⇒ When people ask me, I travel around the world in the cheapest way I can. I always say: “You can spend less money on accommodation and catch cheaper flights, just that you afford to spend more money on other adventures”. ⇐
Here are my TIPS on how to travel cheap:
1. CHEAP FLIGHTS
There is a lot of theories when it is the perfect time to book a flight. I read and here are some that are interesting for me:
- The cheapest day to buy a flight is 6 weeks before you go. Passengers pay the lowest price, around 6% below the average fare if they buy their tickets six weeks before their flight. That’s the golden rule thousands of travel blogs and articles swear by. This was taken from a study by the Airlines Reporting Corporation, a company that processes ticket transactions.
- The cheapest day to buy a ticket is Tuesday. Apparently, this is due to airlines announcing deals on Monday evenings. By Tuesday at noon, other airlines are trying to match those deals. So Tuesday afternoons are the best time to hunt for reduced airfare. The first problem with this is that Tuesday afternoon varies depending on where in the world you are.
- And in my opinion, it is good to know what time of the year you are free. You can plan trips in advance and check prices. The good thing is you can activate PRICE ALERTS on almost every page. You get a notification on mail every week; so you can follow if the price rises or falls.
- Or, check low prices for the return trip for a weekend getaway! Do not forget to check travel and airline websites for sales and promotional fares 🙂 It is always cheaper when you fly to airports out from the city.
- Always check in ONLINE! Some airlines charged you check in at the airport.
With all these tips it is pretty sure, you will get good results and prices for your next trip. But if you put time and effort into finding the flight you want, you’re more likely to be rewarded with a good deal. And remember the cheapest flight is not always the best value! I had experience with SouthWest airlines. I bought a really cheap ticket but their flight hours went out of the system. And also if you are in need of purchasing some baggage, you might want to think about how much different airlines charge baggage fees as well as how much they’re charging for flights. As I work at the airport and flew with so many airlines, be careful about how they can take more money from you.
Sites that I am using are Skyscanner, Momondo, Kayak and Cheap flights You can look directly on a certain airline website! as well. You can always choose one way, return ticket or you can choose the Multy city option (you can fly from home to City A and for a return flight from City B back home).
I want to share with you some of the accommodation I am using during my travel journeys:
- Couchsurfing – The best option because it is free. It is for adventurers and people who like to connect with local people. If you are two friends traveling around, it is good to try. Two people are just perfect that you are accepted in a house/apartment of a host. What is more than two, it is harder to get a host. In the past, I couch surfed in America, England, Sweden, and Norway. Especially in the States, this type of accommodation is really welcome. I met so many new people, with who I am still in touch. I couch surfed also once alone in London. If you find a nice host, they will maybe pick you up from the airport, offer you breakfast or show you around.
- Airbnb is a popular option. I used and still using a lot. If I do not get Couchsurfing 😛 It is really convenient, easy to use and cheap.
- Sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere – Some national parks in the United States – like Yellowstone – allowed you to stay in the middle of the wilderness. Of course for free. In Europe in some countries this is not allowed, so be careful and pay attention to laws.
- Booking.com – you can get discounts if you book more times on this page, also you can earn money if you refer a friend. HERE is my link for a 10 % discount. Click on the link below! https://www.booking.com/s/34_6/faa6888c
3. EAT LOCAL FOOD OR …
… cook your own meals. It is way cheaper if you go to the store and cook your meal instead of going to the restaurant and pre-pay dinner. It is good and nice sometimes to treat yourself, but if you are on a low budget, this does not go! 🙂
Local food is a must when you travel. In Mexico traditional Mexican dishes (Tacos, Chilaquiles, Tamales,…), in Thailand Thai food, in Spain Paella, in Austria famous Schnitzel, in Greece Gyros and Greek salad, in UK Fish and chips and English breakfast, in States do not miss Hamburgers, and so on … What is the best about local food? It is SO GOOOOD and cheap!
Tell me what is your best food choice you ate in certain country?
Be flexible! Use everything that goes. It can be a busy bus or the slowest train in the world… It doesn’t matter in the end. Because adventure is going to happen for sure.
Take road trips. Renting a car is not an expensive option. Take and just enjoy the ride! If you are more of you… so much better and cheaper as well.
Blabla Car – share your journey with random people. It is easy to use the app, just apply for a ride, contact the driver, agree with location and you are ready to go. It is an adventure. I remember driving with a lady 160km/h on the highway in the Czech Republic. I was shaking all my way :O So, you never know what you get! Be aware of that. But mostly, you get normal cool people to chat with.
5. WORK AND TRAVEL
I decided to participate in the summer work in the USA in 2015 and 2017. The first thing to do is register on the CCUSA Footprints sponsored by CCUSA.
The conditions for applying are as follows:
– the status of a student at one of the faculties/colleges, regardless of citizenship
– be at least 18 years old and not older than 29 years on 1st of May,
– knowledge of speaking English.
CCUSA program permits a maximum of four months work, until the end of September at the latest, and after the completion of the work, the students will remain for 30 days, which can be used for a trip to the USA (grace period).
“CCUSA is a leader in the international human resources sector. Young people from all over the world offer opportunities for cultural exchange and getting to know other people since 1986. CCUSA is at the same time a state department called the J-1 Visa Sponsor. It is working closely with the US Department of Foreign Affairs to provide all participants with excellent experience in the United States and that the rules and regulations issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are always fulfilled”.
When you register for summer work in the USA, you have two main options: “Independent” and “Placement” option.
A “Placement” program means you get work from one of the well-known and approved employers. With the majority of employers, the agency has many years of experience, so the choice is so lighter. A “Placement” program gives you 100% a job if you sign up and want to go to the US. After registering and interviewing, you can see a list of employers and jobs in your application form and choose from 7 to 10 of the ones that best suit you. You can choose by location, type of work, salary, work dates, accommodation or some other criterion that is essential for you. Normally in a few weeks, you already get a certified work. It is also possible to get work through a Skype interview, which usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Some employers offer this option because they like to have personal contact.
The “Independent” option has more freedom and flexibility, as you are looking for a job that suits you. For each job, you have to submit a special job offer form, which is carefully checked by each employer, as it must meet all the criteria of the program. However, you can determine which works you can perform and which ones do not. They recommend that all students be asked to look for a job before leaving the US, otherwise, they will only have to return to their homes for 7 days after entering the country.
My opinion: THE BEST EXPERIENCE SO FAR! DO NOT waste your student years just for studying, go out and explore our Planet. You can combine everything you want. It is so many possibilities; like the Erasmus Program in Europe, different types of scholarships that can help you explore more. Check in your country what possibilities do you have and talk with your mentors in college. You won´t regret! WIDEN your world.
Go out and explore our planet!