You log onto Instagram and your feed is full of photos of amazing places, amazing food, and amazing places to stay.
You see people in their mid-20s, smiling away, enjoying some exotic trip you could only ever dream about.
Well, guess what? If they can afford to travel, so can you.
Traveling on a tight budget is easier than you think.
You don’t need to be an Instagram “influencer” or a trust fund kid to take an adventure—you just need to work hard and stick to a budget.
Sure, you probably won’t be able to afford a five-star luxury resort, but you’ll still have the time of your life.
Don’t stay in a hotel
One of the biggest expenses of a trip can be accommodations.
While you may want to stay in a fancy hotel or resort, the price per night can really add up quick. So instead of staying in a hotel, opt for a hostel or Airbnb!
And did you know there’s even an online site called CouchSurfing that offers people ways to meet and stay with locals? You can literally couch surf around the world!
Just make sure to read the reviews and confirm that where you’re staying is safe.
Opt for a cheaper flight
There are many resources and ways to get a flight for cheap.
Proud American Traveler has plenty of tips on how to do this, but here are a few easy ones:
- Get a travel rewards credit card (and build your credit while you’re at it!).
- Watch for promotions.
- Book your flight on a Tuesday, and clear your cookies before you purchase!
- Pack light and don’t check a bag.
- Find out if any family members have travel points they aren’t using or points that are about to expire.
If you’re planning to travel somewhere in the states, look at different modes of transportation. Is it cheaper to fly? To catch a train? Can you turn it into a fun road trip instead?
Find as many free activities and attractions as you can
Today, more and more free tours are popping up. Why pay for an expensive touring service when you can create your own custom itinerary for free?
Many museums, historical landmarks, and festivals are free and you can definitely fill an entire trip with just visiting these!
Bring a camera and create a scavenger hunt by making a list of things you want to take pictures of, then go out and find them.
If you can’t find enough things to pass the time, you can always rent a bike and explore the city or town you’re in. Window shop at the stores and boutiques you wouldn’t find in your home town.
While that Michelin-starred restaurant may be on your bucket list, it may not be in your budget.
But one way to experience real, authentic cuisine is to find the places where the locals eat.
Chances are it will be some hole in the wall and off the beaten path, but those are the places that have the most amazing food you could ever eat.
Plus, you may even get to know some of the locals and make new friends (and it’ll look great on Instagram!).
Save, even when you don’t have the money
Most people don’t think they have the money to save, especially when they’re just starting out.
But saving dollars or pennies goes a long way. If you saved $20 a week for one year, you would have over $1,000. And there are plenty of trips you can take for even just $500, which you can read about here.
Traveling the world doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in debt! You just have to find what works with your budget, and what will get you the most out of every hard-earned cent.
So get out there and see the world. Make a list of your dream destinations, then start making those dreams come true!