
(Important note: All of these sites will take anywhere from 4 to 5 percent of the money you raised if your goal is met. Be sure to read the fine print before you start a campaign.)
Once you select the right site, keep these things in mind
1. Give rewards
On all of these sites, your campaign will do better if you’re able to reward those who donate. For example, if you’re a photographer, offering a photo book of the amazing pictures from your trip to people who donate, say, $100, could be a nice incentive.
Entice people to contribute by giving them rewards. (Photo: Thinkstock)
2. Tell your story
People love an inspiring or one-of-a-kind story. If you’re an amputee who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, let people know. If you’re a stay-at-home mom who’s always wanted to run with the bulls, tell the world. If you want to pray at every Buddhist temple in Thailand, spread the word. What makes you unique is what will help you raise money.
Sharing your unique story can inspire people to donate to your campaign. (Photo: Thinkstock)
3. Put some love and effort into your page
If you’re trying to raise money for a mission trip to Guatemala, post a fun video of you explaining why this trip is so dear to your heart (people love a viral video). If you’ve been on a previous trip, share pictures of your travels so that contributors can see that it’s something you’re really passionate about. Provide links to the organization you plan to travel with, and give a breakdown of exactly how the money will be spent. Do whatever it takes to make people click on your page!
4. Use social media
Share the link to your page using hashtags and handles for any group you think might be interested in your trip. Let local news organizations know your story. The more people who know, the more money you get.