How to travel (almost) for free : 5 pieces of advice from 5 professional travelers

DSC_0363Ever since I started travelling, 11 years ago, I was always preoccupied to do so “on a budget”. I took a vow to book airplane tickets months in advance ( I never run away from low cost companies, by the way ) and…after my first lost luggage… I also learned how to pack light and travel with only a hand luggage. This happens to be an efficient method to travel cheap, but that is just a coincidence.  I do not know if, compared to other people, I travel more or I travel less but I always do so without feeling that I have to save money to feel well. My best meals, even though I tried to taste and experiment everything, have been picnic lunches. Tap water is a good option in most European countries and local people happen to eat better and cheaper because they don’t have an obsession with Old Town locations as tourist do.

Recently, compiling some advice that would allow me to return having both kidneys intact from Stockholm, I ran into a couple of ideas that are actually interesting at some of the most popular nomads around the Web.  Here are 5 of them.  And, even if it does not look like much, I ensure you it is enough to save a couple of bucks here and there.

1. NOMADIC MATT, http://www.nomadicmatt.com

Nominated “New York Times best-selling author” for his book “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day “, Matt started travelling in 2006. Since then, he traveled to over 80 countries , flown hundreds of thousands of miles,  learned multiple languages and also that you do not need to rob a bank to travel.

His advice, no matter where you go?

Take a free walking tour – If you want to understand more about the history, architecture, and people […] then be sure to take a free walking tour. They usually last a couple hours and are a great introduction to the city. All of the larger cities offer them.

2. Josh Roberts, SmarterTravel.com
Founded in 1998, Smarter Travel delivers “expert travel tips, inspiring destination stories, and timely travel news to feed your passion for seeing the world before, during, and after your trip”.  They have excellent advice on how to travel around the world with almost no money.
Their advice?

Pack light. If you can fit everything you need for your trip in a carry-on bag, do it. If you can’t, it’s time to reevaluate what you think you need for your trip. Make a packing list, eliminate anything you absolutely don’t need for your trip, and waltz onto the plane with a truly ultralight bag.

3. Rick Steves, www.ricksteves.com
Rick Steves is both an American author and television personality mainly dealing with European travel. He has numerous travel guides, his own Television series and a public radio travel show called “Travel with Rick Steves” . He advocates for “tight budgets” because “A tight budget forces you to travel close to the ground, meeting and communicating with the people. Never sacrifice sleep, nutrition, safety, or cleanliness in the name of budget. Simply enjoy the local-style alternatives to expensive hotels and restaurants.”

One thing he learned along the way?

Fly open-jaws — that’s into one city and out of another. Save time and money by avoiding a needless costly return to your starting point.

4.Dan Norris, thestupidforeigner.com

He’s been travelling from 2005 and, as he says, he manages to get his budget down to around €5-10 per day no matter where. CouchSurfing or camping, does not matter, as long as it is on a budget. He started the blog in 2013, basically because he was always getting the question: how do you manage to travel so cheap?

His advice?

You could also take part in a farm stay or other similar volunteer programs. I have done this many times, mostly in Japan and South Korea and was given free accommodation AND free food/entertainment. Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world, but I traveled around it for 3 months spending only €100 per month!

5. DAVID NING, moneyning.com

Founded in 2007, moneyning.com is just one of David Ning’s sites. Usually sharing tips about personal finance related issues, he also happenes to write some of my all time favorite blog posts about budget travelling. There are many tips I could share but one of them sticks with me up until today.
And that is:

If the transportation is going to be long, consider traveling at night to save money on accommodation and many hours of time. Many people have a tough time sleeping on these, but it’s all mental. Once you get used to it, you will be able to have a good night’s rest.

And, as a matter of fact, I will consider this advice next week on my new travel adventure :D. That being said, I do hope that some of this will be useful one of those days.

Never stop travelling because of money. The best view is, actually, a tent in the woods.

 


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