Diagnosed with the travel bug? We’re right there with you! Most people lust after the thought of traveling the world but are quickly discouraged due to financial reasons. But I’m here to tell you that there is a way to make it happen. In this post, you’re going to learn exactly why and how you can sell everything and travel the world.
How To Live With Less
Living with less is a lot easier said than done, right?
The thing is, most people live with far more “stuff” than they would ever need in this lifetime.
For me, living with less wasn’t an issue. Giving up 10 pairs of old shoes? Easy. Selling the iPad I hadn’t touched in years? Simple.
But for Mike, trying to sell everything and travel wasn’t easy. He was constantly telling me about the sentimental value of each item he owned. He even had an old barstool that he kept around because he got it from the first bar he ever worked at.
The easiest way for us to start narrowing down our personal items was to remind ourselves that the majority of these material possessions won’t matter to us in the long run. We won’t look back in 20 years and say, “dang, I wish I still had that MP3 player that I used four times” or “I wish I never sold that night stand.”
We’ve found that making memories in foreign lands and discovering exotic places has been much more fulfilling than holding onto a bunch of “things” that won’t bring us happiness in the future.
Instead of spending money on material possessions, we spend money on experiences. Looking at it from this perspective makes it so much easier to sell everything and travel the world.
Things You Should Sell
In order to start setting things aside to sell, Mike had three things that he asked himself:
1. “When was the last time I used this? Am I realistically going to use it within the next month?”
2. “Can I take this with me? Is it going to fit inside my backpack? Will I need it for traveling or will it weigh me down?”
3. “Why is this sentimental to me?”
By asking himself these questions, it was much easier for him to separate the things he hadn’t used in the past month and the things he needs in his everyday life.
The last question was especially important for him because he soon realized that it wasn’t the item that brought him joy, it was the memory that went along with it. Separating his emotions from material items helped him let go of many things.
I recommend asking yourself these same three questions. If you can’t come up with a logical reason why you should keep something, sell it. Ideally, you’ll want to sell as much as you can. The more you sell now, the more money you’ll have to spend on experiences abroad and the longer you’ll get to travel.
Note: regardless if the item is new or old, it’s quite likely that you’ll be able to sell it. Many people are afraid to sell everything and travel because they don’t think they have anything to sell. The truth is, people buy EVERYTHING these days.
A few items we sold that surprised us included:
- Old and broken phones
- Textbooks from college
- Broken instruments
- Outdated cameras
- Old camping gear
- Any electronics we no longer used
- Playstation games
Whether or not you think you have things to sell, odds are you do! Just take a look around you. Everything you own is worth something.
The best way to know if something you own is worth money is by checking on eBay. Scroll down to “How To Price Your Items” to find out how to check if your things are worth money.
Where To Sell Online/Sites
We use several different websites to sell our items. Below we’ve included our top choices along with tips on how to use these sites properly.
eBay is our go-to online selling website.
I know what you might be thinking.. eBay? Isn’t that sketchy?
eBay can definitely be sketchy if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it has been the best way to sell all of our things and earn a decent amount of money.
With eBay, we are able to reach buyers all over the US. We’ve found that we don’t have to wait nearly as long for people to buy our items as we do with any other website.
In the picture above, you can see that we listed 52 items during the month of May; 24 of them sold quickly while we waited on several other items to sell. Before we left for our trip, only three items went unsold. We made over $4,000 selling our old things on eBay and in reality, we didn’t have much to sell.
An important tip for selling on eBay
Scams can happen on eBay, just as they can with any other site. Something we learned quickly is to ALWAYS keep conversations with sellers on the eBay platform.
A trick that many scammers attempt is asking you to text them on their personal phone for more information about the item. When you text them, eBay can no longer see the conversation. Nothing is documented. The first and only time we ever contacted someone outside of the eBay app, he asked us to buy gift cards from the store and send him the codes. HA! No way in heck would we do that.
Just keep all conversations on eBay messenger.
If you’re in need of help, the eBay response team is extremely helpful. We called them twice to ask for help concerning a customer who returned an item. The eBay team was quick and helpful. If you’re ever in doubt, call them.
Craigslist is another famous website for selling things. With a questionable reputation it can be scary to sell things on eBay. But if you know what to look for and how to use the website correctly, you’ll be able to sell everything you own and travel the world.
It should be noted that larger items sell best on Craigslist. This includes cars, furniture, bicycles, etc. We used Craigslist to find a buyer for our truck before we started traveling.
Tips for selling on Craiglist
Since you’re SELLING on Craigslist, there should never be a reason that the buyer asks you to buy something before they purchase your item. This is especially true for cars and trucks.
While we were attempting to sell our truck, we had so many scammers asking us to buy this car report and that car report. Since we already bought a CarFax car report, this seemed so unnecessary. When they wouldn’t accept our CarFax car report, we said “SEE YA!” to them and moved onto the next buyer.
Rule of thumb: never spend money if a buyer asks you to.
Another important tip is to always get cash or a bank check from the buyer. Always meet them in person for the exchange and bring someone else with you. Never meet in a private location, always meet in public.
Other websites to consider when selling your things:
How To Price Your Items
Regardless of which website or application you choose to sell your items on, use eBay to price things accordingly. In order to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll want to do a bit of research. You also don’t want to place an item for sale that is completely overpriced.. no one will buy it!
To start, go to eBay.com. Use the search bar to find the exact item that you intend to sell. For example, if you’re trying to sell your Yeti cooler, type in the exact brand and model into the search bar.
Next, scroll down and look on the left side of the screen to find where it says “Sold Items”.
Once you select this option, eBay will generate a list of sold items that match your description and how much someone paid for it. This is relatively how much people are spending on your item, therefore, you’ll want to price it in this range. I highly recommend finding a listing that matches your item exactly (new, used, not working, etc).
Note: When pricing and selling your things, you always want to be honest about the condition. For many of these websites, you can get in trouble for selling things that don’t match the description.
Things That You Shouldn’t Sell
Like I said before, it can be hard to let go of certain things, especially if they have strong sentimental value. Just because you’re trying to sell everything and travel doesn’t mean you have to sell EVERYTHING.
That necklace your grandmother gave you before she passed away? Keep it. A heartfelt letter your dad wrote to you on your last birthday? Save it.
With that said, remember to pull yourself away from items that won’t bring value to your life in 20 years. The knick-knack souvenirs you bought in Mexico three years ago? I suggest selling them; you’ll always have pictures and memories to remind you of that special time.
There are two more things that you should always keep and I’ve listed them below:
- Important documents – birth certificates, tax information, etc.
- Pictures – however, I recommend scanning them onto a terabyte drive rather than keeping boxes and boxes of photos.
Where To Store The Things You Keep
Your goal is to save as much money as possible, hence why you’re selling all of your belongings. Spending money on a storage unit can be an unnecessary expense. Therefore, we recommend storing all of your kept items in a friend or family member’s garage or basement, if possible.
What You’ll Need To Keep For Traveling
There are certain things that you’ll need to pack when you travel. Below, we’ve constructed a brief list of things that we deem absolutely necessary for world travel.
Take a look at the items we’ve listed. If you already have these items, don’t sell them. Your goal is to spend as little money as possible in order to save for travel. But, if there are a few things that you’re missing from this list, we’ve included our favorite suggestions.
A Quality Backpack or Suitcase
For the past year, we’ve been toting around Away carry-on suitcases. We saw that a few other travel bloggers were raving about them so we gave them a try. Turns out, they’re awesome!
Our Away suitcases are small enough to fit in the overhead bins (we HATE checking bags) but large enough to fit all of our stuff (and by “stuff” I mean clothes for three months abroad). They are strong suitcases and Away offers a lifetime warranty on every product.
If you’re looking to purchase a quality backpack instead of a suitcase, we highly recommend Osprey Packs.
Mike carries the Osprey Porter 46L backpack, while I take my Osprey Farpoint 70L on all of our camping trips. Both of these Osprey backpacks are sturdy, have excellent back support, and are front loading.. as a soon to be traveller, front loading backpacks will be your savior.
Something you should consider before you sell everything and travel is, are your current shoes worthy of coming on the trip with you? As a traveler, it’s typical to do a lot of walking and a quality pair of shoes is necessary.
Whether you decide to bring a comfortable pair of running shoes, a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, or even just some cozy sandals, take this into consideration when deciding what to sell and what to keep.
Some ideas for quality travel shoes include:
- Merrell Waterproof Hiking Shoes
- Asics GT-2000 Running Shoes (great for walking or any physical activity)
- Chaco Classic Sandals (excellent for walking)
Not only do our water bottles save us a LOT of money, but they also help us use less plastic water bottles. As an aspiring traveler, I’m sure you love the planet just as much as we do. Let’s reduce waste while exploring this gorgeous world of ours.
We use Simple Modern water bottles but in all honesty, any water bottle will work! We chose our water bottles because they don’t sweat and get all of our other belongings wet. Plus they were cheap!
If there is one thing that you should always have with you when you travel, it’s a travel adapter. Being able to charge your phone, laptop, tablet, ANYTHING is so important. It’s a pain in the butt to arrive to a new country and notice that your plug-ins don’t fit the outlet.
We bring with us a JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter, which is like the holy grail of travel adapters. It allows me to plug in my laptop, phone, and tablet all at the same time. Being a universal adapter is also extremely helpful because we can use it all over the world.
No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll need a quality rain jacket. This is a staple item and you’ll be glad you brought one with you.
If you don’t already have a rain jacket, Mike and I both recommend getting a North Face Rain Jacket. These coats have saved our butts many times and kept us dry in the most torrential rain storms.
Alright boys, this one is for you.
Mike insisted that I included this on the list and I think he’s right. He brings his Philips OneBlade to every country we visit. It stays charged for months on end, which means he doesn’t have to try and charge it using a questionable outlet (wrong electrical conversion rate).
What To Do With Things That Don’t Sell
You’ll most likely have a few things remaining after you’ve sold most of your items. I recommend taking the leftover items to the local thrift store.
Be sure to get a receipt because you can write this donation off on your taxes.
The Wrap-Up: Sell Everything And Travel
If you’re lusting after destinations all over the world, I recommend that you sell everything and travel.
Not only will you feel relieved to live with less “stuff” but you’ll be able to see and experience the world around you. Spending money on experiences is always more valuable than spending money on “things”.
Want To Be A Travel Blogger?
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