Think You Can’t Afford to Travel?


Think Again!


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Pyramids of Giza, Egypt | itsfoine


Pyramids of Giza, Egypt | Roderick Eime

Think You Can’t Afford to Travel? Think Again!


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by Taj Bates

When I was a kid, I was enthralled by Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.

I dreamed that one day I would be able to see the pyramids and the Acropolis, but figured it probably wouldn’t happen until I was much, much, much, much older, with a healthy nest egg to afford such jet-setting extravagance.

Fast forward to my early 20s. I was fresh out of college, working in Washington, DC, and living in a ‘cozy’ (Craigslist for ‘tiny’) studio apartment, with almost all of my entry-level paycheck going to rent, bills and the other inescapable expenses of adulting.

Yet, with the wee little money I had left at the end of each month, I was able to travel to dream places on my bucket list, including Egypt and Greece.

And so can you. Here’s how!





STEP 1


Set a Hell-or-High-Water Deadline




STEP 1


Set a Hell-or-High-Water Deadline


Karawau Gorge, New Zealand | Fumitake Taniguchi

I have met many an armchair traveler through the years, and the #1 reason they remain wistfully seated in their armchairs is because they have not made travel a priority.

The most important step in turning your dream trip into a reality is setting a hard and fast deadline.

This deadline should be in the next 6 to 18 months.

So, for instance, if you want to visit Paris, you should say to yourself, out loud and with unflinching resolve:



STEP 2


Shore Up Your Travel Fund




STEP 2


Shore Up Your
Travel Fund


Wat Arun, Thailand | Tyler Merbler

Start a Travel Savings Account

Open a new savings account at your bank and reserve it for travel only.

I suggest giving this account a fun or funky name based on your desired destination, like Paris Ooo La La or Cuckoo for Macchu Picchu, so it will stand out on your monthly statements!

If your paycheck is direct-deposited into your checking account, ask your bank to set up an automatic transfer that will transfer a set amount into your travel savings account every pay period.


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STEP 3


Lock In Super Cheap Airfare




STEP 3


Lock In Super
Cheap Airfare


Somewhere o’er Vietnam | John Lembo

In most cases, international airfare will be your trip’s largest, singular expense.

Thankfully, in this age of digital, it is possible to save 50 percent or more on an international flight, without having to play the airline miles game.

It just requires advance planning and, sometimes, a little flexibility when it comes to travel dates.

Eight to twelve months before your hell-or-high-water deadline, sign up to receive price drop email alerts from airfare websites like Skyscanner and Airfarewatchdog.


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STEP 4


Stay Grounded




STEP 4


Stay Grounded


Paris, France | Nelso Silva

Once you disembark from your international flight…

Bus, train, ferry, bike and on foot are the best ways to travel place-to-place on the cheap.

So set your sights on a country or region with walkable towns and cities, as well as a safe and extensive public transit system, both within metro areas and without.

If it makes sense for your travel plans and budget, take advantage of Hop On / Hop Off transit passes—like the Eurail Pass in Europe or the Greyhound Australia Pass—which give you the flexibility to make and change your travel plans on a whim, for a fixed and affordable price up front.



STEP 5


Sleep on the Cheap




STEP 5


Sleep on the Cheap


Hebrides, Scotland | hendry_670


Tent Camping

In countries and regions where it is safe to do so, sometimes tent camping can be the cheapest way to go, especially in backcountry areas where no-fee camping is permitted.

Via sites like the USA’s Reserve America and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, you can easily reserve campsites and cabins in national parks.

Hostel Hopping

In most corners of the world, you can crash on a simple bed in a shared room of 6 or more beds for $5–$15+ a night. Bathroom and shower facilities are shared, so be sure to pack flip flops.


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Join the Conversation!

Share your thoughts and tips on travelling on a shoestring budget via our Facebook page

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