How to travel with minimal expenses
because, let’s be real here, no one can afford that shit.
Couch surf. Seriously, go to www.couchsurfing.org and get yourself an account. People waste so much money on accommodations when they can stay at someone’s house for free. Also, this helps you make the best of your trip because the people you are staying with will probably be able to give you some advice on the best places to eat and things that you’ve got to see.
If you are unwilling to couch surf because of safety concerns or just a general lack of interest, I will say that if you are careful, it can be a very safe and fun thing. Still, my second recommendation would be for you to stay in a hostel or a cheap motel. Bring a sleeping bag with you so you don’t have to deal with dirty sheets (though hostels are generally pretty clean) and maybe your own travel pillow. An alternative to a pillow is just to bundle together a couple of sweatshirts and call it a night, If you are staying at a hostel, the rooms with the most beds are the cheapest. Staying in a room full of strangers can seem daunting, but it’s actually usually a pretty good time. You can rent a locker (but buy your own lock for these things because you can never be too careful) and keep your valuables on your person. Never EVER leave things like cameras, wallets, passports, or MP3 players in a place where strangers can get to them. Also, bring shower shoes. Just do it. Seriously. Foot fungus is no joke.
2. Travel Expenses
This is the #1 most expensive part of traveling.
Flights: Look at every single flight booking company you can find for the best deals. If you are a student, you can try sites like studentuniverse.com, if you’re in Spain, try Vueling. If you’re going from the UK to Europe, check out Ryanair. There are seriously tons of websites and cheap airlines that will make it more affordable for you. Keep in mind that it might be easier to fly out of another city and just take the bus there (though this will mean longer travel time). Also, try to fly on a Tuesday because, for some reason, that’s when tickets are usually cheapest. Try to book either really far in advance or insanely last minute (not advisable and you may get stranded somewhere if you bank on this).
Bus and Trains: These mean longer travel time and are usually less comfortable, but they are BY FAR the cheaper option. One thing to note about trains is, unless you get a private car, you will have nowhere to put big luggage. I don’t recommend traveling with a lot of luggage anyway, but, from personal experience, you will very much regret bringing a large suitcase onto a train.
Traveling does not mean eating out for every meal. That is a stupid waste of money. Give yourself one or two nights where you go out to a nice (isn) dinner, but save your money and go to the grocery story for every other meal. That may mean drinking yogurt out of a bag and eating dry cereal, or overdosing on turkey sandwiches, but who cares when you get to go see more amazing things? Essentially, buy what’s cheapest and cook it yourself (in the hostel’s kitchen, your host’s kitchen, or your bed if neither of those pan out) You won’t always get a hot meal, but you will always get fed.
Also, buying alcohol at clubs and bars is like throwing your money into a black hole. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink, because that would be ridiculous, but limit yourself to one or two. Don’t drink to get drunk because you won’t remember it anyway and you can do that at home. Spend this money doing something unforgettable and un-regrettable.
You don’t need them. Instead of spending money on little trinkets that you won’t look at after a month back home, get a nice camera and take pictures of the memories you’re creating. I guarantee you will look at the pictures of your camel ride through the Sahara more than you will look at that glass figurine or dagger that you just had to have.
Also, probably the best thing you can do before you travel is invest in a story journal and a good pen. You will be able to look back at your adventures and remember every detail instead of looking at a small token that will remind you of the shop you got it from.
5. Don’t be afraid to come home broke
Save your money for adventures, but then spend it when you see an amazing opportunity. Money isn’t meant to be hoarded. Don’t wait for the next adventure because it might be better and you have to make sure you still have some money when you get home. Do everything you can and get a job as soon as you get back.