How to travel for free- Crowd-funded travel

11 January  |  Miscellaneous

Imagine a world where your dream of travelling was supported by funds that were not even your own. Once a distant possibility, it has today become the most sought after means of fulfilling one’s ambition of travelling the world. Although only gaining popularity now, it has been a concept that has been used by the likes of Christopher Columbus, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Albeit funded by the government, since the taxpayers are the ones who have funded these trips, this bit of trivia should work to put you more at ease about asking people to fund your trip.

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Image Source – abcnews.com

Through the means of crowd-funded travel, travellers usually create and submit their travel campaigns for expeditions that are either extraordinary or have a humanitarian aspect. These projects then await backing by inspired people or sponsors looking for marketing opportunities and brand awareness.

The following are a few websites you can check out to get you started on your campaign:

  • Go Fund Me: specialises in funding personal events, especially supporting illnesses and disaster relief, but it also handles travel
  • FundAnything: Lets you crowd fund your hopes and dreams
  • Crowd Rise: Creative projects, birthdays, run/walks, volunteer; they are all ways in which you may justify your travel
  • Trevolta.com: a website created solely to fund travels

A few things to keep in mind before starting your campaign are:

  • Research, research, research: Study cases where people have successfully raised funds and find out how they went about it. Make sure your idea is original and at least as compelling as the ones that have been successfully funded. If the project is interesting, word-of-mouth will catapult the project to success.
  • Study failures just as seriously as you study successes: Examine failures so you don’t repeat their errors. Find out where the projects went wrong, and try to find means of improvement that could be implemented into your campaign.
  • Invest time and money: As almost all successful businessmen will tell you, you need to spend money to raise money. You also have to devote significant time to make your project happen. If you don’t, then it will show, and you will have wasted your time and effort. landscape-1457524382-backpacker

Image Source – cosmouk

What about when your trip is a casual, fun trip? Though such trips are harder to gain funding for, if the trip is related to a major life event like a wedding or a graduation, rather than asking for gifts, you could ask people to consider pledging to your crowd funding campaign. You could also consider coming up with some interesting rewards or perks for contributors, like bringing home gifts from abroad or hosting a dinner when you get back where you cook authentic cuisine. If your trip is not related to such an event, you could try appealing to the emotions of prospective funders, in case your trip is something that you have not done before or something you would not be able to do without their support.

One of the biggest challenges you might face while embarking on your journey around the world on the magic carpet of crowd funding is the amount of planning involved. Start by organising trips to a few places close to home. Take your pick from the incredible array of Bandipur resorts or the resorts in Masinagudi. If you seek a unique experience, try homestays in Masinagudi or a quick adventure filled trip to Nandi Hills Bangalore. Organising short trips which are crowd funded will give you the experience and credibility to invite sponsors for your dream vacation!

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