You only get one life, and the world is such an amazing place that it would be a shame for you not to be able to visit the many wonderful locations that are within your grasp. But let’s say you have just two hundred dollars in your bank account and your student loan debt amounts to approximately thirty thousand. How can you still pay off your debt and get to travel?
Because we think that missing out on awesome travel opportunities is not something you can really afford to do, especially while you’re still young, we have put together a list of ten ways you can travel more for less. Check out our tips below.
1. Decide what you want from a vacation
Each and every one of us has dreamed of going to a destination that seems to be out of reach. But the fact is that the world is your oyster, and you can make the most of what you have available. If you live in the United States, there are a plethora of locations you probably never had the opportunity to see, and two of them are The Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park.
Traveling to and living in Australia for anything from two weeks to a month can take a toll on your budget. But what do you want to do? If you’re after the beaches or you want to learn how to surf, how about you check out some other destination that’s closer to home, and that allows you to spend more with less money? Consider Costa Rica and other such countries in Latin America for similar experiences you’d get from visiting more expensive countries.
2. Cheap flights. Is there such a thing?
There are a gazillion ways of getting cheaper flights nowadays. First of all, we urge you to do a bit of research on the topic since you probably don’t want to get tricked into buying a ticket that costs a small fortune instead of paying half price or less.
But how should you go about things? In reality, most airlines track your location (as does Google, in case you didn’t know), and if they decide that you are currently in a so-called ‘rich’ country, you might not be able to get the best deals. Use a VPN Chrome extension or just a VPN program to switch your location to a less wealthy country.
Another trick you could make use of would be for you to either use the web app or install the SkyScanner app on your phone. This one, as well as Momondo and several other such programs, will allow you to keep tabs on whenever your flight might be on sale. Besides, it’s worth noting that flying on certain days (like Tuesdays, for example) is way more affordable than doing the same on Fridays. You’ve probably guessed the reason, but we’ll tell you anyway. Airline tickets are in demand from Friday to Sunday because that’s when most people have their days off.
3. Alternative accommodation
Did you know that there are ways of paying less for accommodation? How about you pay nothing at all?
Yes, there are some methods you can circumvent such expenses. Most Airbnb apartments are cheaper than hotels, and that’s even truer if you want to visit expensive cities like Vienna, Zurich, Paris, or London. Staying in a hostel isn’t a bad experience for most people, especially if you don’t want to carry your whole house with you and you keep your money safe and on a credit card, instead of carrying cash with you.
There are two other ways of avoiding accommodation expenses altogether. There’s a website called WorkAway that you can use if you’re on your gap year and want to volunteer, but you’d also want to see the world.
Basically, this is a platform where people who have farms, kennels, and any other such businesses create listings where they ask for the help of those who want to travel and work for them. In most cases, these individuals will offer you a place to stay and an allowance. Working hours are usually flexible enough and you aren’t required to put in more than four to six hours every day. How about you go to Southern France and help out on a B&B?
If you live in Europe, you’re a bit more privileged in that CouchSurfing is very popular on the continent. Sure, there might have been some issues in the past, but the website is trustworthy, and so are the individuals who will gladly offer you a roof over your head for two days tops. This type of accommodation is great for those who have their own car and are willing to drive from one town to the next and just spend one or two nights at a host’s place.
4. Travel off-season
This tip is pretty logical when you come to think of it. Most tickets and vacation packages are expensive if you intend to travel when everyone else wants the same.
Organize your schedule judiciously and make sure you take time off from work when everyone else is busy. Of course, this advice does come with a set of drawbacks, such as the fact that you might not be able to enjoy the same sunny days at the beach if you travel in October.
5. Travel to places where your currency is worth more
This piece of advice is somewhat similar to what we suggested at the beginning of the article. How much is your currency worth worldwide? If it isn’t much, you could try out some locations that are closer to home, as they probably have similar currency values. If you live in Canada, The United States, Australia, The United Kingdom, as well as any country in the European Union, you might find that traveling to one of the countries in South America or several European countries is pretty cheap.
Your currency is worth more in countries like Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and even Russia. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to one of these, don’t hesitate to look for flights.
6. Consider destinations where you could get a job
The problem with getting a job abroad is that in most places, you’d undoubtedly need a work permit. However, if you are lucky enough to come from a country that’s a member of the European Union, that doesn’t apply to you. Most European citizens are allowed to work in any other place in the EU provided that their country of origin has the same status as the one where they want to get a job.
For example, you can get a job as a barista in London, Berlin, or Vienna and spend as much as a month in every city. There are seasonal openings available everywhere, and Greece is one of the most popular locations in this sense. Greece needs hotel staff all the time in the summer, so you could spend your workdays at your job and your weekends on the beach sipping on some cocktail and enjoying a meal of Feta cheese salad and fresh olives.
7. Get a loan, but make sure you pay it back the right way
If you can’t use any other methods and you’re really out of cash right now, you can always opt for one of the many short term loans available out there. As long as the value of your loan doesn’t exceed your financial expectations and possibilities, you can rest assured that everything will be fine.
It stands to reason that before you take this decision, you have to analyze both the pros and the cons. You’ll probably reach the conclusion that you can’t afford a too big loan, and that’s because you should keep in mind that you have to pay it back at some point or the other.
There are three ways of conveniently paying back your loans, and Broke Millennial has done a terrific job of explaining them to you on The Financial Diet YouTube channel.
8. Save money on food
Food is essential because it can supply you with the right nutrients you need to travel more and enjoy life as much as you can. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that good food needs to cost a lot of money. As a general piece of advice, you should know that even fancy restaurants offer reduced prices at lunch, so do avoid going out for dinner.
Cook your own meals at home from the food you’ve bought after 7 or 8 pm at the supermarket. And on the weekends, you can even haggle at the market, when you get your fresh fruit and vegetables. Haggling is a common practice in countries like Turkey, and you’d be wasting good money if you didn’t do it.
The same goes for drinking. It would be unfair for you to miss out on the fun you can have when you go out to experience the ‘feel’ of a city, but the fact is that having a glass wine in the center of Vienna can cost you a pretty penny. Do you really need it, or can you do without it?
9. Pack light
Travelers can be split up into two major categories. Some of them like to bring their whole house with them and wouldn’t feel comfortable if they didn’t have the convenience of one device or the next. Others are a bit on the minimalistic side of things and can just as well survive with as few things as possible.
Make a list of everything you need and then half it. Use a sturdy backpack or a quality carry-on to take all of the essentials you need. If you can work from anywhere, your laptop is going to take up some room in your luggage, but if you intend to travel to a sunny location, you don’t need that much in the way of clothes. You can simply wash one of your t-shirts and use the other while the first is drying out.
Most airlines these days will allow you to take an indecent amount of things with you on the aircraft. The weight limits of most companies range from 15 to 24 pounds for every carry-on. In some cases, you are even allowed to take your backpack and a carry-on with you for a small fee. It’s definitely smaller than the one you’d have to pay for your checked-in luggage.
10. Explore on your own
Paying for tours can be a bad idea for a number of reasons. One of them is that you probably can’t afford a guide for yourself and a companion because these people’s services can certainly cost a lot. As such, you’d end up being part of a group and with all the excitement of visiting a new place, you might miss a lot of information.
Our advice to you is to do your research before you get on the road. Find out as much as you can about the place you’re going to spend some time in.
For this purpose, you could use the official website of that city or sites like TripAdvisor. Look for reviews of museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, historical sites, as well as budget-friendly restaurants before you get out of the house.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article as much as we have enjoyed writing it. Don’t ever forget it — the world is your oyster