5 Easy Tips to Travel When You’re Broke

Photo on Visual Hunt

Many people approach the prospect of traveling with a misconception that they need gobs of money to do it right. In reality, this is only true to an extent.

If “doing it right” means traveling first class, dining on the finest cuisine, and living like royalty, then this is true. However, if your objective is to simply experience the world in a different light and make some lifelong memories, you don’t need deep pockets to do so. There are all kinds of tricks and hacks to cover your bases with a minimal budget.

Let’s discuss.

  1. Look for Travel-Friendly Credit Cards

No one likes paying bills. Whether it be rent, utilities, cell phone, etc., that’s money you will simply never see again. Being as how it costs so much to simply live these days, there is no reason why you can’t get something back for spending all that money. If there’s one good thing about credit cards, it’s the rewards. More specifically, the travel points. These can be redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.

Look into a cards that will give you the most bang for your buck and start using them to rack up points. If you accumulate enough, your transit may not cost you a dime! Do your research and make sure you get a card that allows you to do this.

Just be sure to pay off the balance right away. Credit cards are a slippery slope!

  1. Travel in the Off Seasons

Traveling in the off season has two major benefits. For one, it’s MUCH cheaper. Two, there are way less tourists. This can make popular destinations a lot more bearable and you can see a lot more.

Most places have a good window in the fall and spring when prices are significantly lower than the high season, and you can still enjoy a decent temperature. If you don’t mind the cold, you could potentially save even more if you travel in the dead of winter. It all depends where you want to go!

  1. Look into House Sitting

We are very fortunate to live in a time when it’s incredibly easy to connect with other humans. There are all kinds of websites where you can get in contact with other travelers who need someone to watch their home while they are away. Nomador.com and TrustedHousesitters are great places to start. If it works out, you get an awesome place to stay, a more local experience, and you can even make some money while doing it! However, most people won’t just let anyone take care of their home.

In most cases, you need to make a serious effort to build a rapport with the people you meet through these sites. Best case scenario, they love you and you have a free place to stay whenever you go back!

  1. Work as You Go

One of the greatest things about living in the 21st century is that you can find work just about anywhere. As long as you have an internet connection, you can dedicate certain times in your trip to grab one-off freelance gigs and make some quick money. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com make this quick and simple. You can spend the morning hours of the day carrying out a quick project, then use the money you make to have an awesome night.

If you don’t feel like spending hours of your precious vacation time staring at a computer screen, you can look deeper into the local scene for odd jobs. Depending on where you are, this could involve any kind of random work like picking fruit for an afternoon, passing out flyers for a few hours, chopping vegetables, you name it. If you go into a hostel in your area, they probably have a job board set up for travelers in need of this type of short-term work.

  1. Take Advantage of Free Activities

Wherever you go, there is likely a going to be a wide range of activities to keep you busy. Some will come with a price, and others won’t. While there are plenty attractions around the world you should definitely shell out the money to see, in most places, you can have an awesome time without breaking the bank.

Look into things like free museums, public parks, hikes, ect. With a little research, you can certainly find ways to keep yourself entertained. If all else fails, you can always sit down and people watch!

Your Turn

Seeing the world is not something that is only available to the super rich. Ultimately, it all comes down to planning. If you want to enjoy yourself on a trip, you need to examine the destination beforehand to judge how traveler-friendly it is. At the end of the day, you’re not likely going to look back on your life and wish you had traveled less and worked more.


Kevin is a proud Southern California transplant from the Midwest. His love of travel and writing was the inspiration to create Impulsive Wanderlust. From 9 to 5, Kevin works in marketing as a professional copywriter. When he isn’t writing or traveling, Kevin is either rock climbing, hanging out at the beach, or seeking out his next favorite craft beer.


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