How to Travel the World on a Budget

By Alice Ross | BUDGETING

Feb 22
travel the world on a budget

Traveling the world is a dream many of us have, but unfortunately, not everyone is able to fulfill it. The top three main reasons why a lot of people never achieve this dream are they’re too scared to do it, they don’t have time to do it, and probably the top one, they cannot afford to it. But what many people don’t know is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg to be able to see what the world has to offer. As long as you have a stable source of income, will to do it, and of course, some research skills, it’s easy to learn how to travel the world on a budget.


Keep in mind that many destinations in the world are cheap. Southeast Asia is one of the favorite places of those who are traveling on a budget. But no matter where you go, there’s always a way to save money while on the road and fulfill your dreams to travel the world. Here are some tips you may want to know about if you want to save money on your travel.

Plan Your Destinations, but Don’t Be Afraid To Be Flexible and Spontaneous

Making a list of top destinations would be a good starting point for your travel plan. However, being flexible on when and how you get there plays a part in your overall expenses.

travel plan

Airlines use particular airport hubs in order to connect flights to other points of destinations. Looking for multiple flights that will connect you to your point of destination may help you save money. This may take your travel time a little longer, but it can surely save you money if that’s your priority. It will also allow you to explore different cities for a few hours while waiting for your flight.

Start your trip at the furthest destination and journey your way back. Search for a top destination's airport website and search for all inbound and outbound flights. This will provide you with information on which hubs are more practical for your budget and length of stay.

Time Is Your Friend

travel globe

Traveling long term involves a lot of planning. The thorough the travel plan is, the better! Spending considerable time to research your destinations is the key to cheap traveling.

Visiting destinations during their peak season can be more expensive too, so if you really want to save, then book your flights during low season. Researching different forms of transportations will also save you money: Asia and South America offer luxury buses that are usually cheaper compared to what’s being offered by western countries.

travel quote

Being flexible in time of travel is a great source of your overall savings. Searching for tickets at least three months before your planned trip will give you enough time to find more options. Further flexibility in travel time, and not rushing to your destination will also give you a chance to take multiple connections and longer layovers, which usually offers cheaper ticket options.

A lot of cruise lines and several airlines offer a great price guarantee but they tend not to advertise it. Booking well earlier and constantly checking back for price drops for tickets gives you the chance to wait for airline promotions.

Take Advantage of Technology

travel beach

The internet is the best tool for finding cheap deals for your trip, so make sure you use it properly! A lot of search engines let you search for different airlines for different dates in order for you to find the lowest rates.

Checking prices of flights, hotels, and attractions on your own and not through a travel agent will help you save tons – travel agents add a percentage for their efforts, so if you don’t want to pay other people’s effort, then make your own. You may want to sign up on newsletters of different airlines, hotels, and travel companies will give you access to their latest discounts and promotions.


You may also want to follow different travel companies and groups on social media as this will also give you direct access to their limited promos and special discounts. Travel groups usually post glitches in booking websites and most travel companies fix these in minutes to hours. Once you booked a flight during a glitch, then it is official.

Make use of the local currency conversion. By changing the currency when paying, you can potentially save a lot of money. There are instances when the software would assume you are from developing country if you copy their currency, and would give you a discount. In other cases, it is better if you change the currency based on the country the airline is originally based off.

Saving Money on Transportation

travel map

This is one of the most important considerations when traveling. Overland travel is normally cheaper compared to traveling by air, so, as much as possible, find land transport option when traveling overseas. After all, exploring by foot would also be better. You can make a route without having to come back to the same place multiple times.

As much as possible, consider hitchhiking or hiring a car if you’re traveling as a group so you can split travel expenses. If your next destination is only a few minutes away, skip taxis and just walk. When traveling, your feet are your best friend. Also, this will not only help you save money, but you can also lose some calories while traveling!

Saving Money on Food

street food

When it comes to eating when traveling, there’s one thing you must keep in mind all the time – avoid fancy restaurants! Not just for dinners, but also for breakfast and snack. As much as possible, try to cook and arrange your meals whenever you get the chance, most hostels have a kitchen available for their guests. And when choosing a place to stay, you may want to look for accommodation that offers free breakfast.

If you don’t get any other chance but to eat out, then look for a place where locals eat. Observe where people go, and better, ask them for suggestions – your hotel receptionist will surely be happy to help. These places are usually cheaper and would likely to offer more delicious delicacies and more authentic. You must be careful in choosing a place to eat though! You don’t want to catch diarrhea, so make sure you only use choose a clean one.

Saving Money on Accommodation

Of course, you should not book a 4 or 5-star hotels. If you are traveling alone or with friends, then you may want to consider staying at hostels. A hostel is a dorm-type accommodation with shared bathroom. If you stay for longer than 2 - 3 weeks, then rent an apartment. On the other hand, if you are with your romantic partner, of course, you want privacy. In this case, you may want to book a B&Bs or just a privately owned rooms on Airbnb.

travel friends

Furthermore, you may want to choose the location of the place you are planning to stay at because it plays a big part in how much the room is going to be. Try to choose the ones that are located outside the city center, not too close to the beach, or not too close to places where most tourists go. Small accommodations that are operated by the locals are usually cheaper than the large hotel resorts.

And did you know that you can even get accommodation for free? Yes, you can look for volunteer jobs that offer free accommodation in exchange for your skills, may it be farm job, kitchen job, etc. You can also try a culture-exchange. Some of the websites you may want to look at are and

Saving Money on Travel Agencies

Usually, not only travel agencies charge you a lot more compared to doing the trip on your own, but they also ask for a commission. So, it’s smarter to use websites like Kayak, Skyscanner, or Expedia on your own and check for the best deals. You could save as much as 50% off or more of the original price if you check properly.

travel girl

A lot of people dream of being able to travel to the world someday. Furthermore, more and more people who take a break from work or school spend their free time traveling. One of the main concerns and deterrents of these people is they think traveling is expensive. But hopefully, this article helps you how you can travel the world on a budget.

To make your trip last longer, and potentially even turn your travels into a full-time lifestyle, you could also look into working online as a digital nomad while travelling. There are many different ways you can set yourself up as a location-independent professional, for example by learning affiliate marketing or starting a blog.

If you think this article has been helpful, please don’t forget to share this article with your friends. On the other hand, if you have other tips you want to share, let us know about them in the comment box below!

Rating: 5 (2 votes)


About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: