We all desire to see new places, eat new food and meet new people. But we often have reasons not to travel and that includes
“I have no money”
“I do not have someone to accompany me”
“I have prior commitments”
“I am too old to travel”
I have been very fortunate to travel extensively throughout the world in the last few years. I have visited Austria, Bhutan, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Poland, Rome, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, and UAE.
Sometimes I have taken flights as cheap as 700 INR (10 USD) or has spent days without spending a single penny. You can either travel cheap or even for free if you have will to do it.
In this post I will tell you how to travel cheap, I will be making another post on how to travel for free soon.
Finding Cheapest Flight
Airfare is a relatively easy category to save money. Since the fares are dynamic, you can use these sites and apps to find the cheapest price possible.
Skyscanner: You can use this site to perform a country wise and month wise search. Assume that you have to travel from Goa, India to Bali, Indonesia. You can search flight for “India” to Bali, Indonesia and then based on the cheapest fare (Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin etc) available, you can take the bus or train to go to the nearest city. If you have flexible dates then you can find the cheapest fare in a calendar month or year.
You can also use Momondo and Kiwi for checking best airfares available. There are tons of another website such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Expedia, Agoda, Goibibo, EaseMyTrip, Jetairways, ClearTrip, AkbarTravels, Musafir that run offers for new customers, bank cards, and festive sales.
Finding Free Accommodation
Do not worry if you do not have friends or family in the city/country you are travelling to.
Couchsurfing: You can use Couchsurfing to find people who can host for free and can also help you plan your travel. This site has people who got a couch or a spare room and wouldn’t mind hosting a traveller. Some of my nicest friends I have met are from this site.
Try WWOOF: WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (WWOOF) is part of a worldwide movement linking visitors with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community. If you can manage your flight ticket then everything else is covered for your stay.
Mindmyhouse: Have you heard of housesitting? If not then it will sound interesting to you. According to wiki housesitting is “the practice whereby a landlord (or “homeowner”), leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house sitters”. Get an annual membership for 20 USD and avail 25000+ home owners worldwide through Mindmyhouse
House swapping is another option if you own your home. New and established home swapping sites such as HomeExchange, LoveHomeSwap, HomeLink, and Intervac allow you to list your house, browse other listings, and contact members about potential swaps.
If you’re not picky about the timing or destination of your next trip, you can save money with last-minute deals on hotel rooms, vacation packages and airfare. Hotel Tonight provides discounted hotel rooms for same-day, next-day, and following-week stays. Jetsetter advertises flash sales on hotel rooms and vacation packages.
If you want to take a short tour/trek in India then get an annual/live membership from Youth Hostel Association. These tours include the accommodation, food and other expenses and you also get to meet travellers.
Roaming around the city
Hitchhiking is a free way to get around that is relatively safe and quite common in many parts of the world, including Central America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
If you can do some research and get yourself acquainted with the places to visit. You can act as a freelance tour guide and also earn good tips.
If you are a student then try to ask for a student discount when buying tickets in tourist places. I have managed to get 50% discount even with my expired ID card. You can also use your Youth Hostel card to get a discount on their hostels.
Many cities also have city tourist cards for places to see around. It comes with a complete package and includes the entrance fees and sometimes the local transport too. Also look for a day pass for bus, trains, metro available.
Few More Tips To Travel Cheap
1. If you are not aware, most bank charges cross currency fees (3.5-5%) on foreign currency transaction. So apply for a forex card to save the charges.
2. Try to limit your packing to a carry-on bag so you can avoid checked luggage fees. You can do laundry in the middle of your trip if you need to your vacation doesn’t have to be a fashion show.
3. If you have the luxury of being able to avoid peak season travel, grab it! Travelling out of season will mean cheaper flights and less busy destinations – a win-win situation!
4. Look for indirect routes, long stopover at the airport to save on airfares
5. Avoid transport and prefer walking. There’s no better way to see a place than to stroll around, taking in the architecture and looking up at those exciting new skies.
6. Get some snacks and food before you take the plane if your airline doesn’t provide free food.
7. If you are planning on going to a club or bar. Get your required amount of drink before you go inside to avoid paying on high price menus.
8. Try not to stay near the centre if it is costly to stay. Look for slightly cheap places if you happen to book a hotel
9. Get the best credit card where you can save points, air miles and more.
All you should do, is get some money, pack some butter and pour some honey
get your bottles and your dusty bags, forget all fears and stop living in rags
take the train and go travel, cover the miles and kiss the gravel
try some food but never be rude, take some selfie and be in the mood
lights are blazing but still, you will feel amazing
go out and feel it, meet people heal it
music for all, and not just one people, put on your shoes and dance to the Beatles
drink some wine, get some life and you will forget all your heartache and strife
take your chances, follow your heart, learn to laugh and lose all fears
look into the eyes with pleasure and by surprise, kiss the skies and go rise and you know life is a surprise with all despise
discover new places and act humble with proud faces, dance to the tune as your heart embraces
and then you realize how good a life can be with all the lovely people who always meet free
it’s a wholesome education, you are learning life and there is no explanation
leave me not forever me, you are more than life and will always be
Thanks to all the travellers for the sweet time we spent together