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How to Travel the World on a Budget

The first thing you need if you hope to travel the word on a budget is flexibility. In fact, I have a term that describes the traveler with the proper mind set for truly cheap travel. I call such a person a travel opportunist. This means someone who is willing to let things go a bit and choose the cheaper options as he or she travels, letting random chance make many of the decisions based on a few basic criteria, which always include cost.

It doesn't mean you will never go where you want to go or do what you want to do. If, for example, you would like to travel to India, Argentina and Spain someday, you just get your finances and time in order and see which is the best deal at the moment. For example, you might check for last minute deals to India, and find a great price on a flight or package. Or it might be another destination that is most affordable at the moment. Due to changing prices of airfare, special deals, currency fluctuations and other factors, different countries become cheaper or more expensive to travel to from year to year. So why not see them all, but wait for the best time for each.

When you travel the world on a budget in this way, you still get to go to many or all of the places on your wish list eventually. The difference is that you can do more or do them all sooner because you don't have to spend as much time making and saving the money for the trips. If you spend half as much, you can go twice as many places on the same money, right?

In addition to looking at all the costs of each destination (airfare, hotels, meals and transportation on the ground), look for opportunities to save while you are there. Granted, there will be some things that you are willing to pay the price for and you should do so since you may only be there once. But there are always other events, activities, adventures, and side-trips that are more-or-less optional, so look for the deals.

For example, if you want to do something on the ocean in Chile, and you could have fun on a whale tour, a trip to an island, a jet-ski adventure or a fishing trip, just choose the one that costs the least. Often we don't really know which will be the most entertaining or fulfilling in any case, so you might choose the best option even as you save a bundle. Be a travel opportunist.

There are other tricks to travel the world on a budget. Lunches, for example, are cheaper than dinners in most places, even for the same amount of food. So why not make lunch the big meal of the day and snack for dinner? You might also consider buying the makings for a small picnic and visiting a park or other outdoor area. This can cost half of what a restaurant meal does, and might even be more interesting.

Stay in hostels if you are traveling alone, and you can rent a bed for the night for half or less what a hotel room would cost. In addition to the savings on the room, you will meet seasoned travelers from around the world, who are not only interesting, but may have a lot of knowledge about how to save money in the country you are in. Also, you can share costs for excursions and make them into a social event. I once spent the day traveling in the back of a pickup truck to the glaciers of Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador, with an Israeli and two French travelers. It cost me just $15 including lunch, because the cost was split four ways (and we had a great time trading stories).

To travel the world on a budget, take advantage of whatever opportunities arise.

Other Pages:

United States Travel
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Cheap Solo Vacations
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Everything About Travel | Travel the World on a Budget