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Travel may seem like a far-flung luxury: spending hundreds of dollars on hotels, classy restaurants and entertainment; but there’s a way to see the world on a budget. By opening up your horizons and exploring on a shoestring you won’t only get further but will end up with more unique experiences. Here are some pointers to get started:
Do your research.
If you’re about to try something new, chances are someone has done it before and can offer first-hand advice. Two resources filled with such tips are Trip Advisor Off the Beaten Path and Lonely Planet’s “On a Shoestring” Guidebooks. Real travelers have sought out lesser-known places around the world to give readers an opportunity to experience something different (and usually less-expensive than tourist hot-spots).
Compare flights. Be flexible!
Flights may be the biggest investment on your trip so bring that number down by looking into as many alternatives as possible: dates, airlines, stop-overs, neighboring airports etc. Be as flexible as possible in searches and set parameters to one month, you’ll receive the largest variety of flights and prices. Don’t bother scouring the whole web, you can use a service like FlightHub or Travelocity to search and compare for you.
Widen the accommodation horizons.
A five-star hotel may not be in the budget but there are plenty of alternatives. CouchSurfing has made its way through the travel universe like a whirlwind. The idea of staying with strangers is no longer a scary concept but instead encourages travelers and locals to share in a way never seen before. If private space is more important to you, HomeAway and booking.com both offer the opportunity to rent a whole house or apartment for a longer period of time. Not to say that hotels are off the radar, if you keep an eye on out, hotels.com has great last minute deals that can save hundreds!
Invest in good insurance BEFORE something happens!
Insurance is an initial investment but will help you save money in the long run in case something comes up. How many times have you heard of a friend falling ill after arriving in a new country due to the drinking water or food? It happens. Look into plans and compare before going. If you incorporate insurance into your travel budget, it shouldn’t add up to much when broken down into the daily amount. Allianz and World Nomads are two popular sources for travel insurance.
Look into car sharing.
Depending on where you are and the availability of car sharing services, they can be a great way to get around quickly while saving a few bucks. Zip Car allows members to use cars by the hour or day, plus insurance and gas are included in the price!
By thinking creatively and opening up your travel horizons you’re half way to exploring the world on a budget in 2017!