Hello! Today I’m excited to announce a guest post from Trevor McDonald with some great tips on traveling the world on a budget. Trevor is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed “Travelholic”. He enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him planning his next trip or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable. You can learn more about Trevor on his website.
Have you always wanted to travel the world but thought that kind of thing was reserved for the financial elite? That’s exactly what I thought until I started planning my first trip.
For those of you who are wondering… no, I didn’t hit the Lotto jackpot or become the beneficiary of a large inheritance. But while I’m waiting on news that my distant and estranged billionaire relative has passed, I’m traveling the world.
And here’s the best part of this story: you can too.
When you learn how to cut some serious corners, you can fit more than you’d ever imagined into your budget. Much of what I’m going to share trades luxury for experience, but isn’t experience what travel is all about anyway?
If you’re ready, let’s explore my 7 best tips for traveling the world on a budget.
1. Don’t fly when you can drive
It’s fast and easy to hop on board an airplane, but that’s not always the cheapest option. If you’re looking to see the world on a budget, you may want to consider driving instead.
Factor in the costs involved, including gas and vehicle maintenance, before you make a decision. And in many cases, the savings you see from driving may extend throughout the trip as you avoid public transportation. And with your own car, you’ll always have the technology you need at your fingertips.
2. Stay for free whenever you can
Naturally, if you have the option of staying with friends and family, that’s the way to go. But that’s not the only way to stay for free. If you’re willing to little manual labor, there are many places you can stay without spending a dime. Pitch in to renovate a temple in Sri Lanka, teach English in Bali or work on conserving eco-agriculture in Costa Rica. The options are seemingly endless.
3. List your home with Airbnb
Did you know that you can actually make money while you’re traveling? This advice is a must if you live in a popular vacation spot. If you’re going to be away for a week or more, consider renting your place on Airbnb. At the very least, it should offset some of the cost of your hotel or vacation rental.
4. Keep your schedule flexible
You’ll always get the best rates when you have a flexible schedule. Even if you only have a day to give on either end of your trip, it could equate to hundreds of dollars saved.
If you’re looking for a flight, monitor sites like CheapAir and Skyscanner for the best rates. And if you can, try to book 70 days in advance. According to CheapAir, this is the optimal time to book your flight.
5. Travel light to save on baggage fees
As airfare continues to become more and more competitive, we’re able to snag better deals on a flight… but then we pay dearly for baggage. In 2017 alone, airlines collected over $4.5 billion in baggage fees.
If you can get away without checking any luggage, you can save a lot of money. If not, just travel as light as possible. It’s not unusual for an airline to charge $75 for luggage that goes over its weight limits, so keep your suitcase light.
6. Travel overnight to save on lodging
If you’re planning to take a long flight or train ride, try to book it, so you travel overnight. This way, you can sleep on the plane or train instead of paying for lodging that night. So instead of arriving at 8 p.m. and having to pay for the full day, you just show up when it’s time to check in the next day and make the most of your stay.
7. Plan your splurges carefully
Even on a budget, you’ll want to splurge a bit here or there. Maybe you have one day each week where you live like typical tourists and spend money at restaurants and expensive attractions. Just be sure to plan for these things in your budget. This makes all the corner cutting worthwhile.
When it comes down to it, most of us would rather travel the world without having to worry about money. But if you wait for that day to come, you may be stuck where you are forever. Instead, follow these budget-friendly tips to help you travel without breaking the bank.