You are wondering how to travel with a low budget? You are not alone. This is one of the most frequently asked questions among people who want to start their adventure with traveling.
There are plenty of ways to travel on a low budget. There are plenty of ways to travel around the world when you have no money if you’re willing to be creative.
How to travel on a low budget
1. Travel in a group
Traveling in a larger group reduces the cost of fuel, accommodation or food, very often you can also get a better offer for tickets in different places.
2. Travel with your own car
Traveling with your own car you can take more equipment that will make traveling easier. Auto can also serve as a bedroom and kitchen.
3. Travel in the off season
The prices are much lower, there are no crowds and the weather is often even nicer (especially if you want to explore and not lounging on the beach).
4. Eat in local restaurants
So in pubs that are not on the main roads, they do not have signs in English and you can see the locals themselves – the prices are much lower because they are not oriented on tourists, and the food is often even better.
If you do decide to eat out in more expensive restaurants, eat out at lunch instead of dinner. In most places a lunch deal is a lot cheaper than the full price they charge at dinner.
5. Shopping in supermarkets
When buying food and other products in supermarkets for a longer period (and preferably for several people) you will save a lot of food.
6. Own stove
Take and use your own stove to reduce food costs.
7. Remote work
Change work to remote, you will be able to work while traveling. In addition, working remotely, you can live in a country that is cheaper than the one in which you earn – for example, earning remotely in the US you can afford a bountiful life in Thailand.
8. Cheap flights
By following such portals as Fly4free you can catch great deals and save a lot on flights. There are even flights of a few dollars.
Momondo applications, Skyscanner or Hopper are very convenient tools which helps you to travel on a low budget. They analyze all airlines and all airports in a given country and give the best offers. We can even give you only the month of departure without the exact date and the application itself will suggest to us which day will be the cheapest.
For more information about cheap flights see my post:
How to Get Cheap Airfare
9. Occasional work on the road
For longer journeys, it is a good idea to take breaks for work in the countries in which we are currently, you can earn a lot of money from seasonal work on farms, orchards and plantations. Very often there is no problem with getting such a job “informally”.
Here are some jobs you can get when you travel:
- Hostel worker – Hostel workers rarely stick around for long, which means there is always a demand for new help.
- Waitress/waiter – There are tons of seasonal restaurants around the world that need extra help during the busy tourist months.
- Farm worker –this is a great way to make a lot of money in a short period of time
- Tour guide – If you’ve got a knack for history and don’t mind speaking in front of groups, this is the perfect job for you
- Seasonal worker at ski resorts – Instructors, restaurant staff, hotel staff, lifeguards — ski resorts need all sorts of staff to keep things moving, making this a goldmine for the overseas traveler
- Yacht worker – While the hours can be long, you can make great money working for the rich and famous on their yachts.
Hitchhiking is a great way for hot travel on a low budget. When traveling by hitchhiking, you do not have transport costs and you can also meet very interesting people.
11. Uber – cheaper alternative for taxis
Uber is an alternative to taxis – it is an application through which you can order a private taxi to the place where you are currently. Pros of this solution:
- the trip is even several times cheaper than a taxi
- you do not need to know the taxi number in the new city
- in the application you can see exactly where your “taxi” is and how much time will arrive for you
- payment is made without cash
13. Renting small cars
By renting a car book it in advance via the Internet and always take the smallest car with pickup at the airport. When you come to places almost never the slightest will not be available (because such cars rent locals) so the rental company must give you a more expensive and better car. And if it has a small one, you can pay extra to the bigger one
14. Discount coupons from the internet
Before you book anything, check the discount coupons on the internet. Very often, you can save up to 50%.
15. Do not get robbed
Always find out in advance whether or not there are thefts and where. For example, in Barcelona always park in guarded parking lots, do not leave anything valuable in the car and look after your backpack. It takes only a moment of inattention and can disappear, and pickpockets in big cities are very fast. Especially in places where there are a lot of people, such as the metro – very often there are tablets in the area “watch out for pickpockets” because tourists seeing such a reflex plate are grabbing a wallet or phone betraying their location.
Hold cash in a few places, and set limits on the cards, and preferably most of the money you have on the account to which you do not have a card and do an online transfer once in a while.
16. Vehicle relocation
In some countries, when moving, people need to transport a car from one end of the country / continent to another and you can drive a car or a caravan for free. Often you do not even pay for fuel and you have, for example, a week or two weeks. Same car rentals, often need to transport a car between some distant cities.
How it works?
This is very popular way for travel on a budget in countries like Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada.
Normally, the cost of renting a car in Australia is 50-200 $ per day. But most people rent cars on the east coast, then go west or north and leave the car there. And then the rental companies have to somehow check these cars back to the most popular cities.
Therefore, instead of sending their employees with cars, the rental companies invented the relocation of cars. They rent cars for a symbolic few dollars, in exchange for the customer to transport them to the designated destination. Sometimes we even get an additional budget for fuel!
We have a limited time to transport the car – e.g. 14 days. The route is calculated so that we would be able to go without a problem and have time to go on the way.
The most popular pages on which we can find a vehicle relocation offer:
Another way for how to travel on a low budget in couchsurfing – it is a portal where people can put you on the couch for free or show you the city for free.
Here are some Tips for Couchsurfing Safety:
- Verify and check profiles of your potential host. Check the reviews other travelers have left. Look at the photos they’ve uploaded and see that they’ve logged in recently.
- Reconfirm details, ask for pictures of your room or couch. Confirm that you have a place to yourself and won’t be staying in the room with your host. Find out if you’ll be able to come and go as you please or will rely on the host’s schedule.
- Meet Beforehand – If you’re anxious about it, stay elsewhere first and meet your host for coffee beforehand.
- Have a backup plan if something happens. Have the phone number of a taxi company and a hostel or hotel you can book in case of an emergency.
18. Airbnb – cheap accommodation from private owners
A very nice portal and application for renting in super-priced houses and flats from private owners around the world – often several times cheaper than a hotel room
19. Accommodation in the wild
In a car, in a tent or under the open sky – on the beaches, in beautiful national parks or in abandoned buildings
20. Free campsites
In some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and several others, there are free campsites and there are even special applications such as WikiCamps to search for them. They often have bathrooms, showers, barbecues and even the internet!
21. Free attractions
Take advantage of free attractions such as free museums and nature-related attractions. A lot of interesting things can be seen for free – trekking through the national park, visiting the city, some matches or concerts. Very often in many places cheaper eg Tuesdays, or specific hours, it is worth checking it earlier on the internet
22. Use the app for travelers
Most are free and you can find at least as much information as in the guide. We recommend, among others Triposo or Tripadvisor.
23. Showers at stations
They are often free or paid 1-2 $.
24. Buy an electric shower
In the car we drive an electric shower and a 2-second shower (tent). The shower connects to 12V in the car, one end puts in a tank with water, e.g. on the roof of the car and the other end hangs in the shower and we already have a free shower.
25. Buy SIM cards on site
For example, in the US you can buy a SIM card with unlimited internet and calls per month for about 30 $. Much cheaper than calling from a national number.
26. Blablacar – shared journeys
That is, shared journeys in private cars of people who are just on this route. You have to add fuel, but it is cheaper than by train or bus, and comfort is better. And if we drive our own car, we can take passengers who will pay for fuel
27. Make yourself a EURO 26 card
Or ISIC card. You will have discounts in many museums and other places + travel insurance. Useful if, for example, a tooth hurts you or you land in a hospital. Even if you’ve recently graduated, chances are you can still get by with your expired ID card (as long as it doesn’t have an expiry date). Always ask if there are discounts available for students or youth as this is an easy way to save tons of cash as you travel around!
28. Use the tourist information
Every city has them, often they are also in national parks. You can get free maps and use the internet, there are also showers.
29. Free internet in McDonald’s
In McDonalds, KFC and other chains, there is free Wifi internet + a computer power outlet. Often the internet is also on some stations or in some supermarkets.
30. Sales of photos
There are a lot of portals, such as istockphoto, on which you can sell your travel photos and earn thanks to this for further travel (the amount for the photo is small, but one photo can buy up to several thousand people).
31. Use a private browsing window to find the cheapest deals.
Always make sure you clear your browser cookies, and even use a private/incognito window while searching for flights. Websites have a tricky way of tracking what prices you’ve been quoted in the past, so in order to make things competitive and cheap, make sure you’re browsing on the hush!
For more information see my post:
How to Get a Cheap Airfare
32. Get City Tourist Cards
If you plan on seeing a lot of sights in a city, you should get a city tourism card. These will offer you discounted and/or free access to the major attractions and museums, as well as free public transportation. They are an amazing way to save money on attractions that not enough people use
33. Take Free Walking Tours
Want to learn about the city and see the major sights? Take a free walking tour. You can find them in most of the major cities in Europe, and there are also a few in large Asian cities, South America, New York, Australia, and New Zealand. To find these tours, ask the local tourist office, your hostel staff, or Google “free walking tour (city name)”.
34. Do WWOOFing and Work on a Farm
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a platform that allows you to work on a farm in exchange for free room and board. It’s a great way to see a destination in-depth while allowing you to commune with the great outdoors.
35. Cook your own meals
The best way to save money on the road is to cook all your own meals. If you are Couchsurfing, your host will probably have a kitchen, as do many hostels, campsites, and guesthouses