You might think that a long-term backpacking trip isn’t in the cards for you. Normal life gets in the way of travelling the world, and money is a huge factor for most people. But there is good news; travelling for a few months or even a year is a possibility for just about anyone, especially with so many new ways to support yourself online.
So pack your bags, browse Skyscanner and Expedia, and jet off to a foreign place. Try not to focus too much on your bank account balance. There are some things you can do to alleviate the stresses of money while you travel. Follow these 5 helpful tips for saving money on your next adventure abroad.
Stay flexible in your plans
Try not to have your heart too set on certain plans. When you stay flexible during your travels, you’re more likely to stay within budget. When you search for flights, consider booking whatever is cheapest. This means flexibility with dates – and even destinations – is key. Travel databases like Skyscanner and Kiwi even make it possible to search for the cheapest options available.
Eat like a local, not like a tourist
One of the best aspects of travelling is trying out the international cuisine. Nothing beats paneer butter masala in India, pad thai in Thailand, and gelato in Italy. This being said, not every restaurant or street food vendor is created equal. For budget travellers, it is essential to eat like a local and not like a tourist.
Look for restaurants, cafes, or street food vendors that are crowded with locals, not travellers. These places will offer the best food, not to mention the cheapest prices. Instead of a $15 meal at a “nice” Thai restaurant, you could be paying $2 for more authentic food from a local hotspot.
Cut back on unnecessary expenses
The concept of a necessary vs. unnecessary expense is completely subjective. Before you start travelling, you need to determine what is essential and what is not for you. Some people consider alcohol a must, whereas others can go without it. Set a budget beforehand for your spending each day, and allot a certain amount to things you deem “unessential”.
Work on your bargaining skills
Even if bartering is not accepted in your home culture, chances are you’ll be travelling to some destinations where it is. In countries like India, Thailand, and Guatemala it is even expected. So work on your bargaining skill while you travel. Typically travellers bargain for souvenirs, but you might even be able to cut costs on meals and accommodations.
Volunteer in exchange for free food and accommodations
Not only can you bargain, there will also be plenty of opportunities for FREE meals and places to stay. Research volunteer programs in the area; lots of places will offer free room and board (and even food) in exchange for a few hours of work a day. Check out sites like Workaway for opportunities. Here you’ll find constant postings from hostels, hospitals, orphanages, and other companies around the world.