Last updated on March 31st, 2018
If you know how to travel cheap, then you’ll be able to travel all four corners of the world: the Northern, Western, Southern, and Eastern Hemispheres.
Backpackers that are travelling the world aren’t rich (most of the them anyway). They just know or learn the cheap ways to travel while on the road.
This doesn’t mean you will miss out on seeing the world’s beauty. In fact, you’ll see more of it and make more friends than travelling like a limited tourist. You’ll just have to travel cheap and reduce costs where you can.
I’ll tell you how to travel cheap and even provide free methods; the tips are not all exclusive, but you’ll get the point.
With a bit (actually a lot) of dedication, around-the-world travel is a reality even when you have little money.
How to Travel Cheap
- Stay in hostels instead of hotels. Shared accommodation is the way to go. Plus you’ll make new friends – guaranteed.
- Volunteer at hostels in return for free accommodation and food. It’s better to volunteer in countries with a high cost of living because accommodation and food will be expensive. Your ROI will be more.
- Take buses instead of flights to international or cross-country destinations. Buses are usually cheaper but sometimes it makes more sense to travel on a budget airline.
- Cook your own meals. It’s the cheapest way to eat most of the time.
- Choose hostels that include breakfast. Sometimes the only difference between two hostels is the included breakfast.
- Use Skyscanner for flights. It’s actually one of the cheapest ways to travel by air when you are flexible. Utilize their search wherever-and-whenever to find cheap flights.
- Be flexible and get free flights. Sometimes airlines overbook flights and require volunteers to take the next available flight. As compensation of volunteering, airlines provide a travel voucher for future travel.
- Rack up on travel reward points. Many financial institutions and airlines offer reward programs where points can be used to redeem flights, vacations, and hotel rooms. You can sometimes double the earned points by using a rewards program credit card. Be careful of credit cards that don’t justify an annual fee.
- Use Uber instead of a taxi. Using local public transportation may not always make sense. Taxis are known to rip off travellers especially when there is a language barrier. Uber is cheaper and the route taken can be double checked afterwards.
- Walk – a lot. Walking instead of taking the local bus or a taxi will save you quite a bit of money over months of travel.
- Hitchike. If you can’t walk, hitchhiking is a free option in countries such as New Zealand or Iceland.
- Wash your own clothes. It sucks to spend money on laundry. And it can be expensive. Just wash your clothes in the hostel washroom or shower with travel detergent.
- Eat healthy. Be healthy. Having good health and being in decent shape will help you from overeating or getting sick regularly.
- Use a tent and camp. Some hostels allow people to camp on the lawn and pay a reduced price. It’s not always advertised so it’s better to email hostels in advance. Plus you’ll always have a tent ready for the countryside or trekking.
- Travel in less-expensive countries. This is no big secret. You can easily double or triple the length of your trip with the same budget if you choose your destinations wisely (e.g. Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia).
- Work or volunteer on a sailboat. If you can handle weeks without seeing land, try working on a sailboat that crosses international waters.
- Use Couchsurfing. Through the generosity of people, you can sleep on their couches for free when you travel.
I hope individuals with wanderlust now know how to travel cheap.
You don’t need to travel for several months at a time either. I understand people have family and other responsibilities or obstacles that are beyond this blog post. But I hope you do try to travel often and see the world’s beauty.
Sometimes, you can be stuck at a job wanting to explore the world. Yeah, money can be a deal breaker or lack thereof. You just need to get that first plane ticket, one month’s worth of travel expenses and just go. Otherwise you’re just going to wonder about wander and what could be.
Are there any other cheap ways to travel that I missed? Let me know by commenting below.