Travelling while underfunded

What to do when you have no money but want to travel

We’ve all been in this horrible situation where we feel like we don’t have any money to travel for but we desperately want to. We look at everyone else’s Instagram photos and we long to be where they are too. But did you know that you can actually travel with very little money? It is possible! Although your trip won’t consist of 5 star hotels perhaps, you’ll still be able to fulfill your dream and travel. And in the end, that’s what you’ll remember, not where you rested your head for the night, but all the sights you’ve seen and all the people you’ve met are what’s going to make your trip worthwhile. So let’s take a look at how you can travel with little money (because let’s be honest, there’s no way that your bank account is at zero).

Couchsurfing

The first step is to sign up on Couchsurfing. It’s a popular website where you can host travelers and also be hosted. Let’s say you’re going to New York and don’t want to pay accommodation – then you go on Couchsurfing to find a host! Do remember that most people who are on this site doesn’t just see it as a way to get free stays. It’s a community that brings together travelers and it’s a way to give back to people. Your hosts will most likely want to get to know you as well and maybe even spend the day with you and show you around. So be respectful, kind and thankful to your host who invites you into their home for free.

Grab all the free food you can!

If you’re staying at hostels, you’ll most likely see a bin that says “free food”. It’s usually leftover food that other travelers has left because they can’t bring it with them or for some other reasons (do check the expiry date!). But what’s good about it is that you can grab whatever is there, cook a meal and voila! You’ve saved money. Even if you can’t find free food, try to cook as much yourself and avoid eating out! That’ll most definitely make your wallet slimmer (that is, if you’re not in Southeast Asia because sometimes it’s even cheaper to eat out).

Walk, walk and walk!

Get your energy going by walking! Don’t rely on public transportation too much. You can save a lot of money by walking instead of always catching the bus or subway for example. Besides, it’s so much nicer to walk around when you’re somewhere new. This way, you’ll get to discover neighborhoods you’d just pass by with the bus. Perhaps you’ll even find your new favorite cafe along the way! So walk, burn some calories and sightsee at the same time.

Don’t party so much

I know, this one’s hard for all you party people, but drinking alcohol and partying tons won’t exactly make you richer. Imagine if you skip one night of going out, you’d have saved at least 10-50$, depending on where you are (and how hard you party!). So if you’re on a really tight budget, try to skip the parties or just have a beer and then go home. You can party at home as well.

Moving abroad

Why you should move abroad at least once in your life

Whether it’s for an exchange semester or you got a thrilling job offer abroad, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make the move and get out of your little comfortable bubble. Moving abroad changes you forever. It might not always be the perfect experience you were looking for, but it’ll definitely teach you a valuable life lesson or two. So what are you waiting for?

The first time I moved abroad, I was going to the US for one whole year to be an au pair. I was terrified. One year was a really long time back then and I was regretting it as soon as I stepped on the plane. What have I done? I thought multiple times. What if this happens, what if that happens, etc. I was already destroying it for myself before I had even given it a chance. So when I finally landed in San Francisco and I allowed myself to just be excited about it, things quickly changed for the better. It’s not too shabby to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world.

It’s also good to note that I have lived in way less popular and smaller cities such as Cluj-Napoca in Romania and it was just as exciting as San Francisco. So it really doesn’t matter where you move, it’s about you taking the risk and allowing yourself to have fun with it. Moving abroad made me much more independent because I didn’t have my family or closest friends to rely on anymore. I had to do it all by myself. It was challenging and frustrating at times, but boy did I learn a lot. When we are faced with a situation where we just have to do it, we will do it. Moving abroad also helped me put things into perspective. You appreciate the things you have at home so much more, which is a really good thing.

Even though you’re far away from everyone you know, you’ll get to meet so many new people that’ll become your family. You might even befriend a few people you wouldn’t normally hang out with at home (let’s be honest here). Some of my best friends, I met while studying or working abroad. But don’t get me wrong – there were many moments when I felt lonely. Especially in the beginning. But I learned how to deal with it, I even started to enjoy it and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. It was just all part of the process.

So besides getting the chance to see something outside of your hometown, you also gain valuable lessons, friends for life, a new home, and you become more independent. You might even want to permanently move abroad.