Traveling long term doesn't have to break the bank. Reti and I are travelling for one year with only $10,000NZD each. We are 5months into our travels and have only spent $6000NZD between the two of us. Point being, travel does not have to be expensive and you really can make your money last if you are creative and flexible with how you travel. So let me share with you the travel hacks we use to travel longer for less.
1. Cheap Flights: We sign up for all the airline newsletters and when we see a good deal pop up we usually jump! Also, direct isn't always cheapest. For example, Kuala Lumpur is a very cheap airport to access asia from, so flying to a well connected airport first might save you $$. That’s how we managed to get from New Zealand to India for less then $300NZD each. We spotted a promo in a newsletter for an Air Asia flight from NZ to KL for $230 then our seperately booked flight to India was only $60. Plus we got to add Kuala Lumpar to our travel list and spent a week there exploring! You can watch our Kuala Lumpur travel vlog here.
We also like to use sites like Skyscanner to find the cheapest airline deals. (But we always book directly through the airline website.) If your flexible with your dates and departing and arriving airports you can scan prices to find the best deal. Some days are cheaper to travel on then others and the same goes for airports. Often times airports in neighbouring cities are cheaper to fly to and from. Taking it a step further....have fun playing around with the Skyscanner 'Everywhere' feature to find out the absolute cheapest destinations to fly to and plan your trip around that! how fun!
Bonus tip: Travelling with only carryon luggage will not only save you hassle at the airport, but it will also save you $$ particularly if your using budget airlines where luggage prices can be extortionate.
2. Local Transport: Travelling via local transport is usually uncomfortable, but it's always much cheaper and way more fun. We have had some crazy rides - 24hours on a Himalayan bus, 11 people stuffed into a jeep for 8hours on crazy roads, 28hours on a sleeper class indian train......But it’s all part of the adventure! If you are willing to rough it a bit then you will save so much just on transport alone. Plus it’s usually the best way to meet locals and you have a far richer experience travelling in a jeep with 11 locals, then in a taxi on your own.
3. Bargain: This really does work. We find it very effective with accommodation in particular. If you insist you're on a tight budget, then usually hotel and guesthouse owners will drop their price. We have found you can usually knock off a good 20-40% from their original quote if you bargain.
4. Workaway.com: Our favourite! You can use this site to find thousands of volunteer opportunities around the world. You can work in exchange for accommodation and sometimes food as well. It saves you a tonn of money but most importantly you have such a rich local experience and also get the opportunity to put your skills to good use! I highly recommend Workaway if you are wanting a truely local experience. You can check out our Workaway vlog in a small Himalayan village here.
5. Couchsurfing: Couchsurfing is one of the best ever inventions for the travel community. Meet locals and stay with them for free!? I still meet people who have never tried Couchsurfing and think it must be too good to be true. But it really is too good and it’s true! It’s such a great way to connect with locals and also save on accommodation costs. We have met lifetime friends through Couchsurfing and really recommend it. Just make sure to check reviews thoroughly to avoid a bad experience. Thankfully we have only had amazing experiences with Couchsurfing! We can’t wait to host one day when we stop gallivanting around the world!
6. Interact with Locals: Stop and chat to locals. Interacting with people while you travel can often lead to amazing opportunities. Once we met a man on a shared van ride in Vietnam and he invited us to his family restaurant. He also invited his entire family! They put on a huge feast and we had such a great night eating yummy local food and drinking local beer with the entire clan. Just remember to follow your gut and always be safe when entering unknown situations like this. Experiences like these are much more authentic then going on an expensive paid tour, plus it will save you some dollars!
7. Street Food: Don’t be afraid of street food. It’s usually super cheap and super delicious! Some of the best meals I have had were street side vendors selling a meal for 50rupees ($1NZD). Ease your worries and check out our Indian Street Food vlog here, it includes prices of all the food as well!
8. Travel Off Season: We love travelling off season for more than one reason. Usually there are little to no other tourist around, so you get a more authentic experience. Secondly, you can get some crazy good deals! Once we managed to book a fancy private AC room inside a fort wall for 500rupees ($10NZD), this room was usually $80NZD!!!
We are Reti & Bianca a couple of adventure seekers from Aotearoa New Zealand. Welcome to our travel stories hub, we are super happy you are here! We share our experiences and provide travel guides, tips and inspiration for anyone who wants to get intrepid!
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