I Want to Travel, but I am Broke! Well, Here is How
- by Ari Travels
The biggest question I get asked is how I can afford to travel so often. Many people want to travel, but don’t know where to start because they are afraid it’s going to cost way too much money. Well, the truth is travel CAN be extremely expensive, but at the same time if you budget your money correctly and do it right, you can too travel on a budget and plan the trips of your dreams just like I do! Here are some of my tips on how I have managed to travel some of my dream destinations on a budget!
If you would like to discuss further with me and learn my tips and tricks in more detail, don't hesitate to book a call with me and I will teach you everything you need to know about traveling on a budget.
Tip #1 Stay at Hostels/don’t be picky about accommodation
I have met amazing, lifelong friends and had some of the best experiences of my life by staying at hostels. The accommodation is extremely cheap and most hostels also offer lots of activities that you can sign up for with many other guests. My favorite website to book hostels is Hostelworld. They have great prices as well as reviews on where to stay and recommendations.
Tip #2 If you do not prefer to stay at hostels, use Booking.com to reserve accommodation
Booking.com is always running promotions for cheap accommodation and you can find some great deals on there. If I am not planning on staying at a hostel, I always opt for using Booking.com for all my hotel needs.
Guesthouses on booking.com are basically private rooms with shared living space and are also a great option for cheaper accommodation. I recommend checking that out as well.
Tip #3 Use a budget tracker website/app such as PocketSmith
Tracking spending habits is always a good start. Think about it…is that cup of Starbucks Coffee really worth the $6 or a night out worth $150? Instead, try brewing your own coffee to cut costs. You will truly be amazed at how much you can actually save by changing small everyday spending habits. Only spend money on things that are essential and PRIORITIZE travel over anything else. It might be hard at first, but you will get used to it, I promise! You can sign up for the free version of PocketSmith.This has really helped me with budgeting for travel.
Tip #4 Take advantage of public transportation
Taking public transportation vs private shuttles or taxis can save a lot of money. For example, In Southeast Asia, they have sleeper trains where you can travel to many places for only about $50 USD or the overnight buses for less than $20 USD. I use 12Goasia to book all my sleeper trains and buses.
For anywhere other than Southeast Asia, I like to use the Rome2Rio app to help me plan my transportation It’s very user-friendly and they have all of the public bus and train routes along with estimated prices and options to book right from the website or app.
Tip #5 Pick a cheap destination
Destinations such as Southeast Asia or Latin America are some of the cheapest, yet most beautiful places in the world to travel to. I’m talking less than $10 a night for budget accommodation such as hostels (good hostels too) and good meals for as little as $1.50.
Tip #6 Consider volunteering or working abroad
There are many websites such as WorldPackers and Workaway that offer free accommodation, food, and activities in exchange for volunteer work. All you would then have to pay for is a flight to the destination. The majority of the rest would be covered.
Tip #7 Travel during shoulder season
Shoulder season is a term that is used when you either travel before peak tourism or after peak tourism. For example, in Europe peak season is June-August, so you would want to plan your trip for either going to the destination of your choice 1-2 months before June or 1-2 months after August. I love traveling during shoulder season because prices are lower, crowds are less and you still get pretty decent weather for the most part.
Tip #8 Set money aside from every paycheck you receive
Once I take out money for essentials such as groceries, rent, gas, etc. I then decide how much money I would like to put in a separate saving account for travel specifically. I put that money into the account and I don’t touch it. You’ll be amazed how much you can save by putting even just $100 aside each week from a paycheck. Consider also picking up a small side job such as serving or cashiering and using that whole paycheck to put towards travel. Even working 10-20 hours per week can really add up.
Tip #9 When looking for flights, be flexible with your travel dates, use google flights to compare dates as well as choose flights with layovers
The pickier you are with your flights, the more expensive they will be. Opt for flying with a budget airline and just suck it up if you’re uncomfortable on the plane! Who cares, you’re going on a trip! Consider planning out your trip in advance so you can be flexible with your travel dates. The more flexible you are with your travel dates the cheaper flights can be. Normally I choose the month I am trying to go on my trip and then I compare the prices on Google Flights and from there I pick the week or however long I am trying to go based on the cheapest time available if that makes sense.
Tip #10 Travel with a group
It’s always cheaper (and more fun in my opinion) to travel with a group of friends. Taxis, accommodations, and more can be split to lower costs.