A few days ago I posted a phrase by Paolo Coelho on social networks: "Travel is never a question of money, but of courage". In fact, most people are convinced that the main problem that prevents them from traveling is the lack of money.
Therefore, I decided to write this article with all the tips on how to travel low cost,a complete guide where I will lead you to discover many opportunities to travel while spending as little as possible. I will even reveal ways to travel even without money.
It is certainly true that traveling depends on money, in fact, many countries live on tourism, but it is possible to travel the world even on a limited budget.
If your priority is to travel, I am sure that with these strategies you will be able to make your travel wishes come true!
You don't have to be rich, you can travel cheaply or even for free; obviously you need to be creative and adapt to situations.
Of course there are some expenses that are preferable not to give up, such as travel insurance, but there are many ways to start low cost and many applications and websites to reduce expenses as much as possible.
In this low cost travel guide we will look at the 4 main categories of travel, transportation, accommodation, food and excursions and find out how to save or not spend a single euro.
Find the lowest airfare at the lowest price
The first tip for learning how to travel low cost is to save on airfare. Finding cheap flights is now relatively easy, there are more and more low cost airlines, even for long-haul flights. In addition, technology gives us a great hand, the web is full of many tools that allow us to search for the best flight at the lowest price.
When I plan a trip, I usually start my searches with what I think is the best airfare comparator: Skyscanner, a wonderful portal with many features. A very interesting alternative is Google Flight. However, as always, I also suggest checking prices on the airlines' websites.
Finally you will have to know the various techniques and some tricks that will allow you to save a lot of money and travel more and more. For example, a good way to lower costs and visit more places is to create alternative routes, as we have seen in the article: How to find cheap flights.
If you want to know more about how to find low cost flights, download the free guide with all the tips and tricks to find the cheapest airline ticket.
Frequent flyer program
If, on the other hand, traveling low cost is not enough for you and you want to fly totally free, then you should sign up for Frequent Flyer loyalty programs.
In practice, by taking frequent flights or buying products or services from partner airlines (hotels, car rentals, insurance, supermarkets, etc.), you earn points that can be used for discounts, benefits, upgrades or free flights.
Membership is free and you can earn thousands of points instantly by applying for a special credit card.
Travel by train
A valid and economical alternative to airplanes are trains. It is possible to find excellent offers and many advantageous promotions. Also for visiting Europe there are rail passes, an excellent way to travel at low cost. In practice it is a mileage ticket to travel around Europe in an economical and flexible way. The most famous rail pass is l'Interrail, once for the exclusive use of people under 26 years old, today it has been extended to everyone, just choose the type that suits you best. Interrail can only be purchased by residents of Europe, for all non-European citizens there is l 'Eurail.
An advantage of rail passes is that it is often possible to travel overnight, so you also save on accommodation.
Compared to flights and trains, the cheapest way to travel is definitely the bus. Obviously it takes longer, the journeys can be very long, but there are more and more companies all over the world offering services of the highest quality.
In Europe, the most famous company is Flixbus, with trips starting from 3,99 € and withInterFlix, a special pass to travel around Europe and reach up to 5 cities for only 99,00 €.
Also recently arrived is Bla Bla Bus, a fabulous service to reach important European destinations such as Berlin, Barcelona or Munich, with fares starting from 4,99 €.
Keep in mind that even outside Europe the bus is an excellent option to move around, in some countries it is possible to find high class coaches, with fully reclining seats, wi fi and meals; perfect for traveling long distances and for traveling at night.
Carpooling: hitchhiking 2.0
Car Pooling is nothing more than sharing private cars among several people, with the aim of sharing expenses and reducing costs. It is therefore possible to travel while spending less; the most famous carpooling site is Bla Bla Car, the largest community of travelers, where each driver can have empty seats on board his vehicle.
Relocation car: transfer the car from one place to another.
What if I told you that it is possible to rent a car or a caravan for less than 1 € per day? I assure you that it is not a joke or a myth of the web, it's all true. Sometimes it is even possible to earn something. I am referring to the service known as "Relocation car".In practice it consists of moving the cars of the rental cars from one depot to another, it is basically a one-way rental. You will then have to drive to the branch that needs the car.
The Relocation Car service is very active in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and in some European countries.
It is possible to find these offers directly on the websites of car rental companies, but there are also portals that collect the best deals. For example, the site Europcar.co.uk offers one-way rentals at £ XNUMX per day to the United Kingdom.
Where to stay
Sleep in hostels
Hostels are among the cheapest solutions for a low-cost vacation, the price ranges from 2 to 50 € per day. No longer just accommodation for young backpackers, today hostels offer different rooms and many services. You can rent a private room, saving money compared to a hotel or share a dormitory with other travelers. Note that hostels usually have lockers to store valuables.
The best known site to find hostels is Hostelworld.com, but they are now also found on the most famous portals such as booking.com.
Hostels are cheap, but if you are looking for a place to travel without money, Couchsurfing is for you. By Couchsurfing we mean pure hospitality, you won't have to give anything back. You could sleep in a private room or on a couch (hence the name couchsurfing).
To find a completely free accommodation, you need to register on couchsurfing.org, the most famous portal in the sector. You can either search for the host yourself or enter your travel details and wait for us to contact you.
Couchsurfing is a way to travel low cost, but also to meet more people, different cultures, practice languages and find guides who can show you the most hidden corners of their city.
If you own a house or apartment instead of leaving it empty while you travel, why not consider home exchange? You can exchange your home with anyone and from all over the world, it can also be a way to visit new countries.
The best site for home exchange is homeexchange.com. The portal offers two payment plans: you can pay a fee of $15 per night when you travel, or a flat rate of $150 per year. Each time you host someone, you earn GuestPoints (GP) that you can spend as a guest.
Another home exchange site is HomeForExchange.com.
Perhaps many do not know, but a very advantageous solution where to stay at low cost, are the Monasteries, some are even free or simply ask for an offer. Monasteries are often located in beautiful places and usually also offer food. Find out first about the rules of overnight stay and curfew.
You can do some research online to find the best place for you.
Airbnb is a well-known portal for apartment rentals, as well as a way to connect with locals.
On the site, there are several options and many filters that will help you find the best solution for your needs. For example, you can choose the type of accommodation, whether it is a room or the whole apartment. It is also possible through the Airbnb site to participate in activities organized by local people.
Another great advantage of Airbnb is that you also become a host and rent out your home while traveling.
Booking: Short-term rentals
For booking short-term accommodation, Booking.com is still the best portal, with a wide offer and a great variety of facilities. Not only 5-star hotels, but also guesthouses, B&Bs, landlords, hostels, campsites, in short, various opportunities to travel at the lowest possible cost.
Working abroad - Job opportunities
WorkAway is the most popular site for finding work in exchange for room and board. In short, it connects job offers and travelers looking for free accommodation. There are different types of jobs you can do: babysitter, gardener, but also teacher or you can offer advice. Or there are the hostels that are looking for help to manage the structure. In short, there are many opportunities all over the world.
Currently there is an annual membership of $ 42 for singles or $ 54 for couples. If you wish, you can take a look at the various advertisements before you sign up.
Generally, working with Workaway requires a commitment of about 4/5 hours a day for 5/6 days a week. Obviously, don't plan to use this site just to find a free place to sleep, you will also need to work.
Helpx is very similar to Workaway and often displays the same ads. However, Helpx registration is cheaper, around 20 € for a 2-year subscription.
Wwoof stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, in fact it is a portal specialized in finding work on farms in exchange for room and board.
Thanks to house sitting you can have free accommodation and in exchange you will have to take care of the house, water the plants or take care of the pets. It is definitely the best option if you are looking for accommodation for a long period of time.
The best sites are: MindMyHouse.com, LuxuryHouseSitting.com and HouseCarers.com, Trusted House Sitters.
Work remotely while traveling
Finally, there is the possibility of working while traveling. There are many jobs that can be done remotely and anywhere in the world, the important thing is to have a good wi-fi connection.
Follow the locals
Avoid the more touristy restaurants and follow the locals, ask the hotel staff, cab drivers, sales clerks, they know where to eat well and cheaply. This is also the beauty of traveling, tasting the typical pacts of each place.
The best way to save while traveling is to cook. If you stay in an apartment with a kitchen, you can shop, preferably in the markets, and cook at home, without always having to go out to eat. Shopping will also bring you closer to local customs.
Street food is the cheapest and often the tastiest option. Street food can be found anywhere in the world, from hot dogs in New York to noodles in Asia.
Many cities around the world offer free walking tours to see the main attractions and also get off the beaten tourist track. You can check with your local tourist office.
Browsing online it is also possible to find sites that offer tours of the main cities completely free of charge.
For example, the portal estado, in addition to the classic paid activities, allows you to book free tours. Here you will find a free tour of Prague.
Or there are the The receivers, of ordinary citizens who love to discover their city, often showing secret and non-traditional places. The reference site is www.globalgreeternetwork.info
City Tourist Card
If you plan to visit as many points of interest in a city, you should buy a tourist card, thanks to which you will have free access to the main attractions and discounts on public transport.
Many cities offer free admission to some museums on certain days of the week. Often, they just ask for a free offer. For example, in New York it is possible to visit some of the most important museums thanks to "Free Admission", once a week and at specific times. I recommend visiting the official website of a particular museum and find out if there are days with free admission.
We have seen so many opportunities not only to save but also to travel for free!
Finally I want to add some practical tips for low cost travel:
- Be Flexible;
- Travel out of season;
- Avoid overly touristy and expensive countries;
- Travel with carry-on luggage;
- Stipulate a'travel insurance;
- Use the best App to save on the flight.
Now, with all these low cost tips, do you feel ready to explore the world?
Have a great trip!