Travel the world on a budget

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Most of us who want to travel long term are keen to learn how to travel the world on a budget. There is a lot to say about learning how to travel the world on a budget so this will be a long post. I know many ways to save money for travel so I will break this up to make it easier for you to read.

Tip read: Alternative travel ideas

There are ways you can save on air fare, collect miles for airfare, boat travel and how to get hotel and accommodation discounts, get free accommodation and ways to travel cheaply by land.

Air fare

First off, if you haven’t already, check out my post on how to land yourself cheap flights. This is a great starting point for how to land cheaper than usual flights. It is very basic and can be done by anyone with a spare bit of time. The basic points of the article are;

1. Checking deal websites such as Holiday Pirates

2. Sign up to a credit card which can earn you air miles. (Often you get a huge bonus for signing up that can half, or even cover, the cost of your airline ticket.)

3. Compare costs on Skyscanner. Just because you know Qatar Airways fly to Thailand, it does not mean that they are necessarily the cheapest airline to fly with on your dates.

4. Check the carriers own site. Okay so it turns out Qatar Airways was the cheapest on your dates? Great. Head to their own site and compare the cost there. Maybe they have a discount code listed on their sit you can use to save some money.

5. Join their mailing list too. If you can wait a while to book then do that, you will likely get codes by email to save some money.

6. If you are in a rush then Google your airline name for discounts. For example ‘Qatar Airways discount codes.’ You will be surprised how often you land one.

7. If you think you can get the flight even cheaper look on Google ITA. You can change your city of booking to try cut down the cost even more. (This does not change the city you fly from, it is just a way to make the search engine think you are located in another country and perhaps eligible

These are the basic tips for beginners. If you are willing to learn you can take some short courses, join a ‘free flight’ club or read books on how to save even more, or even how to get totally free flights (usually through the points hacking system.) If you haven’t got the time to look into some of these more complex methods and want to quickly learn how to reduce your airfare cost before your next flight you can check out this $7 guide.

If you are a blogger you can learn to travel on sponsorship 

Travel the world on a budget

Boat travel

Picture a boat sailing around Europe in the gorgeous summer sun. Then winter comes. The tourists dry up and the boat makes no money. Well this doesn’t happen. The cruise ships usually travel across The Atlantic and cruise around the Caribbean for a while, at least until it is warm enough to go back to the Mediterranean.

Travel the world on a budget

The glamorous special term for this is ‘repositioning.’ You can book yourself on to a repositioning cruise for very little money. I’ve heard of families sailing from south Africa to Italy, stopping in lots of African countries and European islands on the way, for almost no money at all. I actually read a blog post where the costs worked out to be less per day than you would spend living in your house back home.

Tip read: How to find cheap flights

Repositioning cruises are a great way to travel the world on a budget, especially for families. I have heard from US citizens who had sailed to Japan on one of these for much, much less than it would have cost them to fly. Probably less restriction on baggage too!

Free accommodation

House-sitting

House-sitting is a great way to see the world. Not only are you usually only paying a one time fee to join the website, you are going to find some real badass places on offer. You could be living up in a 5-star pad for absolutely nothing. HOW I hear you asking… How does it work. Basically you are looking after the home of someone else. They do not want to leave it empty for whatever reason so they let you live there for free to take care of it. Usually it comes with a few minor tasks like feeding a cat, watering a plant or cleaning the floors. You catch my drift. So where do you find these house-sitting gigs?

Connections

Some of the best house-sits I have seen are through making online connections. I have a bunch of groups I am in for people who work online and often others offer out their places to each other in exchange for walking their dog, and so on.

Find out which groups I make connections in in my $10 traffic boost course

Websites

I mentioned before you can join websites to find house-sits. You can find some pretty awesome places on them, and you just contact the owners and offer your services. You need to be pretty flexible with this, rather than have your own set dates its best to work with the owners. This helps you get better ratings and are more likely to get accepted in the future. I know a woman who house-sat her way around the world for a year without paying for accommodation once.

Click here to check out housecarers.com

travel the world on a budget
Housecarers

I really like this site. It offers the people with houses a chance to actually browse for house-sitters too! This means people could be coming to you for help, and you aren’t doing all the chasing! If you are looking to list your house to make money while you travel, you can do so for free. If you want to look for places to stay you are paying only £30.00 per year!

Trustedhousesitters.com

This is another house-sitting website with a great reputation.



I  have found there to be a lot more places listed on Trustedhousesitters. I even found someone looking for a housesitter in Singapore in a swanky pad for a year! Imagine living in the thick of it in such a beautiful place for free. This membership is only £89.00 a year or £7.42 a month, you would save that much on your first house-sit.

Tip read: 9 jobs you can do to travel the world as a remote worker

Couchsurfing

You could consider couchsurfing your way around the world. You can find many websites offering this kind of deal. You basically crash one someone else’s couch if they have space for you at the time. You can also make connections to do the same thing, but you may be offered a bed at least if you know the person!

Travel by land

Once you reach your destination try to ditch flights. For example, in Thailand, you can travel so cheaply if you travel by land. You can save even more money by taking a night bus or sleeper train, because you save on that nights accommodation too. This is a trick I used regularly in Thailand to save money and my friend used it to save money in Australia.

travel the world on a budget
Travel at night to save money

Click here to get your travel insurance before you go

Shop around

Never accept the first price you are given for something. This is especially true in South East Asia when it comes to accommodation, shopping and travel. They are always likely to have bumped the price up a little and expect you to bargain. Know you stuff too, never negotiate a price for one of those open back trailer buses in Thailand, they know then that you aren’t aware the cost is only 20 baht wherever you want to go (within reason.)

Click here to order the best price guaranteed travel money

I have a lot more tips, and a lot more detail about each method, but I’ll save those for other posts.

How do you best stay on budget while you travel? Skyscanner have their own budget travel tips here.

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52 Comments

  • This is such a great resource. I believe in the philosophy of – ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. The ideas you listed out are really useful. That’s how I have been able to travel so much in past decade. I have still not tried out couchsurfing though!

  • Awesome post! As a college student, I’m always trying to find ways to save money when travelling. Have never heard of holiday pirates before but will definitely be checking them out! Will also be trying out the house sitting strategy for fining accommodation!

  • All of these are solid pieces of advice and, perhaps most important, a philosophy of travel. If you are burning hot, you can’t stay on fire for long. You have to look and look again for the best deals and double check before dropping large sums of cash.

    • That is right. If you want to go long term it is essential to be looking around and picking the best one for your budget

  • As travelling is high cost hobby and we really search how to save money and spend it on our next trips. Your blog helps us to save atleast some bucks. Sky scanner I will try. Also I have heard that if we delete all cookies if we searching again then also we get some awesome deals. House sitting concept is new for me and I will work on it definitely.

    • I am glad I have given you some new ideas to take away and try out. I have friends who swear by the housesitting – it is a great way to see a country for a longer period of time too, to get to know the place well

  • Wow that’s a pretty cool list with many good points. Many of them are even for me new, since I usually have my standardized program when it comes to travel planning. I really like Point 6 – googling airline name for discounts. This is an excellent tip, I will try this out. Thank you for sharing all these great information!

  • There are some great ideas here, especially about airfare. The pricing for airfare seems so complicated and I always feel like I am getting ripped off so these are tips are especially useful to me. And I would have never thought of house sitting as a way to save money on accomodations. Every penny saved on these things is more money to do things at your destinations, which is really why I go places.

    • That’s exactly how we see it, we could put that cash to something really fun and exciting rather than pay more on accommodation when we don’t need to

  • Some fantastic tips here! I always try top travel on a budget and I think the couch surfing and house sitting tips are particularly good ones! Thanks for this resource!

  • There are some useful tips on booking air fare and also on house sitting. What is new to me though is the boat travel section and repositioning of boats. I’ve never heard of boat repositioning or even the phrase boat repositioning and will research this as it sounds perfect for me.

    • It was new to me too, but I have heard some travel families doing it to relocate on a budget. Really great idea, kind of obsessed with landing myself one now!

  • Great set of tips! Budget is the primary concern for a lot of people who want to travel. Interestingly, many don’t even realize that there are many ways to cut costs as you have suggested. This should be really useful for such people.

    • That is so true, I think it is only those who look into it and are determined to take time to learn these methods who truly learn to travel on a low, low budget.

  • Budget travelling tips are always welcome. There were some here that I didn’t know about. I’d love to know more about the repositioning cruise and the family that travelled from South Africa to Italy for very little – as I live in South Africa.

  • What a fantastic list of travel saving ideas! I never thought of trying to housesit for someone while I was on vacation. What a great idea that will benefit both me and the home owner. I’ll also have to try googling for airline codes. That’s so smart!

  • Fantastic tips! So many complain that travel isn’t affordable but it’s definitely a matter of prioritising where you spend your money. I’d love to try housesitting soon too!

    • That is so true. We struggle with saving to be honest, but we would have a LOT of money if we cut out the junk in our lives.

  • These are excellent suggestions. I have been thinking of house sitting for quite some time. I have checked out the trustedhousesitters website. They really have a great list. I am hesitant because of the membership fee but maybe I will think about it.

    Iza c/o Kathy James (Walk About Wanderer)

    • Yeah I think that puts off many people, but when you realise the quality of the places you are sitting, you are really saving a lot of cash overall

  • This is such a great post! I always compare the prices on Skyscanner, too! I’ve not yet tried couchsurfing but I’m excited to try it out sometime soon. I do stay in hostels and cheap yet unique Air Bnbs to save money 🙂

    • Oh I never even thought to include hostels. We usually don’t use them because we travel with our son, feel silly leaving it off, oops!

  • This is a really great resource! I’ve read a few times that airlines sometimes charge a different price for flights bought online from various cities, so you might get a different price if you change your IP address. I’ve never actually tried it, but cool to know it does work!

    Love the tip about googling discount codes! I’ve started doing that for EVERYTHING I buy online, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many active codes I’ve been able to find 😀

    • I have heard that too, seen people do it in posts and get a change in cost! Yeah I know right! People always share their codes online and its great to get a little bonus off the cost for a quick search! I do it for everything too

  • I always use skyscanner to compare flights. But i never thought of searching Google for airlines discount codes. I’ll try next time 😉

  • Oh Boy! I was just booking an air ticket on Qatar airways and I read your post. BIG COINCIDENCE!
    This is such a great post…I am going to pin it to my board for future reference. I always wondered how to get the discount codes for air travel and I forgot that I should just google it. Thanks 🙂

  • I want to book a flight to Australia soon and this advice was very helpful. I am going to read your other post on how to get cheap airline tickets, thank you!

  • Full of information. There are so many options these days. I am determined to see the world . Many do it in their younger days. I aim to do it when my children have left home.

  • I always travel on a budget and use many of these tips. I hadn’t thought of signing up for airline newsletters though. I will have to give that a shot. Thanks for saving me some money!

    • You are welcome. I just had an Air Asia email through when I needed to book flights which saved us £18 per flight we were going to book!

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