Most people wouldn’t even consider traveling to a far-flung destination on the assumption that it is out of their reach financially. While it may take a bit of savvy planning, it’s 1,000% possible to plan an exotic vacation half-way around the world on the same budget you’d spend on a week at the beach.
We’ve compiled a list of the simplest ways you can cut travel costs and budget effectively, so you can finally have your dream vacation without going broke.
How To Travel The World On A Budget
1. Save Early & Often
It’s never too early to start saving up for your next globe-trotting adventure, and literally every penny counts. Cut costs wherever possible, and throw that spare change into a jar–it’s going to add up.
Just fifty-cents of spare-change a day might not seem like much, but by the end of the year, that will add up to $180–or 3+ nights at a luxury resort in Thailand.
It’s entirely possible to take a glamourous 10-day vacation to a budget-friendly country (such as, Thailand, India, or Nepal) on as little as $2,000-$3,000 (including airfare!) In case that seems extravagant to you, that’s just $8 a day. Skip the starbucks, and don’t eat out as often, and you’ve just earned yourself the vacation of your dreams.
2. Create A Detailed Budget
Without a carefully planned budget, you’re more likely to make last-minute purchases that you’ll regret later. Writing down a budget will help you stay on track and know how much room you (realistically) have to splurge and shop for souvenirs.
Start with the most expensive costs (flights, hotels, activities) and work your way down. Don’t forget to consider minor costs, as these can quickly add up. Account for expenses such as auto/taxi rides, drinks, souvenirs, tips, etc. Be sure to include expenses leading up to your trip: any needed luggage, visa fees, supplies, etc.
Lonely Planet’s destination page has great resources to help you plan for the country you’re visiting. A simple search can show you what to expect in terms of accommodation and transportation, currency conversion rates, and everyday expenses common in the area.
Make sure to create an unexpected expense category in your budget, so that even when surprises come, you’ll be ready. ;-)
3. Watch For ATM Fees
ATM Fees are the most devious of expenses. They seem unavoidable, and seemingly insignificant but can easily put a dent in your budget before you even realize it. Most ATMs charge $5 per transaction, and can limit each transaction to as low as $300. Poor planning and frequent withdrawals can leave you wondering where a sizeable chunk of your money has gone.
Consider opening a bank account with little-to-no foreign transaction fees, such as a Charles Schwab checking account.
4. Avoid Money Transfer Fees
If you need to send money abroad, it could cost you a fortune. Avoid money transfer fees by using less expensive alternatives, such as HiFX. HiFX is one of the most trustworthy money transferring services and its rates are unbeatable. Take advantage of tools such as this one to slash costs and send money with ease.
5. Travel To Non-Touristy Destinations
The destination you choose will make all the difference in creating a financially-friendly getaway, Try off-the-beaten path locations, and stay away from overtly touristy cities.
The more touristy a city, the higher the prices. Save a fortune and enjoy the local culture!
Don’t let fear of finances keep you from traveling the world. Make good use of budgeting tips and tricks, and plan ahead! The getaway of your dreams is not too far off. :)