Travel the world on a budget
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.)
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.