One of Travel Fashion Girl’s readers recently emailed me with questions about my personal travels and how to travel the world with no money. I thought I’d share my answer with you!
How to Travel the World with No Money
Hi, I have recently discovered your blog and traveling packing lists and tips page!
To be honest, I am absolutely in love with your life! I have wanted to travel more than anything my entire life but my main problem is money. How do you do it? Any information you can give me would be great. I would love to volunteer as I travel but even then its a couple thousand dollars so I feel stuck, as I am a young college student working minimum wage jobs. I look forward to hearing from you soon as I am ready to jump on a plane any day now, thanks!
Thanks for your message! To be honest, up until 2013 my travels were all based on hard work and savings. It wasn’t easy, I sacrificed alot, and endured up to 20 hour work days. But in the end, it was so worth it. There are some ways to figure out how to travel the world with no money or a very small budget. Here are some tips!
TIPS FOR TRAVELING ON A TINY BUDGET
Every penny saved is a penny earned for travel.
In areas such as Southeast Asia and Central America, your money goes a lot further. You might spend $10 on a meal at home but eating locally may only cost you $1-$2 in Guatemala or Thailand (two of my favorite countries) among other destinations.
Your total food budget might cost you $3-$5 per day so anywhere between $100-$150 per month. That’s a pretty feasible goal even if you’re saving $50-$100 a month for one year.
By traveling in countries with lower costs of living, my money goes a lot further.
Aside from food, less expensive destinations offer you the opportunity to use local, cheap transportation such as buses. The longer period of time you have available for a trip, the slower you can travel and avoid using flights or trains.
Remember, the most expensive part of a trip is the flight so once you’re there you don’t necessarily have to take any more flights to travel around. I’ve seen flights fro Florida to South America for as little as $100 each way. If you don’t limit your options and open yourself up to countries you may not considered, you can find yourself on an amazing adventure sooner than you think!
Use skyscanner’s monthly search tool to find the best deals from the country where you’re departing to “anywhere”.
I lived a very frugal life at home to save money to travel.
From 2008-2013 I would go home every 1-2 years and work for 2-4 months in seasonal high paid jobs. I would work my bum off working 20-hour days and take every side job I could in order to earn money during these short spurts at home.
I didn’t shop or eat out and I saved the majority of my paychecks. I cancelled all unnecessary bills and sold my car, clothes, shoes, furniture…everything. Living with family is a huge help to cut down on bills.
When I am traveling I have a budget lifestyle
Which you can read about in WanderlustandtheGirl.com particularly the posts from 2011 and 2012.
I stayed in hostels or budget guesthouses and maximize my money by traveling in cheaper parts of the world like Southeast Asia and Central America.
I also use credit cards to build airline miles to earn free flights when I am at home.
That’s one of my biggest regrets from my twenties. I wish I would’ve applied for a credit card that earned airline rewards and charged everything I purchased including any bills. At the end of the month, you then pay it off in full just as if you had paid in cash for everything you purchased. That way, you don’t get into debt but you can take advantage of the perks like free flights, car rentals, and hotel stays.
Take a look at this guide on how to use frequent flyer programs!
VOLUNTEERING IN EXCHANGE FOR FREE TRAVEL
Many programs advertising volunteering opportunities abroad charge thousands of dollars. Unless you have more money than time, this is not the most budget friendly way to travel.
- I use alternate services
- I’ve had some of the most memorable experiences
Doing these volunteer opportunities not only did I save money but I did awesome things I would’ve never expected to do. I spent 5 weeks working in the jungle in Guatemala; I worked 1 week in the jungle in Borneo; I helped create a unique fundraising event in Thailand; and I also learned digital marketing in Thailand.
This would probably be a great tactic for you to start traveling on a small budget. It’s like a working holiday.
Hope these tips on how to travel the world with no money help you on your quest to travel!
Do you have any other tips on to add? Please share!
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