My ways to travel cheaper, smarter and longer
People always ask me the same questions. How do you afford to travel for that long? Who sponsors your travels? Did you win the lottery? Neither of those my friends. I am not rich, nor I come from a wealthy family. The only thing I ever have won is one of those teddy bears from theme parks. My mission here is to encourage and give you the push you need to start traveling and exploring the World. This is one of the best things you can do in life. I know that there are probably many reasons which inhibit you from traveling, but the most common issue is money, so today I would like to focus on that aspect. Many friends of mine say over and over again that they love travelling, but they don’t have enough money to discover new places. So, here I am my friends. First of all, ask yourself how important is traveling for you, seriously! Nothing is going to happen from just talking and dreaming. You have to take action. If you set up travelling as a priority , you can make your dreams come true, no matter how broke you are. With the right mind set up, you are ready for the second part. Differentiate between stuff you want and stuff you need at that given moment. If you dream about traveling, but always spend most of the money for new clothes or gadgets, you can have a problem to save enough money to make your dream come true. Unless you have enough for both :)
My travels taught me a lot about saving money and how to travel smarter and longer. I would like to share with you my tricks or secret ways (whatever you want to call it). I want to show you that you don’t have to spend a fortune on your holiday.
Get cheaper flights
Cost of flights are one of the most expensive part of your travel, but also the biggest expense that you can reduce. To be honest, I love finding, searching and hunting the cheapest flights around the World. Generally during our travels we have enough expenses, so we should, if we only can, save some money on our flights!
Connect flights by your own/ add a stop
Direct flights are more convenient, but you can often search better offers on connecting flights or if you are flexible, you can stay at the airport for a few hours longer. By doing this, you can save up to 80% on tickets. For example, I am choosing a random place to go and on random date:1. I want to fly from Poland (my country) to Australia in 2 months. I am checking flights from Warsaw to Sydney on 21th of April on Orbitz.
2. Im doing additional searching on momondo.com and choosing flight connection Warsaw -> Kuala Lumpr and Kuala Lumpur -> Sydney like a best option for me at the moment. Now you probably wonder ..why Kuala Lumpur? Where did you get this idea from. Good deal, but how? Basically I did some work-research. Momondo is a great inspiration. It will suggest you plenty of flights with stopovers. I checked one by one and chose the cheapest option for my current destination. It is quite time consuming, but as you can see it’s worth your effort. More research I did, more excited I got over the idea of checking out the countries I will briefly visit before I rich my destination.
3. Between the gap I am working/sleeping at the airport or taking train to the city. After sightseeing capital of Malaysia, I am ready to take a direct flight to Sydney. I am saving $215. I would like to emphasize that this is my way of searching and it doesn’t have to be always like that, but I want to encourage you to do additional research.
Follow cheap flight deals
You can save up to 80% on flights around the world! My favourite websites:
- compare Airfares
- sign up for email alert to get hot flights offers from your favourite airlines
- book your flight as soon as possible
- best time to buy your ticket is late Monday or early Tuesday, these days many airlines reduce ticket prices
- biggest airports always have cheaper flights
Do what locals do
I always use this phrase as my travel mantra. Remember that the tourist attractions and restaurant are always overpriced. If you want to taste low-cost and real typical food follow locals! If you want to see the real side of the country, be a traveller, not tourist -follow locals! If you want to cut half of your expenses on food and entertainment, follow locals!
Join awesome communities
Couchsurfing — be a couchsurfer and visit couchsurfers around the World! This amazing idea gives you the opportunity to stay with locals and have a place to stay for free while traveling. The community counts over 14 million people in more that 200, 000 cities. This is all about culture, exchange and friendship. Of course, you have to look for someone, a person you perhaps share common interests with, based on profile and texting, before you arrive. Remember “There are no strangers here. Only friends you haven’t yet met”.
Blablacar — the largest short and long distance ridesharing community. All travelers save up to around 70% on their trips. Uber or Lyft apps are always worth to have installed on your mobile, following the promo-offers can be easier and cheaper than a bus. There are also several train and bus offers for tourists which I will describe in one of my other posts…so keep following me ;)
Flixbus — discover 5 cities in Europe for 99 euros. Choose from 900 cities in 20 countries.
Airbnb — a global community of hosts offering accommodation and rare local experiences and travellers looking for home to stay or things to do in each country.
Homestay — a community of hosts and guests located in over 150 countries. Hosts offering unique chance to know better local culture and stay in their house.
Another free way to get from one city to another. Remember to choose good hitchking spots to be able to find fast rides and most importantly, be safe! It is a great way to make lots of friends and spend time with the locals. My best apps for gathering information and maps about hitchhiking are hitchwiki.org and maps.me (both work even if you are offline).
Backpacking to me means freedom and adventure. If you are a lover of nature and enjoy hiking and camping, take your holiday to the next level. Sleep under the stars, cook your meal at bonfire and enjoy your surroundings. If you are not willing to be on the trail all the time and you want to stay in bigger cities, you can sleep in dorm rooms. I have done all my backpackers solo travels around Asia, Indonesia, Central America or Europe and most of the time I slept in backpackers hostels. I managed to save up to 70% of my money on accommodation.
Work while travelling
There are different kind of jobs, you can do while traveling. If you are willing to keep traveling long-term, you should check work abroad programs like Work and Holiday/Working Holiday or Au Pair. You are broke on the road? Need some extra cash to cover your expenses? Communicate with locals and suggest some help in exchange for extra money. The most common jobs are:
- English teacher
- Helper at backpackers hostel
- Sports instructor
Become a freelancer and work easily from your laptop wherever you are. Freelancers provide different type of service:
- Marketing — social media marketing and publicity
- Technological support — programming and web/graphic design
- Financial support — accounting
- Writing — blog posts and articles
- Freelance Translator
Freelancing is a very flexible option to set your job hours convenient for you and your travel plans. Sign up to freelancer here.
Work for accomodation and help people
A great way to enjoy time in one of the awesome parts of the World and save money is working for accommodation. You can exchange a few hours work per day for food and free stay. Imagine living and working abroad on tropical island, beach town or mountainous jungle! And at the same time share your life and stay with other open minded people. There are my best website organisation:
Each of these topics could have a post of its own, as there are plenty of options and ideas for low budget travels. I have shared some of the main tips, but would love to hear about your experiences and your ways for low cost journeys. We are here to help each other, to find and share best ways, ideas and tips to discover the most out of our beautiful planet. I am looking forward to your comments my dear friends!