Does Travel Really Have to Be Expensive?

We often think of travel — especially world travel — as an expensive proposition. However, travel doesn’t have to be out of reach. In fact, with the right approach, it’s possible to enjoy travel without breaking the bank.

It’s not just about travel hacking, either. In many cases, affordable world travel is about planning and attitude.

Travel Lifestyle vs. Vacation

One of the biggest distinctions in the world of travel is the difference between a travel lifestyle and a vacation. When you are willing to stay put for a long period of time, it can cost less in the long run.

Consider the idea of settling for a few weeks at a time, up to several months at a time. Rather than paying for expensive hotel rooms on a nightly basis, you can reduce your overall costs by staying in an apartment for a longer period. Paying monthly is often less expensive than paying nightly.

This type of slow travel or nomadic living allows you to benefit from the lower costs associated with cooking for yourself, getting to know the local area, and more.

Your travel lifestyle can also mean that you stay in less expensive areas. If you are willing to go to lower-cost locales like Southeast Asia, South America, or Eastern Europe, you can save a great deal of money, since your dollars will go further.

Looking at travel as a lifestyle in which you commit more time to being “away” can save you money in the long run. Where you choose to go, and how long you stay can make a difference. This type of lifestyle often means that you can get four to six weeks of living someplace different for the same cost as going on a vacation someplace more expensive.

Another benefit to living a slightly more nomadic lifestyle is the fact that you are often forced to limit the number of possessions you have. If you know that you will move on in eight to 12 months, it’s hard to get excited about buying things. Instead, you are likely to save money, since you don’t need as many things.

Of course, the travel lifestyle also means that you need to consider your family situation. Do you have children with school needs? Are there some ways that you are less flexible because of your family situation? If you are willing to make accommodation, though, you are likely to be able to travel the world without spending a ton of money.

It’s even possible to live as a global expatriate, moving from place to place, using smart strategies and carefully choosing where you go.

But what if you don’t want to engage in long-term travel and the lifestyle it entails? Can you still travel the world on a budget? The good news is that the answer is yes.

Saving Money on Other Types of Travel

You can still save on other types of travel, though. You don’t need to leave your home base for weeks or months at a time to save money. Some of the strategies you can employ to save money on travel include:

  • Rewards programs: There are a number of rewards programs you can use to save money. Travel credit cards offer you the chance to earn points that can be redeemed for airfare and other travel perks, saving you money on your travel. Loyalty programs for hotels can also save you money when you travel.
  • Road trip: You can save by driving instead of flying, especially if you have a larger family. A good road trip can help you take a good vacation without spending a lot of money. Add camping to the program, and you can save even more, since you don’t need to stay in hotels as often.
  • Hostels: If you are traveling on your own, or as a couple, sometimes it can make sense to stay in hostels instead of more “traditional” hotels. There are even hostels in the United States, if you want to save money by staying cheaply.
  • Coupons and promos: You can also save by using coupons and promos. Even if you are on vacation, you use promotions and coupons to your advantage. There are a number of daily deal sites and other sites that offer coupons and promos that you can use to reduce your travel costs.
  • Business travel: Don’t forget that you can also use business travel as a way to cut costs. Many conferences are willing to comp your registration cost, and even some of your other costs, when you speak there. Even if you don’t end up speaking, you can save money on travel by getting a tax break for your business travel.

With the right planning, you can save money no matter how you decide to travel. There is plenty to see and do, and if you take the time to plan your travel, you might be surprised at how much you can save.

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