Let’s cut the chase, travel is expensive. And most of our lives are nothing like the exotic lives of Bollywood wives. So yes, while they board private jets and speed off to Doha, we’re busy scrolling websites to scrambling for the most reasonably priced economy seats. But a great travel experience doesn’t always have to be an expensive or luxurious one. You can trek the snowcapped mountains of Switzerland, feast on piping hot Pho at street stalls in Vietnam or click Insta-worthy pics at the Pyramids of Giza, without spending a bomb. How can you do that? Well, here are 6 genius ways you can travel the world when you’re broke.
1. Work Part Time Or Volunteer In Exchange For Free Accommodation & Food
Whether you’re a writer, artist, engineer or doctor, you can always use your services as a barter for accommodation and food abroad. Platforms like Workaway give you the opportunity to work part-time in exchange for a free stay and food. Workaway connects travellers looking to work off their costs with hosts who need to get their jobs done. Apart from working part-time, you can also volunteer on your vacation. This is called voluntourism, a combination of volunteer and tourism. Help locals build a house for the underprivileged, teach English to students, and in return your accommodation will be compensated.
2. Pet Sit Or House Sit To Get Affordable Housing
This concept is simple, you get to stay in someone’s house and while they’re away doing some work for them like feeding their cat, watering their plants, walking their dogs, etc. A website called Trusted House Sitters helps you find affordable housing abroad in exchange for pet or house sitting. You can often stay at charming houses in great locations, while you take care of their yard or pet. While you get the luxury of staying at a gorgeous place, the owners are relieved that their duties are taken care of and their house isn’t in shambles.
3. Avoid Eating Or Shopping For Souvenirs Near Famous Tourist Sites
It’s no rocket science to know that any restaurant or store situated near a popular tourist attraction will be twice as expensive and often at worse quality than a comparable place anywhere else. Those cute fridge magnets, keychains, ‘I Love NYC’ t-shirts and plush dresses for your relatives and friends can wait. Purchasing food and souvenirs near iconic tourist spots will burn a hole in your pocket for nothing. So, avoid wasting money on food and shopping at these spots. Walk a few blocks away from a tourist site if you want to grab a bite, or carry snacks with you.
4. Opt For Walking Tours, Carpools, Cycling & Public Transportation
The best way to explore a city is on foot. During your travel expeditions, opt for free walking guided tours. There are plenty of free ones in Paris, Sydney, Jerusalem and more. Apart from this, you can rent bicycles for a minimum amount and tout the charming streets of Europe in an eco-friendly way. To longer distances, opt for BlaBla Car, a free carpool service, in Europe. It’s like hitchhiking that connects commuters with drivers heading the same direction. Public transportation is another wonderful cost-saving way of commuting, you can get travel passes made to help you on your journey. Here’s a fun video of our Chief Editor, Kamiya Jani exploring Paris in public transport.
5. Use Credit Card Points & Student Discounts To Your Benefit
If you utilise your credit card efficiently, you can accumulate tons of points and channel them towards your airline travel. This means you can literally fly all across the world for basically free. To know how you can do this, visit The Points Guy website. This is a handy guide to educate you on how you can max out your frequent flier miles. Students! Of course, you will be on a budget, worse, broke. Don’t worry! There are many tourist attractions around the world that offer amazing student discounts. All you have to do is carry your student ID and show it while purchasing your tickets.
6. Carry Snacks From Home & Cook Your Own Food
While you might often make fun of your desi relatives for carrying theplas and khakras on foreign trips, let’s remind you that it’s actually a genius budget travel hack. Carry cup noodles, snacks, ready to eat packets from home for your trips. While it may not be as fancy as dining out at restaurants, you can surely have a glorious vacation despite being broke. If you’re staying in a hostel, cook your own food in the kitchen. Share a meal with other travellers, bond over home-cooked foods and explore the world, in a budget style.
My dear travellers, whether you’re broke or just concerned about travelling on a tight budget, you can have a gala time. Just use these genius hacks to save money and you can travel the world in style!