Life is short. We should adventure often, but many of us think we can’t afford it. Ditch the lies and learn how to travel on a budget with these 10 tips!
Traveling is a life-changing adventure that most people dream of but many don’t act on. An American study found over half surveyed people has never even been outside of their own country.
What keeps them from getting on that plane? Money.
Most people’s reasons for not traveling are not having a large enough budget, causing those that do travel to spend money they don’t have. It’s a tough spot to be in, but life is too short to make up excuses that are in your control.
The fact is, traveling on a budget (even small ones) is doable. Today, we’ll take a look at 10 tips on how to travel on any budget so you can get busy enjoying your life!
1. Work Hard, Then Play
Fair warning: these first few bits of advice are tough to swallow.
If you find that money is keeping you from traveling and living your life, then you need to find more ways to earn money and work hard.
Yes, it’s easier said than done but it is possible. As with any budget, you need to prioritize your life. What do you want most?
Do you want to know how to travel more? If so, then aim to earn as much as possible to prepare.
- Take on more jobs and/or hours
- Take freelance jobs
- Cut spending
- Commit to a savings
For work, be diligent and take on as many shifts as you possibly can. If there are overtime opportunities at your work, then do it. If your job revolves around shifts, be willing and able to pick up as many as you can.
2. Curb Your Spending
We love to spend money – our brains are hardwired that way. But just the same as it can be difficult to work hard to earn more money, you need to work hard to spend less money.
There are a lot of things you can do to curb your spending:
- Eat out less
- Get together with friends at your own homes
- Remove monthly expenses that are unnecessary
- Avoid triggers for spending, such as going to malls
Again, it’s not necessarily fun, but if you’re bent on traveling more then you need to spend less money.
3. Beef Up the Savings
Once you’ve reduced your spending habits, you’ll be left with more money than usual. You need to be diligent and put it into some sort of savings account right away.
You’re working toward travel and you should have a monetary goal to reach. For example, you won’t even begin the process of traveling until you’ve saved X amount of dollars.
When you learn to abide by a budget you should also be setting a certain percentage of money aside for your travels.
4. Consider taking a loan
We’ve discussed earning more, spending less, and saving more, but sometimes you still need a bit extra to reach that travel goal.
Personal loans are a great consideration as long as you understand interest rates and are committed to making payments on time. Bonsai Finance reviewed Borrowell’s personal loans and found that they were easy to work with.
Their loans came with various interest rates, but regardless of how small or large they are, the company is transparent about all the little details. Plus, those looking for a way to go travel can get personal loans quickly. This is great for spur-of-the-moment trips.
5. Get to Where You’re Going Cheaply
The biggest roadblock to traveling is the cost of getting to the destination. At the very least, it’s the part of the budget that people think about the most.
Plane tickets, train tickets, boat tickets, insurance, etc. is not necessarily cheap. But there are ways around this. In particular, use aggregate services like Kayak, Google, and more.
With these resources, you can specify your destination and travel time and search by the lowest ticket prices available. From there, you can choose tickets that are much cheaper, possibly because they leave or arrive at unusual times.
Nobody likes a redeye, but sometimes, it’s necessary when traveling on a budget.
6. Stay Where You’re At Cheaply
When you travel, you need to stay somewhere. This is also where the price starts to add up.
Look into cheaper accommodation options, such as:
- Couch surfing
Do you know someone who lives where you want to visit? See if they’ll let you crash at their place.
Camping is fun and practically free(except for the initial cost of equipment and possible camping site fees). Not to mention, the same aggregate websites mentioned in the previous tip work for accommodations too!
7. Be Stingy About What You Do
When you travel, you want to do it all: eat the local specialties, visit new places, see new things, experience new wonders, etc. But you don’t want to overdo it when out on a budget.
You can save money while traveling by being picky about what you do. When at your destination (or preferably before) search for local free events and cheap eats that are highly rated and reviewed.
8. Explore the Offseason
Anyone who likes to shop for clothes on a budget knows to buy in the offseason. When it’s spring, start buying up your winter clothes. Winter? Get that bathing suit you always wanted.
The same applies to travel on a budget. Avoid holidays and research the best times of years to travel your preferred destination (which can vary based on location).
9. Work While You Travel
Travel life is busy and there’s plenty to do, but sometimes you have downtime. This is the perfect opportunity to earn some money while traveling.
You can supplement your travel budget by using the freelance job opportunities mentioned earlier. You can do freelance website design and development, freelance copywriter, or photographer, etc. A lot of jobs on websites like Upwork or Fiverr are remote positions that can easily bed one with a computer and internet access.
10. Plan Ahead
Everything is cheaper when you do it early.
Buy your plane ticket early, book your hostel early, and get a spot on that group tour early. The more you plan your travel ahead of time, the better your finances will be.
Knowing How to Travel on a Budget
We all want to travel, but we don’t all necessarily know how to travel on a budget. Poor finances often keep us from living our best lives, but it’s possible to travel cheaply and do a lot of it.