One of the main things I always get asked about my travels is how I can afford it and how much it costs to travel full time. The truth is that it totally depends on your situation and what you expect from your travels. I am travelling to experience real life, people, culture and see sights. If you want to travel to stay in luxury hotels then, of course, it’s going to cost you a bomb. But if you are willing to do things differently and see it as an experience not a holiday then there are some really great ways to do it on the cheap.
Sky Scanner Flights Checker
Using Skyscanner to book your flights is my number tip for cheap travel. I personally think that Skyscanner is the best way to find cheap flights. The thing I love about it is that you can search for flights for a whole month and for a whole country whereas most other flight checkers want you to choose a specific date and a specific airport.
I’ll explain why this is so important now…
If are booking a holiday and have set days booked off from work or need to attend a specific event and fly on specific dates then this won’t give you quite as many options, however, if you just want to travel then this is ideal.
When I was in Mallorca and looking for a new workaway I searched skyscanner for flights “everywhere” and found out that the cheapest place to fly to was Madrid (£12). Then I started looking for workaways in Madrid! So first I found the cheapest destination and then I arranged accommodation after.
It’s also great if you live close to a few different UK airports. I always search for flights to the UK rather than to Birmingham, Luton etc. This way I can choose the cheapest airport to fly to which is closest to me.
I also searched “whole month” instead of specific dates and chose the cheapest day in the month to fly. Here is an example of using these 3 techniques.
First I search Madrid to “Everywhere” and find that the chapest place to fly to is France. However, there are a number of other very cheap destinations to choose from.
Then it shows me the cheapest airports in France to fly from and I select Toulouse.
Then it gives me all the days of the month and how much it costs to fly on each of those days. Only some of these will be available at the £9 price, however, this is fine if you are flexible.
It is also worth noting that it is generally cheaper to book during the week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
When I booked my flight to America I originally wanted to go to New York but Boston was loads cheaper and isn’t far from New York so I booked our flights to there instead.
So these are my top tips for getting cheap flights…
Search ‘whole month’ rather than specific dates
Search alternative airports near to your desired location or the whole country if possible.
With workaway you are provided with free accommodation for a maximum of 25 hours work per week. These can last for a few weeks or a few months depending on the host and their requirements.
Work can be anything from domestic cleaning & babysitting to DIY and professional business help.
Workaway is amazing if you are planning to travel long term on a budget. I have had two work away experiences so far. One not great and the other one amazing!
If you are a people person, comfortable living with others, happy to work in someones home for them then it’s a great way to travel cheap. If you aren’t then it may not be for you.
It takes quite a lot of patience and tact to live in someones house and be prepared to do things they ask and live to their schedule.
I have really enjoyed the experience of living with a real family and not feeling like a tourist. If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn the language and experience the real thing then workaway is a great way of doing it.
Find out more about my workaway experiences here.
Similarly to workaway Air B&B offers the chance to experience the real deal! However, in recent years it has become less affordable than it was originally. Prices are now not too dissimilar to hotels.
If you are travelling as a large party or family then it’s great to get that home away from home feel. You can rent a whole house with Air b&b rather than just a room, so if you have kids or babies then it’s very practical to have all the home comforts rather than a hotel room.
There are also some great deals to be found. It’s always worth searching on Air B&B to see if there are any deals or offers available at your destination.
I booked the majority of my long distance flights using an around the world combined ticket company. I personally used STA travel and found them to be extremely good value. They also allow you to put a deposit down and then pay off the rest within a certain amount of time which was really helpful. I paid mine off over 2 months. If you know where you want to go and have dates in mind in advance then you can book these tickets and save a great deal of money.
Couchsurfing& House Sitting
A great way to travel and stay for free is using couchsurfing groups. There is the website called couchsurfing.com and which has hosts all over the world you can contact to stay with. Or you can search on Facebook for couchsurfing groups.
I have personally found a worldschooling house sit/swap group with lots of other world schoolers who have offered to host us. Most have said we can stay in a spare room, not actually a couch! So I highly recommend looking into this.
There are also specific sites for house sitting as well as Facebook groups. If you love animals there are usually lots of pet sitting opportunities all over the world to house sit and look after dogs or cats.
I hope this has been useful for you and can help to save you some money on your travels!