Budget Travel – 14 Tips to Travel Cheap Around the World
Most of the guys that read Swooptheworld, don’t have enough money to be throwing it around without consequence. As a guy who has done all his travels around the world on around 1300$ a month (including travel costs), I have decided to write this article sharing my 14 best budget travel tips.
Budget Travel Tip #14 – Use packets on cell phones and use common provider
When traveling to a country you are going to want to have a phone number. There are always a few companies to choose from when choosing a pre-paid sim card. Here’s what I do to get the best deal:
Ask what most people have (calls and texts are always way cheaper to the same company). Don’t ask what the best company is because you will end up paying a ton more for ridiculous fast internet or something.
Then you want to ask about packets. In most poor countries there are ways to make your cell phone plan ridiculously cheap and a lot of time it has to do with buying text or calling packets.
Saves you approximately: 30$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #13 – Always research taxi prices
Find out the normal taxi prices online or from a friend before getting in a taxi. Taxis are the biggest ripoffs in any country you will go to.
Saves you approximately: 60$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #12 – Research bus and subway routes
Research bus and subway routes from airports and bus stations. Their is usually a very cheap alternative to taking a taxi, especially from popular places such as airports and bus stations. This is also a great way to meet girls in the day.
Saves you approximately: 150$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #11 – Cancel all continuous bills before leaving for a long trip
If you are going on a long trip, you should be all you can to get rid of anything you have to make payments on. I can’t tell you how many friends that are making 5 times more than me ask me how I am able to travel all over the world, when they can barely pay their bills. Their problem is that they are buying things they don’t need and that aren’t making them happy.
Sell everything that doesn’t give you tons of happiness. If you have an apartment, sell the lease on Craigslist. Do this and you will find yourself mentally free and most importantly financially free.
Saves you approximately: 200-2000$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #10 – Don’t take the “Try Hard” taxis
A good rule to remember is not to take the taxis that are “try hard.” These guys are trying so hard so they can get to the people that overpay before somebody else. Be smart and take a taxi that isn’t trying to hard to find somebody to drive around. These are the people that aren’t as accustomed to ripping people off.
Saves you approximately: 30$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #9. – Price haggle strategy
In most third world countries you will find markets where they will try to get you to pay up to 3x more than what they would charge a local. The problem is that you don’t always know what this price is, so here’s a little strategy that I do:
Ask them for the price, when they say something ridiculous, look at them like they are crazy and laugh. Then say a price that is 1/3rd of their original offer. They will haggle for a bit and agree when they hit 1/2 their original offer. They will go away feeling like they were able to talk up the price and you will come away getting a much better price.
Don’t be afraid to feign walking away if they don’t agree. I’ve gotten deals by walking away probably over 50 times. “Wait! OK.. .this is my final offer!”
Some people will rip you off more than others, but this is a general way to save some money.
Saves you approximately: 20$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #8 – Take buses and trains over flights
Buses and trains are nearly almost always much cheaper than flights. It may take you a bit longer to get there, but you will have saved money and you will have been able to see the local scenery.
If you want to save even more money, don’t take tourist or main buses, take the buses and trains that the locals take. These may be more run down, but you will save a lot of money and get to experience more of what it’s like to be a local.
Saves you approximately: 200$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #7 – Research cheap hotels and always ask for cheap hotels
When you are getting a hotel, make sure to ask for a cheap hotel. If you are talking to a taxi, give a price range. If you are online, just sort it by price or stars.
The difference between a 25$ hotel and a 50$ hotel is 750$ vs. 1500$ a month. You may not get the nicest rooms, but you will get your own private room (that you can bring a girl back too) and you will save a ton of money.
The only down side to this is that some heap hotels aren’t in the safest neighborhoods. This is something I don’t mind, but if it bothers you just add “in a safe neighborhood” when asking about it.
Saves you approximately: 750$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #6 – Stay in one spot for at least a month
Try to stay in a place for at least a month and get a monthly rental. These will usually be 1/3rd to 1/2 the price of a hotel per month. You can search online for “furnished apartments in X city” or check out Airbnb.
Even if you find cheap hotels and end up spending 750$ a month in hotels, you would be better served getting a monthly rental for 400$ to 500$.
Saves you approximately: 250-350$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #5 – The cheapest monthly rentals are found on foot
The best way to find cheap furnished monthly rentals is NOT online, the best way is walking around a university area asking people and looking at signs. University students need furnished apartments and this is an ideal location for picking up attractive girls.
Even if you able to find a 400 to 500$ monthly rental online, you could still be paying less. The landlords that aren’t internet savvy are the people that will be offering you the best deals on the best apartments. The landlords that are internet savvy are the ones that can pick from clueless traveler after clueless traveler and overcharge them.
Saves you approximately: 100-200$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #4 – Eating out Vs. cooking
Get groceries, don’t eat out. Now that you have a monthly rental with a kitchen you can cook. Eating at cheap restaurants can cost you an average of 8$ a meal, compare this to 3$ a meal cooking and you will end up saving a lot of money by eating at home.
9$ a day vs. 24$ a day. Or for a month that would be 270$ vs. 750$.
Saves you approximately: 480$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #3 – Research flights ahead of time on the right websites
When searching for cheap flights use cheaptickets, expedia, and travelocity. Search around on dates, even when you don’t want to go. You will notice cheap prices on certain days. Then, google the name of the airline and try to book your flight through them. You will be able to know exactly when these cheap flights are and it is usually cheaper.
Saves you approximately: 100$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #2 – Get a travel credit card/debit card
If you don’t have a credit card tailored to travel, you are literally throwing away money. These credit card companies offer incentives that gives you a good percentage of money back on travel purchases, airline miles and signup bonuses where you get essentially 400$ after you spend your first 1000$ to 3000$.
Then, your current credit card most likely has foreign transaction fees. These are usually around 4%. That will add up very quickly, so make sure to get a card that has no foreign transaction fees.
Check out http://www.creditcards.com/no-foreign-transaction-fee.php to check out the options for travel credit cards.
I pay no atm fees and my debit card is accepted anywhere in the world. How? I use a Charles Schwab card. This has saved me thousands over the years in ATM fees and it is very reliable. https://www.schwab.com/
Saves you approximately: 200$ a month
Budget Travel Tip #1 – Stay away from tourist traps
DO NOT stay in tourist traps! You won’t get to know the culture, you will be overcharged for hotels, food and all other services and you will essentially visit the same place over and over again.
I have traveled the world and while it’s ok to spend a couple days in tourist areas, it’s usually not a good choice to spend much time. You will spend tons more money in these places and you won’t really get to know anything about the place you are staying. Girls will be harder to get in these areas because seeings foreigners will be so common and you will be overcharged on EVERYTHING. You have also essentially taken the adventure out of traveling.
Saves you approximately: 500 to 5000$ a month
Bonus Tip: Choose the Right Place
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Budget travel could be the answer
If you are unhappy with your life, the only answer is a change. Following these tips you can budget travel for only 1300$ a month. This is doable for most people, so if this is something you have been dreaming about for a long time, you have no excuse not to make it happen right now.