It is possible to travel without going broke. I know because I manage to travel quite a bit compared to a lot of people. I often hear the phrase “It must be nice to be rich” when I tell someone I am off to some foreign land. Trust me I am not rich, but I do enjoy traveling and I don’t really like backpacking or staying in dorm rooms. So how do I do it?
First let’s talk about most people’s perceptions of traveling. When people read about the luxury resorts and see the beautiful photos in travel magazines they think that there is no way they will ever get to see those places. While I have stayed at a few high end places I usually don’t and I will tell you why in a minute.
Another option people look at while traveling is to stay at an all-inclusive resort. I have stayed at a few of these also and they are great, to a point. While you know the costs upfront, and most things are paid for, the tendency is to stay at the resort and not really get out and see the country.
One of the other options is to go backpacking and stay at budget hotels and hostels. This is okay for people that travel for long periods of time and enjoy meeting others along the way. For some it turns into a way of life staying someplace for anywhere from a few weeks to a year and they wind up picking up a job and live the life of their dreams . Personally I can’t travel for extended periods and to be frank I just don’t want to hang out with a bunch of strangers at a hostel.
I work a full time job. Call it opportunity, luck, or in some cases misfortune, my type of profession usually works in foreign locations. As a result I get to see some locations and cultures that others read about in those magazines. I also get tired of working so I travel as much as possible and my preferred location is the Pacific, in particular The Philippines. I like to take as many trips as I can so I need to figure out a way to pay for those trips without breaking the bank.
When I travel I usually stay at some fantastic vacation rentals. I have found that if I am staying somewhere for more than a night or two I can find a better deal with a condo or apartment rental. I can get rates lower or the same as a hotel but have the advantage of having a living area and a kitchen. As with anything else you can be as thrifty or as extravagant as you want. From a studio type condo to an entire house, vacation rentals offer me the opportunity to get out of the hotels and resorts and experience the local area. I have stayed in one bedroom condos with full living areas and kitchens for less than $30.00 in some places.
Travel without going broke also means trying to stretch your money in other ways. One way I stretch my money is cooking at the condos and apartments I stay at. I love visiting the local markets and can find all types of things cheap that I can fix for breakfast or a dinner. When checking out the area I like to sample the various street foods and small eateries. I can eat great food cheap and also eat where the locals do.
One look at me and you would say I need to get more exercise. When I travel I do get a lot of exercise because I like to walk. I walk everywhere I can. The best way to see a place is on foot so I walk around and find all sorts of interesting places that a lot of tourists never see. By getting out and walking the area you get to appreciate the people and the culture which is one of the reasons I love traveling in the first place.
One of the best ways to travel without going broke is to take advantage of all the free things in the area. I already mentioned the local markets which I love to visit. You meet the people, see the various foods and goods for sale and get a real feeling for the place you’re visiting by the markets in the area. By walking the area all sorts of interesting things come up and opportunities arise to do things you would never know about otherwise. The main tourist sites at various locations can be pricey and sometimes there is no alternative to those prices. There are however discount coupons online for just about every country that allow you to have that fine dining experience, visit the hot tourist sites and save on all sorts of things. By doing a little research online you can find ways to do a self-catered tour of some of the big tourist attractions. Whether it be taking public transport to see the castle or arranging your own island hopping tour, a little research can save you big bucks.
There are a lot of ways to save money while traveling whether it is to some far away land or a weekend trip.
Have you found some ways to travel without going broke?