Thrifty Travels: 17 Hacks to Explore the World Without Overspending

Budget shouldn’t be why you can’t fulfill your dream of traveling worldwide. If you plan well, you can still see the world without breaking your bank. Follow these tips to see the world on a budget, yet enjoy it to the fullest.

Utilize Budget Airlines and Alternative Airports

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While significant airlines dominate popular routes, check out budget carriers like Frontier Airlines or Spirit Airlines and smaller airports. Some might offer cheaper fares, especially for shorter hops. Remember, sometimes flying to a nearby smaller airport and taking local transport to your final destination can be more affordable than flying directly to the central hub.

Consider Alternative Travel Methods

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Explore options like trains, buses, or ferries, which can be significantly cheaper than flying. This works best for shorter distances, plus you get a scenic journey. Overnight trains can save you accommodation costs and refresh you at your destination.

Embrace the Sharing Economy

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Accommodation can be your most significant expense while planning a trip. So, instead of staying in hotels or motels, go for homestays. Platforms like Airbnb or Turo connect you with locals, offering homestays or car rentals at competitive rates. This can save money and provide unique experiences and local insights.

Focus on Free and Low-Cost Activities

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Many destinations offer free walking tours, historical sites, cultural events, and outdoor activities. Utilize free city guides, apps like Spotted by Locals, and tourist information centers to discover hidden gems. Pack a picnic lunch for parks instead of expensive restaurant meals.

Learn Basic Language Skills

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Greeting locals in their language and trying basic phrases can go a long way. It will enhance your cultural experience; locals might appreciate your effort and offer helpful tips or discounts. Knowing the language can also save you from getting overcharged for a service and help you bargain better.

Apps like Duolingo or Memrise can help you pick up some essential phrases before your trip.

Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates and Destinations

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Consider traveling during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) or off-peak times to avoid high season prices. Also, exploring off-beat locations can make your trip memorable, and they can be cheap, too. Therefore, be open to exploring less touristy destinations where the cost of living is generally lower.

House Sit or Pet Sit

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If you are a solo traveler who loves animals, this is a great opportunity for you. You can get free accommodation while caring for someone’s home and pets.

You get free accommodation for caring for the pet or home in the owner’s absence.

Websites like TrustedHousesitters and MindMyHouse connect homeowners with responsible travelers.

Volunteer Abroad

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Many organizations offer volunteer programs in different countries, where you can exchange your skills and time for accommodation and meals. This is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and make a positive impact.

Cook Your Meals

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You can save money by preparing meals in hostels or guesthouses with kitchens, especially if you are vegan or allergic to certain foods. This tip will save you money and make getting the nutrition you choose easier. Plan simple meals using local ingredients from grocery stores or markets. You can also utilize apps like Mealime or Budget Bytes for budget-friendly recipe ideas.

Try Local Cuisine And Street Food

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To really enjoy the culture and food of the place you are visiting, you must try out the local street food shops. They are cheaper and gives you a chance to taste the authentic flavors. Not only that, if you are good at bargaining, you might also get good deals and discounts on bulk orders.

Walk or Bike

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Taxis can cost a lot in many cities, so explore nearby locations on foot or by bicycle for a healthy and budget-friendly option. You can rent a bike from hostels or local shops to navigate the city and use Google Maps.

Pack Light

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Every cent counts while traveling on a budget, at least for your luggage. Opt for versatile clothing you can mix and match, prioritize essentials, and utilize laundry services during your trip. This will save you from carrying heavy bags and can also save you from paying extra at the airport.

Use Travel Reward Programs

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Every purchase can be a travel investment. Enroll in travel rewards programs linked to your credit cards or everyday spending. Accumulate points or miles and redeem them for free flights, luxurious hotel stays, or exciting activities, turning your daily routine into travel fuel.

Travel With Friends Or Family

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Traveling with friends and family is not only fun but can save you some money, too. You can split accommodation, transportation, and activities. Plus, imagine the fun and laughter of sharing adventures with the ones you love and enjoy the most.

Work Remotely

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If your job allows, blend work and travel seamlessly. Earn an income while exploring vibrant cities, serene beaches, or ancient ruins. You can work from a cafe with a breathtaking view, then explore the city in your free time – the ultimate work-life balance.

Take Advantage Of Student Discounts

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Student IDs can get you discounts on many things, such as travel, food, activities, and accommodation. Take advantage of them to save money on your travel adventures.

Look For Deals & Discounts

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Many websites and apps offer deals on flights, hotels, and activities like Kayak, Klook, Kiwi and Skyscanner. Research and compare prices to find the best bargains.

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