The Truth About Traveling The World on a Budget

Traveling the world on a budget. Sounds great and you are tempted to do it. Who wouldn’t?

We all see news or articles about traveling the world on a budget and how some people manage to see the world by spending the same amount of money that we spend in a month, on eating out and casual shopping.

How do some people manage to do it?

Let me just say that if this was for everyone, we would all do it.

traveling the world on a budget

Before deciding on traveling the world on a budget, take a moment and think about yourself.

  • Are you the kind of person that can travel on a budget?
  • What do you want to get from your trip?

I consider that thinking about yourself and what makes you happy when traveling is the most important thing to do, before starting to travel on a budget.

I love to travel and I am not a very picky person when it comes to hotels, food, public transport or airlines. But I also know that I cannot travel on a 30$/day budget.

Of course there are all sorts of travel hacks you can use. But remember that you will have to test them, yourself.

You  will also hear/get all sorts of advice and budget ideas from different people, but the only person who can tell you how much you are going to spend and how much you should budget for a trip is yourself.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t rely too much on advice from people that are quoting ridiculously small budgets for their trips and most important – don’t make plans on their quotes (this is how you end up stranded, in Bali).

Always take into consideration that, when people tell you about their ridiculously small budgets, this might also be true:

  • They do things you probably would not, like: they hitchhike, dodge train fares, wear the same clothes for days, eat poorly, etc.
  • They have a vast experience when it comes to travel and this means that you will not be able to replicate their experience, if you are new to the travel world.
  • They are simply lying to you. Yes, this happens.
  • They are not taking into consideration things like transportation, that Starbucks cup of coffee, the taxi fare or that entrance to the wildlife park. Some may forget to tell you about the vaccines they had to take to go to a certain country (can be in the hundreds) or the travel insurance.
  • They are mooching off other travelers or locals. Sad but true. Seen it happen. Got people trying to mooch off me while traveling (no lady, you’re not getting my croissant, not today).

I have traveled a lot and I still have so much travel to do. If I can give you one single piece of advice, is that traveling on a budget can have consequences on your travel experience.

traveling the world on a budget

If you look at fab photos of places you want to see, on the internet, keep in mind that you will most probably not be able to experience them, when traveling the world on a budget.

People that say that you can get the same experience, but for a small sum of money are, sorry to say, full of it. Going out,restaurants, bars, museums, activities (scuba, snorkeling, moving around, visiting places) they all cost money.

I bet you would rather have some nice clothes and go out on a Friday night, than to just stay in your hostel room and drink a cheap local beer.

Ask yourself: is traveling on a budget that enjoyable when you want to experience new things, but you can’t afford it?

How would it feel when in Singapore and the people you have met would say:

– Hey we are going for dinner at that restaurant with an amazing skyline view, care to join?

– No, sorry guys, my budget for food for today is 5$.

You will probably feel like missing out.

traveling the world on a budget

We don’t realize that many people that talk about traveling the world on a budget are spending most of their time either backpacking, walking through the cities, hiking or spending a lot of time at the guest house (yes, I have seen many).

I am not saying that this is a bad thing. Some people do love to travel like this but, are you one of them?

Have you tried traveling the world on a budget? How was your experience?

 

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  1. Reply

    I travel on a budget without compromising the quality of my travel! It can happen 🙂 Experiencing the best without spending too much! 🙂

    • Nate
    • January 27, 2016
    Reply

    Interesting thoughts! I usually travel on a budget, but my budget depends on where I travel to. 30$ in U.S. are a bit too less. But for Asia totally fine. I have made the experience, that I also plan an additional amount of money per month/week, that I can do things like diving etc.. However, I agree that people who are more focused on saving money, miss out a lot of things or regret that they couldn’t afford the awesome cruise or whatever.

    • Dean
    • February 28, 2016
    Reply

    While the idea of traveling further and longer on a limited budget has initial appeal, I have no interest in the possibility of missing out on a great experience or amazing sight just because I have already spent my $17 budget for the day.
    For me it’s about value, not price.

  2. Reply

    Great post. I think it’s important to realize that “on a budget” is going to mean different things for different people. On my last trip I stayed at $30/night guesthouses, ate street food/711 snacks (and usually only ate twice a day), and did mostly free things (like wandering around parks and window shopping). That’s usually how I travel, but I know everyone is different. Despite the fact I can be pretty frugal I think it’s important to have money put aside for those splurges, like a nice meal out or something else more costly, that might come up on a trip.

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