How to Travel on a Tight Budget

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Most people wish they could travel more but because of the price of travel most of us delay and put off our vacations and sometimes we wait too long and miss out on one of life's greatest gifts.

This article is an attempt to use our collective travel expertise and provide a method for you on how to travel at the lowest cost. Follow these steps, not necessarily in order and you will no longer have any excuse for putting off another vacation.

Save 75% on Airfare

Traveler Gazing Out Window of AirlineWhen you use Google Search to book your vacation or business travel flights know that there is a possibility that you are most likely overpaying (by a lot of $) for your ticket(s). 

Last month , I  had to fly to London, England one-way from Berlin, Germany on August 25th, 2015. While searching for flights on Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire and other online travel reseach websites, the most inexpensive flight was for $250 (from British Airways) and the next best price was $595, a whole lot more expensive.

But we didn't stop there and simply book that cheap flight. Instead we used a service called WhichBudget.com that provides alternative airlines that fly the identical route(s) but since they are smaller do not show up in the normal online travel searches.

Using this method we found a airline flying the same route on the same day with no additional stopovers for $99 from Norwegian a lesser known but adequate airline.

Hospitality Exchange

Surprisingly there are quite a few folks with beautiful homes that would love for savvy travelers with good stories of their adventures to stay with them. The host home is provided for free and the traveler is treated as a guest and as a nice gesture often the travelers will clean, do dishes and similar things to say Thank you.

Here are a few of the more popular hospitality exchange websites:

HospitalityClub.org - You will be able to take full advantage of the Hospitality Club, contact other members and meet friendly people and find free accommodation wherever you travel or when you are at home.

CouchSurfing.com - Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers. Couchsurfers organize regular events in 200,000 cities around the world. There's always something to do and new friends to meet.

GlobalFreeloaders.com - GlobalFreeloaders.com is an online community, bringing people together to offer you free accommodation all over the world. Save money and make new friends whilst seeing the world from a local's perspective!

Volunteering Your Way Around the World

It may come as news to many that when you plan on offering your services as a volunteer that you would need to spend quite a lot of money on the trip to the target destination.  It is not that unusual for high end volunteers to spend as much as a trip to a luxury resort and 5-star hotel just to help at refugee camps, soup kitchens and orphanages. That said it is clear that most people who volunteer have the money to afford this generous but not inexpensive decision. But don’t lose hope if you are on an altruistic travel quest with a minimal budget. There are a number of ways to volunteer inexpensively (or for free) if you are willing to do some research.

Below are a few websites that can help you find the best fit volunteer position for you:

Travelers Help Out Nature VolunteersVoluntourism.org - History, culture, geography, environment, and the recreation of exploration meet the inspiration of your voluntary efforts in serving a destination and its residents. Body, mind, and soul respond to the awakening of thoughts, feelings, emotions, via a labor of gratitude that is offered as a part of your overall itinerary.

ConservationVolunteers.com.au - Conservation Volunteers makes it easy for people to care for nature by volunteering in one of our many conservation projects across the country. Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and no prior skills or experience are required, and volunteer projects are available to suit your availability and particular interests.

PODVolunteer.org - Pod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001.

CareTaking & Working Travelers

Paying for accommodations is another big traveling expense. There are ways to find places to stay for exchange of service and this is becoming a source of travel leisure for many people. In Hawaii, I stayed at the Volcano House and was able to exchange a few hours each day clearing banana tree debris and weeding the pineapple orchard for my stay at this very impressive and beautiful resort.

Another aspect of this mode of traveling is that you get to meet the local people and exchange your effort high quality stays in comfortable and exotic locals. I have provided a few websites that list work-exchange accommodations but be creative and scan the local travel providers for opportunities to use your skills to exchange for accommodation.

A short list of sites that offer Accommodation for Trade:

HouseCarers.com - Would like to match you with Housesitters to provide vacation for you. A house sitter is a good way to make sure your home remains safe during your vacations or travel experiences.

WWOOFing - WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles in return for volunteer help. WWOOF groups link people who want to volunteer on places (e.g.  organic farms or smallholdings) with other people who are looking for volunteer help. Membership fee gets you detailed information on WWOOF Hosts and what they need from travelers.

CareTaker.org - is a site offering resources and information regarding property caretaking and house sitting jobs, advice, and information for property caretakers, house sitters, and land owners. In publication since 1983, it is the only site on the internet dedicated to the property caretaking field.

OrganicVolunteers.com - Small membership fee to find you work-trade opportunities around the world.

Join Community Organizations in Your Destination Location

Around the world organizations exist, like Toastmasters and the Rotary Club, to help local and world members improve their quality of life. If you join groups that are meeting locally, you can organize your travel plans with the help of the local team members and get the best accommodation, and travel experience possible with the help of the local community.

To get started search and/or contact the community library, community bulletin boards (colleges, grocery stores, libraries, etc.) and get the community newspapers and scan them for tidbits and critical info about whats going on in that town.

Don't Shop for Trinkets and Souvenirs

Many people either bring an empty suitcase or leave plenty of room in their luggage when traveling because they always want to bring something nice home for those they love and that couldn't travel with them. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest wastes of money and often the most disappointing aspects of the trip.

Those little knickknacks that we pride ourselves on finding and delivering thousands of miles from the purchase point are often cheaply manufactured in bulk, and more than likely were made in another country from the one you are visiting.

Plan Trips and Make Arrangements as a Travel Agent

The following article will teach you about the travel industry in general and the specifics on beginning your satisfying career as a professional travel agent, all while saving you hours and hours of searching online for information that may or may not be reliable. Please click here to find out more about options for travel membership.