Just because you’re short on money doesn’t mean you cannot travel the world. Sure, you may not be able to stay in luxury 5-star resorts or eat at high-end restaurants while on the road, but you don’ thave to rule out the prospect of travel altogether. In fact, traveling is entirely possible even with very little cash to your name. Here’s how to travel the world while sticking to a tight budget.
Opt for Cheap Transportation
For most travelers, as soon as they have their next destination in mind, they hop right on the Skyscanner booking portal to check out the available flights. Sometimes flying is the only viable method of transportation, especially for traveling to the other side of the world. But whenever possible, you should be looking into other transportation options as an alternative to air travel.
Air travel is not only terrible for the environment, it is also expensive. Even when you score a cheaper-than-average flight, it can still put a major dent in your bank account. There are plenty of alternatives to flights that many travelers don’t even consider. Depending on your intended route and the final destination, consider traveling by car, bus, boat, or train instead.
Traveling by land and sea rather than air is by far the most cost effective way to get from point A to B. Take the Halong Bay to Ninh Binh bus as an example; this popular route in Vietnam sets travelers back a mere $10 USD.
Don’t Be Too Picky About the Final Destination
Following this tip isn’t possible for every traveler, but it’s a helpful hint for those that just wish to see the world for as little money as possible. Travelers that aren’t picky about where they travel to next can take advantage of whatever airline deals are going on at the time.
If Delta is offering a special on flying to France, why not experience the Eiffel Tower? If Spirit has a $100 flight from Florida to Colombia, it’s time to explore the home of Pablo Escobar. Keeping this mindset is the ultimate way to save on air travel. Then once you’ve your destination, be sure to take advantage of boats, buses, and trains for all of your in-country transportation needs.
Cheap Food is the Way to Go
Spending too much money on food is a huge mistake, mostly because cheap local food is actually the best way to experience the local culture. Not to mention it’s delcious. While in Thailand or India, there is no need to spend more than a dollar or two on each meal. To stretch your budget even further, find accommodations equipped with a full kitchen and prepare meals yourself.
Utilize Free or Low-Cost Accommodations
Did you know that it’s possible to stay for free almost anywhere in the world? The best way to do this is throught a platform called CouchSurfing. Organizing a place to stay through CouchSurfing is exactly as it sounds – you’ll be moving from couch to couch, in some cases you’ll have your own room. Maybe it doesn’t sound appealing, but guess what? It’s completely free!
CouchSurfing is an amazing resource for low-budget travelers with little cash to spend. You’ll start by creating a CouchSurfing profile – be sure to let your personality shine here – and decide where you want to go. Travelers are then paired with one of the over 400,000 CouchSurfing hosts all around the world.
You might be wondering why someone would ever let a stranger stay in their spare room for free. It’s a great way for people to share their local culture with others, and it could just lead to the building of a lifelong friendship. As a traveler, you have nothing to worry about when staying with a CouchSurfing host. Just be sure to choose a host that has several reviews and all the necessary details for staying at the property.
Live Like a Local, Not Like a Tourist
This is by far the best piece of advice to follow if sticking to a budget is important to you. Avoid touristy hotspots since most of them are basically just money traps. Visit places that are more geared towards the local crowd. This serves two purposes, one allowing you to save a significant amount of money, and the other giving you the chance to experience the rich culture of the area.
In order to live like a local, ditch the Lonely Planet guidebook and stop treating travel blogs as the Holy Grail. Instead, just chat with the local people to find out the places they like to hang out. You’ll definitely find some hidden gems with the help of the local people rather than guidebooks.