Did you know we are in a brave new world? Technology has reached the point where it has made the world accessible. The sheer volume of information available to us lets us get degrees for free online, study languages for free and find out information about anything. With the help of forums, meet ups and more the boundaries of the world are being destroyed. Travel, once a luxury item is now an item for anyone who is willing to put the time in.
Travel has been equalized, and no more is it an activity for just kings, princes and philosophers. You do not need to be wealthy to travel. Instead of having money you can simply trade your time for travel. By doing more research, seeking out good deals and by being particular about your travel plans you can afford to see the world as well.
Be aware, this will cost you time. While you will save money, you can expect to still pay in time. When a thing is enjoyable people will charge for it. You must either pay in dollars or time. Right now you may pay in time, and eventually reach a point where time is more valuable than your money. Either option is fine. I am not choosing one method over the other, but showing you that when it comes to travel money should never have to hold you back.
How to Travel Cheap
I have cruised the Greek Isles, lived in Rome, been to the ski championships in Germany, taken private salsa lessons in Bogota and much more. All of these things were done within a budget, not with an endless stream of money.
I am not going to get in to all of the tips and tricks for doing this. There isn't enough space here to write about everything. In fact, we actually put together a full ebook titled Travel Like a King on a Pauper's Budget, which goes more in depth about these ideas. (It is yours for FREE by Subscribing)
Good Sites to find Cheap Travel
This is a great community to find information about a variety of travel topics. These ongoing discussions range from solo travel, to backpacking, to airfare, to budget travel and more. While some of the advice is solid, some of it cannot be trusted. When it comes to travel no experience is a one size fits all. If you keep that in mind when reading through these forums you can keep the tips and thoughts in perspective.
Using an ITA Matrix to see in-depth cost breakdowns, cheapest flight itineraries and more. This matrix searching is great when it comes to open-ended searching, or searching with a flexible departure and destination location.
Best Expat Sites and Travel Blogs
Expat Forums are a great way to connect with people of your origin country in a foreign land. The easiest way to find forums is by googling "expat forums + the country you are searching for information about." These forums are great for people who are staying for an extended time period in a foreign country. As expats dig deeper into a country you can find better information about housing, food options, best attractions, etc than you would from a backpacker who only spends a few days in a country.
Another great resource in the battle of narrowing your search and finding relevant information online is Feedly, a blog aggregator. Because of Google and Facebook's pay-per-click model lots of great blogs have been lost to paid alternatives. Feedly helps you discover them. In your web browser or mobile device you can search for and add blogs to your profile, keeping track of new articles, and with the swipe of a finger or mouse discarding the irrelevant and keeping the relevant. Some good blogs to follow:
Offline Resources to Save Money Traveling
In addition to the internet there are a bunch of great resources offline that help yo save money traveling, formulate a plan, budget and more.
Books and Magazines
Libraries and bookstores are two of your greatest resources when looking for travel magazines and books. At BT we have a quarterly travel magazine filled with travel advice and stories of off the beaten path places. While we do charge for a print copy, each current issue is released for free online. You can find free resources on our website, and at your local library. The right travel guide is filled with comprehensive information about a place, where to stay, what to do, the ins and outs of culture tid bits that you should be aware of. In addition to providing a wealth of information these resources help narrow down your focus on your interests, and serve as a jumping point for estimating costs and problem solving ways to decrease those costs.
Talk to People
With the age of the internet we forget that it can be faster and more reliable to ask people in person about their travel experiences and tips. The internet is undoubtedly a great resource, but so are people. Don't forget to use the resources that are easily accessible and right in front of you.
In Country ads/ classifieds
Want to work in country to offset expenses? Looking for a good deal somewhere? While some ads are geared to tourists you can glean much information from a local newspaper. In many parts of the world the newspaper still serves as a daily form of communication with residents. Even though we tune in to Facebook for events and updates a lot of the world still uses the old-fashioned newspaper.
How to Travel
Any idiot can bumble around the world, and still spend quite a few shiny pennies doing so. But, if you are willing to spend some time doing research you can find stellar deals that make travel an affordable recreation activity. With the amount of information available at our fingertips today it is silly not to take advantage of it. Although you will have to commit some time to finding the best deals, the end result will be worth it. If done right you can squeeze two trips in this year instead of one, or add a few more days on to that vacation.