Many students and young adults have dreams of traveling the world and living out their version of "Eat Pray Love". However, for some, these thoughts are simply just mere dreams and figments of their imaginations, never becoming a reality. What is really keeping you from jumping on a plane and going to that city that you have been fantasizing over? Most might respond with 'money and work'…but I question that. I believe the number one thing stopping people from traveling is fear! Fear of flying, fear of being in a new environment, fear of new cultures and people, and most importantly fear of the unknown. Why do I say this? It is because there are so many ways to travel on a budget, that money does not have to be the main barrier. Here are a few tips for housing, transportation, and spending that can save you a few bucks while abroad.
Don’t Stay in Hotels
Staying in a hotel ruins your experience in any foreign country without a doubt, especially while traveling alone. From the receptionists giving you the top 5 touristy things to do, to being surrounded by everyone except locals. Hotels are not only your most expensive option, but they also do not give you the opportunity to live abroad and really experience what it is like to live like a local. For those on a budget and seeking to not just be another tourist, I recommend:
If you are a bit riskier and are really on a budget, I suggest Couchsurfing. This platform gives you the opportunity to stay with locals for FREE! Hosts looking to meet new travellers open up their homes and share it with new guests. This is great for those who want to get to know the culture of the country where they are going, but are also price conscious.
Airbnb has gained popularity fast and it is what I often choose when travelling. Airbnb is unfortunately not free like Couchsurfing, but it does gives you the opportunity to stay in locals homes or apartments for, in some cases, a fraction of the cost of hotels.
HomeExchange is another platform that may be useful for those ready to swap their homes in exchange for free housing accommodations (yearly membership fee). Although home exchange requires a one time yearly membership fee of $150, it is convenient for those planning on traveling frequently.
Avoid expensive transportation
Trying to get from Paris to Versailles? Avoid taking expensive trains and hitch a ride with locals already on their way for less than $5. BlaBlaCar gives you the opportunity to safely travel on a budget to cities within your country of choice.
Looking to travel to different countries while saving money. Ryanair, EasyJet, and Aer Lingus specialise in low costs airlines. I recommend booking ahead of time because prices can rise close to the date of departure.
Don’t let your bank capitalize you
Spending while a abroad is always tricky especially when you have banks ready to charge for every transaction and withdrawal you make. These fees may not seem like much but overtime they add up. Charles Schwab is my bank of choice while abroad. Their online checking account gives you the freedom of withdrawing and using your debit card without any foreign transaction fees.
By utilizing these money saving tips, you'll be able to travel on a limited budget and see all the world has to offer!
In the near future, Come & Stay will be added to this list of ways to save money when traveling abroad. Choose a perk, contribute any amount, and become a backer today by visiting our crowdfunding page here.