How to travel the world on a shoestring budget

By on November 25, 2015

Wanderlust is a powerful thing. Who hasn’t been sitting in the office on a dreary Monday morning, dreaming about sipping cocktails on sun-kissed beaches many many miles away? With a growing amount of social media channels available to us, we’re plagued with even more images of people living the dream on their travels, making the need to get away even stronger.

But guess what? Travelling the world isn’t just for the rich and famous, so start packing your bags, because getting out there doesn’t have to be as difficult or expensive as you think. It’s definitely possible to travel on a shoestring budget, as long as you stay savvy and approach it in the right way. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your travels:

Stay in cheaper accommodation

The biggest drain on your travel funds can be accommodation, but remember that you don’t have to stay in expensive hotels on every leg of your journey. Hostels often offer cheaper accommodation the longer you’ll be staying, so if you book a chunk of time at once you could receive a discounted rate. Similarly, Airbnb can work out cheaper in the long run, if you book a host’s apartment for a week or so at a time. Not only does it become a good base for you to explore, but it also adds a homely feel as you go, often giving you access to luxuries like washing machines, dishwashers and power showers that you’d miss while living out of hotels.

How to travel the world on a shoestring budget

Think about the many available transportation options

Flights can be pricey, so think about alternate methods of transportation that can often work out much cheaper or look to offers or sales where these flights might drop in price. If you’re travelling through Europe, look into bus prices from country to country with providers such as Megabus, or purchase an Interrail pass to get you through – with a web of railways snaking through Europe, it can be as easy as hopping on a train to the next country you want to visit.

Or if you’d prefer some flexibility with your route, you can always hire a rental car through rental apps as you go. If you’ve planned your travels in your advance, or are currently working to fund them in the future, it can be handy to learn to drive before you set off to keep transport costs low.

Sound daunting? Don’t fret. There are plenty of resources – like Top Tests, for example – to help you study for your theory test. It’s motivational to think of your lessons to be leading towards a big goal – and what better light at the end of the tunnel than a holiday?

Work while you travel

If you’re planning on settling in each country for a longer period of time, look for part-time jobs that are offered in bars or restaurants to earn some money to fund future travel, or think if you could offer a skill as a paid service – such as teaching English if you’re travelling through Asia.

There are also schemes such as WorkAway, which work by a fair exchange of services. In most cases this involves staying with a host and volunteering with their business for a few hours per day, in exchange for accommodation and meals. These schemes don’t pay, but can be helpful if you want to immerse yourself in the culture of a certain country for a little while and cut down on those accommodation costs.

So, slash your accommodation and travel costs, drive yourself around and earn as you go to enjoy a budget on a shoestring.

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