Consider this your guide to travelling around the world in 80 days millennial style. If you’re itching to set off on an adventure but your bank account resembles a three year old’s piggy bank, fear not. Sure, if you’re staying in plush hotel rooms and living it up, cruising through town in Ubers, that’s not cheap. But if you do it smart and sacrifice a little luxury for a world of sights, you’ll be well on your way to an epic adventure and stories worthy of their very own novel.
Travel Off Peak
This is the keystone to any affordable travel adventure. Considering flights can be your priciest piece to your adventure, it’s worth contemplating when to go. Prices are based on demand and whether for seasonal or fluctuating reasons, off peak is the time when not as many people want to go. If you want to fly in and out on the cheap, this is the time to do so. It sounds like a no brainer, but so many people are weathered by the perception of it being an unpopular time for a reason. Come on now, let’s be real.
Given some spots are no fun in the dead of winter or in the sweaty throngs of the wet season, most places are temperate if you pack accordingly. If you’re going to be spending your time in museums and wandering the streets you’ll get a more authentic experience when the tourists aren’t clogging things up. Oh and you’ll save yourself plenty of cash.
Work Your Way Around
Often the arrangements don’t offer pay exactly, but for board, dinner or wonderful experience, it’s well worth your time. You can help nurture a garden in Italy with locals on hand, earn your keep at a hostel in Guatemala or even pick grapes straight from the vines in country USA. Workaway is a platform that joins visitors like yourself with hosts that need an extra hand. It’s a great way to do as the locals do and save a dollar or two on dinner. Not to mention the people you can meet through these great experiences.
Sleep On The Couch
No, I’m not suggesting you sleep on the hostel couch. Who knows what mischief has gone on there. Instead why not take your travelling game to new budget heights and couch surf. The couch surfing community is an extraordinary network of like-minded people, offering a bed for next to nothing. You’ll encounter plenty of foreigners and make connections for life. Have a browse for yourself here.
Not just a lesson in morality, but being loyal actually pays off. If you fly with the same airline, why shouldn’t you reap the rewards? Loyalty schemes are built for frequent flyers and if that’s what you want to be, then start acting like it. If you need a travel card why not look into one that accrues points for you, there’s a whole stack of options from Virgin Velocity to Qantas Frequent Flyer and beyond. Not to mention, if you’re loyal to small restaurants chances are you’ll get to know the staff, and if you’re lucky land yourself some cheeky free drinks.
Call In Favours
That colleague from work that lives in Edinburgh? Call him up. Your sister’s exchange mate in Italy? Write her way ASAP. Once you get over the fear of asking, this is the very best way to travel on the cheap. For all the times you’ve met someone abroad or from overseas and they’ve offered you that lifetime pass to stay with them when you’re in town – now’s the time to cash it in. Not only will you save a nights rent, you’ll get a local’s tips to your city du jour. And maybe even a drinking buddy.
That red-eye flight doesn’t do much for your circadian rhythm but oh boy, will it save you cash. Forgo comfort for the night and travel between destinations overnight. You’ll save cash and, if you tire yourself out accordingly beforehand, sleep like a baby. Disclaimer: Do not try this when hungover, it will ruin any hopes of exploring the new city the next day and is likely to turn you into a horribly irritable human.
See Cities On Foot
Did someone say free walking tours?! Not yet, but here I am saying it now. These are a budget traveller’s paved way to roaming success. Rather than stumbling about on your own and missing the history or paying an arm, a leg and your dignity for a paid tour; free walking tours are where it’s at. Sure, there’s no cool little portable contraptions but you will get to see a new side to your destination. The tour guides operate on tips so it’s not totally free, but it does mean they work extra diligently for your cash. Worth every piece of foreign currency you have on your person. Plus, you’ll get to burn of those holiday carbs and feel less guilty.
Image sources: NBC, 20th Century Fox