How to Travel the World on a Budget

Written by Sarah Cummings

Traveling around the world sounds like an expensive hobby right? Wrong!

I’ve found it often cheaper to travel and have fantastic adventures than it is to simply exist in my own country. Yeah, go figure!

It takes a little work and you have to willing to put your trust in the hands of others from time to time. But isn’t that what travel is all about after all.

Still unsure if you can afford to travel? Don’t know where to start? Well don’t worry my financially challenged friend, there is an art to budget travel and I am about to fill you in on how to become an artist.

Be discerning

My fellow world wanderer, the world is big and full of many many wonders, if you lived a hundred lifetimes and had an unlimited supply of money, you still wouldn’t be able to see it all. Travel is not like a computer game, you can’t complete it. So don’t even try.

So, with that in mind, one great way to save money is to get out of the habit of traveling simply to tick off sights from some imaginary list. Travel instead for the experience of being in a new culture.

It’s something of a mind shift but one that will save you a fortune. For instance, say your in Hong Kong instead of splashing out for high tea at the Peninsula Hotel, why not hunt out a local festival.

Obviously if there is a sight you are dying to see, go see it. You’d be a fool not to. But don’t just go to something because your guidebook tells you to, go because you want to!


Often the most expensive part of travel is the, well, the traveling part. The getting between two points. Unfortunately it’s kind of unavoidable. If you take the traveling part of traveling, you’re basically just staying at home on the couch aren’t you?!

In some parts of the world it is possible to travel in style without paying a penny, all your have to be willing to do is spend a little (maybe a lot) of time with your thumb out at the side of the road hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking is one of the purest forms of travel, you have no idea who is going to stop, what conversations you are going to get into or if you will even get to your destination today. What could be more fun!


Like hitchhiking but more organised. Carshare is very popular in Europe. Websites like BaBlaCar and many others exist, where drivers heading on a journey advertise their trip and state how much a seat in their car will cost. Usually, they ask for no more than a share of the petrol costs.

What do they get out of it? Well, the trip is cheaper for them and they get a little bit of company on and otherwise solo journey.


Couchsurfing is little less than a phenomenon. Launched in 2003 the platform now boasts 15 million users and half a million active hosts.

But what is it? Well, it’s not some kind of sofa based watersport! It’s basically a hospitality exchange. Individuals in towns and cities around the world offer a free place to sleep and in exchange you commit to sharing your time, stories and cultural experiences with them.

Plus getting enough rest is vitally important for your health and for the enjoyment of your trip, and I’ve found my couchsurfing experiences to be infinity more comfortable than any dorm room.

Many hosts are former travelers themselves, or individuals who would love to travel but can’t for reasons of work, visa, money etc. They can be locals or expats. Whatever their background staying with a couchsurfing host is a great way to see a town from a different perspective, and save a lot of cash.


Workaway, like Couchsurfing is another hospitality and cultural exchange platform that can save world wanderers a small fortune.

For a small registration fee, travelers can access a database of thousands of voluntary opportunities across the globe. In exchange for doing a set amount of work each day, volunteers or ‘workawayers’ often receive food and lodging.

The type of work is wide and varied, from the skilled such as website design to simple manual labour like cleaning out staples or even dog walking.

Workawaying, is a great way to gain experience, or to share your experience. Plus it means free food and accommodation.

Well, there you have it my budget conscious friend. I hope these tips might save you a buck or two. In my experience the most enjoyable nights on the road have no correlation to money. Lying on your back on the sand watching the stars is always free! Life is better with sandy toes. Go explore!


Editor’s note:
This article is written by Sarah Cummings, one of our recent contributor. Join her and many others by submitting your valuable article. Contact us for more information. 



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