We all love to travel. Social media profiles are flooded with words like "Wanderer", "traveller", "Travel Lover", and "Backpacker". People like to identify themselves as someone who loves to travel, meet new people, try local cuisines, and cherish memories. If you ask anyone to come up with a wish list of things they want to do, taking a trip to an exotic place will definitely make it to the list.
Unfortunately, most of us kick our travel bag under the bed and live a routine life. One of the main reasons people put aside their dream trip is due to lack of funds. When we plan a trip, we think of luxurious villas on the beach with a private lagoon, relaxing spa therapies, and expensive adventurous activities. When the savings in our bank account is not sufficient to take such a trip, we cancel the plan, pick up our bag and go to the office instead. What if someone told you that you can travel even when you are broke? Yes! That's right! There are many ways you can make your travel affordable. If you have been checking flights tickets and hotels for a while now but have not booked it, it's time to go ahead and plan that trip.
Offer to work: There are many resorts and restaurants in tourist places willing to offer accommodation and food in return for a service. You can make a few calls and try talking to businesses operating in places you want to visit and ask them for help for few days. In return, you can help them in their day-to-day activities. This way, you are not only saving on accommodation and food but can also know how it is to live like a localite.
Free walking tours: Most cities and towns across the world have free walking tours. Many tourists just like you come together to explore the city. The best news is that it is free of cost! Start with your own city and explore nearby places to begin with. You also get great offers when you book your free walking tours online using your credit card. Apply for a credit card online if you don't have one.
House sitting or pet sitting: If your friends are living their dreams and have planned a vacation, ask them if you can take care of their house or pets in their absence. Most pet parents spend a massive amount to find the best pet boarding center. You can call your friends in different places and let them know you are available. This way you can visit many places. Meanwhile, if you have picked up a house on home loan, allow travellers to rent a room for a nominal price which will help you repay your loan faster.
Use travel rewards on your credit card: You can use your credit card to pay for travel expenses if you plan well in advance. There are many credit cards available in the market that offer attractive reward points which can be used to book flight tickets, get discount on your food bill on select restaurants, and find cheaper hotels. If you are someone who pays your credit card bill on time, you will get amazing offers from time to time. If your credit card does not come with an attractive reward programme and you are a frequent traveller, consider applying for a travel credit card.
Give hostels a try: The increasing number of backpackers who do not believe in fancy accommodation have led to the formation of many hostels with dorm facility worldwide. You can get a comfortable bed to stay within a few hundred rupees in a traveller's hostel. Apart from cooking your own meals, you can also interact with people from different parts of the globe and create amazing travel diaries.
Ask friends and family to contribute: Rather than asking your friends and family to buy you expensive gifts for your birthday or Christmas, ask them to fund your trip. Haven't you heard "Ask and you shall receive?". Find people around you who share a common interest and are willing to contribute. You will be surprised by the way they respond!
Learn to cook: Food bills are one of the important expenses one incurs when travelling. You can avoid spending on food if you can cook your meals yourself. Whether you are staying at a friend's house or a hostel, you will save thousands of rupees if you can cook. Learn to cook simple meals and avoid eating outside.
Pitch a tent: If you are an adventurous traveller and love camping, consider borrowing a tent from someone you know and pitch it in a safe place with a great view. This way you can enjoy gazing at the stars and avoid spending on accommodation.
Freelance as you go: You can earn when you travel if you can freelance your skills. If you have skills like writing, video editing, graphic designing, programming, or painting, use these skills to generate money when you are enjoying the views of Zurich. If you can do anything that can help you earn money without being physically present in a place and allow you to work remotely, do it now.
Volunteer: Have you seen advertisements of charity homes in Nepal or schools in Vietnam looking for volunteers willing to teach children? Most of these organisations provide you food, accommodation, a local guide, and bicycles. Next time you plan a trip, quickly search for volunteering options in that particular place. Also, volunteering in a new place will make your travel memorable as it is often associated with a social cause. Go ahead and feel good about yourself.
Work on an organic farm: If you have always dreamt of a Europe trip, it is time to make that dream come true. There are many farms in Europe and other Asian countries who need help in taking care of their animals and plants. If you want to have an extraordinary experience, volunteer to work on an organic farm. Apart from seeing new places, you will learn so much about poultry, and environment in general which will forever change the way you look at life. If you are planning to go to a foreign country, make sure you have a valid travel insurance and health insurance.
Find a job overseas: There are many job opportunities in almost all countries in the world. Choose a place you love to explore and find a temporary job. If you find a temporary job, you can take time and see the surrounding places too. When your job contract is expiring, apply for a job in another place. This way, you can travel the world and make sure you have a regular income.
Crowdfund your trip: Crowdfunding is a concept where many people who are mostly not related to each other come together to fund a project via the internet. If you think people will not be interested to fund your trip, you are wrong. You will find like-minded people who are willing to give. Take advantage of the internet and make an appeal online right away. You will find angels online who will be willing to donate to make your dream of seeing the Northern Lights come true.
You can also hitchhike if you want to, prefer trains as they are cheaper, use your student ID card to avail discounts, and try the barter system. There are many ways you can travel even when you do not have sufficient funds. A personal loan is also an option to fund your travels, however, it bears interest. So it should be a last option after you've exhausted other avenues. Go ahead and plan your trip to Kaikoura and watch the Dolphins swim or enjoy astrophotography in Spiti Valley. Have an awesome trip. Bon voyage!