Whoever said you had to be rich to travel the world? Here are a few tips we've learned that will help you travel the world for cheap!
For the more visual learners among us, we also made a handy video version of these tips!
Tip #1 - Get a travel rewards card!
We didn’t use credit cards for years and really debated getting a new one, but honestly it’s been one of the things we’ve ever done for travel!! We’ve had our Capital One Venture Card for a little over a year now and have already gotten over $3000 in free travel! Seriously, why didn’t we do this sooner?!!
We pay our bills and put all of our purchases (and sometimes friend’s purchases) on our card, which racks up points super fast. So next time you’re out to dinner, pick up the tab and have everyone Venmo or PayPal you for their portion. ;)
Tip #2- Book a cruise!
No, seriously! Most people associate cruises with high-priced vacations, but you can actually find really cheap cruises on sites like Cruisesheet.com and Cruisedirect.com. As long as you’re somewhat flexible with dates and the general start and end locations, you can find them for as little as $35-40/day. And that includes food, entertainment, and accommodations!
However, if you're a boozehound like we are, you'll find that the alcohol packages on cruises are absolutely outrageously priced! Never fear, this video will show you the best technique out there for sneaking liquor on a cruise.
Tip #3 - Stop eating out!
So... this tip sucks. We love eating out and struggle with this one a lot ourselves. But if you’re on the road and eating out for 2-3 meals a day, plus the cost of coffee, tea, beer or whatever other treats you sneak in there, it adds up super fast! Before you know it, you’ve spent $50-100+ on food and drinks alone for just one day!
Instead, make a point to run by a grocery store when you first arrive at your destination. There you can snag all the essentials like coffee, booze, and easy ingredients for homemade meals. Heck, with all the money you’ll save, you might just have enough to book your next vacation!
Tip #4 - Do free stuff!
Big cities and small towns alike typically take a lot of pride in showing off all that the area has to offer. A quick scan of the city’s website or facebook group in addition to a search on TripAdvisor and literally Googling “free things to do” near our location have led us to some of our most memorable and free adventures!
Check out this vlog of ours where we had an amazing time exploring an abandoned ghost town without spending a dime! We found this one on TripAdvisor:
Tip #5 - Travel to cheaper places!
So this one’s kind of a no-brainer and we’re not saying to only travel to cheap places. But if you spend a week or two in New York, try offsetting the higher prices by going to a more rural area or less expensive country in general like The Philippines or Croatia. That way you can explore all sorts of countries and cities without breaking the bank.
For example, it's possible to travel for 6 months through Southeast Asia and only spend $2000usd!
We love looking at Nomadlist.com to compare the living costs of different places around the world. It definitely helps keep us on budget. Check it out!
Tip #6 - Use public transit and bikes, say no to Uber and Lyft!
Unless you luck out and land a job with a traveling circus, transportation costs can rack up quickly.
And while car sharing programs and taxis are great when you're in a time crunch, we find it's typically much cheaper to travel via public transportation and bikes.
We’ve biked a lot of cities since we started traveling and always agree that it gives us such a better perspective of the area. Since you’re going at a much slower pace, you really get to soak everything in and see the city and neighborhoods up close. Plus, bike rentals typically cost $5 or less per day. Just make sure you pay attention to the time limits! Some rentals allow for free and unlimited check-outs in a 24 hour period as long as you check your bike back in every 30 minutes. If you’re not diligent with your time, you could end up paying a lot more than you bargained for.
For those not into biking, buses and trains are super affordable forms of transportation that also force you to jump right in and get to know the layout of a city and its inhabitants. Public transit might seem overwhelming at first, but if you take it slow, read the signs and are prepared to miss a train or two in the process, you’ll quickly become a public transportation pro!
Another trick we use to cut down on transportation costs is to book Airbnbs or hostels on the outskirts, but still walking distance, from the areas we’re visiting. You typically get a much cheaper rental rate and pay $0 in transit costs because you’re walking! Plus, you get some extra exercise which is pretty much always a good thing. :)
And, because you're awesome, here's $35 off your first AirBnB. No joke!
Hopefully these tips showed you that you can still take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about without having break the bank or make too many compromises. Have any other travel tips or hacks we should know about? Leave us a comment below!