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
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
10 Cheap Vacations