I came across the TEDx clip ‘How to travel the world with almost no money‘ by Tomislav Perko, a guy I really admire and who inspires me to continue what I do. Perko was affected by the financial crisis of 2007 -2008 – He lost his job as a stock broker, money and his lavish lifestyle he was accustomed to…. He then decided to travel. Some people including myself would have told him “That is the craziest thing to do! How can he afford to travel with no source of income?”… however, I have learnt from my travel experiences that you can indeed travel cheaply.
One of the biggest belief about traveling is that, most people think it requires a lot of money but this is not the case. Usually, the idea of travel being expensive is perpetuated by the inflated prices shared by tour agents/ companies – for instance, you see a Europe round trip is 1,000 – 2,000 pounds!, which then further perpetuates the belief until its bleakness is just accepted. As a result, you give up on the idea of making your travel adventure a reality because you are certain their idea is cost prohibitive.
We have all heard the saying “The best things in life are free.” Some guys assume that this rule only applies to life’s small pleasures like laughing with friends, smelling a flower. Not so! Bigger pleasures can be free too…Well, if not free, then very cheap!
Therefore, if you want to make that travel dream a reality make sure you watch Perko’s talk above (trust me he will make you want to travel. Watch up to the end – It is just a 20 – minute clip), and pick out one or two ideas from him.
Some of the things he has mentioned I have actually done them and here is my honest feedback:
Couchsurfing – Accommodation is the biggest chunk of your traveling budget and by reducing it can lead to a huge save! No matter what your accommodation tastes may be, one thing we can agree is that you would not want to pay a fortune for it. In fact, best way to take a cheap holiday is by cutting down the accommodation cost. Couchsurfing helps travelers not only to save on accommodation but you also get to interact with the locals. I used the site when I took a trip to Cardiff with the girls and from that experience I can tell you that you have to be open-minded. You won’t get a five-star hotel kinda-setting; just keep in mind that you will be staying in someone else’s house. Therefore, don’t expect much, you can be disappointed or it can turn out great. Our host was very nice, welcomed us warmly, took us to the good clubs, restaurants and suggested places to visit in Cardiff. We catered our own meals but he provided the utensils. Some hosts offer food but as I mentioned above be open-minded! I think some people would be scared to couchsurf, probably think it is not safe. There you are in a new city, with all your stuff – in a stranger’s home. Then you start thinking…What if they try to murder me in my sleep? What if my stuff is stolen? However, I have noted that those willing to host you are former travelers and they are aware of what you are going through and they’re happy to help. Besides, Couchsurfing site is aware of the concerns and they have put in place the necessary security procedures. It offers various levels of verification and allows users to rate and leave comments on people’s profiles. I usually stay with people whose profile is complete and verified, has several pictures of themselves and a minimum of 5 reviews plus if I am traveling solo, I would prefer staying with a female host. Lastly, I use my own instincts! Your gut feeling is always right, so follow it.
Hitchhiking – Perko talks about hitchhiking… again this boils down to your preferences and gut instinct. Personally, I can’t hitchhike instead I would buy my travel ticket in advance. Tickets bought in advance like 2 to 3 months are cheaper than those bought on the day or a week before travel. There is also another site I use to find cheap transportation called Bla bla Car, however, it is available only in Europe, South American and Asia. It is a ride-sharing service. I tried using once from Birmingham to Sheffield but the driver opted out. Therefore, it is not reliable you may find some drivers canceling last-minute or no-show. Fortunately, you pay for the ride once the driver has dropped you at your intended destination. P.S. All bookings and payments are done online.
Volunteering – The site I use is called Workaway. It is my favourite site! According to Workaway, “It is a site set up to promote fair exchange between budget travelers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities. A few hours honest help per day in exchange for food and accommodation and opportunity to learn about the local lifestyle.” It cost 22 Euros for a 2 year membership. You set up your profile and list all your skills, personality and where you want to travel to and things you would like to see or learn. From there, you can contact a host or vice versa. I used Workaway when I traveled to Wales, read my trip Here. I spent my time at a horse farm and the whole experience was amazing and unique. In addition, I saved an enormous amount of money not having to pay for meals or accommodation. Most importantly, I made lasting connections. I was in Wales for 2 weeks and honestly, when you live with people for weeks, you get to know them well. During my stay I learnt, a lot about horses, basic Welsh and to cook some common Welsh dishes. There are other good sites you can use for volunteering, the popular ones are HelpX and WWOOF. You can decide which one works for you, they are all trusted sites.
Workawaying in Wales
Save, save, save – I think this should have been point number one! The rule is Save, Travel and Repeat! You don’t have to be earning a lot to save. Whatever the job and the money you are earning, make sure you save. Start a savings account strictly for travel expenses and pledge not to touch it until you start traveling.
Well best of luck in your travel adventures and as always I would love to hear from you, if you have a question or feedback, please leave a comment below xx