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Travelling Is Not Expensive. You’re Just Doing It Wrong

February 25, 2017

At some point in our lives, we all want to experience what it is like to see places we only once dreamt about and to be a part of a culture we were shown virtually through a screen. We all want to experience what it is like to travel…. to travel far and wide.

On most occasions, whenever we think about travelling, we think about this expensive get-a-way in which we’ll have a difficult time financing. But who says travelling has to be that one thing you spend half of the year saving for?.. or thinking it’s something that will break your pockets?

Over the past few years, I have been lucky to enough to create a job that allows me to constantly travel non-stop. A dream job if you ask me. But, one of the most common questions I get from my readers is,’ how is this even possible?’ The answer to that is knowing how to travel on a budget, even if I am getting paid to travel around the globe.

Though since it is very difficult to get to those messages individually, I am now creating this master post explaining how travelling can be done cheaper. In fact, travelling is not expensive, you’re probably just doing it wrong.

Here are 17 tips how you can still travel in style and have fun while doing it cheaper.

1. Do your research

One of the most important things is having an idea how much things will cost before visiting the country. Do your research before hand; have an idea how much a taxi will cost from the airport, know the price of the local beer, research how much a tour that you are interested in should cost. Know the exchange rate and research how to ask the price of an item in the local language.

Any destination that has thousands of travellers coming in every year will have some sort of scam going on. Do your research and do a price check before you get on that plane.

2. Volunteer

I was a bit hesitant listing volunteering as an option some might think volunteering might take away the ‘freedom to travel’.  Giving a lending hand can be so much fun. It gives that gives you the opportunity to help in an area you enjoy doing and learn about a new culture. On most cases, you are allowed to volunteer in a field that you personally enjoy and more so it can be done all over the world while experiencing something new. My last volunteer opportunity was being A Volunteer in Rio Olympics 2016

You can check out these round-the-world volunteer websites for opportunities:

WWOOF – A non-profit organisation that accommodates volunteers from all over the world to work on organic forms in exchange to learn and experience the culture along with basic living necessities.

Work Away– A good way to work while you travel. Whether it be to teach English to kids in South America, work at a holiday lodge in Europe or volunteer at a hostel in Central America.

3. Avoid Expensive Countries

If you are looking to get your budget to stretch a little further, avoid expensive countries like Switzerland, Angola, Japan, Qatar. You can travel longer and better on a tighter budget in South East Asia, South & Central America and the Balkan Countries.

You can have a local beer in Mexico for .70 cents compared to Switzerland which is $7.00 and up.

4. Travel With A Friend If You Can

I am a solo traveller but if you can travel with a friend prices will turn out to be cheaper. You can split the price of a cab with a friend, also it is usually cheaper to prepare a meal for 2.

5. Try Street Food

I am currently travelling in Mexico and I could eat the street food every day. It is good, it is cheap and I highly recommend trying the local street food whenever you travel. Though, please pay attention that whatever you’re eating is sanitary; not uncooked.

6. Travel Light

You can avoid extra charges by just travelling light. Most airlines these days require a fee for a checked on luggage. If you are not going on an adventure that requires heavy duty equipment, avoid a checked on luggage. All you need is some clothes, a good camera and a laptop.

7. Drink Bottled Water

Stay away from the tap water. In some countries drinking straight from the tap is okay, otherwise always get bottled water. The last thing you would want is to get sick while travelling which can be very costly.

8. Stay in Hostels

Travelling doesn’t mean you have to stay up in fancy 5-star hotels. Whilst that can be fun, it can be very costly as well. Trade in the hotels for hostels and meet people from all over the world. If you currently arranging your next trip, take a look at Hostelworld and Booking and see how you can cut those lodging prices in half.

9. Buy a Good Guide Book

Good guide books can save you a chunk of money. It outlines everything for you. The cost of hostels/hotels, the cost for taxis, what are the price of buses like and so forth. It saves you a lot time and if you worried about maps, a good guide book usually comes with a really detailed one.

10. Avoid Using Your Phone to Roam

A no-brainer, but if you can avoid using your phone to roam please do. If you can get your phone unlocked before starting off you can pick up a local sim card.

I am currently getting by with a $7.50 monthly bill in Mexico.

11. Travel With a Debit Card

Always travel with a debit card. You can just withdraw as you go and it does not extra fees as to that of a credit card or a traveller’s check.

12. Get A travel Insurance

One of the costliest things that can happen while travelling is getting sick and without travel insurance. Well, the first rule is to try not to get sick. Take your malaria shots, travel with some ‘precaution’ medicines. But, if you do get sick, make sure you have travel insurance. I highly recommend this before starting your journey.

I am not currently insured by World Nomads but if you are looking for travel insurance options you can take a look on their site.

13. Travel Off Season

Personally, my number 1 favourite. I love travelling off-season as everything is a little cheaper; tours are cheaper, more flight deals, and if I am being completely honest, it is usually better for photos.

14. Stay Away from the Tourist Traps

One of the main things I always recommend to anyone who would like to travel and experience the culture for cheap is to stay away from the things that are deliberately made to attract tourists. Go where the locals go, eat what the locals eat. This is always a cheaper option and the experience is usually a more authentic one.

15. Forget about Souvenirs 

Souvenirs can be costly and sometimes will require you to have extra room is your luggage to fit everything. Avoid buying souvenirs if you can, especially if you will be travelling around for a few months. Usually, just photos are good enough.

16. Look Out For Travel Deals 

Another no-brainer! You can save a lot by keeping an eye open for flight deals. Deals are often available in the off-season. One of my favourite flight deals is looking at flights to the Nordic countries in the winter time. Best prices ever!

17. Negotiate Prices

Especially in South America and Asian countries, you can negotiate the prices in the local markets. Whether it be for fruits or clothing the locals here are willing to give you the best price. You will end up saving a few bucks from this if you are a good negotiate-ter negotiator.

Happy Travels

You can also see my adventures around the world via my Instagram Account

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  • Avatar
    Reply Ramona Williams August 23, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you so much i thinj this was totally helpful and make perfect sense i will be taking note of all this tips for my next adventure.

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    Reply Terry Johnson September 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I am 51 of age, I work with the Gov. of Ja. .It my heart desire to travel the world over but no money to do it. I have been to the USA with close family that made me want to get home quick ,I dont want to be in that position very again. I am going back to the USA in December I want to go to California have a few fam there but dont want to be in their place.I want to go to San Francisco or Sacramento please advice. Please tell me what is Nordic countries.

  • Reply So you want to be a Travel Blogger - The World Up Closer June 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    […] You can check out a related post: Travelling Is Not Expensive. You’re Just Doing It Wrong […]

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    Reply Jeremy Hood-Daniel February 27, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Shea. I, too, live in the island, but it was a choice I made, having had my fill of travelling to and fro between home in Jamaica and boarding school in England. You will certainly inspire others, keep up the enjoyment

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    Reply Bernadette February 27, 2017 at 5:39 am

    My children are considering a European tour and most of what you have recommended will apply. Is there any additional information for that area?

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    Reply Shannel February 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I love your blog!! You inspire me to fulfill my dream of traveling. Question, is the workaway legit? How does the visa/travel part work? Have you ever been on it?

  • Avatar
    Reply Rose Peters February 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Shea! I read all your articles and anticipating the day when I will actually make these valid information a reality. Love you girl and very proud of you. Keep on inspiring others.

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    Reply Felix February 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Yeah.. I usually travel to cheaper countries. A week’s budget in Colombia will only last you a day in Switzerland. LOL. Keep up the good work Shea. Greetings from Germany!

    • Shea Powell
      Reply Shea Powell February 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you so much Felix….I love Colombia! Happy travels! 🙂

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    Reply Melanie February 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Shea..I am possibly enjoying this post a little too much.. Lol. It’s making me so excited for my next adventure. Thank you for this girl!

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    Reply Lorrie Scarlett February 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    LOVE LOVE today’s tips on inexpensive travelling. It’s hearing me up for the JUMP that I’m about to do. Indeed research is important and getting the relevant information about a destination before travelling is even more important. Thanks a million. Keep inspiring.

    • Shea Powell
      Reply Shea Powell February 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you for checking out the post Lorrie! 🙂

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