Travelling is often seen as something for the rich. However, over the years travel has got cheaper. The majority of my ‘real’ travel experiences have been the cheapest ones and involved the bare minimal amount of money, living as close to a travelling hobo as possible.
Saving up and generating cash
- Ask nicely for kit that you can test for a company - find the right person who deals with that sort of thing.
- Handle your media and communications - be known for something and use it as a foundation for generating support such as crowdsourcing funding.
- If possible, get yourself featured in high visibility media: news, magazines, documentary, films: use the media of the moment to promote yourself.
- Become a photographer - use it to document the places you go. Take photos of equipment in use and send to the brand. Sell photos to magazines and list on stock photography sites.
- If you are a good writer, write articles for relevant magazines.
- Sell artwork like postcards, and drawings. If you are a good enough musician, can you busk for money?
- Write a blog and sparingly offer paid promotion opportunities.
Take cheap transport
- Bus is probably the cheapest motorised transport followed by train
- In some countries taxis can be affordable
- If you can cycle, then it makes the most sense from a cost perspective
- Hitch hiking is another option
Use free hospitality
- Use Couchsurfing, Be welcome or similar free hospitality sites. Be aware that being a good guest is an art and if you aren’t paying for accommodation you shouldn’t treat it like a hotel
- Sleep in a tent
- Sleep on the deck of boats / on buses / trains. E.g. plan it so that you travel at night where possible
- Ask people for help - if you don’t ask you don’t get
- Be desperate and in need. ‘Stay Hungry’
- Be flexible. Paying for services can make you feel more assured but if you are a guest then you don’t know exactly how things will pan out
Buy, take and carry only what you really need
- Minimise your possession
- Wear long lasting clothes
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Don’t buy maps or guidebooks unless necessary. Guidebooks are heavy and you can usually find maps on the way.
Live off the land / reduce your living costs
- Borrow hand wash from public toilets - carry around in a drinks bottle and refill.
- Forage for food.
- Buy food before you go or before you come into a touristic / expensive area.
- Drink tap water instead of buying drinks.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Don’t use a mobile.
- Avoid all but the cheapest restaurants - eat where the locals eat.
- Be vegetarian.
Last updated 2022