How To Travel The World On A Budget: 13 Genius Ways To Save Money While Traveling

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Wondering how to travel the world on a budget this year? I feel you! This post covers 13 awesome ways to save money while traveling so you can experience more of our beautiful world without breaking the bank!

When I first started my long-term travel adventure in 2017, I needed a way to travel for cheap. Saving money while traveling was essential since I knew I wanted to go for as long as possible.

As I made my way around the world, I learned about all kinds of ways to travel on a smaller budget. Below are some of my favorite money-saving travel tips to help you get started too!

How to save money and travel the world on a budget

13 Ways To Save Money While Traveling

Ready to travel on a budget? The options below are a great place to start.

House Sitting

House sitting is one of my all-time favorite ways to save money while traveling! As a house sitter, you live in someone’s home and take care of their pets while they are away. They get free pet care and you get a free place to stay!

House sits are available all over the world for any amount of time. I love that house sitting allows me to live in a less touristy neighborhood and have pets while I’m traveling. I also love the connections I’ve made with my hosts through house sitting.

Even though you usually won’t be paid to be a house sitter, the accommodation savings really add up. I estimate that I’ve saved at least $6,000 on accommodation in the last few years through house sitting alone.

House sitting jobs can be found on platforms like TrustedHouseSitters, MindMyHouse, and Nomador. These platforms have an annual fee that all members must pay, but the accommodation savings far outweigh this expense.

You can read more about House Sitting in the posts below!

Use My Referral Link and save 25% on Trusted House Sitters!


Workaway is an awesome way to travel for free in exchange for volunteer work. In the Workaway program, travelers give a few hours of their time each day in exchange for accommodation and sometimes meals.

Workaway opportunities can be found all over the world and the types of volunteer activities you can do are endless.

For example, at the time I’m writing this, there are Workaway hosts looking for farming volunteers, ranch hands, sailing crews, and pet sitters. People need help restoring historical properties, practicing English, and managing hostels. And that’s not even scratching the surface.

Workaway isn’t a paid opportunity, but by working a few hours per day, you’ll get free accommodation and tons of unique, immersive cultural experiences.

You can read a first-hand Workaway review in this post.

Visit the Workaway website here.

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)

Like Workaway, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is another way to volunteer in exchange for free accommodation while traveling.

WWOOF is a cultural exchange organization where travelers can connect with organic farmers to help on the farm, learn about sustainability, and authentically experience another country. Volunteers will work and learn alongside their host and in return will receive a place to stay and meals.

WWOOF opportunities are available in 130 countries around the world, making this an awesome option for travelers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty!

Learn more about the WWOOFing movement here!

A vineyard at sunrise, How To Travel The World On A Budget, volunteering on a farm is one of the best ways to save money while traveling

Couch Surfing

Couch Surfing is a way to find friends to stay with around the world. Quite literally, you can find a couch to sleep on (or spare room) at someone’s place for free. Likewise, you can also offer space in your place to host travelers.

All you need to do is make an account on the platform and browse for couches in the area you’re visiting. You can read reviews of house sitting hosts and chat with them through the Couch Surfing platform to make sure it’s a good fit.

Couch surfing is a huge community and can be a fun way to make friends while traveling. And with couches in 200,000 cities, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a new friend wherever you’re headed.

If you aren’t looking for a place to stay, Couch Surfing also organizes events and activities around the world! Make an account to see what’s happening near you.

Learn more about couch surfing here.

Scott’s Cheap Flights

Whenever someone asks me about budget travel, I can’t help but rave about Scott’s Cheap Flights. Scott’s Cheap Flights is one of my favorite corners of the internet because you can find some absolutely wild flight deals all around the world.

I once got a roundtrip flight from New York to Singapore for about $500 bucks and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since!

With Scott’s Cheap Flights, you make a free account and add your home airport. Then they will email you whenever a great flight deal becomes available. Often these deals are only available for a limited time so you have to act fast, but when you get one it feels so good!

They also have a premium version with even more deals, but the free version is an awesome place to start!

Sign up for cheap flight alert emails with Scott’s Cheap Flights!

Skyscanner Explore

Did you know that Skyscanner has some helpful tools for finding cheap flights?

When you visit the Skyscanner home page, put in your starting point, and click on the destination box labeled “To.” A dropdown box will appear that says “Can’t decide where? Click here to search everywhere.”

Then in the departure date box, click “Whole Month” and “Cheapest Month.” Click Search and you’ll be given a list of inexpensive flights from your home destination! If you’re ready to fall into a rabbit hole of good flight deals, the best place to start is Skyscanner.

Check out this post for more tips about how to book cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Find Free Activities While Traveling

If you know where you look, it’s possible to find free things to do while traveling! In general, outdoor activities like hiking and going to the beach won’t cost you anything. You can also google your destination with the phrase “Events this month” to find an online calendar of things to do. Many times, there are tons of free or donation-based events going on.

Both the MeetUp App and the Couchsurfing App have events around the world. On these apps, you can put in your destination and browse through things going on. MeetUp is how I’ve met some amazing friends while traveling and it was a great way to find authentic, local things to do.

If you’re visiting a major city, you can also take a free walking tour.

There are few things I love more in this life than free walking tours. Getting out in the fresh air somewhere new, learning about history and local hang-out spots, meeting other travelers – it’s the best.

Many cities have some kind of free walking tour that works on a tip-based system and this can be a great way to get familiarized with a new city and meet some friends.

If you’re in Europe, Sandemans New Europe does free walking tours in several cities, as well as other reasonably priced group activities.

Hiking is a great way to save money while traveling!

Book Accommodations with Kitchens

Especially if you’re staying somewhere long-term, having a kitchen or at least a refrigerator and microwave can be a budget game-changer! In most parts of the world, eating at home is much cheaper than eating out. Having a kitchen will allow you to make meals from time to time, save leftovers, and make your morning coffee or tea at home.

Travel In The Off-Season

Most destinations have what is considered a high season and a low season. During the high season, there are more travelers, the weather is usually better, and there are more events going on.

But if you travel during the low season, things like rental cars, hotels, and flights are often less expensive.

While you might have more unpredictable weather during the low season (usually the low season is winter or rainy season depending on where you are), you’ll get to experience the destination with fewer crowds and on a smaller budget.

Travel In A Carry On Only

I know, I know, it can be tough to travel in only a carry-on but hear me out! So many airlines charge extra for bags, and that can really add up if you’re taking multiple flights!

Plus, transportation to and from the airport becomes easier with fewer bags.

When I travel with bigger luggage, I always need to take a taxi or Uber to my accommodation. When I travel with a backpack or a smaller bag, I can usually take the bus or subway without too much hassle.

This post covers how to pack for Europe in a carry-on and this post has a review of my favorite carry-on travel backpack!

Teach English Abroad

Teaching English Abroad is another way to make your long-term travel dreams a reality without it costing an arm and a leg! As an English teacher abroad, you’ll be based in one location and earn money while you explore your new home.

Some teaching packages include perks like paid accommodation, flight reimbursement, and paid vacation time, so this could be a very lucrative way to see the world and make a difference!

You can read about different teaching abroad experiences from around the world in this post!

To start teaching English abroad, you’ll need to get a TEFL certification. You can obtain your TEFL certification from an accredited TEFL academy and this can be done in-person or online. Many companies offer job placement assistance after you’ve been certified to make the process smoother.

This post covers the best accredited online TEFL courses. I got my certification through International TEFL Academy and I highly recommend them!

Save Money While Traveling By Traveling Slower

Counterintuitive as it might sound, traveling slower and staying in each place longer can actually mean more savings!

If you’re staying in the same area or city for a longer period of time, you can take advantage of perks like monthly public transportation passes, Airbnb monthly booking discounts, and bundled attraction passes.

You’ll also save money by having fewer travel days. You’ll take fewer flights which means fewer taxis, fewer plane tickets, and fewer $29 airport Caesar salads.

True story: Once I was trying to save money on food in the airport and I found this little cafe that sold me two plain hard-boiled eggs. It cost $3, which was outrageous for just two hard-boiled eggs, but I was feeling pretty good about myself!

While waiting to board, however, I realized that hard-boiled eggs are about the worst possible food to eat on a crowded airplane. So that was a cute moment – me shoving two eggs into my mouth while the attendant scanned my passport so I wouldn’t offend the poor soul seated next to me.


Airbnb is where you’ll get the most noticeable discount for long-term stays. To see this in action, plug in a destination you’d like to visit and set the dates to a full month.

Click on a listing you’re interested in and scroll down to the payment and reservation box. Here, you’ll see if the host is offering any discounts for monthly bookings. I’ve seen discounts anywhere from 5% – 40%, which can be a huge game-changer!

How To Keep Track Of Your Budget While Traveling

It’s one thing to plan the perfect budget trip, but keeping track of your travel costs while on the road can be another challenge. I use two tools to keep track of my budget while traveling: Trail Wallet and You Need A Budget.

Trail Wallet is an app designed by travel bloggers, specifically designed to help people keep track of their budget while traveling! Whenever you make a purchase, you’ll jot it down in the app and assign it to a category.

I love that they provide graphs and charts to show the totals for each category. There is even a limited free plan so you can try it out before purchasing.

You Need A Budget is general budgeting software that I use to organize my financial life, travel included. YNAB is a full budgeting system that totally changed my mindset around budgeting and they have tons of resources to help you get started. You can try them for free for a month to see if it’s a good fit!

Final Tips For How To Travel The World On A Budget

While there are plenty of specific ways to save money on travel outlined above, these big-picture budget travel tips will make a big impact on the bottom line.

Having flexible travel dates is one of the best ways to land good deals. Being flexible with when you go means you can grab last-minute flight deals that come up, snag a great house sitting or volunteering gig, or plan your trip during the low season when prices drop.

Being open to tons of different destinations is also helpful because you never know when an amazing flight deal, or WWOOF opportunity, or teaching job might become available. I’ve had house sits in places I’d never even heard of before and now those are some of my fondest memories. I’m so happy I gave those destinations a chance and went with the flow.

By trying the tips above and being flexible with your travel plans, who knows what fun budget travel experiences will come your way! I can’t wait to see you on the road!

ways to save money while traveling budget travel tips

About the Author

Hi! I'm Nic. Let's chat about remote work and ways to incorporate more travel into your life. Whether you're here to find an online job or need some tips for planning your next trip, I've got you covered! More about me

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