Five ways to travel on the cheap

People are desperate to find new ways to save money and still be able to have life-changing travel experiences. With a little preparation, travel is something that can be done cost-effectively. The following are five tips for saving money on your next trip:

  1. Trade personal skills for travel accommodations.
    There are countless ways you can use your skills and interests in exchange for room, board and other living expenses that come along with travel. Do you like to ski? Ski resorts all over the world hire seasonal instructors in exchange for mountain passes. Do you speak a second language? Teach English in elementary and high schools overseas, even without teaching credentials, in exchange for free housing. Love kids? Au pairs typically receive free room and board as well as some payment from the host family. Want to support a charitable cause? Look for volunteer opportunities with churches or local community organizations that need a helping hand. Many are willing to pay travel expenses in exchange for your labor.

  2. Go camping.
    Camping is a cost-effective way to travel almost anywhere at a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel. Searching campgrounds is effortless with the many online search tools available. For example, the National Park System offers robust state-by-state directories to help you find a campground that offers the outdoor getaway experience you are looking for. As for the necessary equipment, you can easily borrow what you need or purchase used gear instead of buying new.

  3. Try new places.
    Apps dedicated to nontraditional housing options for travelers allow you to find and rent space from host properties almost anywhere in the world at reasonable prices. Don’t confuse these services with a bed and breakfast or traditional hotel. Many offer few or no additional amenities, and the hospitality of the host can vary from property to property. But an open mind can go a long way toward making the most of this unique travel experience.

  4. Take public transportation.
    What public transportation might lack in pizazz, traveling by bus or train more than makes up for in cost savings as well as in travel planning assistance. Search for everyday discounts and all-inclusive vacation packages that offer convenient commuter packages.

  5. Search and you will find!
    If flying is part of your travel plans, be vigilant about comparing prices. Always use a combination of search engines and never assume that the big names in the online travel biz offer the best deals to your destination. Be sure to include the lesser known travel search options in your research process.

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