Posted by Jane, 10 January 2013 @ 19:30
One of the biggest surprises most people have when they ask me how I afford to travel so much is finding out just how little it costs to travel continuously. In 2012 I managed to travel to 12 countries over about 10 months, spending just €7000 total. That included the cost of all flights, accommodation, food, and tourist attractions. Most people I speak to imagine it must cost at least double that for 1 year of travel. It doesn't. So how do you travel for so long and spend less in a year than what you would back home paying a years worth of bills?
Stay in hostels or camp sites...
On average a mid range hotel room in a city centre location in Western Europe will cost you around €80 per night. For a bed in a dorm room like those at PLUS you can find prices start from as low as €8 per night (in our Prague hostel). That's a saving of €72 per night! If you're willing to camp in a tent you could potentially save even more. Accommodation is one of your biggest expenses on the road. If you can curb this you'll find your travels last much longer!
Budget airlines in Europe
I'm European based, and as such my travels in 2012 were predominantly based in that continent. Usually this would mean spending more money on my travels as Europe is quite an expensive continent, however, one thing that is very cheap here is flights. Europe is home to many budget airlines, and if you can follow all of the low-cost-carrier's rules, you'll find that it's possible in the off-season to fly for as little as €30 one-way on occasion.
There's always something to do for free!
What I have learned while travelling is that no matter where you go, no matter how expensive the cost of living is in that city, there is always something to do for free there if you just look hard enough. It may simply be heading to the beach for the day, or finding out when the local museums & art galleries let you in for free (this happens quite a lot so do your research in each city that you go). It could also be just going for a walk and sight seeing. It doesn't cost anything to take a picture beside a landmark or take some pictures of the local scenery. Sometimes getting lost in a destination can be the most beautiful thing, and it can be so much more rewarding (and cheaper) than the over-priced tourist attraction.
Eat in when you can
Eating the local cuisine in a foreign destination can sometimes be the easiest way to experience a local culture. However, depending on where you're travelling eating out all the time can also cost you a lot of money. On a year long trip it's important to pace yourself with eating out. Why not pick a local recipe and then stay in and cook some nights for a change? You can still have the local foodie experience by sourcing the produce and recipe locally, but you won't have the price tag usually associated with eating out in a restaurant.
Never take a taxi!
Taking a taxi every time you arrive into a new destination is a sure-fire way to run up your travel costs quickly! In most European cities it only costs €3 - €4 to take the train from the airport to the city centre, but a taxi will usually cost you 10 times that figure! A little research into what metro station you need to get off at or what bus stop is close to your hostel and you'll go a long way to saving yourself some cash.Tweet