If you have always dreamt of travelling around the world but thought that it would be far too expensive then you might find that you can do it on a budget. However, travelling cheaply might mean that you have to make certain sacrifices. You won’t be staying in five-star accommodation, for example and you might have to use slower, less direct methods of transport.
For many budget travellers, though, this is part of the experience and allows you to stay away for longer, meet more people, see parts of the world which are rarely visited by tourists and have a fantastic time.
You might not have the budget for luxury hotels or lavish meals in high-end restaurants, but when it comes to travelling the best things in life are often free or at least very cheap.
Here are some tips to help you go travelling abroad even if your bank balance is smaller than you would prefer.
Alternatives to Flying
Air fares are not cheap and with the cost of fuel and taxes constantly rising, they are only going up. Obviously, if you are travelling from the UK to America or Australia then flying may be your only option, so consider booking well in advance or going out of peak season. Having the luxury of choosing your travel date allows you to benefit from cheaper flights at the least popular times. You should also keep an eye on promotional offers on travel websites to see whether any bargains crop up.
If you are travelling within Europe, you might consider going by bus, coach or train instead. While these methods of travel invariably take longer, they are generally the cheapest ways to get around. Again, ordering your tickets well in advance of your trip will help you secure the best fares. If time is of the essence, however, ask about late deals or cancellations. Tour operators might be willing to sell off the last few seats at bargain prices.
While it is traditionally accepted that hostels are the cheapest form of accommodation you can find, budget hotels can sometimes cost less so don’t dismiss them or forget to shop around. If you are just looking for somewhere to rest your head in between activities, this sort of accommodation is ideal.
In a hostel you have to be prepared to share showers, bedrooms and dining facilities, sometimes with many people. However, this is often how lasting friendships are formed.
If you have friends in different parts of the world, make it your mission to visit them and ask if they can put you up. You will get a couple of nights of free accommodation and the chance to see an old friend once again.
Many charities are looking for volunteers to help them abroad and while you won’t make any money out of the work you do for them, you will be able to cover your travel and living expenses. This sort of travel provides you with the chance to see some of the world’s most diverse communities and actually make a difference while you are there. But remember that charity-funded volunteer trips will require you to make a long-term commitment.
Travel and Work
Essentially, being able to work depends on how long you plan to be in a certain location and what your visa allows you to do. There are various ways to work in a particular destination or even while actually travelling from place to place.
For example, finding a position on the staff of a cruise ship is a great way to see the world and be paid for it, although you will be working hard in this sort of role so the number of places you actually get to see could be negligible.
Alternatively, if you plan on staying in a location for a matter of months, have the appropriate visa and don’t mind performing all manner of menial tasks then you could sign up for casual work. This allows you to fund your travel from place to place and experience the different parts of the world on your days off.
Think carefully about where you are likely to find casual work. In certain areas of the world, you will be competing with locals who are prepared to work for a much smaller wage than anything you might be accustomed to. But this does provide the opportunity for some unique local experiences, such as harvesting grapes in France, as well as the chance to meet more people and make friends.
Wherever you plan on travelling, you can do it on a budget if you are prepared to sleep on a few couches, work when you can and be flexible about your mode of transport. What is certain is that you are going to have the experience of a lifetime.
This guest post was contributed by Peak Transfer