The world offers a ton of vacation spots. But traveling can burn a hole in your pocket. So, here are some out-of-the-box tips and tricks that can help you experience the world, enjoy good food, and interact with other cultures even if you’re flat broke.
Teach English Overseas
If you speak, read and write English fluently, you can earn some money teaching overseas. There are a lot of countries that will pay big bucks for English teachers. Get a TEFL certification as this will open up even more English teaching opportunities.
Sleep in Shared Rooms
We certainly wouldn't mind booking a room at the Hilton. But if you want to save some cash, try looking into a bed and breakfast, a hostel or a place you can rent a shared room. You'll get lower rates ranging from $12 to $35, which is more affordable than most hotel rates.
Work in a Hostel
Find a job at a hostel. They’ll let you use their accommodations for free. You can even get a large carby meal like breakfast, so you can feel full the entire day. Not only will you save money on a room, but also on food costs.
Use a VPN to Find Best Deals
Travel sites have ways of tracking people who visit their webpages. So, if you go a second time, they'll bump up the price of the destination you're trying to fly to or the hotel room you're trying to book. To keep this from happening, use a VPN and get the best deals.
Make Your Own Meals
Takeout is expensive, and so is eating out all the time. But you can go to a local market and buy ingredients to make your own meal. It’s less expensive than going to a restaurant. You can even buy some Maruchan Soups which only costs about $1.94 per pack.
Hostels Offer Free Food
Most travelers staying in hostels leave all sorts of food behind in the fridge and in the pantry because they can’t take it with them when they leave. So, while you’re at the hostel, feel free to do some scavenging. But do ask to make sure you’re not taking someone else’s food by mistake.
Plan Trips During Off-Peak Times
Don't book a flight on Sunday or any other potentially expensive high-peak hour. People who travel often need to get back home by Sunday evening or early Monday morning to get to work. That's how the airlines get you. So, look for those off-peak hours that no one wants, and book a flight then.
Offer to Housesit
Sign-up at House Carers, Mind My House, and The Caretaker Gazette and stay at someone else’s house for free while you’re traveling. In exchange for housesitting, you’ll get free accommodations and a kitchen where you can cook your own meals.
Use Your Global Connections
If you have friends or relatives living in other parts of the world, get them to give you some inside information on the country they’re living in. While you’re at it, see if you can stay with them during your vacation. You might be able to get some free meals if your hosts are super generous.
Rent a Bike to Move Around
By renting a bike you'll be able to ride around and explore your temporary surroundings while getting a workout in the process. You'll also save a lot of money on cab fare, subways and buses, too.
Sleep in a Local’s Couch
Sites like Couchsurfing allow travelers like you to connect with locals who will kindly offer their homes for free. You can also try using other apps on your mobile phone like Airbnb, BeWelcome, Trustroots, and MovingWorlds, but not all of them are free, of course.
Get an Overseas Job
Get a job overseas. Sites like AuPairWorld allow you to find nanny jobs in other parts of the world. You can even look for a job aboard a cruise ship or a farm worker, which are very popular in New Zealand and Australia. You can visit Workaway.info or Oysterworldwide.com to get the scoop.
Chat With Fellow Travelers
Talk with people who have experience traveling. They’re a fountain of knowledge and can offer you tips on how to save money on food, transportation, and accommodations. You can find them online, at hostels, or in popular touristy areas.
Find Things to Do for Free
Loft Hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland, offers free yoga sessions on Sunday afternoons year-round as does the Woodah Hostel in Copenhagen. You can also go on a free daily tour at the Aloha Surf Hostel in Maui, Hawaii. And while you’re at it, hit popular museums around the world that are free like the National Museum of China in Beijing or the National Gallery in London, United Kingdom. All you need to do is a little research beforehand.
Work on a Farm
The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) platform offers travelers the chance to work on a farm in exchange for room and board. Not only will you meet other travelers, but you’ll save money on otherwise costly hotels.
Make Sure to Walk Everywhere
Save a couple of bucks and burn off a few calories by walking around the city, town, or village. Not only will you get to stretch your legs, but you’ll get to explore and discover things you’d probably miss if you were riding around in a cab.
Offer Services for Money
If you’re strapped for cash while traveling, then offer your skills on sites like TaskRabbit, Upwork or GumTree. You can provide services like freelance writing and editing as well as offering to cut other travelers’ hair or clean-up around the house.
Choose a Budget-Friendly Destination
Sometimes people book a cheap flight only to learn that the country they’re visiting is super expensive. Make sure to research how much a hotel and local restaurants cost so you can choose a destination that actually fits your budget.
Get Rail Passes to Save Money
Book ahead and you can save up to 50 percent off of the original cost of a train ticket. But rail passes can save you as much as 70 percent in places like Australia. Best of all, these passes give you extensive rail travel within one country or multiple countries in places like Europe.
Find Affordable Flights
Sign up on Facebook Groups like Airfare Watchdog, or newsletters like Scott’s Cheap Flights and The Flight Deal so you can frequently monitor for incredible deals on exotic flights. They’ll even give you the 4-1-1 on common fare mistakes you need to avoid.
Keep Track of What You Spend
Track everything you spend, and that includes things like hotel costs, food, transportation, and entrance fees. If you don’t do this, you’ll run out of money halfway through your trip. There are tons of apps that can help you track travel expenses like Splitwise, Tripcoin and Foreceipt.
Drink Tap Water
Drink tap water and save money on buying bottled water or other beverages. But you might need a Steripen in some parts of the world like Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, where drinking tap water isn’t always safe. Don't forget to bring a bottle with you every time you leave the house.
Take Some Snacks With You
To avoid buying a bunch of junk food in between meals, keep a stash of snacks handy like a breakfast bar. It’s healthy and will ensure you can hold out until lunch or dinner. And then you only have to spend money for one or two meals per day.
Avoid ATM Withdrawal Fees
Open a bank account that doesn’t charge any international fees. Charles Schwab in the United States, ING Direct in Australia, and TD Canada Trust in Canada are great options. You can also apply for a credit card that offers a 0 percent foreign transaction fee, too.
Use Google Maps Offline
Make enough room in your phone’s memory to download Google Maps. Then go to the area on the map you want to save and type “ok map” into the search field and press download. This will allow you to use Google Maps even in areas where there’s no Wi-fi. That way, you don’t have to waste money on a chip for your phone.