Let’s be real — we would all love to travel the world. But, since we don’t have the same bank account as Bill Gates, travel can seem a bit out of our reach. With that being said, while travel is expensive and many times out of our budget range, that doesn’t mean traveling the world should be limited to just our dreams. In this day and age, you don’t have to be Bill Gates to enjoy the wonders that this world has to offer. As long as you plan ahead, do your research, and stick to your itinerary, you can travel without shelling out an arm and a leg. And I’m here to tell you how to travel the world.
Planning ahead is key to finding cheap prices and guaranteed availability for accommodations, transportation, and excursions. If you know the dates that you can travel, don’t wait until the last minute to book a flight or accommodation — prices are usually jacked up closer to the date of departure. In the event that you book a flight and then the price for that same flight drops, you can call the airline company and they’ll most likely honor the cheaper price and reimburse you the difference. Planning ahead also allows you leeway to make any adjustments or changes to your travel plans without worrying about cancellation fees or other penalty charges.
Research, Research, and MORE Research
In addition to planning ahead, the most important part of traveling is doing your research. Budget Travel has already listed the top most affordable destinations for 2015. Choosing a location that already caters to your price range is a smart move for budget-savvy travelers. Comparing prices will also ensure that you find the best and cheapest deal.
Doing your research goes beyond finding the best deal, but also allows you to read reviews and opinions from other travelers. By reading up on the experiences of other travelers you can find out even more ways to save, and other tips on where to go, what to bring, what to eat (or not), and what to avoid.
Here are 5 things to take into consideration when researching:
If you want to save the most amount of money, while seeing everything that a location has to offer, sign up for a tour. Tour companies such as, Contiki Tours offers worldwide tours, year round at affordable prices. If you want to get the most out of your travel experience, tagging along with a tour group is the way to go–you’ll learn a lot, you’ll meet some really cool people, and you’ll see a lot more than you would if you were traveling solo or with friends. Tours are also offered for college students only, such as the tour company, Bus2Alps, which offers a variety of weekend tours at extremely cheap rates.
How else can you travel to 7 different countries in 10 days for $1,000? You can’t.
Where To Stay?
Hostels are not scary. They are not crawling with bugs — and if they are, you didn’t do your research. They are not places high in crime or danger — and if they are, guess what? You didn’t do your research.
Hostels are one of the cheapest accommodations to stay at when traveling. You won’t have the most privacy, but if you’re really on a tight budget, you’ll have a clean room, shower, and bathroom. What more do you need? You’ll almost always run into other travelers who are looking for buddies. It’s a great way to meet new people and form traveling ties. If you do choose the hostel route, make sure to bring or buy a lock to keep your things safe.
If you’re traveling with a group of people, instead of booking a hotel, rent an apartment for the duration of your stay. Renting an apartment will most likely be cheaper than any hotel offer, and will have a usable and workable kitchen so you can cook and prepare meals–a huge money saver.
Taking public transportation will save you tons of money than paying overpriced rates for taxis. If you’re traveling to a destination that has a metro, bus lines, railroads or ferries, find out prior to your trip, which lines you can take, and how much each ticket costs. Most public transportation systems offer weekly passes that can save you some money. If you need to take a flight to another destination, find out the domestic airline carriers in the region, such as RyanAir in Europe–they typically have lower rates (like $30 tickets from Rome to Dublin…what?!?!) than larger airline carriers.
To avoid getting ripped-off by international banks and ATMs, exchange some money before you leave for your trip. You’ll still be charged a fee, but it won’t be nearly as high as the fees that are charged internationally. Plus, it’s always good to have some cash on hand right away.
Peak and Off Peak Seasons
If you’re traveling during peak seasons, such as the summer, prices everywhere will typically be higher than off season. Be aware of the season your traveling in that way you know how much more or less you need to save.