When we tell people we have travelled to 30+ countries on six continents around the world, the first thing people inevitably say is: So, you have a trust fund then? Of course, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact my very own parents have never left the country. So how is it that we were able to travel so extensively at such a young age, with little savings to speak of?
The thing is, it’s traveling without money is possible. Well, at least without a lot of money. Here are a few of our favorite tips for getting around the world on a budget:
1. Travel Slow
Whether you’ve got one week or one year, the key to saving money when you travel is to slow down. Hopping from one city to a next will eat up your travel funds and your sanity. To really get to know a place and culture, take it slow. Then you can begin to live like the locals live—which is undoubtedly less money than traveling as a tourist.
We rarely couch surf anymore as it doesn’t fit our lifestyle or needs, but if you’re on a budget and want to meet cool people around the world, you can get any better. Alternatively, AirBnb and Housesitting are other options for low-cost or free housing in beautiful locations around the world.
3. Take Your Skills Online
Many of our friends and family still don’t understand that we’re not on a permanent vacation, but rather working and traveling at the same time. The only thing is our office can be anywhere with a WiFi connection, and we set our own hours that work for us. Even if it doesn’t make you rich, putting in just a few hours a day on the road as a freelance can be enough to pay for your food and housing. Already have a job you love? Then ask your boss if you can work remotely for one or two weeks of the year.
4. Cut back on dinner and drinks
We find that the biggest thing to suck up our travel budget on the road is eating out and ordering drinks. It’s easy to spend $50 on a nice dinner on the road, followed by another $50 if you go out for cocktails. Instead, consider just going out for a drink and an appetizer, and then cooking your own dinner. It doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun if you learn how to enjoy the best of the experience without splurging your entire budget in the process every time.
The truth is, you don’t have to be rich to travel. However, if you’re traveling on a budget, you do have to be more committed to experiencing the world than enjoying a cheap vacation. These are a few of our top tips – what are yours?