How can you afford to travel all the time?! Are you rich? Do you have extra savings? Who pays for your travels? Do you get sponsored?
These are questions I get most of the time and I’m going to break it down on how I travel the world without breaking my wallet while earning an average income.
No, I don’t get sponsored. I pay every penny using my own hard earned money. No, I don’t have any savings but I am living life to the fullest.
Some may think that I can afford this because I don’t have other responsibilities such as utility bills and other commitments.
I have been paying for rent, school tuition, transportation, electricity, phone, supporting both of my parents, and fulfilling my dream of traveling the world without anyone’s support. I have been doing it since I was 15 years of age and started to fulfill my new profound dream on September 2015.
So to all my friends, family, and readers; here is how I manage to travel the world without breaking my wallet and feel depressed from huge credit card transactions or debts after a trip. 😛
I come back home happier and richer than before with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and memories which you can’t put a tag on.
Here are my shield and weapon when traveling!
Couchsurf is a platform where travelers can stay at someone’s home at free of cost. It is a great place to meet and experience the local life and culture first hand. That is my number one reason for loving this life-changing platform.
Many people consider it as unsafe and dangerous to stay at a stranger’s home. But they’re only strangers for the first 2 minutes and they end up becoming a lifetime friend.
I am still in touch with all of my Couchsurf hosts and even met 2 of them when we coincidentally traveled to the same destination! 😀
You can’t be naive when choosing a host. Check their profile, photos, references, have a chat via messages before meeting them so you can get to know more about the person, check their verification status and most of all, trust your gut instinct.
I have never had any bad experience. I have been hosted in Ethiopia, Sudan, Lebanon, Kenya, Ireland, Spain, you name it. All were FANTASTIC!
2. Pitch a Tent: I invested on a 3 season quality tent and I carry it to places where I know I can pitch a tent for a small cost or free!
Some countries do not allow wild or free camping, so always check before you go 😀
Check out this link for camping laws in Europe!
3. Ticket Ticket is my biggest expense when it comes to traveling. I am sure everyone agrees on that. I’m here to tell you that there are tricks and ways around to get it cheaper 😀
There are four parts under this topic:
-Create your own route: We all know that flights to a far destination costs a fortune and consumes a lot of time with many layovers. Instead, create your own route to reach your destination. I am going to explain this with an example
A flight from Jeddah to Japan would start from 1,000 USD and a minimum of 20 hours journey. Instead, I booked a flight from Jeddah to Manila (A frequent destination from Jeddah and very close to Japan) and booked another flight from Manila to Japan.
I saved 520 USD which is a huge chunk! I also saved time by avoiding many layovers.
-“Accidentally” miss a flight: This is not only great to cut cost, but also to catch a flight that suits your preferred time.
I had a roundtrip ticket from Jeddah-Nairobi-Jeddah via Addis Ababa. I was not able to make my flight from Nairobi – Jeddah via Addis Ababa due to unsuitable flight schedule from Entebbe.
So I booked a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi via Addis Ababa and “accidentally” missed the second leg of the journey 😛
A direct flight from Entebbe to Addis Ababa costs 193 USD while a connecting flight via Addis costs only 128 USD! 😀 I had plenty more time to spend in Entebbe instead of wasting it on a layover in Nairobi and saved 65 USD!
-Frequent Flyer Program: Become a frequent flyer with any airline you book, even if you think you will only book once! You never know and you might just earn back all the money you spent on a ticket.
I have received 4 free round trip tickets and I still have 2 unused free tickets! IT IS FULL OF REWARDS!
-Note Down Airline’s Seasonal Offers: Airlines usually have a set time of the year where they provide huge promotions! Note this down and purchase your future flights during this glorious time! 😀
4. BlaBlaCar: BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing community where you could either earn or cut cost 😀
Using Blablacar is a lot cheaper than public buses when traveling to a far distance. The payment is per seat, just like any mode of transportation, except the price is half or less than half of other public transport.
If you have a car and traveling to a far distance, post your travel destination, time, a date with details on how many people you could accommodate and price per seat. This way, you will reach your destination without having to pay gas and earn extra money! 😀
5. Food: It’s as simple as, eat what I can afford. At times, I can’t afford food, even if it’s dirt cheap. I always carry protein shake powder or protein bars from home to nourish my body with some energy and nutrients 😛
Avoid restaurants. Street food and convenience stores are the best places to eat. One meal a day is enough to keep me alive and go through the day. I’m sure you can survive with one meal a day too!
6. Free Walking Tours
Want to know more about the area’s history and culture? Take a free walking tour instead of those paid ones that costs so much! Especially in tourist invaded countries.
Hostels and Tourist Information offices can provide you with information on free walking tours where you will be with a group and guided by a knowledgeable guide that not only give you great information but also insights that only locals would know.
I find this a lot more fun than those tightly scheduled and prearranged tours with agencies. With Free Walking Tours, you have the freedom to roam, leave whenever you please and you get to meet a lot of like minded travelers.
I walk away with at least one new friend from a walking tour and continue our own tour!
7. Tourist Information Office: A lot of people tend to skip tourist information office which is a loss of opportunity. Visit one in your next travels and check for discounted offers, vouchers, and insights.
8. Air Way Bill
I have saved the best for last. I mentioned about cutting cost, now I will tell you how to earn while traveling. Yes, you read it right. EARN. MAKE MONEY.
You must be stunned and eager to know. Here is how.
Download AirWayBill application, create an account, browse through packages that can be carried to your destination, deliver the package, cha-ching! money in the bank in less than 24 hours!
And another smart thing to do is to check which country has the most packages to be delivered, TAKE ALL OF THEM, and let AirWayBill cover your ticket and other expenses!
I earned 500 USD by simply carrying a package from Spain to Saudi Arabia. Read more about it here.
There are many other great tools which I am yet to try. I will be updating this post as I find more resources and tools to travel on a budget.
Share the tips and help others travel the world and don’t forget to comment below on tips to cut cost or earn money!