People are always asking me what I do for work or how I am able to travel so often. Well my friends, I’m here to share my knowledge with ya! I am doing no different from you. The main difference is:
- First and foremost, gain the understanding that travel DOES NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE. It definitely can be, but it all depends on the type of traveler you are. So figure that one out first. Are you a chilling by a five star resort, sipping cocktails kinda gal? Or a living like the locals adventurer?
- Ditch the fancy hotels and resorts
- Travel somewhere where your currency is strong
- Budget your trip out BEFORE you go
With that being said, let’s dive a little deeper.
Lets talk flights
I’m not entirely sure why, but people have this idea that you need thousands of dollars to leave the country. Not true. As a traveler from the United States, you can purchase a flight for as little OR LESS than domestic flights. A few pointers for snatching up that cheap flight? BE FLEXIBLE. It’s all about the flexibility of your travel days. Use websites like Skyscanner, ITA matrix, google flights and Scotts cheap flights to cross check that you are getting the best possible price. If you use a credit card, think about getting a travel card so you can build up points. This way you can get free flights from them, as well as other benefits such as: free global entry, TSA precheck, and free access to airport lounges. Check out the best travel credit cards as of April 2020 https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/travel.
I’m not one to stay in a fancy resort or hotel. Thank gosh, that saves me A LOT of money. I religiously go to https://www.hostelworld.com/ to find the cheapest hostel around me. Depending where you are, they can be as cheap as 3$ a night to a couple hundred. I typically spend between 10$-20$ a night for a shared room in a hostel. There’s private room options as well, but they’re slightly more expensive. A lot of people are skeptical of hostels, maybe it has something to do with that horror movie that came out? I don’t know. I’m here to tell you, THEY ARE PERFECTLY SAFE. Now with that said, obviously do your research. Read reviews, check the locations and you’ll be dandy! Hostels are a great way to meet people when backpacking, especially solo traveling. I’ve even had my mom stay in them with me when we traveled together (I think she will appreciate me withholding her age, but ya know she’s your typical Karin). She quickly became the hostel “mumsie”. You’ll meet some pretty awesome people in hostels. They hold a lot of free events like bbq nights, movie nights, free yoga, game nights, bar crawls and local tours all for super cheap! It’s a great place to share travel tips, embrace the local cuisine while having a family style dinner (cheap, money saving option), and make lifelong friends.
You can always check out sites like https://www.couchsurfing.com/https://www.couchsurfing.com/ and https://www.airbnb.com/ for cheaper options as well. Couchsurfing is where locals allow you to sleep on their couch for free. I’ve personally never done this, but hey the options there. As for airbnb, if I’m being honest it’s not my favorite website to use. They throw so many extra fees in there for cleaning, extra guests and service fee’s….whatever that even means. I feel like it ends up being just as expensive or sometimes even more than hotels.
Travel where your currency is strong
Now I don’t typically let this steer me away from visiting a country, but if you’re REALLY on a tight budget check out a country that you’re currency is stronger than the local currency…ya know where you can get a bang for your buck!
A good way to save on food when traveling is to go to the local food store and cook your meals yourself. If you’re staying at a hostel, a majority of the time there is a kitchen for guests to use, as well as free breakfast or a least a cheaper option for meals. Try and embrace the culture like a true native. You can even try things like mealsharing.com where you join a local for a meal. Cheaper than going out to dinner, but more exciting than eating in. The options are endless!
Set a goal for how much you want saved for a trip months ahead of time. Each paycheck, set aside just a couple bucks. Skip your morning Starbucks run, you don’t NEED any new clothes, limit going out to eat, pick up some extra shifts at work or get a side hustle going. It will add up quickly, trust me! Now before you leave, figure out on average how much you will need for accommodation, food, tours, and flights per day then multiple that by the total amount of days you’ll be traveling. This way you have a set amount in mind and can keep your self on track each day. If you spend a little more than planned one day, pull the reins back the next.