Budget Travel: Traveling the world doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you follow the budget principles of frugal wanderers. With careful planning and by leveraging travel hacks, you can explore exotic destinations across the globe for less than $50 a day. This comprehensive guide will provide tips and actionable advice to help make your dream of affordable around-the-world travel a reality.
Choose Cheap Countries and Destinations
The first step to budget travel is choosing destinations where your money will go a long way. Countries like Thailand, Nepal, Peru, and Portugal are very budget-friendly, especially if you go during the off-season. In Southeast Asia, you can get meals for a couple of dollars and find basic rooms for $10 a night. In Central and South America, your daily spend would be around $25-30. Europe may seem expensive but countries like Portugal are affordable if you avoid big cities.
Travel in the Off-Season | Budget Travel
Tourist destinations are the cheapest in the off-season as hotels and airfare prices drop significantly. You can save up to 50-60% on hotel rates. Places like Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean offer huge discounts from April to December. Europe has the Mediterranean summer from June to August but the shoulder months before and after offer smaller crowds and lower prices. You can also get deals on tours and experience lower entrance fees to museums and attractions.
Utilize Budget Airlines and Public Transport
Once you pick a destination, research budget airlines that offer cheap fares. Airlines like AirAsia, Ryanair and EasyJet service many international and regional routes. Buy tickets at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance for the best deals. Upon arrival, use public transport like buses, trains, bike-sharing or car-pooling to get around affordably. Many countries offer unlimited rail passes for under $50 a day. Or you can rent a car with friends to share the costs.
Use Travel Rewards and Loyalty Programs | Budget Travel
Sign up for travel rewards credit cards and loyalty programs to earn free flights, hotel stays and cash back for your everyday spend. Even if you pay off the card each month, the rewards can add up quickly. Airline and hotel credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses of up to 50,000 points which can translate into a free roundtrip international flight. With regular spending, you can earn an international trip in 12 to 18 months.
Travel Slowly | Budget Travel
One of the best ways to lower your daily expenses is to travel slowly. Rather than constantly moving from one place to another, spend longer in each destination. You’ll cut out the high costs of transit and actually get to know and appreciate each place you visit. Find monthly rentals on websites like Airbnb and VRBO to save on accommodation. Weekly and monthly discounts can offer up to 50% off nightly rates. And you’ll get amenities where you can cook some of your own meals.
Eat Locally and Prepare Your Own Meals
Dining out is one of the biggest drainers of your travel budget. Save money on food by buying groceries at local markets and cooking your own meals in hostels or apartment rentals when possible. Street food is also a cheap, delicious option in many countries. Or look for restaurants where locals dine for regional dishes at lower prices. Only eat out occasionally at nicer places when your budget allows.
Be Flexible and Patient for Deals
Some of the best budget travel deals pop up at the last minute. Follow airfare sites, hotel booking platforms and tour companies on social media to get notified of flash sales and coupon codes. If your schedule is flexible, you can find rock-bottom airfares and incredibly cheap accommodation at any time of year. Set up price alerts for dream destinations and be ready to book when you get a notification that fares have dropped.
With some time and persistence, you can craft an ultra-cheap DIY trip around the world. The key is to look for out-of-the-way places with lower costs of living, go off-season, take budget transit, cook your own meals and keep an eye out for deals to lower your daily travel spend well under $50. Wishing you happy travels and a lifetime of affordable adventures!