budget travel resources

A common question I’m asked is where I get the dinero to travel. After all, plane tickets ain’t cheap, neither are hostels, meals, museums and booze. Especially booze. My answer to that question is it’s easy! Save on transit and hitchhike. Save on museums with a student card! Save on housing by doing a  workexchange! And save on booze by making your friends buy the first second third fourth fifth sixth… round! Budget traveling isn’t a new field in travelology. There are numerous resources that can help you take the trip of a lifetime and I’m feeling kind enough (out of the pure goodness in my heart) to share with you the secrets that make travel affordable.

Work Exchange Programs:

Don’t mind a little hard work in exchange for free housing, meals, work experience and great memories? Check out Workaway and HelpX. I used Workaway to find hosts in Normandy, France and spent a month helping renovate their farm house home. 50 Euros was all I spent in that month but I lived like a king in the slow life that comes with Normandy. My hosts and I still stay in touch and I hope I can go back soon.

Budget Transit:

When in Europe I initially relied on a Eurail pass to hop around. It was way too expensive and the next time I travel I am not giving up an arm and a leg for that rip-off. Instead, next time I’m tramping around in a foreign land I’ll stick to hitchhiking and buses. For bus information Google is your best friend. Transit between major cities by bus is very easy and intuitive. Hitchhiking is also. Check out the website Hitchwiki where other travelers post directions for how to hitchhike out of and into all your favorite cities! This website kept my nerves in check whenever I embarked on an ambitious route. If hitchhiking isn’t up your alley try ride sharing! It’s like hitchhiking minus the anxiety and plus a little bit of cash. Check out Blablacar for EU rideshares.

Housing:

One word–Couchsurfing. Staying on a couch is normally just as fun, comfortable, clean and safe as a hostel. “But what if I stay with an axe murderer!?” you ask? Well what if you stay with an axe murderer in a hostel! At least when you couchsurf you have the option of staying with the murderer or not. Hosts with beaucoup excellent reviews earned those stars because of their relentless hospitality. Mind you, be careful in hostels and on couches, always lock up your Grandmothers 24K locket and macbook Pro. There’s a lot of slime-balls on the prowl in hostels. Workaway and HelpX are also good options for housing. If you’re not comfortable couchsurfing hostels are affordable and fun options. Check out  hostelworld and Hostelbookers. MONEY SAVING TIP! Cross reference the prices on booking websites with the hostels personal website. Booking directly through a hostel saves you from paying a booking fee.

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