Traveling doesn’t have to mean expensive hotels and outrageous expenses; in short, something you need to save up for years to afford. No, travel is within reach for even the tiniest budgets. Traveling these days can be as cheap as you want to make it – less than $10 a day even.
Hotel accommodations are often murder on the pocketbook. Luckily, you can simply skip them altogether with Couchsurfing and Global Freeloaders and stay in locals’ houses for free. The free Couchsurfing and Global Freeloaders websites can help match you up with hosts and accommodations in the cities and countries on your itinerary.
The housing options available are many, but you should evaluate what your needs are, what’s available where, and get in contact directly with the hosts. Hosts could be families or single people. Their houses could be large homes or small apartments. The accommodation available may be simply a couch in the living room or the guest bedroom all to yourself. Besides providing you with free accommodation, staying with a local host tends to grant you a built-in social network as well.
Eating at restaurants three meals a day is an unnecessary expense. Try shopping for food at local grocery stores instead. This way you can save money as well as see what the locals eat.
If you’re going to be traveling around a lot, try to buy food that is easy to eat, portable, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. This includes grapes, mandarin oranges, baby carrots, juice boxes, breakfast rolls, and chocolate. If you’re going to stay put for a few days and have access to a refrigerator, you can buy cartons of milk or juice, packages of meat and cheese, or whatever strikes your fancy.
Culture and Entertainment
There is plenty of free culture and entertainment waiting to be experienced in the course of your travels. First, there are many museums that offer free entrance one day a week, like Madrid’s Prado Museum does on Sundays. Many historical sites and monuments are also free, such as the India Gate in New Delhi or Trafalgar Square in London. Or else historical monuments can be made free. For example, riding the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower is not free, but sitting beneath it or admiring the Eiffel Tower from one of the bridges spanning the Seine River is most certainly free.
In some towns and cities, the distances aren’t too great and walking is a cheap, healthy mode of transportation. In others, public transportation like subways, commuter trains, and buses are more practical and readily available. In the latter case, consult a map and strategize on how to get around. For example, by planning on seeing everything you want to see in one neighborhood on the same day you can cut down on unnecessary trips across the city.
Smart Travel Choices
Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to forgo travel; by traveling on a shoestring budget you can see the world without going into debt. After all, traveling on less than $10 a day is about making smart choices and opting for low-cost alternatives.