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Budget Travel: 9 Inexpensive Options

Updated on June 2, 2014

Wondering How to Travel without Money?

Dreamy destinations and little money
Dreamy destinations and little money

Cheap Travel in Action!

Couchsurfing in Macon, Gerogia; waiting for my host to get home.
Couchsurfing in Macon, Gerogia; waiting for my host to get home.

Travelling for Less

If your travel budget is tight but you've got a severe case of wanderlust, unconventional methods may be the thing for you.

I have a wild spirit and itchy feet. Staying in one place too long is detrimental to my well-being, I can't stand seeing the same people and the same roads every single day -- it drives me crazy. Someone else might have a goal of building an extremely successful business and making buckets of money, but my life goal is to travel until my heart's content. I'd rather have less money and be happy than make a good living at something I detest. Being such a fan of travel, I've learned the most budget-friendly ways to get from point A to point B.

In no order, we have:

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing. In couchsurfing, some super-friendly soul lends you a room, a bed, or a couch to sleep on for as long as was agreed. It's free, but it's always appreciative to take your host out to dinner or by them a nice gift, after all, they're bringing a stranger into their house free of charge.

Hitch Hiking

Hitch Hiking. Okay, I'll admit, I love hitch hiking, but I am worried sick when other people do it. It's rare you'll run into a dangerous situation but it's sometimes hard to get out of that suspicious mindset; it's just like knowing that only two people are killed a year by bears, but you still see them as vicious killers -- same thing. I've gotten rides quite a few times; never had anything too strange happen; although, I had a guy pick me up who was asking questions about my job and if I had a boyfriend, while there's nothing wrong with that at all, it was one of my first times hitch hiking and I was a bit paranoid. Men, a word of advice: if you pick up a solo female hitch hiker, don't ask her about boyfriends or talk about sex, it'll just scare her.

Why not CouchSurf here?!
Why not CouchSurf here?!

WWOOFing

Wwoofing. You'll work on a farm a few hours a day in exchange for food and a place to sleep, be aware that each farm differs from the next so do your research and make sure a farm is a perfect match for you.If you're only interested in the travel aspect of wwoof, look for a farm with 3-5 hours of work and a laid back attitude;I really only recommend wwoofing if you have an interest in organic farming.

Camping

Camping. Combined with hitch hiking, this is budget travel at it's finest. You'll have to use it with some mode of transportation (if hitch hiking isn't your thing), obviously, but if you're near some woods, why not? I heard of a man who hitch hiked around the USA and camped in the interstate median. It's not the safest way to travel, but the event of a vehicle slamming right into your 5' by 5' patch of grass would be uncanny.

Backpacking

Backpacking. Backpacking is a concept that usually includes hostels, public transportation and carrying your belongings on your back. While I'm not a fan, I would probably consider doing it with a group of friends.

How to Save Money Travelling the World!

WorkAway Travel Opportunities

WorkAway.info I was suspicious of workaway when I first discovered the site a few years back, it sounded too good to be true so I did a little research on workaway experiences and it appears to be a legitimate volunteer opportunity. WorkAway is somewhat similar to wwoofing, except that along with farm opportunities, you can also find nanny jobs, language jobs and hostel/hotel jobs all in exchange for room and board. I'm definitely going to have to try this out during my travels.

Van Dwelling/RVing

Van-Dwelling/RVing. Lots of people make living in vehicles a permanent lifestyle; I say, good for them! It's a clever set-up; imagine not paying rent/a mortgage, having all your possessions cut down to the essentials (less stuff is less stress), and being able to travel anywhere there are roads. You can even continue to work with this set-up, in a few years you'll be richer than your stuck-up old neighbor.

Staying in Hostels

Hostels. Hostels are one of my least favorite ways to get around. You dohave to pay for them, some are dirty, not much privacy, mostly teenagers, and sometimes a hostel costs as much as a motel for a night, especially in popular cities. If you do a little research online, you can find hostels for a couple bucks a night with wifi and breakfast included in some of the most exotic regions of the world. I found a hostel in Fiji for 7.00 USD a night with free airport pickup, wifi and even fire dancing shows once a week. That's an example of a top-notch hostel, good luck finding that in London.

HouseCarers and House Sitting

HouseCarers. I've never tried it, but it looks promising. HouseCarers is basically couchsurfing, but without the host being present. It's the ultimate win-win situation: you house sit for someone on vacation and enjoy free accommodation while exploring a new city or town or even a forest! This does include taking care of pets, in some cases, make sure to ask plenty of question before signing on.

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