Our Practical Guide On How to Travel The World Cheap

In our heads, we all have a list of destinations we would like to visit. Unfortunately, it is typical to postpone these trips and the most common reason for this is money. But travel does not have to be expensive. In fact, like most other good things, it is free.

But free is not always easy. In fact, travelling the world cheap requires a lot of experience and flexibility. This is why have compiled this guide-- to let you in all of the ways you can save or make money while on the road and still have an amazing experience. We will cover how to go travelling using cheap or free transportation, accommodation and meals and will give you an overview of some of the best ways to make money on the road.

 

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Finding Cheap Transportation

Travelling the world with no money can be difficult. But it is in no way impossible. The world offers so many ways to find cheap transportation. And in some cases you can even travel for free.

Nine times out of ten, the cheapest mode of transportation would also be the slowest. But we don’t necessarily mean that you have to walk everywhere.

Planes, high-speed trains, buses and rented cars can end up eating up a large portion of your overall budget. On the other hand, hitchhiking, cycling and night trains can often cut your travel costs immeasurably.

Moreover, these days carpooling could be one of the best ways to travel the world cheaply. Services like Blablacar and Rome2Rio will allow you to meet locals, travel inexpensively and fairly quickly too. At the same time the risks and the long waits, traditionally associated with hitchhiking are significantly reduced.

Not only will you travel cheaper but slow movement does not mean a less pleasant journey. Taking your time while backpacking around the world with no money will give you that much more time to delve into the local culture and to experience the country you are in-- the people, the food, the landscapes, the language, and if that is not enough-- it’s driving culture. It will broaden and deepen your low cost travel experience and instill it with the sights, sounds and flavors of the place you are visiting.

Finally, while you are at your destination, make sure you travel as cheaply as possible. Free travel is rarely possible in cities. However, choosing public transportation (buses, trams, and sometimes the subway) rather than taxis or Uber will save your a lot of money. Make sure to ask for good deals and daily and weekly subscription passes for public transportation that could help you save a few more cents.

  1. Cheap flights research

But there are a few cases in which slow travel could be too slow. If you are travelling across the

globe to reach some far-off place, for example, it would take weeks (or more) for you to reach your final destination. And while this may come with a few benefits (see above), it could exhaust you before your originally intended trip has even began.

If you absolutely need to fly, there are still ways in which you can travel low cost.

 

    1. Check the low - cost airlines first
      In Europe, flying with low-cost carriers is the standard and one of the cheapest ways to travel. With one of the many no-frills airlines, you can fly across the continent for about the same fee as you would expect for a train service. EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to and from most European countries and are ideal for low-budget travel.In the US, Southwest Airlines is a good option, and AirAsia, Scoot, SpiceAir and IndiGo are good options for cheap travel in Asia.To travel the world cheaply with these airlines, make sure you keep an eye on their websites in order to find the cheapest deals.

       

    2. Flying during the holidays can be very expensive!
      Aviation is at its busiest around holiday-times-- in the peak of summer and around Christmas. Increased demand would mean that flight prices are also driven up. To travel without spending too much money, try to avoid booking flights during and around any national holidays.

 

Check out some of our other travel tips on finding an affordable flight.

 

Looking for cheap travel in Europe? Get a train pass.

Travelling cheaply in Europe can be intimidating. Like with other places around the world, you could be tempted to spend everywhere, but the prices tend to be much higher. When trying to travel in Europe cheap, every euro cent matter. One of the best ways to save money during your trip is to reduce your travel costs. This is where train passes come in.

Essentially, European rail passes are train tickets that allow you to hop on and off on trains around the continent (or a specific region) for a certain period of time. The biggest rail pass providers are Interrail and Eurail. 

Typically, Interrail passes give travellers a little more freedom to be spontaneous, while Eurail will cover a larger variety of journeys. The number of days you can travel will depend on the type of pass you purchase.

The cheapest way to use these passes is to choose to travel during just a few days within the entire period. For example, if you choose to do your travels in 7 days in a month, it will cost you around $550. The price is almost double if you opt for continuous travel, in which you get unlimited travel.

While spending this amount of money can damage your budget, it will allow you to have the freedom to be spontaneous. Want to save more money? Get creative- cut accommodation costs and sleep on the train, get off and start exploring.

While unlimited travel sounds tempting, you will likely want to spend some time at your destinations, so it becomes a little unrealistic. If you’d really like to get going to your next destination, you can always purchase a separate ticket.

In fact, perhaps the cheapest way of travelling around Europe on a budget is to use your rail pass for longer journeys and purchase separate tickets for shorter journeys, especially if you can book them in way in advance.



How to Travel the World on a Budget: Visit Cheaper Destinations!

If you want to travel the world cheap, certain destinations might not be appropriate. But the world offers a multitude of opportunities for affordable adventure and cheaper destinations are often as mind-bending as the more expensive ones.

To help you find the right destination for you, we surveyed more than 20 travel blogs to bring you a list of the 15 most affordable countries to visit. Our research took us from backpackers on a mission to live on under $10/day to glam travellers, who satisfied more expensive appetites as part of their trips. We averaged the prices they gave for each destination to give you a balanced idea of what you might expect to spend in the following countries:

Rank

Country

Average Price/Day

1

Iran

$10

2

India

$15

3

Pakistan

$16

4

Armenia

$20

5

Nepal

$21

6

Cambodia

$23

7

Laos

$25

7

Kyrgyzstan

$25

7

Georgia

$25

7

Cuba

$25

11

Ukraine

$26

12

Sri Lanka

$27

13

Vietnam

$28

13

Indonesia

$28

13

Bolivia

$28

 

These averaged prices always include accommodation, meals and transport. Some bloggers went diving, others on a safari. With the average value you can plan for the most typical stay.

Iran tops the table for the cheapest destinations in the world. Bear in mind, however, that most bloggers who visited Iran made it their aim to travel as cheaply as possible. Their experience often included couchsurfing and home cooking, among some of the other best ways to travel cheap around the world.


 

 

How to find cheap or free Accommodation

  1. House Sitting

    House sitting is perhaps one of the best ways to travel around the world cheaply (or even for free!). Essentially, you would be taking over someone else’s house (free accommodation!) for a short term (up to a week) or much longer-- more than a few months.

    In most cases, you would be expected to treat the house as if you were its original tenant-- you may have to take cute dogs on walks, maintain the house and make sure everything works right. It’s an amazing opportunity to have a home away from home without having to pay.

     

    House sitting will also allow you to cut your travel costs by allowing you to cook (and thus saving on untested restaurants). Not only that but you will also get to benefit from a local’s advice on how to spend your time as locals do.

     

    House-sitting is a great way to save money while travelling, but it can be difficult to get invited to someone’s house. The main reason is that, like most amazing opportunities, it can be very competitive and your hosts would need to trust you. That’s why house owners will almost invariably ask for references from your previous house-sitting experiences. This can make your first house-sitting opportunity difficult to arrange.

    To tackle this, try to arrange watching over the house of friends (or friends of friends, etc) before you start reaching out to strangers. That way you could have a few references and a solid house-sitting experience behind your back to help you with the interview that most house-owners would require before allowing you to stay at their home. If you get the chance to do it, make sure you leave the house in the same (or, preferably, better) condition than you found it. You will be surprised how much this extra effort will help you travel cheaper in the future.

     

  2. Couchsurfing

    If, for any reason, house-sitting is not an option for you, there are still a lot of opportunities for you to find a cheap way to spend the evening during your budget travel. CouchSurfing will pair you with people from around the globe and allow you to sleep on their couch, inflatable mattress, yoga mat or floor. 

    Please note that unlike house-sitting couchsurfing works best if you are a solo traveller. In fact, the level of difficulty of finding such accommodation rises with every additional person you travel with.

    Many of the recommendations to convince a host of inviting you to sleep at their place would overlap with those for house-sitting. Get at least a few recommendations, make sure you bring your “A” game to the interview, approach them well in advance and be as personal as possible. In all likelihood, your hosts will be looking for a responsible, considerate and amicable guest, even if it just for the short term.

    One of the amazing perks of couchsurfing, besides the cheaper travel, is the opportunity to spend time with a local on friendlier terms than the tourist business would often allow for. What is more, you can also introduce your own background and culture. Imagine your host’s delight if you treat them to a dish from your home country!


 

Cooking

A big chunk of our travel expenditures go towards meals. This is why, if you want to travel the world on a budget, it would do wonders for you if you can cut your food expenses. 

In some countries, the local food is an important part of the trip experience and you would want to try the local dishes. But you don’t have to eat out every time.

Perhaps the easiest way to save money from meals is by cooking at your accommodation. If you are house-sitting or couch-surfing, you would most likely have access to a kitchen. Make use of it!

Hotels usually wouldn’t house a kitchen, and only few hostels do. If you are staying at a hotel without a kitchen, you can still pack fresh sandwiches in your bag. 

But if you have to eat out and to travel cheap, make sure you make use of the less expensive lunch menus. You get bonus points if the meal you get is from a cheap local shop.

 

As an alternative, consider having a meal with the locals. Eatwith can pair you with a local cook, who would prepare an awesome meal for you, at a considerably cheaper price than comparable restaurant. In addition, you would have the opportunity to walk into someone’s home, spend an evening with them and breathe in the local way of life.


 

 

How to Earn Money While Travelling around the World

If anyone ever said you can only spend while traveling, they were very wrong. One of the cheapest ways to travel is by working while on the road. And there are so many ways of doing it.

 

  1. Teach a Language

    If you are reading this article, chances are that you feel very comfortable with your level of English. By teaching English or any other language overseas, you will not only be able to travel on a budget, but you could have the opportunity to end up with more money on your credit card than you started with.

    There are plenty of opportunities to begin. With a simple Google search, you can find hundreds, if not thousands, of teaching opportunities, mostly in East Asia. This is the area with the highest demand for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers. However, you can teach English anywhere where it is not a native language.

     

    To get started, you would likely need the following:

    • A bachelor’s degree
    • A TEFL (or any other ESL) certificate
    • Fluent English

    Previous experience and a teaching license can also significantly boost your application. Consider obtaining a license as it will likely end up paying for itself!

    How much can you earn teaching English? It’s difficult to say as there is not an agreed upon ESL salary. Some employers may pay you more but will leave accommodation and airfare to you. Others may pay slightly less but will take care of some or all of your hefty travel costs. You would also have to factor in how costly life in your country of choice would be. 

    As of 2019, some of the highest-paid teaching jobs are in the Middle East - the UAE and Saudi Arabia where a standard job would yield you around $4000/month, as well as free accommodation and airfare.

    And on top of that, you will have the opportunity to travel cheaply.

    As with any job contract, it is important to spend the time to double check what you are offered and what you would have to give back.

     

  2. Work in Hospitality

    There is more than one way of having your English skills help you travel around the world cheap. By working in the hospitality business, you could make a buck while spending time in a new country. Working in a hostel, bartending and waiting tables could all be very good options. In many places around the world tourism is seasonal and the number of vacant positions for all of the above positions rises dramatically in-season.

    These jobs can often be difficult, but they will give you the opportunity to earn money while exploring a new country. And by working abroad, you will also meet many fascinating locals and like-minded travelers.

     

  3. Work on a Farm

    If you like to travel off the beaten track and you don’t mind waking up early, this might be for you. Through WWOOF, you can find farm work in exchange for free accommodation and meals. Apart from allowing you to travel globally and on a budget, this sort of work will acquaint you with local country life and may be a window through which you can explore the more traditional aspects of local life.

     

  4. License Your Travel Photos

    This one requires a little more expertise. If you own a Digital SLR camera and know how to use it, you can make a very decent income by licensing your images to stock photo companies.

    Most of the images that you see online were not taken specially for the article you are seeing. Instead, someone licensed it for use in exchange for a fee.

    To make money through photography, all you need to do is snap the photographs, edit and upload them on one of the many stock image websites out there. If people like your photos, they will purchase the right to use it and allow you to travel farther and longer.

    In some cases, this could be the most organic way of making money, especially if you are crazy about taking high-quality pictures anyway.

     

  5. Passive Income

    In some cases, you may not even be forced to work in order to travel sustainably in the long term. One of the easiest ways to spend a long time abroad is by renting out or subletting your flat or room. This way, you will either drastically decrease your extra expenses (if you are renting) or arrange for a decent income (if you own your home, and especially if you live in Western Europe or the US). In fact, one of the most popular ways of making money while traveling is by putting your apartment up on Airbnb.

    If you own a blog, you can also passively fund your travels through affiliate programs. Once your site gets some steady traffic and the ads get clicks, you can more or less leave it be. Your income will steadily rise and you will be able to travel much cheaper.

     


 

Currency Conversion

It is nearly impossible to convert currency without losing some money to exchange rates. But there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

The first step towards saving money from money exchange is to have an accurate idea of how much your money is worth in the local currency according to the official exchange rate. This will allow you to compare rates at different exchange counters and choose the best one.

While you might like to convert some money first thing when you arrive, try to avoid exchanging at the airport, where the commission can be sky-high. Instead, wait out until you reach the city and find a local exchange center.

However, despite its own (sometimes hidden) withdrawal and commission fees, ATM conversion could be the best and safest way of converting money.


 

 

Learn from the Pros

Last year, I had the eye-opening opportunity to speak with Tom Perko, one of the most exciting travelers in the world. Tom circled the world (twice!) all while spending less than $10 a day. Because of his expertise on world travel, his TED talk on traveling on a buck has been watched nearly 6 million times. Here are a few tips for cheap travel he shared with SkyRefund:

  • Keep your money on your debit card in a bag around your waist. Even if it gets stolen, you can block your card, thus minimizing the damage.
  • Accept that you may be wrong. This will allow you to think outside of the box and come up with original ways to travel cheaper and better.
  • The most important thing you can carry with you on your budget trip is a smile and your common sense. These will open so many doors for you.

 

Want to Travel Even Cheaper? Make Use of Travel Hacks

  • If you are not sure if you need something, you probably don’t. It always helps to travel as lightly as possible. Not least because it will allow you to save money on air fares. And if you are travelling in countries where life is relatively cheaper, you may be able to purchase many necessities at much lower prices than in your home country.
    To drastically decrease your load, make a list of everything you think you may need. Then halve the number of items on the list. By doing so, you will end up with only the bare essentials. 
  • Double check your luggage. Make sure you have taken everything that you would need on the road. While some items might be less expensive abroad, you really should not waste money buying the most essential things while travelling.
  • Realize that you are on an adventure. This will allow you to be more flexible, to cut down on any unnecessary luxuries and to travel cheaper.
  • Get travel insurance. While initially this may seem like an extra expense, it will allow you to save tons of money if things go wrong.
    By getting travel medical coverage, for example, you would considerably lower your doctor’s costs while abroad. In some cases, insurance will even allow you to get medical evacuation.
    Moreover, if you get lost luggage coverage, your insurance will pay for any items you need if your bags get delayed or lost.
  • Trust the locals, they are usually the best tour guides. Locals can give you the best advice on how to travel the world cheap. Locals know all the buses and the hole-in-the-wall restaurants, where the food is cheap and delicious.
    If you’d like to take this further, speak to hotel staff as often as you can. It’s their job to know the answers of traveler’s most frequently asked questions.
  • Avoid spending in tourist areas. This is where the food and accommodation would be the most expensive. Local joints would more often than not carry a lot more of the local tradition and culture than a busy restaurant aimed at tourists.

 

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