Backpacking Nomad Mountains Valley SunriseThere’s this constant drag in the air that you can’t cheaply travel the world and that it has to be expensive.

Between flights, hotels, food & tourist excursions it just seems like you have to either be rich or know a lot of people to be able to go anywhere.

Guess what, this is wrong – traveling around the world does not have to be expensive.

If you know the ropes, it can actually be quite affordable and the world as you know it can be right within your grasps!  For instance, if you use discounted websites to book cheap flights, saved any extra income you had for an upcoming vacation, and used budget friendly discount sites on the web, you can save a lot of money and fairly quickly at that!

Take a look at these 10 tips that can help you travel on a shoe-string budget for longer periods of time!

How to cheaply travel the world

Travel through your Contacts 


Meet old friends and get discounts to festivals!

One of the most overlooked yet money saving ways to travel is to simply go where you have connections.  Think about it, not only do you get to build a stronger friendship by traveling around the world to see them, but if you have a friend out in Australia, then they can set you up with housing, food & transportation.

Visit Affordable Countries

When thinking of your next destination to hop to, take into consideration what it takes to get into that country.  Do you need a visa?  What about prescriptions for diseases such as Malaria & Hepatitis?  All of these things cost money and can add up rather quickly.  

Try to visit countries that require none of these and are relatively low on the food chain as far as finances are concerned.  You will end up doing two things here:  

  1. First, you will benefit their economy by visiting a country that normally wouldn’t have many travelers.
  2. Second, you will be able to extend the length of your trip from all the money you’ll be saving which in return enriches your experience!

Bring a Laptop

Another Day in the Office!

Bring your laptop & find specials on the net!

This sounds like something that really shouldn’t be on the list but trust me, a computer or some form of technology that allows you to have access to the internet will save you loads of cash.  

With access to the internet you’ll be able to look up special prices online, use online coupons find out what the going rate is for taxis/rooms/tours and you’ll be able to contact local friends who live in the area that can tell you where to go, what to see and what to do.

Travel by Price of Flight

Granted this one is a little out there, but traveling by the price of a flight instead of destination is something I always do.  Think about it, try picking out 5 destinations that are within your budget, find the flights then plan around them.  

This will almost guarantee that you’ll be visiting a new destination on every trip, you’ll get a unique experience and you’ll stay within budget!

Eat Street Food

Blood Sausage

After hiking El Yunque in Puerto Rico, try a little blood sausage!

Some people seem a little freaked about eating street food, as you have the right to be.  But in all honesty, I’ve never had a problem with getting sick this way.  Just use your common sense!  Look for foods that are cooked all the way and have relatively clean establishments.  

I’ve saved loads of money eating this way and to be honest, I’ve found street food to be more appetizing and different than your typical restaurant.  Step out on a limb, save some money and try some local cuisine…you won’t regret it!

Travel Overland

Traveling overland rather than flying is always a good call if you want to save a few extra bucks.  A flight is almost always guaranteed to cost more money than hitchhiking or riding a bus.  

“The slower you travel, the more you will save.”

Sure, it may be less comfortable than taking first class on a plane but that the whole point of traveling right?  To step out of your comfort zone, try new things and create new experiences.  


Never be afraid to bargain…and when you do, learn to bargain like a pro!  So many people will walk around little shops & stalls, find an overpriced item they really want and just bite the bullet so they can have it.  

Don’t settle for this!  If you want to get the most bang for your buck, suck up that pride and start bargaining with whoever’s selling the item.  It may only save you a few dollars but by the end of your trip, you’ll notice those few dollars will add up to pay for a meal or two.

Sneak In

Open Doors

Find an open door…sneak right in for free!

Okay, so not a lot of people like to do this but if you’re really wanting to visit the Cloud Rainforest of Manuel Antonio but you just think they’re charging way too much then why not just sneak in.  After all, it’s not like they’re doing anything.  Instead of entering from the front entrance, why not go through the back?  

You get the same experience, only backward and if you get caught at the front gate you’ve already seen what you’ve wanted to see so getting kicked out is no big deal.  This works for many places.  Use your imagination, be a little naughty, sneak in!

Bring Your Documents

Bringing along your personal cards from home and keeping them stashed in a good travel wallet can do many things.  For instance, bringing a student card can get you student discounts at hostels, resorts, museums and many other places. Don’t have one?  Then buy/create a fake one!  

Another great example is bringing along a debit card instead of a credit card.  This can save you money by not having to pay for those costly international fees and even put you a bit ahead.

As far as other documents are concerned, be sure to keep them at hand as you never know when they’ll come in handy.  This is exactly what happened to me while I was working on my Vietnam visa as I backpacked through Laos.  Different places charge different rates because they want their cut of the profits.  Do your research thoroughly and you’ll be sure to find another cheap way to travel the world.

Be Creative!

There are several ways for you to save money on the road you just have to learn to incorporate your imagination into everyday things.  Doing so will save you tons of money over the long run, you’ll enrich your experience of wherever you may be visiting and you’ll ensure a unique experience.  Now get out there and explore…even if you’re on a budget! Need more inspiration to travel the world? Take a look at my top inspiration travel quotes to get your juices flowing for your big adventure.

What are your top secrets for traveling around the world for cheap and on a shoestring budget?