Ready to Travel on a Budget?
“I want to travel the world”, is something that is spoken out of the mouth of many around the world. The desire and love for traveling is definitely shared by many!
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But traveling can be expensive. The cost of flights, hotels, and activities have increased dramatically in recent years around the globe. But the reality is that there are ways to travel cheap and to save some money to stretch out your vacation experiences, even if you are living paycheck to paycheck.
If you want to know how to travel the world, and save a few pennies, then you are in the right place.
If you’ve decided to travel the world for a year, or to hit up the local state and national parks, this best travel guide will help you stretch your dollars when it comes to doing what you love!
Now matter where your adventures take you, here you’ll find great travel tips to help you have a fantastic next vacation.
Learn from the Experts
Each of these experts come from the travel niche. Some of them are currently traveling in different areas around the world. For those that aren’t traveling currently, they are most likely planning out their next vacation, and doing so with style.
The Question Asked
Here is the question that was presented to each of these travel leaders:
What one suggestion would you give to someone whose budget is already stretched, but would like to travel more?
Get ready! These travel leaders have shared some awesome travel advice. Want to know how to travel for cheap? Pay attention and take some notes!
As always, there will be an action step at the end.
Dr. Paul Johnson from A Luxury Travel Blog – “Sign up for airline mailing lists so that you’re ‘in the know’ whenever airlines are having a sale.
If your circumstances are such that you can travel at short notice or you can be flexible when you do travel, you can really benefit from any special offers.”
Lesli Peterson from 365 Atlanta Family – “Our family pinches pennies when traveling in the US by visiting state and national parks. Admission is generally free or nominal, and the glory of the park highlights the best attributes of the area. You can save money further by camping at the park, which is always fun and adventurous.
While you’re calling the campsite “home base”, look for free things to do in the area (usually found with a simple google search.) If there is a place you’re dying to visit, be sure to follow them on social media prior to your vacation. If they have deals or specials, that’s where you’re likely to find them.”
Annette White from Bucket List Journey – “My one suggestion for people on a limited budget who want to travel more is to redefine your definition of travel. It doesn’t have to equal a two-week trip exploring the Greek isles, drinking pricey cocktails and luxury shopping. It can also mean a weekend getaway to hike the red rocks of Sedona or a couple-day road trip driving along the California coastline.
Stop defining travel by the distance the destination is from your departure or the length of time you will be away from home. Instead characterize it as a journey of exploration, relaxation, adventure and learning. This sort of trip can be done a few blocks from your house or halfway around the world.
You don’t need to wait for a couple weeks off from work or to have a huge savings account in order to recharge. Plan a micro-vacation, a brief getaway that can be from four hours to four days long and give you a momentary hiatus from the cares of every day life.”
Sharon from Where’s Sharon – “The easiest way to make your travel dollar go further is to travel slower. It’s amazing how much money you can save if you don’t move fast. There is the obvious saving on transport but it can also make everything else cheaper.
There are often deals on accommodation for longer periods especially if you use services like Airbnb. I also find we save more money while we are there on longer stays as we learn where everything is and find better bargains on food.”
Josh Bender from Travel with Bender – “After flights, accommodation is typically the biggest travel expense. One of the best ways to reduce or completely eliminate your accommodation budget is with house sitting.
We’ve house sat all over the world, looking after dogs, cats, bunnies and birds. It reveals a corner of a city or town that you might not have visited before, and it’s an effective way to get immersed into the local culture.”
Anton Diaz from Our Awesome Planet – “This is the best situation because when your back is against the wall and you are passionate about something, you’ll think about creative ways on how to pursue your vision.
Best way is to do an inventory on what you are good at and leveraging on their strength to earn more money to continue the travel. I was in a similar situation before and the only thing I knew at that time is how to blog well so I created a learning program to teach people how to blog effectively. An online virtual assistant is the fastest way to get money as well and just to extend the travel from one project to the next.”
Stephen from A Backpackers Tale – “This is something I’ve seen a lot. People running out of money but want to stay on the road. I honestly believe that the people who really want to stay on the road will find a way. One way is to sit still and work for accommodation and meals at a hostel.
Once I was traveling with a Scottish girl (or lass) who was running out of money. I suggested that she head to Thailand and start asking around at hostels. Within a few days, she had a job, and she stayed on the road another 5 months.”
Melvin from Travel Dudes – “My background is being a travel agent. So I pretty much know how to find cheap flights. My best tip is to compare prices! You can’t say where you get them in general, as this is such a huge and complicated market! There are online sites which help you to find very cheap flights and with routes you would have never have thought of. But often those are not up to date and when you try to book these, they are not available anymore.
If you go to a travel agent, you have to be lucky to find one who knows how to use his booking system. If he does, he will find you a really good flight and quickly. Sometimes they can help you with consolidator tickets, which you wouldn’t find on the internet. But most of the time I found the best rates on the airlines’ website itself. So compare them all!
Melo Villareal from Out of Town Blog – “Depending on your skills, there’s a lot of jobs that you can do while traveling. You can accept programming or even writing gigs or if you like, you can work at local hostels offering temporary jobs. In most Asian countries, you can also volunteer for an English teaching jobs.”
Kristin Luna from Camels & Chocolate – “Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. In my early 20’s, I stayed in hostels everywhere I went around Europe – $20 a night of less for a bed in a clean dorm room. As I began traveling more, I discovered the world of CouchSurfing, which enabled me to travel to more expensive places like Iceland for cheap: I”d crash on the couch (or in the spare room) of a CouchSurfer’s home, not spend a dime on accommodation, and often be treated to meals, guided tours and other perks of knowing a local. It was a great way to get to know a place intimately while also traveling on a shoestring. In my 30’s, I don’t travel that way anymore, but instead use Airbnb, where I’ve found cheap private rooms and apartments in cities around the world, oftentimes in very local neighborhoods. Where’d you’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel.
R’el & Marcus from This is the Place I Was Telling Your About – “I think we would give the advice of traveling to places that are near by while on a stretched budget. Sure it’s great to get on a plane and go to an exotic destination but there’s almost always something near by that could be worth venturing out to as well.
Earl from Wandering Earl – “Look for opportunities to travel that don’t cost much beyond the airfare.
While that might seem impossible, there are endless opportunities on websites such as helpx.net and workaway.info all over the world that offer free room and board in exchange for a little help each day on whatever project the host is working on.
It’s an awesome chance to have a fascinating travel experience, interact with locals and barely spend any money at all.”
Rob Erich from Money Nomad –“My number one recommendation for anyone who wants to travel more: get a remote income. When you can work online, you can work from anywhere. Whether you find a remote job for a company, become a freelancer, or start your own business, a flexible income allows you to work while you travel.
Plus, if you’re smart about where you travel, your income can take you a lot further. While $10/hr goes nowhere in the US, it allows you to live like a king in Thailand.
Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s certainly a great path for those who love adventure and culture — and it’s easier than you might think.”
JB & Renee from Will Fly for Food – “Thankfully, we haven’t found ourselves in that situation but we did see something in Japan recently that fits the topic. We were staying at a hostel in Fukuoka and there was a sign at the reception desk inviting travelers to help clean the facilities in exchange for free accommodations.
A one-night stay in the dorm room costs $25 a night so offering up your services like this can help extend your budget, especially in a country as expensive as Japan.
Keep an eye out for volunteer work exchanges and be prepared to make sacrifices if you’re running low on cash but don’t want to go home just yet.”
Stuart from Travel Fish (with Thailand specific tips) – “The easiest way to stretch your money further while travelling in Thailand is to try and save a little bit every day by making a small change to your daily activities. One of the easiest times to do this is at the start of your day.
Having a typical Western breakfast in a mid-level hotel or guesthouse in Thailand will routinely set you back at least 100 to 150 baht (say US$2.75-4.50) but you’ll get a Thai breakfast outside for a third of that at 30 to 50 baht (say US$1-$1.50) saving you $1.75 to $3 a day. Likewise with your coffee—go local. A regular latte in Starbucks costs about 115 baht whilst a traditional Thai milk coffee will be 30 baht maximum on the street, If you normally have two coffees a day, there’s 170 baht (US$4.85) in savings every day right there. Combine the two and you might be saving $7.85 a day.
Saving $7.85 a day doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re on a three week trip, you’ve just saved US$165, and that will stretch a long way in Thailand.”
Maria from Nerd Nomads – “If your budget is low, I suggest that you travel for a longer period on each trip instead of going on many short trips during the year as flights are expensive.
Take public transportation, like bus and train, if possible since these are usually cheaper than flights. Travel to less costly destinations like South-East Asia and South America.”
Dave from The Planet D – “For someone wanting to travel more but have a stretched budget, we suggest exploring your own backyard. While Dave and I were working in the film industry in Canada and dreaming of traveling the world, we ended up exploring most of our home province of Ontario, Canada.We spent weekends on camping trips, rock climbing and mountain biking. We contacted local outfitters and learned to abseil & whitewater kayak and we joined an orienteering club. We went on canoe trips in provincial parks and in the winter we went snowshoeing in National Parks, learned to cross country ski and bought a snowboarding pass at the local hill. It prepared us for our adventures ahead and made us excited for our days off.
Even during the week, we joined a cycling club and met for Tuesday evening rides and we joined an adventure club where we could talk travel with like minded people. I don’t recommend going into debt for travel, make the most of what you’ve got and save up for your trip. That way you can truly enjoy every minute.”
Yoshke Dimen and Vins Carlos from The Poor Traveler – “Be open to possibilities. The great thing about working within a restricted budget is that it pushes you to be more resourceful and open to options that you normally wouldn’t even entertain. Consider hostels over hotels, and get to meet like-minded people.Or, try homestay so you also get to immerse in the local culture. Instead of taking a group tour, rent a bike and explore on your own. Take long, overnight bus rides instead of flying.
Not only do you get to save from flight fares, you also get to dodge another hotel night. Meet locals: You win a friend and learn bits of info that tourists don’t normally know: cheap but awesome places to eat, underrated attractions, and many others.”
Katie Heller from Postcards from Yonder – “Slow down. Staying in one place for a couple weeks — or even a couple months — is a great way to save money and enjoy the fruits of travel.
You’ll save money because (1) accommodation is usually drastically discounted if you’re willing to commit to a spot for a longer stay (2) you’ll have time to scout the cheapest and best eats in town and (3) you can enjoy uneventful, and thus cheap days without suffering from too much FOMO.And, AND! Despite the allure of quick country hopping, slow travel is truly one of the best ways to really dig in and appreciate a culture and its people. The longer you spend in a place, the more secrets you’ll discover outside of the hot-ticket (and usually expensive) tourist attractions.
It’s a win-win-win. If you want a great breakdown of costs in two places where we did exactly that, check out our ‘Cost of Living Abroad’ posts for Chiang Mai and Ubud, Bali.”
Captain from Captain and Clark – “Considering traveling on a budget is always exciting and challenging but there are lots of opportunities to volunteer on sailboats and yachts.
The more sailing experience the better but often you can visit local yacht clubs or harbors abroad to check bulletin boards for sailing positions. It allows you to travel and get food and a place to sleep.”
ACTION STEP: Look at your budget, and try to find money within it to plan your next vacation. Then take these tips to heart and travel on a budget. Some of these tips can be implemented before your trip, and some afterwards. Go have a trip of a lifetime!
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Final Thoughts on Traveling on a Budget Tips
A big thanks to each of these travel leaders for sharing their thoughts with us on cheap travel and great tips for traveling on a budget.
We all want and need vacation time. It helps us unwind and remove stress, but it’s hard to find room in the budget for vacations. Take these tips to heart. Find some wiggle room in your budget and implement these tips before and during your trip. Investing in yourself with a vacation has many benefits!
Learning how to save money for vacation might be as simple as moving around or removing certain items altogether from your budget.
Sometimes it takes going on a vacation to gain power over life! Plan it…pay for it with cash...and love it!
Managing money is a key life skill that puts YOU in control… and once you have that control, then you truly have POWER OVER LIFE!