Most people love traveling, but don’t have a lot of opportunities for it. When you add the costs of transport, accommodation, food and sites it comes up quite a sum. But it doesn’t have to be this way! I travelled to Oslo for a weekend and spent $40 IN TOTAL! How? Let me show you...
Credit: WikipediaIf you have to travel by airplane, be sure to book your tickets in advance. Also look at multiple carriers. A good idea is to look at a forum talking about your destination, and ask there for the cheapest way to get to where you’re going.
Also be on the lookout for cheap out-of-season fares. Sometimes a return ticket can cost less than $20.
If you’re booking a plane ticket make sure to ERASE THE COOKIES on your computer before actually buying them. More often than not, a web page of an airline will automatically increase the price of the flight according to the number of times you visited the page. This is a method they use to make people think that the price is on the rise, so they would buy the tickets immediately. I tried this myself, and it turned out that when I erased my cookies the price instantly dropped $60.
Hitchhiking is a good way to get somewhere, but make sure that it is acceptable in the country you’re in. Also make sure to start early and plan ahead, so that you avoid getting stuck in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain (I’m talking from experience here – it’s not pretty).
Hitchhiking is tiring and can be frustrating, but it’s also a good way of getting to know new people and having new experiences. If you are scared to go hitchhiking, here’s my method of staying safe: once a car stops to pick me up, I make a point of conspicuously looking at the license plate of the car and, when in the car, I pretend to send a message to “my father so that he’ll know I’m safe” (or you could actually do that). You can also start complaining about how “your dad is so annoying and makes you contact him every hour! OMG how lame!” This way any potential problem maker will definitely think twice before doing anything.
Taking food with you
This is a good idea, especially if you’re going to a country that is more expensive than yours. Pack things like instant noodles, peanut butter, a block of cheese or something like that. This way you can never end up in a situation where you have to splurge on something expensive, all you need to do is buy bread (which is pretty cheap anywhere)or find some hot water (ask at a cafe) and you have yourself a meal!
In my opinion, going somewhere isn’t about seeing all the sites and going home. That’s why I mostly hate traveling with an agency. You should go on a walk and get lost, you shouldspend half an hour staring at that beautiful house, you should soak your feet in that fountain in the park that you just happened to stumble upon…these are the things that you’ll end up remembering. There is more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre! Meet new people, share experiences, walk around and see the architecture, go feed ducks in a park, have a beer in a local bar. There are plenty of things to do in a new place without having to pay $30 for some museum or other.
Couchsurfing and other such sites
This is a great way of cutting your costs. The basic idea is: someone has a couch and is willing to share it, and someone else needs to crash on a couch. I have been a host and a surfer via Couchsurfing and it has served me greatly! You get free accommodation, you get to meet new people, share experiences and stories and have a great time! It is also quite safe because you can choose who you want to host/surf and everyone has recommendations and acquaintances on their profile. So, if a person has a positive recommendation from 10 people, and those 10 people each have 5-50 recommendations on their profile, you can count on it that the person isn’t some crazy killer/lunatic J. If you want to be extra careful you can only host people whose identity has been verified.
But remember, it’s not just about a free place to stay. It’s about sharing experiences and making friends!