Just because the economy is not doing well is not a reason to give up the opportunity to travel abroad. In fact you’d be surprised at how far you can go, and how long you can stay in another country on a fixed budget.
Travel in the off seasons
Most people take their vacations to warmer climate countries in the winter. However you can get get quite a deal on tickets and lodging by traveling during the peak off season. Sure it may be a little warmer but who can complain when a plane ticket is almost 50% less.
Have a flexible schedule
Some of the best traveling deals can be had if you are willing to just get up and go on a whim. Have you always wanted to go to Paris? How does tomorrow sound? By using powerful search tools like “Expedia”http://www.expedia.com and Kayak you can find yourself a bargain. You just need to leave ASAP. It gets better the longer you wait the better your deal. Just make sure you can get there in time. My friend once stayed in Mexico at an all inclusive resort for 4 days for only $400. That includes the round trip plane ticket!
Stay in Hostels
Hostels are a great place to sleep and retire for the night. The idea behind the Hostel is that you share a large room with strangers. In the United States, since the Hostel is non-existent you can stay at any KOA campground.
Pack only the essentials
Pack only what you need and pack lightly. The less you have the easier it will be to keep track of your belongings and to travel. If you are planning on taking pictures then take only a digital camera. Having a film camera can get very costly when you need to buy more film.
Get a discount card
Students can often get discounted rates on lots of things all over the world. All you need is a discount card to get that savings. Students aren’t the only ones that can save money though. If you are a member of a service like AAA you can still save money.
Use public transportation
Not all public transportation is terrifying. In fact most of it is quite safe and affordable. If you are in Europe you can save some money by not buying a Eurorail Pass. Depending upon where you need to go it is cheaper to buy the specific passages as you need them.
Sign up for combination tours
More often than not, the hotel or hostel you stay at will be able to give you information on where to sign up for tours. Go on the tours that take you to more than one thing. For example, If you are in Costa Rica, you could get one that will take you through the rain-forest, mayan ruins, and then end with scuba diving. Doing all three at once is cheaper than doing each on a per diem.
Eat at Cafes, and bring meal replacement bars
Eat at cafes instead of restaurants. Pack several protein bars too. It could be that the area you are in doesn’t have any food you like or you don’t have enough money for a restaurant. A protein bar can get you a long way before you get to a cafe. Cafes specialize in small foods that are affordable and filling. hey are also a lot cheaper than any restaurant.
Don’t call home
Do you need to contact family or friends back home? Then use a public internet cafe to e-mail them. If you are really savvy plug-in your usb stick with a copy of Skype and call them via VOIP. This will save you a lot of money on international or long distance calls. Just remember to clear the history after you leave the computer.
These methods are tried and true. I have been able to go on many vacations both internationally and nationally on a very affordable budget. $500 could easily get you one week in Europe. For $300 I was able to stay in New York for two weeks. I was able to see the Niagara Falls, mine quartz crystals in Herkimer, New York, and then spend time in New York City. If you want to save even more money, get a friend that works at an airline and you can be flying for pennies a mile. You don’t need to be rich to enjoy life, you just need to be resourceful.