Yes, it costs money to travel - but probably not as much as you think. If you really want to hit the road, there are plenty of ways to extend your trip without withdrawing all of the money in your savings account. Want to see the world on a budget? Click “Next” to read our ultimate guide for traveling on the cheap.
1. Make it a Priority
If there’s a place that you’ve always wanted to visit, make it a priority to go. Now. That may mean sacrificing things like spontaneous shopping trips, morning Starbucks, and the latest tech gadget, but skipping out on those purchases means more travel money.
2. Work Overseas
If you’re worried about being able to finance a whole trip ahead of time, look for opportunities to work while you’re away. Some farms offer room and board in return for some manual labor. Other common travel employment opportunities include everything from tending bar, to teaching English. Picking up a job while you’re away can be a great way to extend your vacation.
Couchsurfing connects travellers with locals who are willing to let them stay for free. That’s right, no money needed for accommodation. You might get a room, or you might literally get a couch, but either way, you’re not spending money. Plus, you’ll be able to get firsthand advice about the place you’re visiting from someone who actually lives there.
If you’re hoping to stay in one destination and get to know it well, housesitting is a great option. You’ll watch someone’s house while they’re away in another part of the world. Best of all, you often get to stay there free of charge - though you may need to do a little yard work, or look after pets as part of the deal. Still, it eliminates the need to shell out for accommodations, and you get a kitchen to cook your food - another great way to travel on the cheap!
5. Hitchhike or Rideshare
Hitchhiking is quite common in many parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and Central America. It’s also a free way to get from one destination to another - and interact with the locals in the process. If you’re a little unsure about standing on the side of the road and hoping for the best, ridesharing programs are also a great way to save a little cash and gain some local guidance. Remember to always carry a charged phone, and get out of the car as soon as possible if you ever feel unsafe.
6. Research Free Tours
A quick Google search or two should help you find free walking tours in your destination. Typically found in major cities across Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, these walking tours are an opportunity to get your bearings and see a city’s most well known sites. If you’re travelling solo, it’s also a good chance to meet other travellers, and get a sense of other itineraries. Who knows, you may decide to include a few of those new ideas in your trip.
7. Pack Your Discount Cards
Most people spend too much time worrying about packing the right clothes, and not enough time focused on packing the things that can potentially save them money. If you're a student, a teacher, or are under age 26, you could be getting some major discounts for your trip! Save on attractions, entrance fees, and more, by taking the time to get a student, teacher, or youth card. Even if you don’t fall into one of those three categories, if you’re planning on seeing a lot of the major sites in one city, a city tourism card can offer discounted (or free) access to lots of attractions, in addition to free public transportation.
8. Use Airbnb
In addition to finding a sweet place to stay while you’re travelling, Airbnb can help you to offset some of your costs during your vacation - if you’re willing to list your apartment on the site. Renting out your home for the duration of your travels can help you to earn money while you’re away. Ask a friend or family member to help welcome your guests, and ensure everything is in order once they leave.