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How to travel cheaply (with advice from pro travelers)

Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s how three experts suggest you approach budget traveling.

Ramit Sethi

Here’s a hot take: People who say that they love to travel … rarely ever do it.

Instead, they’ll pepper you with excuses as to why they haven’t traveled but still wish they could.

“I don’t have enough vacation days!”

“I’m just way too busy with work/school/binge-watching-the-entirety-of-Game-Of-Thrones.  

“I’ll finally go backpacking eventually.

However, the most common excuse that gets uttered by people who wish they traveled is this:

“Traveling is too expensive.”

I’m sure you’ve found yourself saying it. Hell, I’ve used this excuse before too — and there’s a good reason for it. 

Society tells us that traveling (especially international travel) has to be expensive — that unless you’re dropping thousands of dollars on airplane tickets, hotel rooms, tours, museum passes, and expensive travel gear, or spending hundreds of hours studying the mysterious art of travel rewards hacking, you’re going to break the bank.

In reality, you CAN save money without having to do any of those things.

Ask the travel experts

If you know one thing about IWT it’s this: We’re all about expert advice.

That’s why we decided to talk to a few professional travelers to help give you the lowdown on how to travel cheap. You’ll find out exactly how to leverage your money to start traveling without breaking the bank.

Because once you remove the barrier of money…what’s your excuse?

Matthew Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt)

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Website: NomadicMatt.com

Started traveling: July 2006

# of countries traveled to: 80

Matt quit his cubicle job for a life of travel more than a decade ago and hasn’t looked back. He’s since launched his website, NomadicMatt.com, where he’s helped millions of readers get the most out of their travels financially. Oh, and he became the New York Times best-selling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (which puts him in good company with other cool people).  

Bryce Conway

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Website: 10xTravel.com

Started traveling: 2011

Favorite travel experience: Living like royalty in Thailand

Bryce first caught the travel bug after he was able to essentially score a free spring break trip during college using the rewards on just one new credit card. When his friends kept asking him advice on how to get into travel hacking, he decided to launch his own business to teach readers how to best leverage travel rewards and points. He’s since accumulated millions of travel points that allow him to travel abroad in luxury several times a year.

Gary Leff

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Website: ViewFromTheWing.com

Started traveling: 2002

Number of travel credit cards: Lost count

He’s been called the “godfather of the [frequent flyer] hobby” — and with good reason. He started leveraging points while travel reward programs were still in their relative infancy. Gary’s knowledge and acumen in the world of maximizing rewards spans literal decades, and plenty of others have taken notice. He’s been featured on Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and even The Colbert Report.

Matthew Karsten (aka Expert Vagabond)

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Website: ExpertVagabond.com

Started traveling: 2010

First place traveled to outside of US: Guatemala City, Guatemala

For the past 7 years, Matt has hitchhiked across America, gotten a magical tattoo by monks in Thailand, and went cage diving with Great White Sharks, all the while providing readers with insights on how to get the most out of traveling on his website, ExpertVagabond.com. No, he isn’t the Most Interesting Man in the World — he’s better.

NOTE: We have not one but TWO Matt Ks who are travel pros. (Go figure!) As such, I’ll be referring to Matthew Kepnes as Nomadic Matt and Matthew Karsten as Expert Vagabond.

3 rules on how to travel cheap

They all had a lot of a whole lotta great ideas on how to best travel on a budget that easily distilled into three simple rules:

  1. Get the best travel credit card
  2. Travel at the right time
  3. Budget consciously

At the end of each rule, we’ll provide action steps you can take today to make that trip (and that Rich Life) even more attainable.

Cheap travel rule #1: Get the best travel credit card

We’ve written about travel credit cards before — but since I’m sure there is someone out there who hasn’t read it (shocking, I know), allow me to politely reiterate a lesson that goes for anyone who isn’t in any form of credit card debt.

*Ahem*

YOU SHOULD GET A TRAVEL CREDIT CARD!!!!!

Travel credit cards offer some of the best ways to earn Big Wins. By maximizing and accruing points through their associated rewards programs, you can save thousands per year on travel.

This is also the way most of these travel experts we’ve talked to do it so cheap: on points. It’s the bare minimum you should do if you want to travel cheap.

“The biggest bang for your buck when it comes to your travel is definitely rewards points and miles,” Bryce told us. “People think that if you don’t travel for work or travel all the time that you’re never going to earn enough points and miles, and that’s really not true. For the vast majority of people, you’re going to earn more points and miles on the ground through responsible credit card use than you ever will traveling for business.”

Though a good travel credit card has a number of components that make it great, when you boil it down, it all comes down to two things: points and perks.

Points

Airlines and travel credit cards give you points on certain purchases that you can exchange for things like flight tickets and hotels. However, not all points are made the same.

From Gary:

“What you really want out of your credit card earnings are points that transfer to a variety of frequent flyer programs. I’d rather have a point with Chase that can be transferred to United or to another airline or hotel programs than just earning a point with United.”

So you want points that can be exchanged to a wide variety of frequent flyer programs with different airlines. That way, you can maximize your spend when you want to exchange your points.

The airlines that you prioritize will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Proximity to your home. Does the airline operate at an airport near you?
  • Your loyalty to them. Do you absolutely love your experience with a certain airline? Is there one you’d rather avoid completely?
  • Your destination. Does that airline operate in the place you want to travel to?

By deciding on the airlines you’d like to prioritize, you can make a better judgement about which rewards card you get.

The amount each point is worth in dollars varies from rewards program to rewards program. Luckily, our good friend Brian Kelly over at ThePointsGuy.com keeps a monthly tally of how much certain points are worth.

Perks

Each travel credit card rewards program is unique in the perks they will offer you.

Often times, those perks can be amazing.

“I’ve flown with all the bells and whistles using perks,” Bryce says. “Lying flat seats, amazing meals with a chef on board, Dom Perignon champagne before take off. That’s all what you can really understand your perks. That alone has been life changing in a travel perspective.”

That’s why it’s so important to take the time to understand all of the benefits that come with a certain card before you get it. The small amount of time you spend learning about your card can actually save you a lot of headache later on.

“Take ten minutes to understand the perks of your card,” Bryce suggests. “Many people don’t understand the perks that they have because they get the card and don’t read the fine print or read blogs like mine. That’s why people still contact me saying their flight got delayed and how much it sucked — when many times their card might reimburse them $500 to cover those issues. And they had no idea!”

And while you’re going to want to tailor your card to your goals (more on that later), there’s one travel credit card that recently came to market that has been making waves for its undeniable awesomeness: The Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The king of all travel credit cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve

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Annual fee: $450/year

Bonus: 50,000 points (after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months)

If this card went to your high school, it’d be the prom king quarterback who still managed to get straight As and become an Eagle Scout. It’s really that good.

“This is by far the best card to go with. It’s been very widely publicized in the financial press and with good reason,” Bryce says. “It comes with a ton of perks including free travel insurance, car rental insurance, TSA PreCheck, and Global Entry.”

NOTE: TSA PreCheck allows you to breeze through the line at security, while Global Entry allows you to breeze through the line at immigration. It’s totally worth all the dirty looks you’ll get.

And if that $450 annual fee throws you off, don’t worry — the card practically pays for itself with $300 in annual travel credit as well as its perks.

“Many people get scared away though because of that $450 annual fee,” Bryce continues. “Sure, you’re paying $450, but the perks alone are worth that each year, plus the big sign-up bonus on points.”

The card also offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, and you’re earning triple points on dining and travel.

Other fantastic perks:

  • Lounge access in over 900 airports. Chase gives you access to airport lounges all over the world. These are areas where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal, grab a drink, use Wi-Fi, relax in comfy chairs, and even shower in some lounges.
  • Reimbursed Global Entry and TSA PreCheck ($100 value). If you travel frequently for work or life, this perk should have you salivating. Free Global Entry means you’ll be able to speed right through the immigration line at the airport AND get access to TSA PreCheck, allowing you to speed through the line at security.
  • Better protections if your flight is canceled. If your flight is delayed more than six hours, Chase reimburses you for up to $500 per ticket.

And while we recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve, we encourage you to get a card that’s tailored to your goals so it’ll best suit your individual needs (Hop down to our “Set a travel goal” section for more info).

How to maximize your travel rewards

Once you get your card in the mail, there are 3 great tactics you can take in order to get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Stop using cash.

    “Use your card for everything you can,” Bryce says. “Try not to pay cash.”

    The best way for you to get as many points as possible on your travel rewards program is to spend it on everything you normally would. That means leaving the cash in your wallet (unless you’re at one of those weird bars that don’t take credit cards like it’s the dark ages).

    You can even spend it on things you wouldn’t have expected.

    “The amount of money you spend is often more than you mentally think it is,” Bryce says. “You can start paying off your utilities on your card. There’s even ways to pay off your student loans, mortgages, and rent.”

  2. Don’t go into debt.

    While this may seem painfully obvious, it’s a lot easier to be more liberal about spending when you know each dollar is going towards that awesome trip to Nairobi.  

    “When you get a new card, it’s easy to get really excited about points,” Bryce explains. “You decide maybe you do need that new flat screen TV and that new coat when you might not otherwise have purchased it.”

    Instead, don’t change your lifestyle for your travel credit card. Instead, be judicious about your purchases and make sure you pay your credit card bills.

    You can do both of those things through one of my favorite financial systems: Automating your personal finances. Keep reading to find out exactly how to get started doing that today.

  3. Track your points.

    If you decide to really get into the weeds of travel rewards hacking and get multiple travel credit cards, you’re going to want to keep track of all of your points in one place.

    Gary’s tip for the best way to do this? Use AwardsWallet. It’s an incredibly helpful online travel rewards tracking tool that’ll even notify you if there are any changes in your flight.

    “AwardsWallet lets me track most of my points in one place and it’ll flag when your points are going to expire,” Gary says. “It also helps me track when there are changes to the itinerary or if I have to change my seat. It’s really helpful.”

For more information on how to maximize travel credit cards, be sure to check out our article on the best travel credit card of 2017.

While your travel credit card is only one part of how to travel cheap, the most important thing you could do to get started is setting a goal.

Set a travel goal to help you choose the best card

Much like literally anything else you want to do in life, set a travel goal. Not only will setting a goal help you keep focused (and as a result, increase your chances of accomplishing said goal), it can also help you save money when it comes to travel.

“The important thing to do when you begin travel hacking is to come up with a plan,” Nomadic Matt says. “Have a goal in mind. What do you want?”

And I get it. The question of what you want to get out of your travels is a HUGE one. After all, we’re talking about a literal world you can travel here. That’s why Nomadic Matt suggests you niche down your goal with some specific questions:

  • What do you want out of your perks?
  • Do you want free flights?
  • Do you prioritize hotel points?
  • Are you loyal to one brand?
  • Is there a specific trip you have in mind?

The answers to these questions can help you come up with goals that can help you decide on which travel credit card you want to go with.

From Nomadic Matt:

“If you’re a loyal flier with American Airlines, the best cards to start off with would be the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard (50,000-point sign-up bonus) and the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express (25,000-point sign-up bonus, plus a 20% bonus when you transfer your SPG points to one of their partner airlines like AA). That way you get the perks the card comes with (free checked bags, special discounts, and priority boarding) and can jumpstart your point balance right away.

Just want free hotel rooms? Sign up for the card from the hotel brand of your choice.

Having a trip in mind and then working backwards to see what cards get you there is the best way to optimize your spending. That way you don’t get any card with a flashy bonus, you get the right card. I skip a lot of cards because they just don’t meet my travel needs.”

ACTION STEP: Sign up for a travel credit card

Now it’s time to actually sign up for a travel credit card that’s tailored to your goals. Doing so is simple — but it’ll take a little bit of time (one to two weeks). But if you’re patient and you do your research, you’ll end up with a card that’ll be earning travel points for you in no time.

Step 1: Set a travel goal. Use the questions above to help you find out what exactly you want out of a travel credit card.

Step 2: Research 3-5 travel credit cards. Based on your goals, you’re now going to try to find a good travel credit card that’ll fit your needs. Start with a simple Google query for your goal (ex. “Best travel card for hotels” “Best travel credit card for flights”) and go from there.

Every travel credit card has a web page that’ll contain all of the minutiae related to the card’s perks and rewards program. Spend 10 – 20 minutes reading through each of the pages so you understand what each card has to offer.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Best for hotels: AmEx Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. With the sign-up bonus that gives you 25,000 points to spend on hotels, as well as 2 points for every dollar spent for Starwood properties (not to mention the fantastic transfer partners), this card is great for the accommodation conscious.
  • Best for beginners: Chase Sapphire Preferred. This one is a perfect introductory card as it has a relatively low annual fee ($95) that’s actually waived the first year. You also have plenty of great rewards as well including 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in your first three months.
  • Best overall: Chase Sapphire Reserve. Seriously, this card is just GOOD.

Step 3: Sign up for one.

Eventually, you’ll want to niche your choices down to one — and only one for now.

We’re going to start slowly here because you don’t want to run up a bunch of new lines of credit and go crazy. Instead, choose the one that’s the best for you.

Signing up is easy. Simply go to the credit card’s website, click on the “Apply Now” button (each site will have a variation of that), and start the application process.

The application itself is relatively simple and will ask you for the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Employment status
  • Yearly salary

Once you’ve applied, the credit card company will find out your debt-to-income ratio (your risk as a client) to determine whether or not you can get a card. If you’re approved, great! You’ll receive your card in the mail in one to two weeks.

If not, that’s okay! I have a great system that can help you improve your credit score and get out of debt.

Cheap travel rule #2: Stay flexible about travel

Much like comedy, travel is all about…

.

.

.

.

.

.

…timing.

Flexibility can mean the difference of hundreds, possibly even thousands, of dollars in airfare and points.

More specifically, you should be flexible in these three areas:

  1. When you fly.
  2. Where you stay.
  3. Where you go.

When you fly

“Flexibility is the most important thing in finding a cheap flight,” Nomadic Matt says. “You need to be flexible in either your date or destination. If you have to go to Paris on a specific date, then you have to pay the fare. There’s no magic bullet to make the price go down.”

He continues, “But by changing your date by a day or two, you might be able to drop the price. Same works for destinations. If there’s a cheaper flight to London instead of Stockholm, consider going to London instead.”

It also helps to travel during times when there are drastically less people traveling. Off-peak season for uber-popular destinations like New York City or London can have a huge effect on not only airline prices but also hotels, museum entry, and tours as well.

From Bryce:

“One of my wife and I’s favorite thing to do each year is to go to Western Europe either over President’s Day weekend or MLK Day weekend. Those days aren’t holidays over there and everything is half the price it would be if you went during the summer because summer is the peak travel season.

For example, we were in Paris just over a weekend and in just a couple days we were able to hit all of the highlights of what we wanted to see because you’re not waiting 2 hours in line for the Louvre, you’re not having to buy Eiffel Tower tickets weeks in advance. You can just walk into all these places!

Also, our flights were insanely cheap.”

Along with traveling during off-peak season, you can also leverage a variety of online tools to help you travel on a budget.

“Using multiple flight search engine websites like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Momondo before you choose helps narrow down the cheapest options,” says Expert Vagabond. “You can sign up for fare alerts on these sites too, and they’ll notify you by email if the prices for your destination change.”

Where you stay

This means you can skip the expensive Big Box hotels that are looking to squeeze you of as much money as possible.

“But Ramit,” you might be saying. “I don’t want to stay in a hostel that’ll require me to get a tetanus shot afterwards.”

A common misconception is that traveling cheap means you have to stay in sketchy hostels or flea-ridden hotels.  

“When people picture hostels, they picture the dirty, smelly, cramped places of the 70s and movies that have entered our cultural consciousness,” Nomadic Matt says. “That’s not really the case. Hostels have modernized themselves to meet the demands of the market. They often have nice beds, restaurants, bars, free Wi-Fi, offer tours, and all have private rooms and showers.”

He continues, “I’ve stayed at hostels that rival boutique hotels. I wouldn’t count them out as an option. You can find some really nice ones out there.”

If hostels aren’t your thing, websites such as Airbnb offer a wide array of fantastic alternatives to hostels AND hotels.

“If you’re not into hostels, then hands down the best way to save money on accommodation is via Airbnb (or similar websites),” Nomadic Matt says. “You have a huge selection and great prices. That’s the only way to go if you want something that’s between a hostel and a hotel.”

Where you go

While big cities like Paris, New York, and Tokyo are undeniably alluring, they’re also insanely expensive. In fact, those three cities I just mentioned consistently rank in the top ten most expensive cities in the world.

If that is enough to turn you off from traveling, have no fear! Instead, you can choose to travel to a place with a lower cost of living. Doing this can help you save a ton of money.

“One of the best ways to travel cheap is to go to places that have a cheaper cost of living than the place you currently live,” Bryce says. “People get caught up with costs of the $1,500 to fly to Asia. What they don’t realize is that once you get there, you can live a really similar lifestyle to what you do in the States for about $30 a day.”

HOWEVER, this isn’t to say that in order to travel cheap you have to avoid places like Paris and Tokyo at all costs. If you want to go to a more expensive destination AND not break the bank, you’ll need to learn how to practice conscious budgeting.

ACTION STEP: Use the right tools to book your next travel

So if you’re flexible about when and where you travel, as well as where you stay, you’ll be able to save a lot of money.

Use the tools below to help you book cheap flights and find good accommodations.

Flight tools

  • Skyscanner. This is an excellent flight aggregator that allows you to receive price alerts on specific flights when the price goes down. Skyscanner also comes with a handy mobile app that’ll alert you as soon as price for flights drop.
  • Google Flight Alerts. Another great flight data aggregator by everyone’s favorite search engine (stop trying to make Bing happen, Bill Gates. It’s not going to happen). This one will send you an email notification as soon as there’s a price change.
  • Scott’s Cheap Flights. A best kept secret amongst travel budgeters, Scott’s Cheap Flights will send you insanely low deals right to your inbox.

Accommodation tools

  • Airbnb. This site is great to find some really cool places at a relatively low cost (you can even stay in a freaking castle!).
  • HostelBookers.com. With over 35,000 hostels in over 170 countries, HostelBookers should be your first stop when trying to find a good hostel. You’ll have no trouble finding an awesome (yet budget friendly) option here.
  • HostelWorld. Another great option to find hostels. The site’s 24/7 customer support is also at your call in case you have any questions or concerns about your bookings.  

Cheap travel rule #3: Budget consciously

Budgeting for travel is going to come in two different forms:

  1. How you save money for travel
  2. How you spend money while traveling

You can approach budgeting for both of these things through painless, automatic systems that do the work for you.

Here’s how.

How to save money before travel

Long time readers can probably guess what the best way to save money for travel is, so let’s all just say it together:

“Automate your finances.”

For those who don’t know what that is, I’ll give a quick breakdown.

Automating your finances is a system wherein your money works passively for you. It’s the ultimate cure to never knowing how much you have in your checking account and how much you can spend.

When you receive your paycheck, your money is funneled to exactly where it needs to go — whether that be your utilities, rent, Roth IRA, 401k, or your savings account.

How do you save for travel using this system? Simple: You start a sub-savings account exclusively for travel and automate your finances so money goes there every month.

Most banks allow you to create a sub-savings account along with your normal savings account (you can even name them too!). Create an account for your traveling goals and start saving today.

“You need to make travel a priority [if you want to do it cheap],” Nomadic Matt says. “Start a separate savings account. Audit your expenses. Keep track of everything you spend money on for a few weeks and find out where the low hanging fruit is.”

“BUT RAMIT! THIS GOES AGAINST YOUR RICH LIFE PHILOSOPHY! WHO AM I TO BELIEVE???”

Look, there’s more than one way to save money. I actually LOVE that the experts and I disagree on this topic. It goes to show that Rich Life philosophy might not work for everyone…and that’s fine. What matters more to me is that you are willing to put forth the effort and start saving money for your goals, whether it be traveling, buying a new house, or getting a new car.

“Not everyone can save a ton of money or even has the means to travel all the time,” Nomadic Matt says. “But with enough time and dedication, the majority of us can get somewhere.“

How to save money while traveling

This one can be boiled down to one line: Live like a local.

“Do you think local Costa Ricans pay for tours all the time when traveling in their own country?” the Expert Vagabond asks. “Or stay at fancy hotels? Or eat out at nice restaurants every night? No. They go to the beach and chill. They stay with friends or in cheap guesthouses. They take the bus. They visit a National Park. They eat at cheap mom & pop eateries. You, as a traveler, can do the same. All you have to do is pay for a flight to get down there!”

And often times, there are also resources at your destination tailormade to help you get the most out of your travels while saving money.

“Go into the local tourism office too,” Nomadic Matt suggests. “They exist to help you save money. They know everything going on in your destination and can point you to free exhibits, attractions, and discounts you won’t find in your Lonely Planet guide. When I was in the Loire in France, they sold discounted entrance to all the castles. I saved about $30 bucks by just walking in. Too many people skip them.”

ACTION STEP: Automate your finances

If you want to learn more about how to automate your finances, check out this 12-minute video of me explaining the exact process I use below. Setting everything up won’t take more than one or two hours out of your day, but it will save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Earning money while abroad

Saving money isn’t the only way you can hold onto cash during your travels. There are actually a variety of ways you can earn money while abroad too.

That’s why my team and I have worked hard to create a guide to help you navigate all the systems that’ll help you earn more money today: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money.

In it, I’ve included my best strategies to:

  • Create multiple income streams so you always have a consistent source of revenue.
  • Start your own business and escape the 9-to-5 for good.
  • Increase your income by thousands of dollars a year through side hustles like freelancing.

Download a FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide today by entering your name and email below — and start blowing up your net worth today.

Yes, send me the Ultimate Guide to Making Money

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236 Comments

 
  1. Branden

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, they are truly inspiring.

    • Lauren Wheeler

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    • Thibault

      Yeah, the vagabond way to travel is respectful, as you have a total immersion with people and the country but you need to have balls for this, it is like total unknown path ahah !! in another case, as you told, we can reduce drastically the way to spend money and i like it so much since i discovered it, price of airline tickets are not more my problem ! Thanks to <a href="http://0c111inbi5zeu-8cuimlf4d04o.hop.clickbank.net/" target="_top">THIS TRICK</a> which is excellent to pay very excessively cheap for airline tickets !

  2. Russ

    “Ask anyone what they wish they could do more of, and the answer is literally always the same: “I wish I could travel more.””

    A bit presumptive, no? Personally, I *despise* travelling and would like to significantly reduce the amount that I do, not increase it. Whilst this was a good and informative post about how to pragmatically align income and expenses, the actual details are approaching my idea of hell.

    Maybe a little less editorial comment next time?

    • Alyssa

      Maybe don’t read an article on travelling the world for cheap if you don’t like travelling… I would say a good portion of people who look and find this article think that statement is correct and because they WANT to travel the world for cheap.

    • Russ is a douche

      Go troll somewhere else douche.

  3. Keith@bewealthygethappy

    I love to travel and I wish I had read this post last month before I booked the flights and hotel for my upcoming trip. I have had the travel bug ever since I was a kid living overseas, and while I’m not brave enough to quit my 9-5 to travel full time, it’s exciting to know that I could always do it if I wanted, and for less money than I thought.

  4. Moneymonk

    Thanks Nora, good tips

  5. MillionaireAdventure

    It never ceases to amaze me how much money people waste on hotel breakfasts! Just ask some locals where you can find a good bakery and enjoy a fresh croissant or similar for next to nothing.

  6. JT

    Wow, really cool. Another book I’ll have to add to my wish list. My goal is to retire at 50 and then travel full time. Thanks for the post.

  7. money blog

    “The amount of money spent on this night was in no way correlated to how much fun each person had” This realization in it self is one of the best one can have

  8. Taylor

    Does anyone else feel like all this penny pinching takes some of the fun out of traveling?

  9. Nate

    It sounds like an interesting way of life, but I’m not sure it’s for me. Traveling can be pretty stressful.

    On the other hand, long-term travel is not the same as a 1-week jam-packed vacation. Done right, I suppose it’s more like a temporary relocation overseas.

    If I could develop some alternative streams of income or find a way to do consulting remotely, I might go for it. Otherwise, I would rather find ways to enjoy where I am.

  10. Brian Armstrong

    Wow great article thanks for sharing your experience! Cheers from Buenos Aires.

  11. Love to Travel

    This is a fascinating post. I love to travel and can go in the cheap. My spouse on the other hand prefers to go a little less frugally. One thing we try to do is if souveniers are desire to buy them a little off of the “tourist path”. We usually can get our souveniers for a fraction of the price! Good luck with your book!
    Kelly

  12. Casual

    Wow, what a great post! There’s so much information here, it will take a while to digest it all. This has definitely changed my perspective on traveling!

  13. Cath

    Great tips, Nora! Thanks for this comprehensive resource.

    Cath

  14. popurls.com // popular today

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  15. The Great Geek Manual » Link Round-Up: May 18, 2009

    […] Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year – Not particularly Geeky, but a nice read to induce fantasies of a more adventurous lifestyle. […]

  16. Marija

    Good post, but as we (the truth) it is not about money… It is about how much someone really wish to travel and to leave behind the life, he – she is used too…..

    Money wise… personaly I traveled for more then 30 months, over 30 countries visited, by bike (human power:))…. and money for sure is not problem….Less then 10.000 $ spent…. But now to be back home it is a journey itself…

    If you dream about something….go for it! It is worth it!

  17. Duncan

    RE: #7 Souvenirs. One thing to do is collect the same thing in every place. Like patches, or stickers, or rocks or whatever… Its fun to build a collection this way.

  18. justjenn

    Have you met anyone looking to do this with a child in tow. I want to expose my daughter to the many wonders of the world, slowly as you say. I just wonder what can be done on a small budget with a 7 year old extra.

    thx

    j

    • George

      You cant, if you want to travel the world and live a care free autonomous life.
      Don’t have kids… also she should really be in school.

    • Misty

      @ George….

      Wow. What a negative comment. It is totally possible to travel abroad with a child and btw there is plenty of homeschooling options online these days. Get over-yourself and realize that not everyone is as self-centered as you seem to be. Children are a blessing and they deserve to be able to travel and experience other cultures just the same, whether it’s on a limited budget or not. Good luck to you Jenn, I hope you find the answers you are looking for and never give up on your dream!

    • Visonque

      There are many people who home school their children while traveling. Children can adjust to almost anything as long as the parent is at peace. If you are stressed the kids will pick up on that. If you are having an adventure and enjoying yourself, the kids will also. With little ones you may want to sew a plastic ID card on the back of their clothes with your contact information but other than that go for it.

  19. Katie

    This article has removed another obstacle that has prevented people from traveling; time. Searching for these ideas let alone coming up with them is incredibly difficult, but your experiences sound amazing. Thanks for the tips!!

  20. links for 2009-05-18 | wann.es

    […] Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year « I Will Teach You To Be Rich (tags: travel advice inspiration) […]

  21. Ben Casnocha

    How many full time travelers have deep emotional connections with anyone? How many suffer from loneliness?

  22. Ray

    No offense but you sound lazy.

  23. Marija

    Is deep enough to be in relationship? :):) Even long distance travellers are just people…Some suffer loneliness, some not….

    I never felt lonly on remote parts of Pamir, Tibet, deserts of Kazahstan or Iran….but in multi-million cities of China I felt lonly and strange…. Because it was months of no chance of speaking English…(To speak my home language I have to dream on day and night almost till the day I came home if I do not include talks with family, friends via net….)

  24. Still Learning… » Time for a change?

    […] final link and a first possibility. Travel Author: admin Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a […]

  25. EMM

    Awesome pic of Waipio Valley under Tip #11. One of my favorite places.

  26. Nancy

    Hubby and I were full-time RVers for 7 years and traveled extensively in the US and Canada and loved it. I wish we were 30 years old again and could do as you are doing.

    Am very interested in exploring the possibilities for a retired couple to do a modified version while living on Social Security income and unable to do much physical labor.

  27. thunder

    My bigger questions are what happens when you finally stop traveling? To settle into a permanent place to live, with everything necessary for that, is going to be costly when the time comes. Are you saving for that day, or put aside funds when you began traveling? How will being out of the industry you worked in for x amount of years look when trying to find a regular job again? You’ve taken up writing which may or may not be a viable new career, but that wont be the case for many. Maybe you imagine being able to do this for the next 60 years, but there are way too many variables to count on that.

    What about healthcare on the road, how does that effect your expenses? If you break an ankle and are suddenly incapable of doing the volunteer work that is paying for your room and board, what happens then? Sure, not all volunteer work is physical, but that is just an example, you could become ill instead.

    I don’t intent any of this to be snarky, I’m genuinely curious. These are the questions that hold me back from such ideas more than the cost of doing them.

  28. David Turnbull

    Absolutely brilliant post. I’ve saved this into Evernote and will definitely be re-reading it quite a bit of the next few months and years. I have very similar views on and desires for travel.

  29. links for 2009-05-18 « Blarney Fellow

    […] Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year « I Will Teach You To Be Rich (tags: travel lifehacking) […]

  30. Ben

    On a non-snarky note, I agree with thunder about the healthcare issues? I come from the UK (although don’t live there now) and our healthcare system often has to provide care to people who are in the country visiting or even working illegally (and thus not paying tax towards the care). I think it’s pretty unfair.

    On a more snarky point: on the matter of tax and working, it does seem clear to me that “working illegally” is part and parcel of this pursuit – else how is it feasible?

    Clearly you have to earn money somehow – and technically even doing remote work via the internet might be illegal if the country you are in has strict work laws (USA for example)

    I also think it’s irresponsible and frankly, copping out, not to be paying income tax somewhere – which I’m guessing you don’t pay on these kinds of trips.

    Finally, I agree that long term travel might badly effect your employment chances when it comes down to settle down. Yes “having traveled” is great on the resume of someone early in their careers but by the time you reach your mid-thirties people are looking for real job experience rather than suggestion that you wanted to cop out from the real world.

    • George

      Who says she has to stop. Why is her life a cop out.

      I think its great that shes doing what she wants on her terms, childfree and free of the dreaded 9-5 cubicle.

      Im sure she will figure it out.

    • Jamie

      Nowhere in your entire comment did you actually make a logical argument… Is English your native language?

  31. RaysAdventures

    Great information and recommendations. Anybody interested in traveling can benefit from Nora’s travel tips. I will pass it along.

  32. Quita

    Thank you for this. I plan to travel for one full year before I am 29. I will have to save for quite a few years.

  33. Quita

    Nancy have you ever thought about doing the Peace Corps?

  34. chep flight tickets at ease

    There is a lot of valuable travel tips in your article , these tips can be really put to good use, plus you get to know the real flavor of the place , get to know people , make lot of friends, but on the contrary it need real time, and don’t you think there are major travel safety issues with this.

  35. howdy

    I’m sure being a youngish attractive woman hasn’t contributed at all to opportunities just cropping up…

  36. El Rorro

    Am I the one to think there is a missing item in the list?:

    Sexual favors?

  37. David Turnbull

    @Ben

    You said “Finally, I agree that long term travel might badly effect your employment chances when it comes down to settle down. Yes “having traveled” is great on the resume of someone early in their careers but by the time you reach your mid-thirties people are looking for real job experience rather than suggestion that you wanted to cop out from the real world.”

    What’s the point of being employed if not for the ability to have experiences such as these? It’d be better to not get “ahead” in the job world, but have had amazing experiences traveling around the world than to be the CEO of a huge company that’s had limited experience in the world.

    Also, if you’re self employed (freelancer or otherwise) your argument is negated.

  38. Soultravelers3

    Excellent Nora, you tell it ’em!

    We have been traveling the world as a family on an open ended global jaunt since 2006 and loving every moment. We live really large on 25K total costs for a family of 3 and could do it on less if we did not prefer so much luxury.

    It has been the best possible education for our child as a global citizen of the 21st century and tremendously rewarding bonding as a family for all of us.

    Not only does she experience more of the world than most by immersing deeply, she also spends more time with BOTH parents, than most children or fathers get.

    We have been to 4 continents, 29 countries so far and traveled over 76,000 miles ( most slowly overland) using every type of transportation from cargo ships to camels.

    We are a case study for the new edition of Tim’s 4 Hour Work Week and I want every to know that it is easier, more enriching and cheaper than most people realize.

    It is very doable for an ordinary family as today one can work and school any where. It is a growing trend and quite amazing on how much the trend has grown in this last year.

    Studies show that 70% of families dream of doing extended travel. I want them to know that it can be done and is more than worth doing!

  39. Soultravelers3

    @justjenn- I just want to let you know YES it can be done with a 7 year old and it is amazingly rewarding to do this with a child, plus the best possible education that you could give your child.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn9rDTZj-m4

    My daughter was 5 and reading well when we began our open ended world tour in 2006 ( we are about to put up part 2 montage video soon) and she is now 8 and it’s been even more enriching and rewarding than we expected.

    Check out our soultravelers2 website, Youtube videos, or @soultravelers3 on Twitter ( etc) for more information about extended world travel as a family and with kids.

    If you combine books with your travels, you will be amazed how much even a young child will get out of the experience when it is slow travel that they can study before, during and after.

    Don’t be afraid to do exotic travel as a family either! It has often been a highlight for us. My daughter was just 6 when she did a violin concert for 60 kids in the Sahara!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrrAFDt9W_U

    Not only is the deep immersion valuable, but innovations in education add to the value as education is one of those things that is in a major paradigm shift right now. Through travel 2.0 we have met the top innovators in education & collaborate with schools from around the world.

    We had no idea how that would also improve her educational opportunities with things like taking piano lessons over live webcam with a teacher on another continent, doing online classes with kid’s from around the world through John Hopkin University’s CTY Program ( & others), online libraries, keeping her own blog as well as physical diaries, going to local schools etc, etc.

    You will not find a better education than life as a field trip! My child has seen many more ancient civilization ruins than most will ever see. She not only read Homer while in Greece & Turkey, but dug up ancient shells at Troy & talked to archeologists on site there, at Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Pompeii and other places.

    That is just the tip of the ice berg….bottom line? Go for it!!

  40. Kelly Sutton - One Month Here

    I definitely, definitely agree with point #11: travel slowly. In fact, I’ve made an entire month out of it myself after reading the 4-Hour Workweek. Conventional “backpacking” is a good way to make sure you see everything and experience nothing. I feel like I’ve discovered some hidden secret.

    So far my little experiment is proving to be a lot of fun. I’m incredibly focused, meeting great new friends, staying out until the sun rises every night, honing my German skills and truly content with my life.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading Nora’s post and will be stay tuned to her future travels.

  41. jerry

    Yeah…this would be great if I didn’t have $100,000 in law school loans.

    😉

    Instead I have to find real jobs in other countries. The benefit there is lots and lots of excellent food.

  42. Sitez » links for 2009-05-19

    […] Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year « I Will Teach You To Be Rich […]

  43. Adam Pieniazek

    Great tips but I wouldn’t call spending $14,000 “free”. Sure it’s cheap, relatively, but certainly not free. Not sure why the emphasis on free came through in the end there…

    Anyway, wonder how much you could have saved by biking about instead of flying. Obviously, you’d have to fly or take a boat to some places but biking around the continents once you get there could potentially save a nice amount of loot. Especially if you carried camping gear with you (though of course, bike + gear would run you a few thousand before the trip even started).

  44. Zirkel

    How timely… One of the most comprehensive cheap travel resources I’ve come across. Thanks!

  45. KB

    I think it’s important to distinguish the difference between wanting to travel more ON VACATION and wanting to travel as a lifetsyle. Sure, if you ask me what I’d like to do more of, I’ll say “travel”, but I’m talking about a week away here and there every few months- that would be my ideal. Maybe one trip that could last a few weeks where I could go from place to place. But I want to be on vacation- I don’t want to have to work while I’m there or cook my own meals all the time; the whole point, for me, is to relax, see some cool things, and have fun!

    Different people have different definitions of “travel” and certainly different ideas about what is ideal for them. This article kind of assumes we all want to be nomadic travellers roaming the world at random.

  46. Alex K

    Great post!

    To the people wondering how this will affect her career prospects in the future… you just don’t get it, do you? You’re not going to live forever, and you are working away the best years of your life. Who cares how many zeros your bank account has if your life was spent in a cubicle.

    Nora you can surf my couch any time.

  47. hustler

    Thank you so much for all the tips. I would love to do more of the things I want to do and spend less time working. It is inspiring to see someone fulfilling a dream instead of just working towards someday maybe doing something worthwhile.

  48. Retirement Scenarios » Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year

    […] this great post from Nora Dunn, a professional world traveller – Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year – which is probably mainly aimed at younger folks but which still has some great advice and […]

  49. Travel full-time for Less Than $14,000 per Year | JetSetCitizen.com

    […] is a great article by Nora Dunn on IwillTeachYoutoBeRich. It has so many fantastic ideas and links to valuable resources that I had to mention it […]

  50. Jade

    Grouse info Nora,
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jade.

  51. Traveling Cheap. « Thinking Big.

    […] http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/ […]

  52. Another Good Read « Nomadderwhere

    […] Travel Full-Time for less than $14,000 a Year by Nora Dunn  […]

  53. Katie, Tripbase

    Great tips thanks Nora. Not buying souvenirs is a real gem – so tempting but so easy to simply cut out all together…

  54. Re-un-tarded

    Did I really just read an article saying that you can save money by not buying souvenirs? Yeah, you can also live longer by NOT jumping off bridges. Hey, can I be a blogger? If you’re going broke because of souvenirs you need a psychiatrist, not a financial advice blog post.

  55. Re-un-tarded

    Oh yeah, one more thing. It’s probably easier to have all these opportunities fall into your lap if you’re a hot chick like Nora. I doubt an ordinary looking 30 something guy like me could hook up all these free opportunities and jobs in other countries. All they want from me when I go anywhere is my wallet.

  56. km

    For those of you who have traveled on the cheap, what are some of your favorite places to go? Particularly those that are reasonably safe for women. I’d love to hear some destination suggestions.

  57. » How much does it cost to travel the world for a year? :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog

    […] Dunn’s conclusion? You can travel the world for $14,000 a year. […]

  58. Powered by Tofu

    Great list! I use Skyscanner.net to find cheap flight deals. It’s kind of like Which Budget, but actually pulls prices/schedules from the budget airlines (easyJet and Veuling). I used it to get from Athens to Casablanca, via Madrid, so I bought 2 tickets, but it was still cheaper than any other carriers and I got to check out Madrid!

  59. Ralph

    Wow! This is an extensive list. I first found about how inexpensive traveling could be from your friend Tim Ferris’s book “The 4 Hour Work Week”. I’m partial to the tip about working while traveling. I think that is the best way to be productive and profitable while seeing the world.
    It’s usually effect only if you are doing the job that you love.

  60. Michael

    Another tip is to take overnight trains and buses between cities/countries. If you can skip 1 night at a hotel by sleeping on the train, you basically got the train ride for free.

  61. Michael

    At km:

    Southeast Asia is really fun, cheap and generally safe for women. I saw a surprising amount of women traveling alone while I was in Thailand and Laos. Just meet some other girls who are also traveling alone, and they will probably be happy to room with you. You can also stay in dorm-style guesthouses where there are only women.

    Nepal is my all time favorite destination, however it’s not the safest place for women as it’s less traveled and shady at times. But again, if you meet some other travelers then you’ll be fine. You can hike up mountains and view the Himalayas. The views are breathtaking, the people are friendly, the food is fantastic, and it’s ridiculously cheap (almost any meal will be under $1).

  62. How to get 150,000 people to read your blog post in 1 week « I Will Teach You To Be Rich

    […] an example, here were the results of Nora Dunn’s travel post earlier this week, which drove nearly 100,000 pageviews in 72 hours. I’ve already invited her […]

  63. Nicholas MacDonald

    Re-un-tarded

    “Oh yeah, one more thing. It’s probably easier to have all these opportunities fall into your lap if you’re a hot chick like Nora. I doubt an ordinary looking 30 something guy like me could hook up all these free opportunities and jobs in other countries. All they want from me when I go anywhere is my wallet.”

    100% untrue. I (and many other ordinary-looking guys in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s) have found plenty of opportunities and jobs in China and other countries throughout Asia and the world… you really only have to show up. It is as easy as she makes it sound. (In many of these countries, being female, attractive or not, can be a disadvantage, as well- don’t forget that men often have a leg up in many areas)

    Cynicism isn’t always right- which I know from personal experience in these matters…

  64. Rob

    Russ is an idiot. Awesome information for those INTERESTED in this. Thanks!

  65. Excuses #2: Affording It « Tales from Technomadia

    […] And so on… For some indepth tips on how to keep travel affordable, check out Nora Dunn’s excellent article Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year.. […]

  66. Today’s pretty much worthless piece of trivia: Travel blogs are like neighbors. « Sand Dollar Adventures

    […] Back to Nora. Sometime non-travel blogsites even get into the travel writing realm (hey, get back into your own topic), as this one money blogger guy had Nora provide a list of ways to save money while traveling. […]

  67. Technomadia

    This is a fantastic resource, Nora – thank you so much.

    As full time travelers, my partner and I are constantly being asked how we afford to do it. We’re currently developing a series of articles addressing many of the common excuses we hear from folks – http://www.technomadia.com/category/practical-concerns/excuses/.

    Our travel is a bit different, in that we’re mainly living and working in the US, traveling in a small solar powered trailer. We both took our careers on the road with us, as they’re location independent. As long as we have internet and power, we can do our software development, tech consulting and R&D from anywhere, and when we can also pull into a location for the length of a contract if we wanted to.

    But even so, we utilize a lot of these suggestions in our travels – traveling slower reduces our fuel consumption. Volunteering – whether formally with an organization to helping out on a friend’s ranch – reduces our lodging costs while increasing our experience. Not living like we’re on vacation and remembering we’re exploring a lifestyle that we want to be sustainable.

    For those that aren’t desiring traveling full-time, these sorts of tips may not be worth what is seen as sacrifices for your limited time away from normal life. But for those looking for ways to make travel a long term sustainable lifestyle – these are spot on!

    – Cherie

  68. Weekly Roundup: Picking Up The Pace Edition | Frugal Dad

    […] Travel Full-time for Less Than $14,000 Per Year.  This post had shades of The 4-Hour Workweek, and I loved it!  Not necessarily because I am able to implement any of these ideas with a wife and two small kids, but because it really gets you thinking outside the box.  Bonus:  Some pretty good travel tips included as well!  (@ I Will Teach You To Be Rich) […]

  69. Russ

    @Rob

    Get a grip, I SAID the article was interesting and informative. I just objected to the blithe and incorrect generalisation that this sort of lifestyle is a universal ambition.

  70. How to Travel the World on $14k a Year | Little Black Guidebook

    […] of a backpack with no house doesn’t appeal to me. Still, there is a part of me that looks at posts like this one and says: “I could do that!” This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at […]

  71. “You can travel the world for $14,000″ « Our Excellent Adventure

    […] This seems like an exciting and curious claim, but I’ve just pored over travel writer Nora Dunn’s 11 tips for thrifty adventures (via iwillteachyoutoberich.com). Dunn, a freelance writer, seems to break down all of my stress […]

  72. Katie

    I love the suggestions! Thanks.

    For some added ideas, most hostels offer work for accommodation, especially in busy areas that get lots of backpackers. Plus I’ve used gumtree and craigslist to find rideshares that are free or less expensive than a bus/coach – but use judgement just like couchsurfing. Plus I always take advantage of opportunities to meet up with travelers I’ve met in the past – facebook is great for staying in touch and asking for a place to stay when you come to visit.

  73. Go Nanaimo Blog | 10,001 Ways to Live Large

    […] group includes journalists, counselors, financial consultants, teachers, homemakers, and of course, perpetual travelers like Nora Dunn (who most likely provided items like nine ways to see the world for free, three easy […]

  74. drew Cannoli

    Great info. Thank you!

  75. Intelligent Speculator | Ramblings

    […] Very interesting travel tips in “Travel Full-Time for less than 14,000$/year“. […]

  76. Omar

    I envisioned myself traveling while reading your article. I want to travel. I just have to do it. Thank you for the links and the information.

  77. Jennie W

    Nora,

    Wow…this is invaluable! Thanks for posting… This is helping me figure out the nuts and bolts of long term frugal travel. Very inspiring and touching…especially your part about the cyclone fundraising.

    And thanks to the guy who mentioned Evernote. I’m downloading the version for the web… this is going to help store all kinds of info for easy access once on the road!

    Jennie

  78. VolunTourism Review For Week 20, 2009

    […] For those who are thinking about ways to save on travel expenses, Nora Dunn offers Eleven (11) Tips on how to “Travel Full-Time For Less Than $14,000 Per Year“ […]

  79. madrid flight deals

    Really cool blog. I found it on yahoo. I am looking forward to read more posts.

    Can anybody tell me whats the best hotel in Madrid for my honey moon? I going to married next month..

    Thank you

  80. Josten

    Very inspiring i plan on traveling the earth

  81. Mostafa

    Your Article is a mine of tips. That makes me consider traveling under other interesting angles.
    Thanks for that

  82. Stephen Wise

    Awesome article. This is exactly the way i think. I’m going to travel this summer now that exams are over. I plan to grab that passport, save about $1000, and check out the cheap airfare/cheap housing. As Josten said, It is inspiring to travel the Earth.
    Alot of people seem to think traveling is nothing more than busy airports, tedious planning and scheduling. Really it isnt that hard, and shouldnt be thought of as Traveling the World, with different countries and governments. Put that aside, and think that we are on Earth, and can easily experience Earth as a single place, by exploration of every culture and lifestyle

  83. Peter

    I was travelling by myself but it never got lonely as I always had Zsa Zsa, Beryl or Chrystal to go and strike up a conversation with at the Front Desk, no matter how busy they were they were always genuinely interested in my needs and conversation. I had an action packed week. This was the week that Nikki was having its one year anniversary. I went jet skiing, did a snorkel and conch tour, went horseback riding, did some shopping, did ATV’s (ran into the bush a few times) and of course laid out at the beach and got burnt a bit. Visited the local Irish pub quite a bit, always something going on there.

    For more information in Nikki Beach Turks and Caicos Resort Islands visit http://nikkibeachhotels.com/turks/.

  84. Martin

    Great post! Good to spread the knowledge to those that don’t know.

    In Europe (I’m from London) we call this lifestyle “backpacking” and many many young people embark on it after leaving school, college or university, usually for 6-12 months. There are loads of resources on the internet about it.

    What I will contribute is the following:

    1) Look into getting a round the world ticket for continental hops. I got a 36000 mile one with Star Alliance airlines for £1200 (in 2007). This took me from London – Japan – Australia – NZ – Fiji – USA – London. Within that I used local plane, train, bus and donkey to visit 18 countries within the year.

    2) Travelling alone can be lonely, but you meet many good people, and about 4 great people.

    3) Budget some “bling me” money. Every month I would check in to a 5* hotel for a night or two. It helped break the monotony and a comfy bed does you wonders!! (The worse I did was to sleep on a piece of wood in a drug den in Cambodia).

    4) I see many people talking about what happens when you return back from travelling. In my case, I became more focused on what was important, used the people skills and confidence I gained to increase my salary by 500%, and had some amazing photos to remind me of days gone by. I admit that I dont feel “settled” back in the UK, but I dont attribute that to the travelling – more to the rain!!

    Hit me up if you want any more info about my trip or travelling in general. I’m no guru but I’m sure I can help!!

  85. Eric

    This is an incredible post! I haven’t fully dug into the details with everything, but I certainly appreciate this post!

  86. Best for Last - May 29, 2009 | OneClickVA.com

    […] Travel Full Time for Less Than $14,000 a Year – if you wish you could travel more, but “life keeps getting in the way”, read this post. It has nothing to do with internet marketing or business. But I thought the ideas and resources in this very thorough post were fantastic. I’m sure to use them for my own travel adventure… just as soon as I get an opportunity. […]

  87. Travels in the Riel World - …cultivating a global curiosity » Travel full time for surprisingly little money

    […] what Nora Dunn promises you can do. The self-styled professional hobo, she recently wrote an article on how to travel full time for a whole lot less money than you’d think it would cost. This is […]

  88. Carnival of Blogs #19 | Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

    […] Dunn wrote a great article about how to travel the world on 14,000 dollars. It’s become something of a viral hit and is a must […]

  89. MaylaSaathi Tillackdharry

    Been there done that travel thing. Would not do it like Nora describes – scary!

  90. Corbin at ibackpack Canada

    Great post! It’s like you’ve accumulated every good article on travelling on the cheap and organized the chaos! I constantly have friends and family ask how I pull off traveling so much. Explaining it is nearly impossible. How do birds fly? Why are rainbows awesome? I think i’m going to carry the URL to this everywhere I go and just tell people. Go here. Read this. You’ll have a better idea then. Thank you for this!

  91. Working Nomad

    i think there is a limit to how much you need though, its all well and good having a small budget but you have to be able to enjoy yourself too as it seems pointless to travel for travels sake!

  92. Carnival of Blogs, May 24-May 30 « The Roaring TwentySomethings

    […] Rose: Tips for travelling cheap @ I Will Teach You to be Rich […]

  93. feleciacruz

    YES!!! leaving in January for at least a year! releasing an around the world MIX-TAPE !! thanks for your helpful info!!

  94. Ian

    Really good tips, i spent like US$10000 so i beated you :D… camping is a good choice and walking between cities too if there is nature to enjoy. also I tried to spent more time in chepa countires, if you are travelling around europe, Eastern Europe can offer really good sights, and Western Europe can be travelled really fast. also for UK try Megabus… this company is also in canada i think but i still not have benn ther to test it… its like the ryanair of buses, offer great trips for 1 pound if you travel at dawn or night, and principally on tuesday and thursday. also National Express has great deals in spring, offering also 1 pound tickets between cities… for example, between London and Cardiff i purchased a ticket for 5 pounds!!!

    Between europe the best thing are buses, take night buses and you can take a comfortable sleep and save the money of the hostel or camping!

    well thats some of my knowledge, thanks for the links to find free acommodation and that kind of stuff!

  95. Sharon

    Always wanted to travel and had been to Europe for about 14 days, 7 countries but had spent around $3,000, that is a lot compared to what you shared above.

    Many good ideas and really dreamed to be able to travel round the world for life!! Wow that would be fun! You have many interesting ideas and very useful advice, must keep in mind when need to travel, thanks Nora.

  96. Sharon

    Thanks for the so many recommendations you had given, by the way I am a Singaporean, nice to know you are visiting quite close to Singapore, as Thailand is just north of us. Enjoy yourself!

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  101. Eugene Krabs

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  102. prufock

    Good tips. Maybe the next article could be “How to make 14 grand while traveling full time.” Not everyone is going to make that kind of skrill freelance writing or blogging.

  103. Cat

    Great tips… About souvenir shopping: I never buy souvenirs from shops, but I almost always take something home with me — from restaurants! We had a lovely carafe of wine in a handmade custom pottery carafe in Santorini, and I asked the restaurant owner if he’d sell me one. He did for 10 euro.

    My stepmom does this too. She loved the plates at a pizzeria in Italy and they sold her two to take home. 🙂

  104. Carla

    Great ideas. I am wondering though if there are ways to travel cheap that doesn’t involve labor. Though I am young, dealing with a chronic illness and doing harder labor than what my doctor would allows me to do would defeat the purpose of a vacation. Also, my travel time is pretty limited (maybe two weeks!) so I doubt I would want to sped a large block of time “working”. The other ideas sound doable though.

  105. quinsy

    Wow, to the folks who are commenting on Nora being young and attractive as a criticism of her piece, you must not have traveled much. Being an attractive young woman is like walking around with a “harass me” sign taped to your back in a lot of places in the world. I know some travel fanatics who have decided to give it up simply because they’re sick of constantly being barraged with come-ons and being grabbed by strangers, or worrying about getting raped. My favorite travel spot was just marred by a rape and attack on two young women from Australia (tried to cut their arms off). simply terrifying. Traveling is much easier for an average looking guy. Job opportunities while traveling have to do with ability to speak English or do hard labor in a lot of cases. Do you really think these organic farming volunteers are all hot supermodels? No, I’ve seen them, they tend to be unshaven hippies.

  106. Kathy AO

    Wonderful! Thanks for writing this.

    Twelve years ago I spent a year in Japan teaching (yes, with a work visa) and spent my vacations checking out Japan, China & South Korea. I still correspond with my friends there! Then I found a round the world ticket for about $1000USD, unfortunately for only two months. I spent most of that time in Southeast Asia. My goal was to meet interesting people and find out what was important to them, eat great food and take amazing photographs. I highly recommend formulating a purpose for yourself when you travel.

    As to harassment, sure, some people will just assume you’re available. First, be sensitive to local customs, including dress and behavior. Then, buy yourself a wedding ring. Finally, get to know people who live there and make friends, they will tell off obnoxious suitors – and salespeople – for you in a more effective manner than you could ever manage.

    There’s no need to be lonely anywhere if you’re truly interested in the people who live there, not just the items they’re selling or the scenery around. I was taken to family homes, brought tea by friends as soon as I showed up in street the morning, given local prices at tourist shops for the few things I really wanted to have, and myriad other kindnesses that people extended to a respectful traveler.

    My whole trip ran under $3000, and it would have been much less if I hadn’t sprung for two specialty plane tickets that cost more than the original ticket – but I only had two months to work with. Overland would have been much cheaper. If you want to travel, go do it, and good luck to you!

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  108. Sally Parrott Ashbrook

    Wow, what a fantastic guest post this was! Thanks, JD and Nora. I’m off to explore a few new websites. 😀

  109. Working Holiday Australia

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    I’m not under 30 anymore (or even 40 come to think of it). And while my budget has expanded with my age (and correlating time in the work force, good money mgt. skills, etc.), travel for long distances/long time periods is stuck in my head as an expensive prospect — one that I really can’t afford. Until I read this article! I have a new lease on the travel bug and I plan to implement at least some of your advice. Thank you!

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  117. elizabeth

    When you say “Don’t buy souvenirs”, you really mean “Do buy souvenirs, just not the cheap kind that I find tacky.”

    Really, I think the biggest trap is getting robbed, which will cost a lot more in money and gung-ho spirit than any tsochke.

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    Excellent post; you’ve really done your homework on this !

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    Great post. We found many of the same strategies have rung true with us having travel/freelanced for the last year. Particularly flights, being part of the community, and shopping smart. We spent 6 months in the Philippines and ended up spending about $16,000 for the both of us. Far from roughing it. We made 90 scuba dives while we were there and lived in a 2 bedroom house on the beach for most of that period. There’s a detailed budget on our travel blog if interested.

    http://www.haveinternetwilltravel.com/2009/03/01/philippines-recap/

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  124. Jess

    Wow. I’ve had a desire for many years to take on the world and now I’m more open to the oportunities that could possibly change my life.
    What suggestions does anyone one have to get past the fear of possibly having to take the trip alone.

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    “@Rob

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    well, then, just don’t comment. Seriously, nobody gives a shit that you don’t want to travel.

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  145. G. Michael Schneider

    What you have done is quite amazing, and I applaud you for your creativity and for your ability to enjoy life and travel on the cheap. But let me go you one better. If you are a skilled professional–say a doctor, lawyer, engineer, software developer, pharmacist, architect, artist, musician, clergy, etc.–not only can you travel for a lot less than $14,000 per year but you can travel for free by having other people invite you to work in their home country for a short-term period, say a summer, a semester, or a year. My wife and I have lived and worked in 15 different countries for periods ranging from 2 to 8 months, never once reaching into my wallet, and never once giving up my “day job.” Too often we think about free travel only in terms of teaching English, being an au pair, or waiting on tables. But if you have a useful and marketable skill, read my blog “On The Other Guys Dime” and see how to travel on the other guys dime.

    Michael Schneider

  146. Roy

    Very informative articles, take a while to digest all of this. Thank you.

  147. Jacqueline

    U.S.$14,000 seems a bit steep but I guess it depends where and how u want to travel. I travelled around the world from 2001-2006 and in the first 6 months I spent only US$1,500. That was after I’d bought my air tkt. from London to Pakistan. I then traveled overland, I spent 2 months in Pakistan, 3 months in India and 1 month in Nepal…I did plenty of activities horse trekking, white water rafting, day trekking…I did day trips with random locals who seemed to think it was fun to loan me their cars and be driven around for the day…in Most of Asia I think if u eat local and street foods u can manage on $500 a month or even less whereas if u spend a month in Bali and eat in a half decent restaurant twice a day it’s prob more like $1000 a month. It’s totally up to you, I left the UK with less than US$2000, stopped off and did working hols, got a few jobs along the way – some that paid way more than I’d earned back home and was still travelling 5 years later. Been settled & working in the rat race for last 10 years now but planning to travel again in the next year or two brilliant fun and it opens a world full of possibilities.

  148. Kay

    Nice practical write up. Its much easier for westerners with less travel restrictions or visa waivers to travel round the globe, than visa nationals who need to apply for visas to almost all countries.

  149. anselem

    Nice piratical writeup you have made it easier and helpful to me
    thanks a lot

  150. Godwin

    Am not yet rich and i want to know more about this topic and i will be grateful if i can know more
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  151. Douglas Wingate

    When it comes to souvenirs, remember is that usually the best souvenirs are not the ones you impulsively buy at a shop. For example, when I was in Korea, I bought a pair of neat looking jandals for only a few dollars, because it was summer and I needed loose footwear. I took a flight across the ditch towards China, and ended up walking a whole partition of the Great Wall in those jandals, leaving my feet in a bloody mangled mess. However, I have kept those jandals, and whenever I see them, I am reminded of the epic journey I took. For a few dollars I had a souvenir that was unforgettable. A true souvenir is not just something you buy from a shop – it’s something that has some significance to it. It’s not necessarily even paid for. In China, the local I spent time with would take me to this delicious yoghurt shop. She would buy the yoghurt and she didn’t need the cups, so I took them. Examining them afterwards I realised that they are very wonderful looking cups, resembling finely carved ivory. They’re not a typical souvenir, but they always remind me of eating tasty yoghurt in Beijing. These days I use those cups as pen holders, incense holders and other things

  152. Helary Dufan

    Great post thank you, very helpful

  153. Angel marth

    You are bound to make the most out of your weekend break as there’s a lot lying in world tour store to offer to the tourists from all walks of life. World tourist attractions should be explored or your weekend break would remain incomplete.
    Great story shared here.

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  156. Lisa

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  160. Tod

    Great list! I agree with trying out Volunteering while you travel, definitely gives you a great opportunity to know the locals and their culture better.

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  165. Kenny

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  170. Cherry Sewell

    Great article… lots of tips I’ve used, but lots I haven’t. Thanks! But next time – please DO tip in Australia – it isn’t ‘expected’ (as in no service charge on the bill), but it is how most wait staff earn enough money to make it worthwhile… 🙂

  171. Aditi Chopra

    Hi Guys,
    I along with my 3 friends are planning a trip to Manali in Jan 2014 (3-4 days trip). After referring to a lot of threads on various sites i came to following conclusion, need your valuable advice’s and suggestion regarding the same.
    a) We will start from Delhi by train for Chandigarh and from Chandigarh we have planned to book a taxi upto Manali, will that be ok?
    b)We will start from Delhi at 2:35 PM via Janshatabdi so in that case we will be reaching Chandigarh around 7:30 PM, so what do u suggest should we stay in Chandigarh that night and start early next morning or we should start from Chandigarh and halt some were in between, my main concern is that i dont want to miss the scenic beauty that falls on way to Manali. So if anyone can tell me how further from Chandigarh i should go and halt my night Journey ?
    c) I would appreciate if you could refer me some good hotel names in Manali and also some good drivers whose company can be fun as per your previous experiences. Also the aprrox cost for the Taxi Trip (Chandigarh -Manali- Chandigarh) and hotels.
    Thanks in advance for your valuable advices and suggestions.
    Warm Regards

  172. Vida

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  175. Samit

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  177. Heaven

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  184. John Williams

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  185. john

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  188. Regina Bates

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  192. Amber

    Such a comprehensive resource, both the original post and comments. Thanks for putting this all together Nora!

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  201. Isan

    The truth is that you don’t need much money to do great things and go to beautiful places, take for exemple Cuba, beautiful country, sunny most of the year and the people are awesome.
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  213. Jennifer Schlueter

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  216. Kathy Lum

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  217. Sherry

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  218. FiftyFifty

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