Chris Long, From Isolation to world Traveller
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My top 10 Awesome Cheap Travel Tips to help YOU travel longer!

Indonesian Money

Want to travel for longer but don’t have the money?  I have been travelling for 5 years.  How?  Mostly because I’m a Cheap Travel expert!  My yearly income is usually below $10,000 USD and yet I travel 8 months a year.   To help you do the same here is my 10 awesome Cheap Travel tips!

Few people can out budget me.  The reason for this?  I take the cheapest flights, the cheapest hostels, usually busses not trains and eat the cheapest (and sometimes the best)  food!  In a good month in a cheaper country my budget is $1000 NZD ($700USD) and in an expensive country its $1000 USD.

If you are a smartphone addict you can look at my Top Travel Apps to make travelling easier!

That’s cheap!  But how??

 

Choose the most affordable countries

First step in Cheap Travel: go to the cheapest countries.  And they are usually the most fun to!  Your money buys you twice, three or 10 times as much.  So you can travel much longer.  Or just have more fun for a shorter time to.

Here’s my top list of fun cheap countries I have travelled.

  • Poland     (Best cheap partying)
  • Thailand   Crazy, cheap and fun.  (One of the best backpacker destinations in the world)
  • Vietnam     (Even cheaper than Thailand)
  • Laos
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines   (English Speaking)
  • Ukraine    The cheapest I have been.  (1.5L of good beer for 80 cents)
  • Hungary
  • Czech republic   (Best Beer)

These are all countries where anyone can easily travel for less than $1000 USD a month and have crazy fun!

Money Saving Potential:  Medium

 

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing in New York!

I have been Couchsurfing since the first day I started travelling alone.  Not only can it be a free place to stay (and for cultural exchange) but its also a great way to meet locals who can tell you the cheaper places to stay, eat, drink or visit!  I wont say much about Couchsurfing here so see my full post on Couchsurfing:  How to Start Couchsurfing and do it Safely

Money Saving Potential:  Medium

Find The Cheapest Flights

Cheap Travel

Flights is often where you spend the most money while travelling!  So how can we find the cheapest flights???

There”s a bunch of apps and search engines out there and it really easy to loose hours or days searching for the cheapest flights.  I don’t like to waste time so I just use   Skyscaner and Ctrip.


Skyscanner

This app allows you to search very broadly.  Perfect for flexible budget travellers!  You can search from City to City, City to Country, Country to Country, or Country to City.  And on a specific day or whole week or whole month.  That’s a lot of options!  I think its the best tool to find the cheapest day of the month and the cheapest airports you should be flying between.  Always clear your cookies if you have searched for the same route a few times.

Ctrip 

Did you know that Chinese people have been booking the cheapest flights for ages??  Cheaper than what anyone else can find.  Especially any flights in or out of Asia.  CTrip in English is the closest we can get unless you happen to know Chinese.  (There’s 3 other apps too in Chinese)   For the best results search in Chinese currency (Yuan) and use a VPN that makes you look like your in China or Hong Kong.

After finding the cheapest day and cities to fly between I will always check Ctrip and usually its a bit cheaper, or sometime half price if you are lucky!

And if you don’t feel like trusting a Chinese app.  Think of it this way.  China has 1.3 billion people.  More people use this app for flights/trains/accommodation than probably any other app in the world.  So there’s noting to worry about.

Flights are usually cheaper if you fly at inconvenient hours or with a couple of stopovers.  It can suck to have a longer late/early flight but think of it this way.  The money you save is money you don’t have to earn.  If you save $100 that’s one less day you have to work and 3 extra days you can travel!

Money Saving Potential:  Medium

 

Hostels not Hotels

If you want to save money ALWAYS stay in hostels instead of hotels if available.  Its the best way to meet people and make friends and for couples you can usually get private rooms too!!

Hostels are usually sociable and you will meet people from all over the world.  Anything is possible in hostels, you might find a party,  make a new friend for a day, a travel mate for a week or a life partner!  You never know!  Lots of my best travelling friends or experiences have been from hostels.

In a place where hotels are $30 a night hostels will probably be around $10.  So you can actually stay 3 days instead of 1 if you stay in a hostel.  That means you can travel 3 times as long for the same budget…!

If you are really up for it also try camping…its usually FREE!

Money Saving Potential:  High

 

Eat street food

Street Food

Street food in Asia. OMG Its the best!

One of my favorite past times travelling is eating street food!  Its usually the most traditional food and the best way to experience culture.  Do be careful in some countries if you have a sensitive stomach.  However if not go wild!  I have eaten street food in Aisa for months and never got even slightly sick.

Some of my best memories are eating spicy street food in Asia, in the dirty streets with 40 degree heat and sweat pouring down my face.  I love it so much!

And cost?  In Asia its usually around $2 USD for a meal of really good street food.  In a nice restaurant you will pay 3 times that at least for the same food!

The other option is the small local restaurants.  Usually friendly staff and great food, a step up from street food.

Money Saving Potential:  Medium

 

Walk a mile (or 5) to save a dollar

Why take a taxi short distances when you can walk!  And you get to see place, find some food on the way, and keep fit!

Much easier with a backpack but still possible with a suit case.  We all have smart phones now so use Google Maps or Map.Me app (offline maps) and follow the blue dot!

Arriving in a new town or country and getting catching a taxi is a really good way to get ripped off before you even get to your hostel!

If you search using wifi before you leave google maps will usually tell you the public transport options.  Choose the best option and when you leave wifi it stays on your phone.

One night I attempted to walk 7km from a bus stop to hostel in Namtha in Laos at 11pm.  It started raining halfway and I thought I would have to sleep on someones door step in the mosquito’s.  20 mins later some awesome Chinese guys gave me a ride…a fun adventure!   #lucky!

Money Saving Potential:  High

 

Stay with Friends when you can

Say no more!  This will save you $$$$$$$$$$$!!!   As long as your friends aren’t high spenders it will work.  And its one of the best ways to experience a country, stay with someone who is living there.  Even if they aren’t a local themselves.

Money Saving Potential:  Extreme!

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking with Graceie from Athens in Barcelona

This one is the ultimate for cheap travel.  Hitchhiking is an amazing way to get around for free and meet fun local people at the same time!  I once hitchhiked 12 countries in 9 days from Athens in Greece to Barcelona in Spain!  Google maps tells me that 3200 free kilometers!  And another time in Austria and Germany Graceie and I hitchhiked over 1000 km in one day!!  Top speed was 220 km/h!

Hitchhiking does have added risk but in 8 years of doing it I have never had a problem.  Just be smart.  Don’t get in a car if it doesn’t feel right.  And watch your maps on your phone to make sure you go the right way!

Money Saving Potential:  Extreme

 

Booking.com

Previously I have used Hostelworld for booking accommodation but recently discovered Booking.com   The advantages are:

  • No deposit required.  Just a registered credit/debit card.  You pay full amount at the accommodation on arrival.
  • About 40% of the time you can get free cancellation.
  • And its the cheapest!  Or at least equal cheapest!
  • Click This Link to get booking!

Money Saving Potential:   Small

 

Volunteering

Volunteering an amazing way to spend quality time in a place while experiencing the culture and giving back in ways not money related.  I don’t really agree about paying for volunteering.  It should be free.   And there’s a million scams out there so be careful.

From talking to people I recommend going to a country and actually talk to other travellers first.  They will point you in the direction of the right volunteering options.

If anyone wants to volunteer in China I know a really cool place too do so called Karstaway.  Contact me below or see Karstaway.com

Another website I have written for and can recommend as being a good source of volunteering is Givingway.com

Money Saving Potential:  High

 

Work while travelling

I worked and Travelled in Australia for 3 months. I had an amazing time and saved $5000 USD at the same time.

Of coarse this one is obvious!  Finding some work along your trip is a great way to limit spending but its actually the best way to experience a country and it people too.  You don’t usually save money but you pay your way.  I just worked in China for 3 months and there I actually saved money.

Places like Thailand you can easily find work in the tourism industry, bars, booking agents ect…  Doesn’t pay well but remember Thailand is cheap so doesn’t matter!

Money Saving Potential:  Extreme

 

And that’s my best Cheap Travel tips!

One of the most common questions I get asked day to day is how do I travel so long?  After reading my top 10 cheap travel tips I hope you can understand better how it is possible for YOU to also travel for less than $1000 a month.   I actually met a Ukrainian girl Couchsurfing recently who had her money stolen in Europe and travelled for 5 weeks with just 200 Euro!  Including Scandinavian countries!  Now that’s another challenge….let me know how you get on…

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Please read more of my travel advice and adventures below

What gear do you need to take:  What’s in My Backpack

Antarctica:   Working as an Expedition Guide in Antarctica 

China:  Working and Travelling in China

Please see also my Top 10 Travel Apps to make Travelling Easier!

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