Tips and tricks from fellow travelers on how to see the world on a shoestring

2023-01-16 08:09:00 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

It's unfortunate that cost is the primary deterrent to vacationing. Learn the ins and outs of budget travel so you can have amazing adventures abroad without breaking the bank.

To see the world on a tight budget doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.

Or, you can enjoy a trip abroad while being responsible with your hard-earned cash, which is simple and rewarding.  

Ignore me if you don't believe me Here are the top ten ways to save money while traveling. I will discuss the best places to travel abroad on a budget, where to find cheap airfare at any time of year, and how to participate in a work exchange.

Infographic: travel on a budget

Get ready for your journey: financial planning fundamentals

In spite of all the warnings from your folks, your avowed financial guru, and the bank, you still managed to go into debt. Simply put, it aids in the management of your finances.

Making and sticking to a daily budget will reduce travel costs and stress about spending too much.

In high school, I took my first international trip, to Costa Rica. To finance this adventure, I babysat to earn extra cash and made an "I'll pay you back" arrangement with my parents. Even though it was a pain, it paid off because by the time my trip came around, I had enough cash to cover all of my expenses and buy some souvenirs.

A budget calculator is an effective tool for financial planning. Using this calculator, you can determine how much money you'll need to travel to the country of your choice.

Considering local currency rates is another good reason to tailor your approach to a specific country. For more accurate exchange rates, you can also use XE Currency or its mobile app.

To have the kind of time you want while abroad, using a travel budget tool like TrialWallet can help. These apps also keep tabs on the money you spend on things like lodging, food, and transportation while on the road.

Keep some spare cash on hand in case your rental car breaks down or you want to treat your newfound friends to a round of drinks at the local watering hole. You should also bring a secondary method of payment (credit or debit cards). If you plan to use your debit or credit card while you are away, you should let your bank know before you leave.  

Do not pass up the best backpacking trip planning resource

Having a well-thought-out plan is crucial for any trip, but especially one with a limited budget.

Traveler looking at vintage map

Utilize reward programs when planning trips.

Is there anything more amazing than traveling? Getting something out of it  

Checking out travel rewards programs is a good idea if you travel frequently for business or pleasure.

Travel credit cards, with sign-up bonuses in the hundreds of dollars, can be useful for those who like to travel but don't want to break the bank. Continue making purchases to earn points redeemable for airfare, car rentals, and hotel stays. Some cards that offer attractive discounts are the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Miles, and Citi ThankYou Premier cards; just make sure you can pay off your balance in full every month to avoid paying any interest.

Find out how to get cheap flights and lodgings.

Airfare will most likely be the most costly part of your trip.

When trying to stick to a strict budget, being open-minded about where you go can help. Possessing even a small number of alternatives can significantly increase your bargaining power. Further, please clear your browser's cookies. The kind used by airlines and booking sites to artificially inflate the prices you see when searching for flights, not the delicious chocolate chip variety.

Please use the following links to access some of our favorite travel planning Airlines often offer deep discounts on these sites to fill unsold seats.

• Scott's Cheap Flights - Daily emails can be annoying, but not when they inform you of the lowest airfares available online based on your current location. The flight search process is simplified with Scott's. To think that we could be more productive if only we had more vacation time

Momondo: These days, it's tough to know if you're getting the best deal possible. Cookies are not used by Momondo to increase or change fares based on your previous searches, which happens more often than any of us would like to admit.

• Adioso — Super simple to navigate, this is the best option for those with a loose schedule. Your search can be as specific or as general as you like (i e For two weeks in July, departing from Los Angeles and going anywhere. Then, kick back and let Adioso do the legwork to find you the best prices.

You've probably heard of Kayak, but did you know that you can make "anywhere" a destination filter? It's a lot of fun to mess around with even if you know exactly where you're going.

• Skyscanner — This is the best place to find cheap flights because the company negotiates special discounts with airlines and other travel providers. And if you want to do some more adventuring, they even have a cool map feature.

You can also use apps like Hopper and Fareness to find cheap flights.   Remember that Attempts to reduce costs can result in longer transit times, more connections, and more time spent in transit overall.

Want to know how to save money while visiting Europe? Want to see some breathtaking scenery? Consider a trip to New Zealand.  

It's a good idea to keep an eye on airfare prices before booking any kind of trip, whether it's a short hop across the pond or a round-the-world adventure.   These aforementioned apps can be of great assistance to you. Learn to Recognize the Ideal Buying Window Typically, you'll want to start planning your trip two to three

Zen airplane views

Look into potential substitutes for your current living arrangements

Can you get free lodgings when you travel abroad?  

In a nutshell, yes, and the following are just a few of the many options to help you travel abroad on a budget. Expect a slightly nontraditional international experience, though, and be ready to put in some work before departing.


Thousands of people all over the world have discovered the benefits of couchsurfing as a cheap and convenient way to travel. Hosts are members of the local community who are happy to take in visitors from all over the world and put them up for free in their homes.

Couchsurfing's mission is to facilitate meaningful interactions between locals and visitors worldwide through the power of hospitality and reciprocity.

Those who host couch surfers are typically friendly, outgoing people who are interested in learning more about the world. Keep in mind that not all surf hosts can offer five-star accommodations, but that even if that is the case, the experience will likely be rewarding for both surfers and hosts alike.

If you want to meet new people, go to Couchsurfing and make a profile that is both friendly and accurate. The next step is to look up possible hosts in the cities you'll be visiting. Send them an encouraging message and explain why you want to visit their city. Trying to travel on a tight budget? Free can't be beat.

Watching Houses

TrustedHousesitters is a wacky and cost-effective strategy for obtaining free lodging If you choose to help out by keeping an eye on someone else, in exchange for a place to lay your weary, wanderlust-filled head.

Mind My House and HouseCarers are two alternatives that also facilitate international house sitting connections. It's possible that you'll have to pay a yearly fee in order to get in touch with the owners, but you can easily factor that into your budget for exploring the world.

Camping Outside

Want to spend less money on your desire to spend more time outdoors? Camping is a great option for any trip, but it's especially appealing in milder climates.

Using tools like FreeCampsites, you can reserve a campsite. Some considerations to keep in mind if you choose this path:

Take care to pack sensibly Tent, sleeping bag, air mattress or sleeping pad, water filtration system, and flashlight are all essentials.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the fire, trespassing, and camping etiquette regulations of your destination before you set up camp.

Keep your campsite tidy for the benefit of future campers; "take only memories, leave only footprints." The last thing you need is for a stranger to come and dump trash all over your backyard.


Airbnb has become increasingly popular in recent years, but it is still a wonderful option for those looking to save money and have a more genuine travel experience.

When I travel, I only stay at Airbnb properties if there are none available. It's a great way to save money on lodging, and your hosts can also recommend activities and restaurants that won't break the bank while you're there.

One of my recent Airbnb stays in Napa, California, even came with a complimentary bottle of wine.

Travel the world with the help of Worldpackers.

There are a plethora of options for low-cost international travel on Worldpackers.

Swap your skills and experience for a chance to see the world. Furthermore, you'll be able to save money and do some good for the local community in the place you're visiting.

Worldpackers hosts not only make travel more accessible and less taxing, but they also give you the opportunity to integrate into the culture of the place you're visiting and form lifelong bonds with other travelers.

Check out the Broke Backpacker's first-hand experience with Worldpackers to learn more about how to travel the world on a budget!

Glamping, Marfa, Texas

5. Spend time helping others or participating in a work exchange

Is it rewarding to you to help those less fortunate? Why not try doing some volunteer work on a global scale?  

Volunteering is one of the best ways to see the world on the cheap, in my experience.  

In addition to the opportunities for social impact programs abroad that were previously mentioned, Worldpackers also offers a wide variety of opportunities for volunteer travel. Soon you might be volunteering at a wildlife preserve in Borneo or teaching football skills to kids at an NGO in Togo.

Worldpackers also offers work exchange programs. Learn about Bangkok while working as a hostel receptionist or create a social media strategy for a Jamaican bed and breakfast. These are two fantastic Worldpackers work exchange programs.

Others can be found in Groups that send volunteers abroad available, but you need to check their credibility first. If there is a cost involved, make sure it is worth it by reading reviews from previous attendees.  

Your plan is to see the world on a shoestring budget while also volunteering your skills somewhere in need.

Children smiling at school, Uganda

Sixth, become an international English teacher

Teaching abroad is another viable option for those looking to travel sustainably on a tight budget. Being a native English speaker is a huge asset in classrooms around the world, even if you don't have a lot of teaching experience. As an alternative, you could use your English skills as a private tutor or translator.

Educators of the English language enjoy high status and remuneration in many nations. This is especially true in Asia. While some institutions require certification in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) or teaching English to adults (CELTA), others accept a bachelor's degree from any discipline.

Given my lack of experience, I was assigned to teach a younger grade level in the Dominican Republic, where I worked as a teacher for a year. Having a teacher who did not speak Spanish helped accelerate the students' acquisition of the language, which is why my school hired me.  

In the end, I picked up Spanish rather rapidly, and I strongly advise knowing at least some of the local language(s) to help with your studies, though this is less of an issue in the younger grades.

There are some fantastic TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification programs overseas. These programs will train you in the local language, as well as the best methods for teaching English to students of other countries. They will also help you get the necessary work visas and paperwork in order if you sign up for this kind of trip abroad.

Language lessons are just one aspect of teaching abroad. Check out Worldpackers' programs that focus on teaching sports, life skills, and more to communities around the world if the idea of teaching English abroad doesn't appeal to you.  

As someone who has done both, I can attest that teaching abroad is a fantastic way to see the world on a shoestring. Most of the time, you can even expect compensation. which leads us to the best way to travel next time without breaking the bank

Seven, get paid to see the world and work wherever you please

In search of cheap Australia vacation options? Where does one stand on the matter of Belgium Although these are among the most costly regions in which to fly, stay, and travel, Work exchange programs, also known as "travel gigs," are a fantastic way to save money while seeing the world.

Since I've worked in the tourism sector for quite some time, I feel qualified to make this claim. As a student program leader, I've been fortunate enough to travel the world for free by chaperoning students on free flights and leading trips to places like Vietnam, Morocco, the Dominican Republic, and all over the United States.

The list of possible teaching jobs already includes those I've mentioned, but you might also consider being an Au Pair. Providing childcare in exchange for a paid visa, plane ticket, and hotel room exists all over the world. GoOverseas and GoAbroad, two trustworthy travel sites for people of all ages and nationalities, both feature extensive listings of available programs.

Jobs in tourism and hospitality are also common among globetrotters. Getting a job in a hotel or restaurant while traveling is a common idea, but have you considered working on a yacht or cruise ship instead? Then how about a job as a ski instructor or bicycle tour guide? Helper at a campground or eco-lodge  

If you're open to new ideas, you might be surprised by what you find. I've looked in places like Coolworks (U. S Get Up & Go Global and other similar programs can help you find work in hotels and resorts all over the world.

Many jobs in the digital nomad economy allow you to put in your time from the comfort of your own home or from the road. When you go on vacation, why not bring your work with you? Start a travel journal or a blog to share your adventures and turn your explorations into a freelance writing career. Make sure your destination has WiFi connectivity before you leave.

Solo traveler on a sailboat

Embrace your downtime and use it productively. 8.

Are you looking to get the most out of your vacation dollar? Make the most of your long layover by booking flights with multiple stops.  

There will probably be at least one layover that you can ask the airline to lengthen.  

A growing number of airlines are teaming up with the nations in which they fly to boost tourism. Currently, participating airlines include: Iceland Air, Thai Airways, Japan Airlines, Air Canada, and United Arab Airlines.  

Visit Iceland for up to a week without spending a dime more (and get a local to show you around). Plan a visit to Bangkok and the nearby Grand Fuji while you're in Tokyo for a long layover. Hotels for longer than six hours of layovers in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver can be reserved for a flat rate of $49 USD per night.  

In conclusion, for only USD, customers can stay in a hotel, obtain a visa, and get shuttle service to and from the airport in the United Arab Emirates. You'll have to book your flight(s) directly with these providers, but the extra money you save will be well worth the individualized service you receive.

Pick your pursuits carefully.


The costs of a trip can quickly add up, no matter how frugal you are. For example, let's say you spend $210 per week on eating out, which assumes a very modest budget of $10 USD per meal.

You should go food shopping and prepare some of your meals in advance. Get food from the food cart or pack some snacks if you're going to be out for a while.  

Breakfast, in particular, may be provided for free or shared at some hotels and hostels. Benefit from As a result, you'll have more money for fun things to do or a more expensive but well-deserved meal.


Services like Uber, Lyft, Grab, etc. are widely available now, and you can find one in almost any city. Get these apps now and take them with you on your trip  

Learning the methods of transportation most commonly used by locals can also save you money. It might be challenging at first, but you'll soon master it and feel great about yourself.

Pricing Breaks for Larger Organizations

Even if you're traveling on a tight budget, you still want to make the most of all the amazing opportunities at your disposal.  

Groupon and similar apps are fantastic for reserving cool stuff at low prices. Apart from lodging, Airbnb also provides discounted experiences.  

I'm not a fan of app-based hotel booking. Get in touch with the hostel or hotel you're staying at; in many cases, they'll have information on independently bookable group trips. This is a fantastic method for adding some social interaction to your trip.

Free stuff

Free stuff, who doesn't love them some? In pleasant weather, there is usually a wide variety of free things to do.  

Activities that won't break the bank while you're away from home include: hiking, swimming, going to festivals, strolling through city parks, and visiting museums that don't charge an entrance fee.  

To Japan on a tight budget Experience the beauty of the cherry blossoms for free, or pay a small fee to visit famous temples and shrines. Saving money while visiting Greece Soak up some rays at the beach or go on a free guided walk.

Cards and passes that provide discounts can be found in many cities. These discounts can be found on the destination's official tourism website. In New York City, for instance, you can get discounted admission to a number of attractions by purchasing a "CitiPASS."

Positively rewarding foresight Globally, many establishments offer special pricing to students, seniors, and military personnel. Don't forget to bring photo identification!

Solo female traveler at an outdoor camping festival

Pick the best inexpensive vacation spots.

Some parts of the world are better than others for budget travelers because you can get more for your money there.  

If you are not familiar with the currency you will be using, it is recommended that you do some research on exchange rates. Despite the high cost of getting there, Asia offers incredibly cheap lodging (as little as $3 USD a night) and food (as little as $1 USD a meal).  

There may be a plethora of low-cost airline options for getting to Iceland, but once you get there, you may find that you have to spend a fortune on things like food, lodging, and transportation.

The right moment is also crucial. It's best to avoid traveling during times of high demand to save money.  

When possible, schedule your trip at the beginning or end of the peak tourist season, and try to avoid traveling during major holidays unless they are specifically celebrated in the country you are visiting.  

If you don't believe me, just try booking a flight from New York to the Dominican Republic over the holidays. The typical cost of a flight has increased from $300 USD to 0 USD or more as demand has grown. There's a chance of bad weather, but if you go at off-peak times, you can avoid the crowds and save money.

Beautiful beach, Dominican Republic

Finally, don't discount the possibilities right in your own backyard.  

When I was a kid living in Upstate New York, Canada was a quick drive away. Yet it wasn't until I'd already traveled extensively around the world that I even considered visiting.   My visits to Quebec City and Montreal pleasantly surprised me with their charming architecture and exciting nightlife.  

If you're worried about eating the same thing on repeat while away, you don't have to worry.   These travel hacks will help you save a ton of money while you’re away. Great memories can be made even on a tight budget.

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