You don’t have to have a trust fund or be independently wealthy to travel the world. You just need a little creativity, some planning, and a budget. If you dream of seeing the Pyramids, Matterhorn, or Great Barrier Reef, but your bank account screams “Students, millennial’s…stay away!”—then read on for five ways to travel the world on a budget.
Research before you go
Before you book your flight, know where, when, and how long you want to travel. Educational trips are great for having everything planned for you if you are travelling with your school or university, but travelling alone requires a lot of research. Do your research and find a flight, hostel, transportation, and activities that are either included in your budget, or fall at the lower end of the price range.
For example, if you want to visit Australia on a budget and you’re a solo backpacker, do your research and find hostels that offer free transportation from the airport, free breakfast, and group rates for activities. This will help you cut down on expenses that add up quickly. Travelling during the off peak season can help you save money as well.
Stay at hostels and Airbnbs
Hostels and Airbnb are often your cheapest option when travelling, especially if you’re in a group. Hostels are often situated in areas that are close to public transportation, nightlife, major attractions, restaurants, and shops. Some even offer special deals on tickets to nearby attractions, or free walking tours. Hostels are a great way to meet new people who can become lifelong friends and travel partners.
Hostels are usually around $30 a night, and you can often find great deals through travel websites like HostelWorld, Agoda, HostelBookers, etc. Airbnb is another great option for people looking to travel on a budget. You can choose from a wide variety of places to stay from private rooms to entire apartments, and you can often find places that are cheaper than a hostel, but just as close to the attractions in the city.
Travel by train
Trains are a great way to travel to nearby countries in Europe, Asia, and Australia. They offer a unique view of the landscape and can be just, if not more comfortable than flying. Airports can be expensive and time-consuming, and trains are a great alternative.
You can research routes, purchase tickets online, and find deals that include transportation to the airport. Trains are often the cheapest way to get from one place to another. They’re also a great way to see rural areas that you might not see if you were to travel by bus or airplane. You can get a Eurail Pass or a rail pass for travel in Europe, or consider a pass for East Asia, Australia, or New Zealand.
If you’re travelling by plane, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not overpacking. Most airlines charge extra for luggage and even if you don’t have to pay the fee, your bag might get stranded. Before you head out, check with the airline you’ll be flying with to find out what the maximum weight and size of your bag is.
You might also want to look into bag-packing cubes that can help you organise and pack light. If you’re taking a train, you still want to make sure that you’re not overpacking; however, you have a little more wiggle room. If you have too many bags, you can always store them at the train station.
Be flexible with your dates
If you have a specific travel date in mind, you may have to pay extra to get the plane tickets and accommodation that you want. If you’re flexible with your dates, you can save money. You can also be flexible with your route as well. If you want to go from Thailand to Cambodia, but you’re not sure if you want to take a plane or a bus, you can look at both routes and decide what makes the most sense for you.
Before booking your flight, check the prices for both routes and see which is cheaper. You might find that the bus is cheaper and you get to see the landscape of Thailand and Cambodia along the way.