Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 7 min

How to travel cheap

Do you like to travel very much, but do you have financial problems? Tips from people who have traveled all over the world. A few tips to help you travel on a budget.

Believe me, it doesn't take millions to travel almost the entire world. This was proved by the Martin spouses - elderly Americans who managed to see half the world, being retired.

In 2010, Lynn and Tim Martin decided to follow their dream: they sold their house in California and traveled the world. It was not easy for them to give up their usual way of life, part with loved ones (and they have four daughters and seven grandchildren) and actually start a new life.

But they did it. They have already visited a dozen countries and are not going to stop there.

In her book Home Everywhere, Lynn talks about their nomadic life and gives advice to travelers who want to travel around the world, even if they have very little money.

Here are some firsthand recommendations.

How to get to your destination

The first and most important tip is to think about how you will get to your destination. Consider all possible options.

If you decide to fly, then buy plane tickets in advance, approximately 4-5 months before the intended trip. This will save you from $500 to $1000&

Remember that there are ways to make a long flight quite comfortable, even if you don't splurge on first class. Try to book seats in the very first row, right after the business class: there is a little more space here and you won’t have to look at other passengers. If the flight is long, it's worth it!

Also note that if you drink alcohol during the flight, it may be much more difficult for you to change lanes when changing time zones.

If it is possible to get to the place you need not by plane, but for example, by ship, then consider this possibility. Sometimes this mode of transport is much cheaper. Use return cruise flights: twice a year, cruise lines ferry their liners from port to port, and tickets for these flights are sold at very low prices.

Think about where you will live

Read the latest reviews before booking. Do not rely on your own memories of a decade ago or the recommendations of friends who have been in these places for a long time. Everything is changing. Otherwise, you risk listening to unpleasant music day and night or eating inedible food in an all-inclusive hotel. And besides, waste your money. Services such as Tripadviser will help you in choosing the right hotel: you can see where your friends and acquaintances have stayed, read reviews and, in general, make a first impression about the hotel.

By the way, make a list of everything you need to know about the new apartment in advance and ask the landlord or agent to check everything with you. What can be included in this list? For example, the operation of all appliances; proper locks on doors and windows. Also check plumbing and cold/hot water. Such foresight will allow you to avoid misunderstandings and unplanned expenses (for example, to fix an air conditioner that was not broken by you) during eviction.

Is it worth it to spend money on excursions

If you prefer to get a general impression and not go into details, do not sign up for tiresome excursions for the whole day. On average, a city tour costs from $30 to $150. But even this money can be saved. Sometimes it is more useful to see all the most important things yourself, without haste, and then just walk around the city.

If you still decide to purchase an excursion, first go to “reconnaissance”: compare prices with representatives of different operators, ask around those who have already been on such an excursion. As a rule, this allows you to save about $ 100 for a 2-3 week vacation.

They meet by clothes. How to save money on clothes and shoes

It seems like a small thing. But it is very important that you feel comfortable in clothes and shoes. Be sure to read the information about the weather conditions in the region where you are going. Take a few warm clothes with you (even if you travel to warm countries): sometimes even in the usual southern countries, the weather can give out very cold surprises. And local stores make good money on these surprises, raising prices for all kinds of jackets and sweaters by an average of 20%.

It is also very important what you have on your feet. Wherever you go, you will definitely need quality shoes that are comfortable to walk in. In many cities, the streets are paved with stones, somehow cemented together, often quite unevenly. The roadway is narrow, you can trip over curbs. As you walk, try not to lift your head or look around. And if you want to look at a shop window or a beautiful church, you better stop.

Remember: it is better to buy good shoes once that will last you for several years than to spend endlessly on cheap fakes.

Be eco-friendly: feel free to buy old clothes. In many countries, wearing vintage and second-hand clothes is generally considered a special chic.

Enjoy and benefit from communicating with other tourists

From other travelers you will learn about interesting places that you may not have planned to go to, and in general you will get good ideas. In addition, dating is a good way to save money. Many places are more profitable to visit by companies, and in restaurants there are good discounts for them. Feel free to ask the cafe representatives about it!

Meet your neighbors: if you're lucky, your neighbors will be interesting, knowledgeable people, besides, owners of real housing with comfortable furniture. If one of your neighbors talks to you, invite them for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. For example, the Irish love to talk and enjoy listening to other people's stories. Perhaps in travel you will find friends for life!

How to save money on transport

If you need a car on your trip, rent a smaller one just enough to fit your luggage. On narrow roads with a small car, it will be much easier for you. And save on gasoline, and this is also important: in other countries, gasoline can cost more. When renting a car, use trusted companies: we recommend CarRentals.com in most cases and AutoFrance.net when you need a car for more than 17 days and the trip starts from France. There are very advantageous offers here: you can get a new car for a much lower price than they usually pay for renting a European car.

And finally, two tips...

Do not forget about a sense of humor! You can get into difficult situations, but they are especially interesting to tell your friends about after dinner. Try to find humor even in a situation where you find yourself in a completely different area of ​​Paris that you were going to, or when harmless capers from a jar with a German label turn out to be terribly hot green peppers and all your guests blush and begin to choke. These may not be particularly funny incidents, but after a while your stories will be listened to with great interest!

Record expenses. This will help you control your finances and keep better memories. Sometimes the highlights are hidden in the little details, and over time you are bound to forget it all, so write down every day while you remember. Believe me: after a while you will be happy that you were not too lazy and at least recorded something! And remember the main thing: life is short and too good not to live it to the fullest and the way we like it. Don't miss out on the most important.

Based on the materials of the book “Everywhere is at home”.