One of the things I hear often is: “In order to travel you need “a lot” of money.” But this idea is bogus. This misconception is especially common for long-term travel, usually over 30 days. However, travel has changed tremendously over the years. Airlines are offering cheaper flights than ever before, dorm rooms are all over the world, and there are new ways of exchanging your handy help for lodging and food. As long as you think strategically about how to travel when you have little money, it’s very possible. Here are some tips!
Nonstop flights can be more expensive than connecting flights. Research different hubs you can fly into or use skyscanner.com which usually offers the cheapest flights available. A backup plan to save money on flights is using miles. Major airlines such as Delta have affiliate airlines such as AeroMexico and Italian airline Alitalia which helps save miles quicker. A recent collaboration between both companies now allows Delta Skymiles customers to collect miles with every AirBnB booking they make. Just make sure to book your AirBnB here.
Work for Accommodations and Food
People usually spend most of their money on accommodations and food when they travel. While there are several budget travel options for lodging like staying in hostels, sharing a cheap AirBnB room, and even camping, you will still have to spend some money. But you can become a member of websites such as workaway.net and helpx.com and search for jobs to work in exchange for lodging and food. Jobs vary from working at a hostel to teaching someone a new language. The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a website listing work in different phases of farming around the world.
Putting yourself on a daily budget will help you manage your money better so it lasts longer. In the beginning of our travels, we get so excited about all the new opportunities, it makes it easy to spend all the money we have. But when you’re broke, you just literally cannot afford to spend. To make sure you are maximizing the money you have, divide it with the amount of days you are traveling. For example, if you have $2,000 USD for 90 days, you could only spend $22 USD daily including accommodations!
Eat where the locals eat, not at fancy, expensive restaurants. Cook your own food if it’s cheaper than eating outside. Stay at an accommodation that has a kitchen or includes breakfast and/or dinner in the price. Take an aluminum bottle with you that keeps your water cold and fill up where you’re staying before leaving for the day.
Take public transportation
Never take taxis unless it’s really necessary—and then, check to see if uber or another low cost car option is available. Not only is local public transportation cheaper, it’s more fun. Riding in the back of converted pickup trucks in Haiti and jam-packed metros in Mexico City is more adventurous than having a taxi service pick you up at the footstep of where you are. After all, traveling is about confronting the world, head on. Don’t be afraid to face it!