Traveling is the best way to learn, have fun, and grow all at the same time. It opens your eyes to new cultures, different ways of life, and to people who are different than you. The only problem is, it can cost you a pretty penny to do it right. But don’t feel defeated just yet, we have a few ideas for you to be able to travel, even if you are on a budget.
If you are hoping to see the world, but you don’t have a worldly budget, then it is time to think about where you know people. Having friends around the world can work to your benefit, because you can stay with them, instead of in expensive hotels. Sleeping on their couch is a great alternative, and will save you tons. That said, do be sure to offer them some money or buy a few meals to be able to thank them for their hospitality.
Having an affordable flight price can really be a game changer since a flight is one of the most expensive things about traveling. Fortunately, you can get cheap flights from Chicago and maybe even your local airport if you’re willing to hunt for a bargain. Even at a discount, these flights will be able to take you all over the U.S. and even to Mexico. Who knows, you might even be able to leave the continent for much less than you expected. No matter where you plan to land, make sure you get a good deal to and from.
Instead of staying in hotels, you should check if the place you are going to has hostels or affordable vacation rentals in the area for you to stay at. This will help you to save a significant amount of money that can be spent on food, mementos, and activities while on your trip. Plus, it will give you a better feel for how locals actually live, since you will be staying in their real-life homes. This is also a great way to immerse yourself more in the culture, which is truly priceless.
When you arrive at your destination, try not to rent a car. You may think this is necessary, but depending on where you go, you may be able to rely solely on public transportation, or even a couple rideshares with local drivers if necessary. Of course, you want to study the public transport before you get there, that way you are prepared and don’t get overwhelmed or lost when traveling around the city. Get a good feel for it and know how to get to and from the airport to wherever you are staying. Once you get to the place you are sleeping, you will be able to study the maps better and get a feel for everything that is around you.
If you are able to, traveling in the off season is a surefire way to save you a chunk of change. It will make it so you aren’t just getting discounts on flights and places to stay, but most tourist spots will be less crowded and lower-priced as well. That means you will get to see more, because you will be spending less. It’s a win, win!
You will want to bring a checked bag, but that is an easy cost to cut. Normally people overpack, so don’t let that be you. You only need to bring the essentials. At the end of the day, anything you forget you can buy in location. It will help you to save even if you have to spend a little bit here and there. Make a thorough list before you go, but be realistic with what you put on it. If you are going for a 5-day trip, you don’t need 10 outfits. You will most likely not wear all of that, and you will end up feeling overwhelmed by your overflowing bag. Just cut out that chance completely, and bring a carry-on bag instead.
We hope that with these recommendations for getting around, finding a place to stay, and traveling frugally, your finances won’t be what stops you from seeing the world. Happy traveling!