Is it just me, or does everyone else seem to be travelling the world, living their best life and taking Instagrams one can only dream of? How are they doing it? Armed robbery? Drug dealing? Inheritance?
All of the above?
They might be, but I bet most of them are just on a budget. Not the scary kind of budget, that comes with a spreadsheet and saving plan. I mean the kind of budget that forces you to choose between a night out and food for the week. Broke AF. Nada. Zilch.
Even with a budget like that, you can travel. I promise. Let’s bring out your inner bargain hunter and go pop some tags…
How To Actually Get There
This is not where I tell you to hitchhike on the side of the road. I’ve watched too much TV to let that shit go down.
Instead, when searching for flights, use Skyscanner to see what dates are cheaper to fly. It’s also best to clear your cookies and use a VPN. This means you can change the country the website thinks you are making the booking from. Cheeky tip, Malaysia, Bulgaria and India are some of the cheapest countries to book flights from, but you didn’t hear that from me.
If you’re going somewhere that can be accessed by train or bus, even better. Look into rail passes, night trains or services like the Greyhound bus. I’m not going to lie, they suck. A part of your soul is likely to die during the voyage, but it’s so cheap and will be worth it when you finally arrive!
Better still, do a road trip. Either in your own car or hire one. If there’s a group of you, this can be a way cheaper alternative.
Finding Somewhere To Stay
Accommodation doesn’t have to be expensive either. In fact, most of the time it can be free. Sites like Workaway, allow you to do agreed work for a host in exchange for food and lodgings.
If you just want all play and no work, I respect that. Try sites like Couchsurfing or MindMyHouse. Both of these platforms offer totally free accommodation for a one-off verification fee.
If you fancy spending a little, then hostels are your best bet. Cheap, fun and full of cool people. If there’s 2 or more of you, then try Airbnb as sometimes that can work out cheaper.
If that all sounds like too much hassle, go and stay with that estranged aunt that moved away, a family friend or anyone you vaguely know really, so long as they live somewhere cool!
Do Everything At Once
For the no nonsense travellers among us, how about a working-holiday job? These are amazing for having work, play and travel all rolled into one.
You can apply for jobs through Camp America, WWOOF or Backpackerjobs. You could also search for work as an Au Pair; holiday rep; tour guide; cruise ship worker; or teaching English. Most of these jobs tend to include pay, accommodation and food, making you actual travel goals.
Fill Up Everywhere
Food. Forever the most important part. This is how to eat cheaply when you’re always on the move and would rather spend your money on beer!
If you’re staying at a hostel that serves breakfast, load that shit up. Eat until you can’t eat anymore and smuggle some in your bag for later. If not, always have plenty of snacks and carbs on hand for when hanger strikes. Energy bars are always a winner and 2-minute noodles are your new BF.
If you want to try local food, then street markets and farmers markets are cheap and delicious. Be sure to hit up the clearance section of supermarkets and bakery’s too.
Places To Go And Sights To See
Whilst you can get the odd good deal, it’s best to avoid paid tours or excursions if you’re on a budget. Instead do it yourself.
Research where you’re going and get all the tips online. Maybe join a free walking tour, or use sites like Greeters, to see a city up close and personal. If you’re staying in a hostel, see if they have any organised trips, or ask the other travellers what they would recommend.
Better yet, ask the locals. They will probably have a way cooler option for every tourist attraction.
Image Source: GIPHY, Phoenix.