14 Tips To Travel Cheaply Around the World

The guys that read my blog know that I have been able to travel all around the world on a very low budget. I have been able to do this on around $1300 a month (including flights, busses, etc.). Because of requests from readers, I have decided to write this article sharing my 14 best budget travel tips. I will countdown to my favorite tip from tip #14.

14. Use packets on cell phones and use common provider


When traveling to a country you are going to want to have a phone number. There are always a few companies to choose from when choosing a pre-paid sim card. Here’s what I do to get the best deal:

Ask what most people have (calls and texts are always way cheaper to the same company). Don’t ask what the best company is because you will end up paying a ton more for ridiculous fast internet or something.

Then you want to ask about packets. In most poor countries there are ways to make your cell phone plan ridiculously cheap and a lot of time it has to do with buying text or calling packets.

Saves you approximately: $30 a month

13. Always research taxi prices

Find out the normal taxi prices online or from a friend before getting in a taxi. Taxis are the biggest ripoffs in any country you will go to.

Saves you approximately: $60 a month

12. Research bus and subway routes


Research bus and subway routes from airports and bus stations. There is usually a very cheap alternative to taking a taxi, especially from popular places such as airports and bus stations. This is also a great way to meet girls in the day.

Saves you approximately: $150 a month

11. Cancel all continuous bills before leaving for a long trip

If you are going on a long trip, do all you can to get rid of anything you have to make payments on. I can’t tell you how many friends I have who are making five times more than me ask me and ask how I am able to travel all over the world when they can barely pay their bills. Their problem is that they are buying things they don’t need and that aren’t making them happy.

Sell everything that doesn’t continue to give you happiness. If you have an apartment, furniture, unwanted car, etc., sell them on Craigslist. These days, you can even sell your belongings that still aren’t paid off. Do this and you will find yourself mentally free and, most importantly, financially free.

Saves you approximately: $200-2000 a month

10. Don’t take the “Try Hard” taxis

A good rule to remember is not to take the taxis that are “try hard.” These guys are trying so hard so they can get to the people that overpay before somebody else. Be smart and take a taxi that isn’t trying toO hard to find somebody to drive around. These are the people that aren’t as accustomed to ripping people off.

Saves you approximately: $30 a month

9. Price haggle strategy

Bargain 11 (Medium)

In most third world countries you will find markets where they will try to get you to pay up to 3x more than what they would charge a local. The problem is that you don’t always know what this price is, so here’s a little strategy that I do:

Ask them for the price, when they say something ridiculous, look at them like they are crazy and laugh. Then say a price that is 1/3rd of their original offer. They will haggle for a bit and agree when they hit 1/2 their original offer. They will go away feeling like they were able to talk up the price and you will come away getting a much better price.

Don’t be afraid to feign walking away if they don’t agree. I’ve gotten deals by walking away probably over 50 times. “Wait! OK.. .this is my final offer!”

Some people will rip you off more than others, but this is a general way to save some money.

Saves you approximately: $20 a month

8. Take buses and trains over flights

Buses and trains are almost always much cheaper than flights. It may take you a bit longer to get there, but you will have saved money and you will have been able to see the local scenery.

If you want to save even more money, don’t take tourist or main buses, take the buses and trains that the locals take. These may be more run down, but you will save a lot of money and get to experience more of what it’s like to be a local.

Saves you approximately: $200 a month

7. Research and ask around for cheap hotels


When you are getting a hotel, make sure to ask for a cheap hotel. If you are talking to a taxi, give a price range. If you are online, just sort it by price or stars.

The difference between a $25 hotel and a $50 hotel is $750 vs. $1500 a month. You may not get the nicest rooms, but you will get your own private room (that you can bring a girl back too) and you will save a ton of money.

The only downside to this is that some cheap hotels aren’t in the safest neighborhoods. This is something I don’t mind, but if it bothers you, just add “in a safe neighborhood” when asking about it.

Saves you approximately: $750 a month

6. Stay in one spot for at least a month

Try to stay in a place for at least a month and get a monthly rental. These will usually be 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a hotel per month. You can search online for “furnished apartments in X city” or check out Airbnb.com (where you can rent apartments from people for days, weeks, or months).

Even if you find cheap hotels and end up spending $750 a month in hotels, you would be better served getting a monthly rental for $400 to $500.

Saves you approximately: $250-350 a month

5. The cheapest monthly rentals and hotels are found on foot


The best way to find cheap furnished monthly rentals is NOT online, but rather walking around a university area asking people and looking at signs. University students need furnished apartments and this is an ideal location for picking up attractive girls.

Even if you able to find a $400 to $500 monthly rental online, you could still be paying less. The landlords that aren’t internet savvy are the people that will be offering you the best deals on the best apartments. The landlords that are internet savvy are the ones that can pick from clueless traveler after clueless traveler and overcharge them.

Saves you approximately: $100-$200 a month

4. Eating out vs. cooking

Get groceries, don’t eat out. Now that you have a monthly rental with a kitchen you can cook. Eating at cheap restaurants can cost you an average of $8 a meal, compared to $3 a meal cooking. If you cook, you will end up saving a lot of money.

Saves you approximately: $450 a month

3. Research flights ahead of time on the right websites


When searching for cheap flights use Cheaptickets, Expedia, Travelocity and, my favorite, Google flights. Search around on dates, even when you don’t want to go. You will notice cheap prices on certain days. Then, Google the name of the airline and try to book your flight through them. You will be able to know exactly when these cheap flights are and it is usually cheaper through the original airline.

Saves you approximately: $200 a month

2. Get a travel credit card or debit card

If you don’t have a credit card tailored to travel, you are literally throwing away money. These credit card companies offer incentives that give you a good percentage of money back on travel purchases, airline miles, and signup bonuses where you get essentially $400 given to you after you spend your first $1000 to $3000.

Then, your current credit card most likely has foreign transaction fees. These are usually around 4%. That will add up very quickly, so make sure to get a card that has no foreign transaction fees.

Check out http://www.creditcards.com/no-foreign-transaction-fee.php to check out the options for travel credit cards.

Debit Card

I pay no atm fees and my debit card is accepted nearly anywhere in the world. How? I use a Charles Schwab card. This has saved me thousands over the years in ATM fees and is very reliable.

Saves you approximately: $200 a month

1. Stay away from tourist traps


DO NOT stay in tourist traps! You won’t get to know the culture, you will be overcharged for hotels, food, and all other services, and you will essentially visit the same place over and over again.

I have traveled the world and while it’s ok to spend a couple days in tourist areas, it’s usually not a good choice to spend much time. You will spend tons more money in these places and you won’t really get to know anything about the place you are staying.

Girls will be harder to get in these areas because seeing foreigners will be so common and you will be overcharged on EVERYTHING. You have also essentially taken the adventure out of traveling.

Saves you approximately: $500 to $5000 a month

Bonus Tip: Choose the Right Place

Something that could save you thousands of dollars in travel costs is simply choosing the right place for you. You should also be doing your part to research the places that seem interesting to you. The best resource on the internet for this is RooshVForum.com. Use the search function and search through the thousands of posts on different countries and cities.

Budget Travel Could Be Your Answer

If you are unhappy with your life, the only answer is change. Following these tips you can budget travel the world on only 1300$ a month. This is doable for most people, so if this is something you have dreamt about, you have no excuse not to make it happen right now.

Read More: 4 Thoughts I Didn’t Have While Traveling

40 thoughts on “14 Tips To Travel Cheaply Around the World”

  1. Honestly? Traveling around the United States in a bug-out Van is one of the cheapest ways imaginable to live, especially right now.
    Gas is now cheap is fuck with the oil crash, and food here is the least expensive of any of the developed countries WITHOUT QUESTION. When you just remove the cost of accommodation from the equation the U.S. can be bloody cheap.
    Take advantage of this and go see the many beautiful national parks we have. Plus you can also pre-game with Tinder by using the Fake-GPS app when your heading to new cities and towns along the way. Just pull up to any fast food joint and you can siphon off their wi-fi for a couple of hours. Get out there and live guys!!

    1. This middle-aged man from Boston has an awesome van if you need a little ass-kicking to get you motivated. (Just don’t get fat like him)

    2. Good idea, a great idea even, but leaving the Police/Nanny State and rotten, nihilistic culture of shopping and eating as the main focus of life in America as well as being around women whose culture has made them retain some femininity are the main draws to travel for me. I never feel so alive as when I leave the Matrix.

    3. I mentioned THIS before on here. This is a Redpill lifestyle if there ever was one. They want you to stay in the system (matrix), which is why it is illegal in the first place? I’ve come to the conclusion that it takes a special someone to do this by choice (especially full time). Most people can’t look past the stigma or understand that a minimum wage part time job can support this lifestyle with ¥€$ left over….I laugh at people who struggle to pay rent cause I know deep down, they hate my hustle and the sacrifices I’m making. They pay for Comcast, while I’m at the library with free wifi, books, movies, a bathroom and AC. Their utility payments are overdue, while I’m at the gym(shower, weights, girls, tv) for $10/mth get’n over. Having a bachelor pad is nice, but if I can’t fully enjoy it because of work hours, then it’s not worth it.

        1. Not yet at least (ex ante). When they get older and realize that they gave up freedom($) in exchange for comfort instead of the other way around, they WILL care. If you rely on Walmart(anyone really) to pay your bills, you should ‘hustle’ out of that. It’s called progression

  2. I like this line. “In most third world countries you will find markets where they will try to get you to pay up to 3x more than what they would charge a local.”
    How’s that “white privilege” working out for a lot of us eh?

    1. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. All they need is to suspect that you’re new in town, and they’ll try to rip you off. You can be as dark as charcoal, if you don’t know your way around in the Caribbean, you’ll be cheated by those illiterate street peddlers.

  3. wait, couchsurfing is not on here?
    It depends on the amount of time you plan on staying in said country. Some people will let you stay at their place for over a month sometimes. Even if they don’t you can use their local knowledge, and where to get the best deals, rather than you spending hours, or days, trying to find places, and reading signs in languages you never knew existed.
    The best way to do that is to get on the site, I would say two months prior, and get to know the person, and start planning. They know the language, and the area. Best of all, most, if not all, couchsurfers know how to speak more than one language, and English is a given to the majority of them.

  4. Good tips for absolute beginners. Now the pro’s errata:
    14. A prepaid SIM is available even in Noth Korea. Get an internet package and use VoIP or callback services. Forget “plans”.
    13. Do not take a taxi without a meter. Make them use the meter. If they don’t, call the police. Don’t threaten, do.
    9. “they will try to get you to pay up to 3x more than what they would charge a local”
    Yes, that seems to be the impression of most Americans. This is plainly stupid and makes it a lot harder for intelligent people to haggle. There are places that will ask 20x more than they want. In China, “woa bu shl ben mei guo lao” (phonetic writing, means “I am not an American fool” jumpstarts your starting price to about a fifth. If you then can get to a third of the leftover, you get a great bargain. The “walk away” tip is great, though – but your price was fine, otherwise they wouldn’t ask you to come back. If it was too low, they let you leave. No need to rise it one single cent.
    8. Is not true. In large parts of Eastern Europe and Asia flights are dirt cheap. Comapre prices. Use google translate. Do some research.
    7. Never, ever go anywhere without having your hotel booked. The internet is your friend, not the sellers’.
    4. Eating out may in fact save you money in large parts of EE and Asia where even the poor people eat out because they cannot afford a stove. Eat there, it’s delicious. Stick to local customs; if the locals eat lunch, use lunch deals, if they eat mainly dinner, eat dinner.
    2. Try to get a credit card that lets you use it to get cash at ATM’s for free. Then pay cash. You are probably not in the USA, so everyone around you likes cash.
    1. Differentiate between “tourist traps” (i.e. Vegas) and “tourist spots” (i.e. Pattaya, Thailand) – in the latter there are so many competing businesses that you’ll probably get your beer cheaper than in the supermarket.
    A few other points I’d like to add:
    A. Never, ever go anywhere without knowing how to get mobile internet beforehand. And get mobile internet first. You cannot cheat someone who knows everything, and the internet knows everything. Plus, it translates.
    B. Make a “money plan” – i.e., how to get the local currency. It’s not the 1980s anymore, so you’ll probably get fair exchange rates for USD/EUR. To check if the exchange rate is fair, use your mobile internet. Better: Use a CC without fees. And have a backup CC in case you lose the main one or get robbed or sth.
    C. Avoid everything suggested in Lonely Planet. Read wikitravel. Contribute to wikitravel.
    D. Learn the local language. Pimsleur courses will get you savvy at saying “I am an American moron who is very sorry that I do not speak your language, but I do love your country” in about 5 days. Locals are usually appreciative.

    1. “13. Do not take a taxi without a meter. Make them use the meter. If they don’t, call the police. Don’t threaten, do.”
      Try to take a taxi with a meter in a third world country. Best of luck. Also, sometimes taxis without them can get you a bargain. To get to JFK in NY I usually just call up a non-meter taxi, and get a flat rate. If you do not know the area, and you look like a foreigner, they can take the long way, and you have to pay up. So be careful for what you ask for.
      “Avoid everything suggested in Lonely Planet.”
      Not sure why you said that, any reason? I hosted one of the guys who worked on one of the books. I took him around and showed the cool things in that city, and they seem to put down some cool stuff in them. So not sure what is the negative. It might differs for different countries though.
      “D. Learn the local language. Pimsleur courses will get you savvy at saying “I am an American moron who is very sorry that I do not speak your language, but I do love your country” in about 5 days. Locals are usually appreciative.”
      Yep. 100 times more.

      1. Let’s call it “The Lonely Planet Problem” – as soon any good bar/restaurant is mentioned in the guide, it is flooded with tourists. Prices rise, quality falls, authenticity is gone.

        1. Authenticity leaves as the tourists arrive, I’ve seen it happen to cities in a short period of time. Then there is paris where they get so many tourists the locals aren’t interested in talking to you.

    2. I actually take the opposite approach with a Taxi, i NEVER get in a taxi where there using the meter unless it’s a 1st world country; i demand a fixed price and if they refuse i go to find another Taxi.
      All it takes is a little research before hand to know how much it’s going to cost to get from Point A to Point B by Taxi in the local currency, this way you can demand a fixed price and know if what they suggest is ripping you off.
      The reason i take this approach is because often in developing countries the meter will be fixed, and it will tick-up very quickly.. the driver will attempt to distract you by conversation and no matter how much you argue about the meter ticking up they will say its normal. You can’t jump from a moving car, and sometimes they will lock the doors.
      This is also why if i can help it i take my luggage with me into the back-seat, so I have the power to leave if i dispute the price without them driving off with everything the moment i step out.. the other problem though is often the taxi drivers in developing countries have connections to crime syndicates, so you may create more trouble for yourself by refusing to pay.
      It sounds dramatic, but i have experienced this and witnessed it myself.

      1. we’ve all been on the endless cab ride, meters give taxis, and incentive to get lost. Fixed prices give them an incentive to take the shortest route.

    3. Taxi meters can be screwed up intentionally, there can be legit fees that the meter doesnt account for, and some places don’t use them, so your advice is of limited value. Asking a local how much the ride should be often is very helpful.

  5. On a personal note, I need someone to get my yacht from Heraklion, Crete to Syracuse, Sicily, Italy this June and July. If you happen to have a Yachtmaster Offshore or equivalent certificate and would like to visit Greece (and Italy, of course), send me some message…

  6. This is a good article. I’m thinking about traveling in the near future and this is what I needed.

  7. I don’t know if I am the only one here… but I have no attraction whatsoever to foreign women. I only like those of my own ethnicity and language. Also I was never really interesting in traveling. I went to another country once in my life (Cuba). It was one week vacations and I don’t think there was ever a time when I was so bored and depressed.

    1. Maybe that’s your way of life and that’s fine but all I can say is thank god for my love of pinay women and tropical weather

  8. Be aware of currency conversion rates for each country, many web sties offer this service.
    I use Capital One 360 checking with MasterCard debit this online bank account has no foreign transaction fees or foreign ATM Fees. If you prefer a Brick and Mortar bank TD Bank offers the same but you need a balance of $1500 in premier checking. Other TD Bank Checking Accounts have no foreign transaction fees.
    Some prepaid credit cards are not that bad either. American Express Blue Bird has no foreign transaction fees. American Express Serve has a 2.7% FTF but I you cannot have both serve and bluebird at the same time. Serve has features I like such as free cash loads at CVS and Wal-Mart also you can load via credit card, Green dot money packs and send money to friends, Amex product protection, etc. So I am keeping my serve account.
    Kaiku is one The best VISA prepaid debit cards I have seen this PPDC charges $3 dollars a month but free access to 50000+ free Allpoint ATMs in the USA, Mexico, Great Britain, and a few other countries. The foreign ATM fee is $1.45 and 1.5% FCF. Not as good as American Express BB but many more places accept VISA… Kaiku also allows you to send and receive money to PayPal and Amazon Accounts.

  9. Depending on where you’re going? Hostels. Especially if you’re traveling with a buddy. Dirt cheap usually, most are “reviewed” so it’s easy to find a clean one. Many provide a breakfast, and a hearty one (all you can eat eat basics: toast, coffee, jam, cereal, sausage, pancakes, et al., varies locally) at that. Good to fuel up in the morning for a long day. There are downsides, but if you want to hang your hat somewhere while traveling you can do far worse.

    1. I like hostels, but I was always amazed how often I could find a nice hotel room to myself.

      1. Yep. Hostels aren’t the end all, to be sure. However after a long day, you can usually find a decent one quickly. That’s their utility, a convenient place when you can’t find better (cheap) accommodations when you’re just passing through.

  10. Charles Schwab has always been known as the best expat banking option. I just opened an account completely online and just got my debit card.
    Looking forward to traveling throughout Asia for a bit.

  11. A couple of solid tips, if you have to change money, don’t know the exchange rate and don’t want to get screwed for 10x the going rate, start by asking the person what he will buy the currency for, then ask him how much he will sell for. If there is a wide gulf, you know you are being took, naturally its good to talk to a few guys as well(and find out if fake currency is common, AKA Peru). I got so sick of dealing with taxis, that now I don’t argue when they try to screw you for a higher rate at the end of the ride. I just put what I believe to be the correct fare on the seat so it takes him a while to pick it up and count it, and start walking. If he really wants the money, now HE has to work for it. I have yet to have a taxi-driver leave his cab(though I expect it to happen one of these days). I should mention my most successful way to find good hotels is to go where the truckers go. In other countries they are medium-high class and have to make extended stays in cities, so they are looking for a good deal. There are hotels that do nothing but cater to truckers.

  12. great article… research taxis ahead of time… great tip (paid a small fortune in the past for not preparing in this manner). knowing the route of the taxi to your destination is also a decent tip. finally, love ‘the shining’ pic (amazing film).

  13. Bookmarked; at least I am learning something new, to the point I myself am on my way to applying this.

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