THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO

Travelling the world on a budget

Whether you’re travelling to a place one hour away or twenty-four hours away, the thought of how much money you’re going to spend is always going to be bloodcurdling. You want to put your mindset in a place where you can say ‘who cares, you only live once,’ but deep down, you know that mindset can only take you so far. People always tell me ‘I want to travel’, and when I ask ‘what is it that’s stopping you?’, the number one response is always money. Of course, to travel the world and get paid is pretty much a dream come true for most of us. Or even to travel the world without having to cost a thing. People always ask me how can I afford to travel so much, and the short answer to that is not to simply travel but to travel simply, and that is the secret to travel the world on a budget.

One thing I have to remind people constantly is: You don’t have to be rich to travel.

I’m not rich. Nor do I come from any sort of rich background. But I do know how to be able to travel the world on a budget.

There are plenty of ways to travel for cheap, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is what many travellers do. Travel on a budget. Ones that quit their jobs to travel the world adopt many of these tips and tricks to travel the world for cheap. So if you want to know how to get on the road for a lot less then you’re in the right place.

1. Travel With Cheap Flights

Finding cheap flights to specific countries can be a long and tricky process. That’s what airfare comparison sites are there for. I also have a secret that could save you hundreds on airfares. When it comes to budget travelling, flexibility is usually the key here. You can’t expect to travel to places like the Bahamas in the prime holiday season for a cheap airfare price. If you want to travel the world for cheap, you must look at affordable flight options. One of my most favourite tools to use is Skyscanner. Skyscanner has a great ‘flexible’ option whereby you can compare flights to different countries across the world by price. That way you can see which destination is cheapest to visit. Not only that, you can select the destination that you want to travel to and then choose flights by month. This helps you to see which days are cheapest to fly on and compare ticket prices by each day of the month.

Where Can I get Cheap Airline Tickets?

To get cheap airline tickets, not only does it matter where you get it, but it also matters how. Before you start your search online, always make sure that you search in incognito or private browsing mode to be able to see the lowest prices. Why? Because most websites track your online behaviour using cookies. This helps the airlines or travel companies find out more about you based on your activity and your searches. Hence, if they know what you’re looking for, it is more than likely that you’ll revisit these sites and this then allows them to bump up the prices because they know that you’re interested. It is also a great way to push you a little further down the sales funnel if you see your flights have gone up in price as it tricks you into thinking you need to buy tickets now before they increase even more. If you see a price increase for the flights you’ve been looking at previously, simply clear your history and delete your cookies. This should revert the cost to the original.

There are so many websites out there to find cheap airline tickets, but I find this one to be the best one. Especially when I’m not sure where to go next, but my options will most likely be based on price. Other amazing sites for finding cheap airfares are:

  • Google Flights
  • ITA Matrix – Visually it may not look like much but Google Flights is actually based on data from ITA Matrix
  • Momondo – This site pulls prices from over 400 different online travel agencies
  • CTrip – This is a unique booking site which occasionally has access to fares you won’t be able to find anywhere else

Hidden Flight Costs

Finding cheap airfares are great. Realising that there are so many extra fees on top later down the line is not great. If you are travelling to a country nearby for cheap, you’ll likely be flying with a budget airline. With budget airlines, be aware of all the sneaky fees that aren’t evident in the initial price you see.

Hidden Check-In Charges

Usually, online check-ins are free...or they should be. However, some airlines such as Ryanair have reduced their online check-in time from 4 days before your flight to between 48 hours and 2 hours before your flight. If you don't check in within this reduced time frame, then you will be charged a fee per person for the check-in at the airport.

Carry-on Baggage Fees

Most airlines will let you bring one carry-on baggage for free. However, some will only allow you to carry one small personal item as long as it fits under your seat. If you wanted to bring baggage to store in the overhead compartments, there might be a charge. Of course, it's a little ridiculous considering you're going away so you're going to need luggage however airlines want to make money and we want to save money. It is always best to check before you fly what you can bring and can't bring to be on the safe side.

Over-the-Phone and Online Bookings

While the majority of us prefer to book our flights online, there are still some that would much like to book over the phone. But be careful if you do because many airlines, however, charge for in-person or over the phone bookings.

Charges for Picking a Seat

What was once a free perk, is now no longer. Many airlines now charge a fee for selecting your seats in advance. This means that if you purchased more than one flight ticket at once, there might be a high chance you won't be sitting together unless you pay the fee. Some airlines such as Lufthansa allow you to pick your seats free of charge 24 hours before your flight however leaving it this late may mean the seats you want have already been taken.

Name Changes and Spelling Mistakes 

If you spell your name differently to what it appears on your passport or you wanted to transfer the flight ticket over to somebody else then most likely you would be charged. Sites like Easyjet and Wizz Air are a lot nicer about these charges; however, Ryanair does not like name changes or spelling mistakes. If you change your name within 24 hours of booking, they will let you off the hook for free, however, if you decide to change your name after those 24 hours, you may find yourself with a hefty charge.

2. Find a Job Abroad

Working abroad is a brilliant way to be able to afford travelling months at a time without having to dig through your savings. Think about it, you get to travel, and you get paid. Once you’ve made some money in one location, you’re good to move onto the next.

Why Work Abroad

As I mentioned, usually the number one reason that stops people from travelling is money. Working abroad allows you to not only explore other countries and cultures but also undoubtedly pushes you out of your comfort zone to help you develop personally and also professionally. It is also a great boost to your resume. If you’ve worked abroad, you are most likely able to prove that you’re a flexible and independent character, thus allowing you to stand out from the crowd.

How to Find Work Abroad

Finding work overseas is a far different process for finding work locally. It may not be something you’re familiar with, but I have some good news for you, it’s a more painless process. Why? Because you’re looking for a job, not a career. If you’re looking for temporary work, you can’t expect too much without experience. It would be best if you were flexible. And while this temporary job may seem unglamorous at the beginning, working overseas is truly a unique and wonderful experience that will allow you to be exposed to a whole new culture.

  • Teaching Jobs Abroad – Probably one of the best ways to make money overseas. I know a couple of friends that initially taught English abroad purely for the opportunity to travel. They loved the experience so much that many extended their stay for a couple more years. All you need to teach abroad is the ability to speak fluently in English and possibly a TEFL degree (this depends on the country you are looking to work in). Click here to discover teaching jobs abroad.
  • Teach English Online – Thanks to the internet, the opportunities to earn an income while you travel has now become endless. Teaching English online is one of those opportunities that allow you to make an income, work around your schedule and require the bare minimum to do so, and that is a stable internet connection. Teaching English online is quickly becoming one of the best ways for backpackers and travellers to earn money while on the move. This website is great for finding both teaching jobs abroad and teaching positions online.
  • WWOOFING – WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. This is an organisation which helps facilities travellers around the world the opportunity to visit domestically and internationally by providing them food and a space to sleep in exchange for working on a farm. If you really want to travel the world on a budget, this is one of the best ways to travel more and spend less while you’re at it. Get started with WWOOFing here.
  • Cruise Ship Worker – A job on a cruise ship has a reputation for being one of the best jobs around where you can travel. Not only do you get a free salary and accommodation, but you also get the opportunity to travel the world and interact with people from many cultural backgrounds. As a cruise ship offers a variety of different services, the jobs can cater to all different backgrounds. You can find more information here on cruise ship jobs, including opportunity listings.
  • Tour Guide – As a tour guide, you can travel the world and influence your passion onto others. If you also have a knack for history, this job is perfect for you. Many tour guides work as freelancers so you can work on a schedule that’s right for you. It is also good to bear in mind that during peak seasons, tour guides are in much higher demand. This is great because you can choose to work all through peak seasons while spending low seasons exploring. To look for tour guide jobs, visit the ‘work for us’ sections on some of the major tour operators websites such as this one.
  • Waiter/Waitress –  The great thing about waiter jobs is that there are plenty of restaurants across the world that need those extra pair of hands during the busy periods. You can work part-time, have money coming in while travelling the days you’re not working. To find a waiter or waitressing jobs abroad, the best ways is to visit the restaurant in person simply while you’re there or search the job boards online.
  • Au Pair – An Au Pair is defined as a contracted live-in childcare provider who’s job is to help out around the house and look after the children in exchange for free meals and accommodation. This position offers a unique opportunity to visit another country, travel with minimal expenses and learn a new language. Click here to find out more about being an Au Pair.

3. Look for Cheap Accommodation

I’m sure we could all agree that it would be nicer to stay in beautiful resorts and luxury hotels rather than a hostel. Still, if you’re looking to travel the world on a shoestring budget, hostels are practically perfect. They are also not as bad as they sound. With a hostel, not only do you get accommodation at a much cheaper rate than hotels, but you will also get the real experience of an authentic backpacker environment. This app used by most backpackers will be able to help you to book directly with the property and help you to find the best and cheapest rate for the location you want to stay in.

Best Deals on Hotel Bookings

If you prefer staying in hotels, it’s not impossible to find a reasonable rate. You could use a site-comparison tool to discover the properties out there but bear in mind that some websites may inflate their prices while earning a commission off your sale, therefore making the price a little higher than what you could get for it. Luckily for you, I have 10 of the best lesser-known secrets that hotels don’t want you to know to save money on your accommodation.

Try Couchsurfing

One thing that’s better than cheap accommodations is free accommodation. Couchsurfing is a social networking site or community mainly focused around connecting like-minded travellers. This site is a global cultural exchange program that brings together over 12 million people across the globe. The concept is pretty simple. Surfers will apply to hosts directly or advertise for a place to stay. Hosts will offer a space to sleep for free. The website will use a rating and referral system that allows both the host and the surfer build their reputation for both reliability and trustworthiness so you can be assured of safety on both ends. Couchsurfing is a great way to lower your expenses, connect with locals, other travellers and share hospitality, cultures and most of all, adventure.

4. Cook Your Own Meals

One of the perks of travelling for me is food. While it’s essential to try the local cuisine to get a different taste of the world, it doesn’t mean dining out is always necessary to do so. The secret to saving money travelling is really to act less like a tourist and to act more like a local. Cooking is one of the best ways to do that. To get an idea of what the locals eat, simply visit the local supermarket.

5. Take Advantage of Free Activities

Depending on what you consider fun, finding free activities may not be as hard as you think. The complete solution is to Google ‘Free things to do in…’ and I assure you there’ll be more activities available than you would’ve expected. You’ll also be surprised with the things you’ll find if you ditch the itinerary and just walk around. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I’ll plan a trip down to the very last detail, then leave two or three days empty so we can get a little lost. And more often than not, those are the days I find more fun and memorable. When you go by a less structured plan, you’ll get the chance to see the less touristy areas and meet locals more easily.

ALT = Joeyt

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