When we tell people that we traveled to 302 cities in 33 countries across 6 continents for our honeymoon, they generally assume we are millionaires--far from it. We just decided that life was too short, the world was too big, and the value of travel too great to wait until retirement, so we made it happen. We started saving, researching, and honing our travel-hacking skills, and eventually found a way to explore the world for less than $40 per-person/per-day, all in! Here's how:
8 STEPS TO AFFORDABLY TRAVEL THE WORLD:
1. Evaluate Your Funds. Divide your savings by $40 and that's how long you can travel. Not enough? Follow our small-dose savings strategy (we are living proof of these numbers).
2. Small-dose Saving. Save $10 a day for two years and you can travel for six months. Save $13 a day for three years and travel for a full year. Pick a pace that's right for you and stick with it.
3. Mileage Hack. Earn frequent flyer miles before your trip and fly around the world for next to nothing. We accumulated 430,000 miles (without taking a single flight) in the seven months before we left for our around-the-world trip; that covered every single long-haul flight we took during our two-year HoneyTrek.
4. Zero-Fee Credit Cards. Travel with credit and debit cards with 0% foreign transaction fees and an ATM card that refunds ALL withdrawal fees. (You can save thousands with this one tip alone.) To further avoid any fees back at home, be sure to set every single bill to auto-pay and paperless.
5. Pick Your Countries Wisely. There are plenty of beautiful and affordable countries to explore (Thailand, Indonesia, Bolivia, Mexico, Philippines, Nepal, Kenya, and Turkey to name a few). Lay a realistic and convenient path from one to the next.
6. Cheap and Free Lodging. From house sitting to couch surfing to home stays, there are numerous of ways to find lodging around the world for free or next to nothing.
7. Avoid Buying Bottled Water. Bring a SteriPEN water purifier and save nearly $500/person/year and prevent 1000s of plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill.
8. Barter Your Skills for Experiences or Goods. If you can offer a service to a hotel/outfitter/restaurant (like improving their promotional photography, proofreading a menu, lending a physical hand, promoting them on social media, etc.), you'll likely find someone happy to host you in exchange for your help.
When we were planning our trip around the world, the main thing we wanted was to sit down and talk to someone who'd done something similar. Now with over 125,000+ miles of international travel under our belt, we want to be that mentor for anyone dreaming of hitting the road, but not quite sure how to make it reality. That's why we started HoneyTrek Trip Coach, a one-on-one workshop for gap years, career breaks, extended honeymoons, and any trip that gets people out of the office for a few weeks. If you are wondering how you can mobilize your journey of a lifetime, check out Trip Coach or reach out to us at TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com. Life is short; it's time to get after it!