Aside from plane travel, lodging is the number one expense travel. There are a variety of ways to save on hotels and lodging while you travel the world. I highly recommend you read this article on budget travel and still live in beautiful locations if you want the insider tips to Airbnb.com, Homestay.com, Booking.com and house sitting. My top money saving move from those options is house sitting, there are a variety of house sit sites online, however the one I had the best luck with is Trustedhousesitters.com.
Other accommodation options include work exchange programs, seriously just Google “work exchange programs” and you will find programs all over the world. During the programs you basically work a certain amount of hours a week in exchange for free room and sometimes even meals. The work situations vary from working on an organic farm, a hostel or a helping someone out around their property.
Another option not often considered for lodging is camping. If you have the means to camp, and feel confident in your skills, by all means go for it! Word to the wise, be aware of your surroundings and go by your gut feeling about a spot you thinking of pitching tent. If it feels good and safe and there no clear no trespassing signs, you are probably ok. If you feel something down deep or in the back of your mind, skip it and move on to the next spot. On our drive from Colorado to Cabo San Lucas we spent 5 out 7 nights camping and only two nights in hotels. This saved on expenses.
In order to save on food while you travel the world, the best option is to go to the local market where the locals buy their produce. Eat at least two of your meals from food you make yourself at the market. When at the market follow these tips:
My go-to source for the best airfare deals is Skyscanner.comthis website finds the best deals from across the web and puts all the options in one convenient place just for you! I found the best deals on Sunday and Tuesdays. I snagged two one-way tickets to Cartagena, Colombia from Houston, TX for $300USD total. That was a steal! Only thing, with getting the best rate you normally are stuck with horrible travel hours and extremely long layovers. So it is up to you, spend about $300 more for convenience or have a story to tell about sleeping in the Boston airport or the Singapore airport overnight.
Throughout South America and South East Asia, bus is the way to travel. South America has a couple of nicer lines including Cruz del Sur which we took from Mancora, Peru to Lima, Peru. Other than that though, the buses can be quite rough, cramped and hot. South East Asia, is another story, the buses are comfortable and spacious. Either way, bus travel is the most economical way to move about the county or continent.
We traveled via car in the United States and Mexico. When crossing the border into Mexico, be sure that if you go south past the state of Sinaloa, you need obtain what is called a Temporary Import Permit which cost us $56USD at the time of purchase along with a $300USD deposit which you get back upon leaving the country. There are a lot of toll roads in Mexico and those tolls sure can add up. We chose spend a little extra and take the toll roads, one for safety and two to save time. There is the option to take the libre road however this route will cost you in time. Always, have pesos on hand for the tolls and gas stops at Pemex. Since our credit card is American, Pemex does not accept it, same goes for the tolls.
Public transportation ranges from catching a taxi in Quito, Ecuador, to cruising Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain, a tuk-tuk in Bali, Indonesia, or a collectivo in Colombia.Personal safety is top priority when choosing a transportationin a foreign country. If hopping a taxi, choose one that at least looks legit, not like someone pulled a car off the lot and stuck a taxi sign on top. When you find a driver, tell him where you need to go. ALWAYS ask how much and agree to the price before getting in. If you don’t like the price here is another opportunity to bargain. The places you are most likely going to get ripped off are at major bus stations and airport terminals. After an eight hour bus ride or sleeping in airports all night, you may feel a bit fried. Things can seem extra crazy and hectic, especially if you do not know the language; I suggest just going with the flow here. After that though, get those haggling gloves on!
In order to travel the world with a budget in mind, be sure to get a credit card that supports your travel ventures. There are a few companies such as Chase Sapphire Card, Capital One Venture, and Charles Schwab. While each has their own benefits and drawbacks, I chose to go with Charles Schwab. All you have to do is open a free brokerage account and you get a free checking account linked to the brokerage account. The main reason I chose Charles Schwab is because they reimburse any ATM fees you incur during your travels and they do it in a timely manner.
Be sure to keep track of your card! We were in Mancora, Peru and a nice man from the United States lost his only credit card in a place where services including mail are very limited.
After traveling to eight different countries across the globe in one year, those are my top tips to travel the world under $15,000. I hope you find these useful when planning your next journey!
Share about some of your top tips to save money while traveling!
Amed, Bali, Indonesia by Tony Westbrook