Budget travel – is that even possible?

What budget travel means to you?

Travel takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to touch, taste and try new things. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different individuals, to embrace adventures as they come and to share new and relevant experiences with best friends and girlfriends.

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Traveling is one of the most popular hobbies available to mankind. Many of us dream of traveling the world, but we are held back by self-hatred about our workload, or the lack of financial resources to do it. Is it really that hard to travel the world? I don’t think so… Because I know from personal experience that it is possible to pay for most travel expenses without actually spending a dime.

Let’s start with transportation. Most people will think that a plane ticket would cost a lot of money. But simply by having a good travel plan and booking your flight early, you can save a lot of money on your airfare. Plus, booking early isn’t the only way to find a cheap flight. There are many points to consider, such as the 24 hour rule, searching for single travel tickets or following the recent deals. Carpooling can also save you a lot, since you basically share the gas costs. It is also one of the cleaner ways to travel. A little online research might just land you a carpool buddy. In fact, I believe that everyone can travel for free, of course hitchhiking. Hitchhiking is both fast and comfortable, and best of all, it’s free!

My favorite means of transport is of course hitchhiking. No, not only because it saves a lot of money, but also because I still see some of the friends I made while hitchhiking. But if you’re more interested in the numbers, let me give you some. In 2012 I made a hitchhiking trip through the Balkan countries. I traveled around almost all of the Balkans for about 20 days. I didn’t spend a cent on travel as I hitchhiked all the way. Finally I realized I had only spent 270 euros for the 20 day hole tour.

When it comes to lodging, I’m going to say there’s absolutely no need to spend hundreds of dollars on hotel rooms. While there are ways to find the cheapest hotel rates, which I list extensively in my blog, they aren’t even my last choice when I travel. I usually try to find a host on couchsurfing, which is completely free. This way I learn from the locals where I go and have a real cultural experience. On the other hand, one can always find an incredibly cheap room on airbnb, a room rental website. If I can’t find what I’m looking for on those websites, hostels are always a good option for cheap accommodation. Plus, they’re pretty fun.

I have to use my 20 day Balkan tour as an example here. During the whole Balkan tour I used Couchsurfing as accommodation which cost me nothing at all. I even made a profit by meeting great people, whom I still see often.

As you can see, there are many options for traveling on a budget. The budget options are not only cheap but always give you a better experience, be it cultural or social. What could be better than experiencing the culture of a destination first hand? Especially if you don’t have to pay anything for it?

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Why is budget travel good for you?

Travelling relieves stress and boosts mental health

Tour has the ability to take you out of stressant and into new surroundings and experiences and this can reset your body and mind. Even planning a trip can have an amazing effect on the chemistry – it boosts happiness and feels satisfying.

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