By: Rachel O’Conner
Flip through the tabloids and you can’t miss the pics of celebs on vacation. It’s Kim K. in Costa Rica, J-Lo in Italy or Daddy Yankee in Montreal. We all know they can afford it, but what about the rest of us? Does that mean we’re stuck stateside sipping margaritas out of coffee mugs by the complex pool? Absolutely not!
While we may not be able to live it up on vacation like the stars, most of us can swing a vacation abroad without going into major debt. It’s easier than you think when you employ some money-saving strategies.
Here are a few tips for traveling the world on a budget.
Choose cheap transportation
If you’ve ever looked at a vacation budget, food and entertainment top out the list, but transportation comes in a close third. This is a cost most people don’t consider, but it can really eat away at your budget. Fortunately, there are cheaper ways to travel.
Wherever you are, try not to rely on taxi cabs. Instead, choose a more budget-friendly method like a metro rail or bus. And if you’re traveling around Europe, you may even consider driving. Depending on the length of your visit, it may make sense to buy a cheap car and sell it when it’s time to go home.
When you’re looking at buying versus renting, be sure to factor in the need for vehicle maintenance. This is an extra expense that you may not want to be responsible for.
Consider a vacation abroad
If you want to save money on lodging, you can consider a cheaper option like AirBnB, Couch Surfing or staying at a hostel. But if you want to go really cheap, think about working your way through another country. You can teach English for a short time in China or work on a farm in Costa Rica. There are many opportunities, so look for one that matches your interests and skills. And as a bonus, these things look great on a resume. So not only can you save money on your vacation, but you can also use the experience to increase your income in the future.
Shop at grocery stores
Instead of buying your food at restaurants, get whatever you can at a local grocery store. This tip is especially helpful if you can land accommodations with a kitchen. Then, you can cook every meal. If you don’t have a kitchen, you can still save money by purchasing water, granola bars and ramen noodles at the local grocer. Pro tip: If you run water through your hotel coffeemaker, you can get hot water to make things like oatmeal and ramen noodles. That certainly beats paying too much for breakfast or lunch.
Don’t settle for a staycation when you can experience the world. You deserve it as much as any celebrity (maybe even more), so use these money-saving tips and make it happen.
You may have to cut a few corners and make a sacrifice or two, but you’ll have a great time and your bank account won’t be begging for mercy.
Author’s Bio: Rachel is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed “Travelholic” who is currently writing for Audi Marrieta. She enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing her experiences with the world. In her free time, you can find her planning her next trip, running with her dogs, or heading to the closest farmers’ market.