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6 Ways to see the World for Cheap

Posted By Mel Smith     February 10, 2019    

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1. Decide what you need—and what you can live without

The first step in your cheap travel adventure is to prioritize. But you probably already know how to do this with your day-to-day living expenses.

Some people want to live in a nice house, but are willing to drive a beater car. Others squeeze into minuscule living spaces in order to follow their dreams in exciting cities.

The little things count, too. Maybe you splurge on gourmet coffee but buy the store brand for everything else.

The same choices apply to travel. If you want to do it cheaply, you need to think of the experience as the ultimate prize. Everything else is negotiable.

2. Join a travel rewards program

You may have heard that airlines are switching to revenue-based loyalty programs, meaning that you earn points based on how much you spend rather than how many miles you fly.

While that may mean it takes longer to earn a free flight, there’s no reason not to start trying. It’s free to sign up and if you’re new to the program, you may be able to earn tens of thousands in bonus points for opening up a travel rewards credit card.

Travel rewards programs aren’t limited to airlines—hotels have them, too. And you can earn points on a wide variety of purchases through the loyalty program’s partners.

3. Do your research to find the lowest airfare.

Airfare is a relatively easy category to save money on because the experience of flying is largely the same regardless of which airline you choose or how much you paid for your ticket.

When I’m planning a trip I like to start with Google Flights because it shows you how much you could save on a ticket if you alter your itinerary by a few days. But not every airline is listed, so you still need to look around to find the best deal.

WhichBudget is a good place to go next. You can search for cheap flights on hundreds of airlines in over 200 countries.

4. Find a free place to stay

Do you have friends or family who live in interesting places? Plan a trip to their city and ask to sleep on a couch or spare bed. The best part about staying with someone you know (other than the free accommodation) is getting insider tips about what to do and see while you’re there.

5. Curb your dining expenses by cooking at home

If you stay in any of the kinds of accommodations listed above, you should have access to a kitchen. Use it to save money on eating (and drinking) out.

Remember, the experience of travel is your priority, so who cares if you don’t get a complete break from washing dishes on your trip.

6. Be flexible with a last-minute deal

If you’re not picky about the timing or destination of your next trip, you can save money with last-minute deals on hotel rooms, vacation packages and airfare.

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