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Travel Budget Bible

In 2019, budget travel trends like a crazy Trump tweet. That’s probably because most people lack gobs of money. Undoubtedly, if opulent traveling was cheap, we’d all opt for the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Nevertheless, it’s not your imagination or just your Instagram feed. Americans are traveling more than ever, especially to outside the United States.

Free Views Are The Best Views

Whether that’s Millennials desperate to flash the most FOMO inducing pictures or a younger generation innately understanding the many benefits of leaving their little pond, young people are getting out there. Whether your sights are set on becoming the most envied person on Social or your soul cries out for an adventure “to find yourself,” traveling the world will make anyone a better person.

“Someone Has To Save Our Skins. Into The Garbage Chute, Fly Boy”

Traveling on a budget only improves the chances of you coming back a more patient, understanding and enlightened person. Nothing stretches the boundaries of your patience like a four-hour wait for unknown reasons on a windy, mountainous road. Few experiences will open your eyes to how good you’ve got it than the sight of an eight year-old-kid selling coconut water in backed-up traffic. As the savvy say, “Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.”

You get it; traveling is awesome and turns you into a Jedi but how to do it without leaving yourself destitute? Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions on how to see the world without breaking the bank.

Amsterdam's Hobbiton, Free Of Charge

Cut The Fat

The most expensive aspects of traveling are transportation and accommodation. If you can figure out ways to alleviate these two bulky burdens, you’ll be well on your way to a bargain-basement voyage. So that means buses or boats over planes, and hostels or Airbnbs rather than hotels.

Unfortunately, most people suffer the unavoidable, only-so-many-vacation-day windows and can’t afford a beleaguered bus or boat ride. Regrettably, flexibility works like a charm in the battle for economical globetrotting. Airlines know the majority of people are forced into flying on set days and they turn the screws whenever they can.

If you can jigger your schedule, many opportunities for reasonable flights arise. One useful resource comes in the form of cheap flight aggregators like Scott’s Cheap Flights. They find value for you if you don’t have the time to trawl the interwebs for deals. Another useful website is Skyscanner. They allow you to search for the cheapest flights from your location to anywhere in the world! There are cheap flights out there, finding them just takes some diligence, planning, and some luck.

The Third World Comes With Difficulties But Also Rewarding Experiences At Dirt Cheap Prices

Home Away From Home

Sometimes flying to faraway places costs an arm and leg no matter how you go about it. Then it falls upon finding cheap accommodations to balance the scales. Many might think that hostels offer far and away the cheapest options, often that isn’t the case. That’s because hostels essentially charge you for the opportunity to meet people.

Often, the vaunted “hostel atmosphere” destroys any semblance of value, sleeping in a room with 20 other people should earn. Some hostels in Amsterdam go for more than $90 for the right to sleep with 25 other people and people pay it! Partly because cheaper accommodations in the thick of things might require a kidney donation and hostels give you more opportunity to meet people than Tinder.

Nothing Like Rooftop Riding To Save Money And Make Friends

“A Vacation, After All, Merely Rewards Work. Vagabonding Justifies It”

However, if the idea of sleeping with 20 party people in one room makes you shiver-cringe, other options remain. Couchsurfing isn’t for everyone but it presents the cheapest means for finding a roof over your head full-stop. Also, it could conceivably pair you with an enthusiastic guide for next to nothing. Just don’t go into it thinking that!

Don’t be a dick by writing people with the expectation of using their couch as you would a hotel. Bring something to the table and actually read their profile before firing off a personalized message. In popular cities, couch-hosts get slammed with hundreds of copy-paste messages. Treating a potential couch-host as you would a family friend you’ve never met goes a long way.

And You Thought Your Apartment Was Cramped

Kitchen With A Roof

No invention changed the world of budget travel more than Airbnb. It offers the best combination of comfort and cost-effectiveness, especially if you’re traveling as a pair. Hotels fail budget travelers mostly due to the lack of a kitchen. If you’d like to really stretch your dollar, cooking for yourself is key. Local starches, meats, and vegetables cut the food bill to next to nothing and allow you to learn about provincial provisions.

Yes, traveling loses some value if you can’t sample the local cuisine. But if you look hard enough, regionals rewards on a budget often reveal themselves. Well-planned meal missions won’t empty the wallet and award travelers the satisfaction of a hard found food treasure. Most importantly, finding a room in someone's home, outside the city center, often trumps a hostel in both price and comfort. You’d be amazed at how cheaply you can find a place if you’re willing to take public transportation to the areas of interest.

Possibly Obvious Quick Hitters

  • Choose your travel destination based on your budget. Yes, everyone wants to go to Iceland or Switzerland but keep in mind a single beer can cost $20 in those places!

  • Prague’s beauty rivals anywhere in Europe and proffers brews for $1. Earth is rather large. Go to countries where every meal brings a smile, if only because $2 for the best fried rice you’ve tasted will imprint a tasty food memory.

  • Pair up. Traveling with a friend shrinks costs, especially accommodations. 50% off helps everyone.

  • Find free things to do. Parks, street fairs, hikes, even museums favor the $free.99 lifestyle. Few things in life beat getting lost wandering an unfamiliar city, just take the proper precautions.

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