I was recently asked to make a write up about traveling cheap. This is something I have learned quite a bit about over the last few years though I would not claim to be an expert.
Theres 3 basic things I have learned about traveling cheap. Here they are.
#1 Plan Ahead:
Anyone who has flown can tell you that the cheapest flights in the world are bought in advance. People who fly often will tell you the best time is two months in advance. I usually buy even further out than that, but you can make your own judgement there. Don’t stop at plane tickets! If you know you will need to take a train or a bus from the airport, get the tickets as soon as you know when you will land. It will take so much stress off of your mind knowing that you can get from the airport to where you are staying without hassle.
Buying your tickets well in advance offers a few benefits too. You can make plans to leave much easier with friends and family. Maybe you need to be driven to a different airport for your flight. Having two months to make those plans is a lot easier than two days. Also, the impact on your bank account isn’t so steep. You can fly safely having the extra time between purchase and takeoff to refill your numbers. This will help you feel more confident in your leaving.
#2 Be Prepared:
This can’t be stressed enough. Know where you are going and what it will really be like. Traveling cheap is using your head. Know the climate, the exchange rate, the cost of living, and some of the language (Duolingo is an amazing resource) if you can. You may think you will be landing in a warm sunny climate and happen to find yourself in a massive storm front. Check the weather and watch the patterns. Hell! Talk to the locals (reddit, meetup, ect..). People are a wealth of information just waiting to be put to use.
Knowing the exchange rate and the cost of living go hand in hand really. You may think you have saved enough and then come to find out just how weak the dollar really is internationally. Believe me, I made this mistake when I left for Australia. It’s crushing to tear through your months budget in a week because you had no idea what you were walking into.
#3 Learn to Cook:
Seriously though, I’m guessing most of my audience who is interested in traveling cheap will most likely be adults. If you don’t know how to make basic meals, you are not prepared to travel cheap. It’s a basic life skill and will save you so much money! There are a ton of online recipe books and other resources to use. If you compare eating out each night with cooking the cost difference is incredible.
So, there are some tips on traveling cheap. I will get in to hitchhiking, camping, WWOOFing, and working in a later post.
If you want to hear more let me know! I am always happy to get writing prompts!