Traveling on minimum budget is very possible.
Think you need to be rich to travel a lot? Do you believe that exploring exotic locations with pristine sandy beaches that offer stunning sunsets are only for CEO’s, celebrities, and lottery winners?
Most people think finding the cheapest flight while they’re looking, along with the cheapest hotel they see and a cheap car rental is the best way to save money on a trip. While this might be slightly true, there are much more efficient ways to travel cheap. I also want to point out that all the sites I mention below are good choices in my personal opinion, I didn’t recieve any kind of sponsership for mentioning any specific website. So without further ado, here’s my list tips to travel cheaper than ever!
Forget hotels, try a hostel!
This one may frighten some people, the people who stay may be criminals or creepy/shady individuals with negative agendas, but this is simply not true. The chances of running into someone dangerous at a hostel are no greater than a hotel or resort. Most are just international college students who are traveling as well. A great site to start your hostel search:
Overseas? Don’t just check one airport.
Sometimes, choosing 3 months in advanced and picking the cheapest time of the year aren’t enough. Making sure to fly to your destination during slow season is a big money saver of course. But also try switching airports, both departing and arriving. You may find the airport that’s an hour or 2 away, might be several hundred dollars cheaper!
Not going overseas? Try car pooling!
There are many sites dedicated exactley for this purpose! Just make sure to use good judgement and travel with someone who has a good reputation. Here are some of the sites:
Not enough money for a hostel and/or food?
There are sites out there that cater to people who want to get more close and engaging with the locals which is a good thing! With Wwoofing you stay at someones residence for a certain amount of time (could be a few days, could be a few months) and you help out with their local business or farm, and in exchange you get free lodging and more often than not free meals! Couchsurfing is friendly people who will allow you to stay a few nights and might show you around town, however, while the lodging is usually free, you normally have to pay for your own meals. A surprise fact for americans: outside North America, most family restuarants will give away their leftover right before closing, so long as you are polite and ask nicely! 🙂
If you want to go a little more upscale:
The more the merrier!
This doesn’t just stand true with birthday parties and bachelor parties, it also can stay true with traveling. Booking a flight, bus, vacation rental, and cruise can be a huge money saver for the following reasons:
- Almost every airline loves a full plane, saves them money on not wasting gas, so they will love you and reward you with a discount if you help them fill it with group airfare!
- Rented a limo for prom with a bunch of friends because you had no money? Same logic should apply when looking for a bus for ground transportation for long distances.
- A rental place in Miami, FL might go for around $2000, got 10 friends? Your price drops to $200!
- Many travel services offer big discounts for group travel.
- Traveling by yourself or with a buddy or special someone? Go All-Inclusive!
Going all-inclusive may look expensive at first, but when you look at the details, you are getting a lot for your money. These usually include flight, hotel, food, and alochol all in one surprisingly low price!
- Dont forget coupons…. And groupons!
Groupon.com isn’t JUST for groups. It’s a great site for finding deals even just for youself. When looking for an all-inclusive stay, I always go to this site first.
Why not make money while you travel?
House sitting and car transportation are great temp jobs! What happens when a millionaire or billionaire goes to the French Polynesia for a month? They hire someone to house sit! That could be you! Some people also like to buy cars…. that are 10 states away! They live in California and the one special car they want is in Ohio, it’s cheaper for them to have it driven across rather than towed, but they don’t have time to fly into Cleveland to get it, this is where you come in! Here’s some sources to get you started:
Get a job!
No, I don’t mean it in the same way your parents did when you turned 16! Airlines, cruise ships, and hostels are almost always looking for help. You can get a temp job as a travel au pair, a contract crew member on a cruise ship, or a short-term job at a hostel. If you’re a foreigner in the country you’re staying at the hostel in (let’s say you’re american or japanese and staying a hostel in Paris, a place known for international tourism) the hostel might greatly appreciate you helping if your native language is popular. And while a work visa is usually needed for a paycheck, if you offer work in trade for free lodging, you can skip the visa part and just simply stay for free!
Frequent flyer miles baby!
“But, I almost never fly!”
That’s fine! You don’t need to have flown a day in your life to rack up frequent flyer miles. There are many credit card companies that offer cards with frequent flyer mile perks. The one I currently use is Capital One Ventures and offers 1.5x points on everything dollar you spend regardless of what you use it for. And like Ventures, many of no annual fee of any kind and work just like your normal credit card. So why use a normal card and get nothing in return? I’ve switched strictly to cards that offer frequent flyer miles, there’s no point in NOT using one!
Don’t forget, you can also volunteer as well!
Peace corps, red cross, habitat for humantity, along with many other organizations are available for volunteer activities! Though, many of these require you to pay for the flight.
While many of these sites were made for Americans that are traveling, most of these I’ve listed are MADE for travelers in general and will cater to most of the world. And if not, don’t forget, there’s always search engines! If you feel I missed something important, please feel free to add it in the comments section below!
So, while traveling in the lap of luxury might be for the super rich, getting to the same destination is not! Be safe and enjoy your travels!