Broke but still want to travel? Start Here…

You split a sandwich with your coworker to save money, steal leftover pizza from another department’s part, and opt out of that second drink with friends – not because you don’t it but because you can’t afford another $10 cocktail. We get it. And when you’re living on a shoestring budget, traveling – especially traveling internationally – can seem like a pipe dream. But there are ways to experience the world’s wonders without breaking the bank. The master of travel and author of HOW TO TRAVEL THE WORLD ON $50 A DAY [link], Nomadic Matt, has some simple tricks to help you see the world on nearly any budget.

  1. House sit. We know “working” during your vacation might sound counterintuitive, but if you’ve got friends in fun places (or even just want a bit of a stay-cation), watering some plants or walking a dog really isn’t such a bad tradeoff for free lodging, is it?
  2. Cook your meals. This is such a simple hack that many people do not tack advantage of. There’s no problem planning one nice meal out during your vacation—we know you’ve got to get that Instagram photo!—but don’t waste all your money on dining out because, let’s face it: you’re just going to forget about most of it.
  3. Sleep in large dorms. This may not suit every traveler but may be ideal for students or the younger jetsetter cutting costs. Large hostel dorm rooms are the cheapest paid accommodation out there. If couchsurfing isn’t your thing, this is your next best way to save money on a place to sleep.
  4. Look into tourist cards. You’ve probably seen tourism discount cards advertised big and bright at major airports. These are worth it! They offer you discounted and free access to the major attractions and museums, as well as free public transportation.
  5. Go on free walking tours. Speaking of transportation, if you’re in a major city, chances are you can probably just walk to many of your destinations. It’s a simple way to burn a few calories, and you get to take in the city in full—not just sit on a bus or train.
  6. Land a free flight. This one takes a bit of privy, but if you’re willing to put in the time and research, you can actually find flights for free. To get more help on this, check out this entire guide from Nomadic Matt.