How to Travel on a Shoestring Budget
People love to travel but it is one of those things that often gets put aside because it’s too expensive. Sure, traveling can get pricey; but these prices can significantly be brought down if you play your cards right. If you’re eager to hit the roads or the blue skies, here are some things that you can do if you’re on a tight budget:
#1 Watch the Airfare Search Engines
If you’re a fan of comparing airline tickets, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be using those ticket comparison websites. While these websites can often find good deals, you have to understand that they don’t work with every airline out there. Because of this, you’re probably missing out on some fantastic deals. For example, some airline companies, such as Ryanair and Easyjet, don’t often show up on these websites. These airlines alone can save you a good amount of money. The lesson here is to make sure that you check individual airline ticket websites as well.
#2 Stay for Free
There’s no reason to spend hundreds of dollars a night on a hotel room when you can basically stay for free just about anywhere in the world. While these stays can be free, common etiquette dictates that you should bring a gift for your host. If this sounds interesting, here are some things you can do:
Couch Surfing — This is probably the easiest way to stay for free. With couch surfing, you will sleep on a couch, bed, floor or whatever is available for the night. To find these couch surfing opportunities, there are a few reputable listing websites like – couchsurfing.org that can help connect you.
Global Freeloaders — If you don’t mind offering your home up for others to stay, this is another option to consider. Just like couch surfing, you can reserve and find homes in your traveling area that are willing to put you up for the night. In order to stay with the program, you must offer your home up within six months of signing up.
#3 Work on Vacation
You may be thinking that work and vacation shouldn’t be in the same sentence; however, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, it could lead to free meals, lodging and even sightseeing opportunities with the locals.
These opportunities can range from five-star resorts to smaller hostel rooms the size of a closet. With thousands of gigs around the globe, your options are truly endless. To get you on the right path, here are some organizations you may want to consider:
Caretaker’s Gazette — This useful resource costs $30 annually, and each membership includes thousands of job listings around the world, the situation you’ll be put in and what job has to be done.
Help Exchange — Those who don’t want to pay an annual fee may want to consider this helpful resource. Similar to the Caretaker’s Gazette, you can browse thousands of potential opportunities.
#4 Be Wise
Even if you want to spend money at a hotel, restaurant and on sightseeing, that’s okay. What you’re going to want to make sure of is that you’re getting the best deal possible.
For example, instead of eating out three times a day, consider purchasing basics for breakfast and lunch, such as bagels, cereal and bread for sandwiches. That way, you only have to spend money for dinner. If you’re in a touristy kind of town, keep your eyes peeled for coupons and deals. These coupons can either be found in the hotel room or lobby.
As for sightseeing, most local tourist spots will always have some sort of deal going on. Be sure to check out their website, ask them over the phone or search for ways to save on the Internet. You’d be surprised at what comes up.
As you can see, traveling on a shoestring budget isn’t that hard. While it’s going to take a bit of work, it’s going to potentially save you thousands in the long haul.